Washington ranks 47th in the nation in participation in four-year public higher education at the undergraduate level for U.S. population ages 20-34, and approximately 40 percent of Washington high schools do not attend a college after high school. At the same time, employers will create an estimated 373,000 net new jobs in Washington by 2026, and 70 percent of these jobs are expected to require or be filled by workers with a post-high school credential.
To address the college going culture in Washington, five of the state’s public, four-year institutions have launched the Guaranteed Admissions Program. Building on a pilot program in 2021-22, the goal is to reach students who had not considered going to college or themselves college ready. It is the most recent collaborative initiative among the state’s public, four-year institutions to increase the college-going culture in Washington.
The program will partner with 66 districts and schools across Washington in a joint effort to continue a shared commitment to meeting the college and career goals of Washington students. The program will focus on increasing access and credential completion in Washington, especially for students who may not have considered going to college.
To be eligible for guaranteed admissions to the five participating institutions, students must have or be on track to earn by graduation a 3.0 GPA and complete the college academic distribution requirement coursework.
“Federal Way Public Schools is thrilled to partner with local colleges to remove barriers for our scholars,”said Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, Federal Way Public Schools superintendent. “The Guaranteed Admissions Program partnership creates a seamless pathway for many of our scholars to enter higher education, and we’re excited for the doors this will open for the Class of 2023 and beyond.”
The program is also engaging with 11th grade students. Through data sharing partnerships with Washington high school and school district partners, the participating institutions will engage with students in the 11th grade to ready them for college and familiarize them with college admissions. As students enter the 12th grade, participating institutions will work to determine eligibility for guaranteed admissions.
“The Guaranteed Admissions Program supports Washington students, their achievements, and the successful academic work that occurs throughout the state’s high schools,” said Jana Jaraysi, Director of Admissions for Eastern Washington University. “Through the program, students recognize our commitment to them and realize our institutions want them to continue to learn and thrive in Washington. GAP also motivates students to continue excelling and helps them discover meaningful career options that go beyond grades and GPAs.”
Together, with K-12 partners, Washington’s participating public, four-year institutions are directly engaging with students who had not planned to pursue a college education by removing barriers and sending the clear message that the state’s public, four-year institutions want Washington students.
More information about the Guaranteed Admissions Program and institutional contacts can be found at https://bit.ly/WaGap.