Washington Public Four-Year College & Universities COVID-19 FAQ

UPDATED 05/18/2020

Washington’s public baccalaureate college and universities are committed to easing COVID-19 related disruptions so as not to disadvantage students’ ability to strive for and attain an education at a Washington public four-year college or university.

The following questions and answers only pertain to Washington’s public four-year college and universities: Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, University of Washington, Washington State University and Western Washington University.

Freshman Fall 2020 Admits

How should students approach high school coursework given the transition to remote learning for spring and summer 2020?
Students should continue to seek challenges in current academic studies. Research tells us that students who engage in advanced and rigorous coursework in high school enroll, continue and graduate from college at higher rates.

Districts and schools should continue to emphasize the role and value of learning by providing students with learning opportunities that allow for meaningful student engagement with content through different modes and feedback to align with learning outcomes and student needs.

Important to a successful transition from K-12 to postsecondary pathways is support for students’ self-determination of their college and career path. Teachers, counselors, schools, families and students should honor students’ recognition of their own learning and readiness and preparation for college coursework. Students should be confident in seeking college placement exams to access readiness for the next step in their education. We strongly encourage families and teachers to assist students in understanding their readiness for next-level coursework and support students for future success.
Can I still apply for admission to a Washington public four-year colleges or university for fall 2020?
Yes, many of Washington’s public four-year college and universities continue to accept applications for fall 2020.

  • Central Washington University: Accepting applications for fall 2020; Deadline June 1.
  • Eastern Washington University: Accepting applications for fall 2020; Deadline June 1.
  • The Evergreen State College: Accepting applications for fall 2020; Deadline June 1.
  • University of Washington Tacoma: Accepting applications for fall 2020: Deadline June 30.
  • University of Washington Bothell: Accepting applications for fall 2020. No set deadline for first-year students at this time, will accept applications and admit students on a space availability basis.
  • Washington State University: Accepting applications for fall 2020; Deadline June 1.
  • Western Washington University: Accepting applications for fall 2020; Deadline June 1.
To learn more contact the Office of Admission for the college or university you are interested or if you have questions or concerns regarding the listed deadlines.
What flexibility have institutions considered for fall 2020 applicants?
All of Washington’s public four-year college and universities are integrating flexibility into admissions processes to ease, to the extent possible, the disruption for fall 2020 applicants. We recognize that while students must satisfy high school graduation requirements and meet minimum college admission requirements for freshman, our institutions will not disadvantage 2020 fall applicants due to the pandemic’s effects on education delivery.

In addition, the Washington Student Achievement Council revised the Minimum Admission Standards for public four-year college and universities. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Admission Standards policy was revised on March 31, 2020 to allow for institutional flexibility for fall 2020 admissions.
My school is closed and I am unable to attain an official high school transcript. Will this impact my fall 2020 admissions offer?
Students will not have their admission offer rescinded over a missed official transcript deadline. However, Washington’s public four-year college and universities continue to request that official transcripts be submitted by fall term if possible and if not as soon as possible. If your school or college is unable or unsure about its ability to issue official transcripts by fall term start students should reach out to the Office of Admissions of their intended institution. Contacts for each institution can be found here.
How will a “Pass” grade for high school coursework in spring or summer 2020 impact fall 2020 admissions?
Students who complete high school coursework in spring or summer 2020 and receive a “pass” in lieu of a letter grade will not be negatively affected in the admission process at Washington’s public four-year colleges and universities. This includes 8th-12th grade students taking high school coursework during this term at a high school in the state of Washington.

Washington’s public four-year institutions do not re-calculate pass/no pass scores into numeric grade equivalents.

If your school is able, please designate a change to Pass from a ranked grade and add a notation regarding COVID-19 on the transcript so Admissions is aware when reviewing final transcripts.
How will a “Pass” grade for college credit bearing coursework in spring or summer 2020 impact fall 2020 admissions?
Universities, colleges, community and technical colleges, districts, schools, students and families should consider, discuss, and plan for long-term impacts when deciding between grading options for college credit-bearing courses.

When considering pass/no pass as an alternative to ranked grades for college credit-bearing courses, we urge students to consider the long-term impacts to their education and career goals including, but not limited to, preparation for majors (e.g. nursing, engineering, and other STEM fields); prerequisite requirements; admission and transfer to out-of-state institutions and graduate and professional schools.

Alignment with Washington and national higher education requirements, NCAA and NAIA requirements, transfer, military enlistment and veteran benefits is critical for students’ long-term success.
How will the different school/district grading policies implemented in spring 2020 across the state impact admissions for fall 2020 and fall 2021?
Washington’s public four-year college and universities are integrating flexibility into admissions processes to ease, to the extent possible, the disruption for fall 2020 and fall 2021 applicants. We recognize that while students must satisfy high school graduation requirements and meet minimum college admission requirements for freshman, our institutions will not disadvantage 2020 and 2021 fall applicants due to the pandemic’s effects on education delivery.

We recognize the local determination of K-12 grading policies. During this time and our approach to admissions before the pandemic, is to consider multiple measures in the admissions process. GPA is one criteria. Institutions also look at the courses students have taken and their performance over four-years of high school.

We recognize that spring 2020 will have an indelible impact on our personal and professional memories and be in its own category and part of our shared history. Differences among districts existed before the pandemic and like then and now we are prepared to review the range of policies so as not to advantage or disadvantage students for fall 2020 or 2021 admissions.

We would also encourage districts and schools to continue to encourage students who have applied or are considering applying to enroll in one of our nationally recognized public four-year institutions. Washington’s public four-year college and universities and community are open and excited to welcome Washington students pursuing dynamic educational opportunities. Our institutions are engaging communities dedicated to quality education. We understand we will need to be flexible and balance health and safety; we are working to implement a balance that meets these needs while continuing our commitment to a dynamic and meaningful education.

We would encourage students to reach out to us to discuss their applications further. A list of admissions contacts can be found here.
Will institutions convert a “Pass” to a B grade (3.0) or lower?
No, institutions will not convert a “Pass” or calculate it in the cumulative GPA.
My senior-year schedule had changed. Will this affect my fall 2020 admissions?
Schedule changes due to COVID-19 will not affect a student’s admission to any of Washington’s public four-year college or universities.
My senior-year schedule has changed and I am no longer able to complete all my College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs). Will this affect my admission to an institution?
Schedule changes due to COVID-19 will not affect a student’s admission to any Washington public four-year college or university. If any additional information is needed after the final transcript is received, the Office of Admissions will reach out to the student directly.
Due to changes to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International exams in spring 2020, will institutions make changes to college credit awarding policies?
Washington’s public four-year college and universities recognize the effort that students have already made through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International. We will continue to award college credit consistent with previous years institutional policies for fall 2020.
Are campus visits, tours and information sessions being offered?
In-person campus tours and admission information sessions will not be held March 6 – May 31 per public health guidelines and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Institutions are engaging with students through virtual opportunities. To learn more about your intended institution, please contact the Office of Admissions for your intended college or university.
Will summer Advising & Orientation sessions be offered in-person or remotely?
At this time, summer Advising & Orientation will be facilitated in a remote environment through the first part of the summer. Decisions regarding sessions beyond will be determined later.
What are Washington’s public four-year college and universities plans for fall 2020 instruction?
As we work to protect the health and safety of our communities during this unprecedented time, we are carefully planning for a wide range of possibilities.

Washington’s public four-year college and universities and community are open and excited to welcome Washington students pursuing dynamic educational opportunities. Our institutions are engaging communities dedicated to quality education. We understand we will need to be flexible and balance health and safety; we are working to implement a balance that meets these needs while continuing our commitment to a dynamic and meaningful education.

Currently, all campuses have determined initial summer sessions will be conducted via remote instruction with some extending remote learning for the full summer term. At this juncture, however, it is too soon to predict and evaluate the impacts of COVID-19, if any, on instruction beyond summer. We will continue to carefully monitor the rapidly evolving situation and will keep students and families informed as decisions are made.

Fall 2020 Transfer Applicants

What flexibility have institutions implemented for fall 2020 admissions for Washington community and technical college transfer students?
Washington’s public four-year institutions continue to collaborate across their sectors and in partnership with Washington’s community and technical colleges. Our goal is to communicate the most recent policies and practices to ensure that students are successful in attaining their education and career goals.

Together we:

• Moved all activities related to transfer admitted student programs, transfer advising and campus visitations to a virtual experience/ platform, or we have made the decision to cancel events.

• Integrated flexibility into the transfer process to ease, to the extent possible, the disruption for Washington’s community and technical college students.
My institution is not open and can’t send my transcript to complete my application. What do I do?
If your college is unable to send your official transcript through postal mail or electronically (e.g. , Parchment, Credential Solutions, National Student Clearinghouse) contact Admissions at your intended transfer institution and we will be glad to work with you.
Will COVID-19 delay my decision notification?
We do not anticipate any delay in providing transfer admission decisions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my community or technical college lab science and studio courses have been transitioned to remote learning. Will this affect my transfer of these credits to a Washington public four-year college or university?
We recognize that students attending a public four-year institution as well as a community and technical college are experiencing a transition to remote learning. We know that the commitment to quality education across two- and four-year colleges continues even as we have transitioned to remote learning during this pandemic.

We continue to integrate flexibility into the transfer process to ease, to the extent possible, the disruption for Washington’s community and technical college students. This includes changes in modality of lab science or studio courses due to COVID-19 and a student’s transfer of these credits to a Washington public four-year college or university. To determine how credits will transfer we encourage students to consult with the appropriate department for the major they intend to transfer. A list of contacts to identify the appropriate department can be found here.

In addition, institutions are working with faculty and staff to provide support for students when they arrive on our campus to meet students where they are in their learning and assist students in meeting the outcomes required of their subsequent courses.
Will Washington’s public four-year college and universities accept Pass grading in courses required for my major?
Students should consider, discuss, and plan for long-term impacts when deciding between grading options for college credit-bearing courses. When considering pass/no pass as an alternative to ranked grades for college credit courses, we urge students to consider the long-term impacts to their education and career goals including, but not limited to, preparation for majors (e.g. nursing, engineering, and other STEM fields); prerequisite requirements; admission and transfer to out-of-state institutions and to graduate and professional schools.

Each campus sets its own selection requirements, which may include an expectation of letter grades in major preparatory coursework. While all campuses have been encouraged to be as flexible as possible, you’ll need to check with each campus individually for guidance on whether completing remaining major pre-requisites in spring/summer 2020 for a Pass or Credit grade will impact a decision. For institutional contact information click here.
Are campus visits, tours and information sessions being offered?
In-person campus tours and admission information sessions will not be held March 6 – May 31 per public health guidelines and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Institutions are engaging with students through virtual opportunities. To learn more about your intended institution, please contact the Office of Admissions for your intended college or university.
Will summer Advising & Orientation sessions be offered in-person or remotely?
At this time, summer Advising & Orientation will be facilitated in a remote environment through the first part of the summer. Decisions regarding sessions beyond will be determined later.
What are Washington’s public four-year college and universities plans for fall 2020 instruction?
As we work to protect the health and safety of our communities during this unprecedented time, we are carefully planning for a wide range of possibilities.

Washington’s public four-year college and universities and community are open and excited to welcome Washington students pursuing dynamic educational opportunities. Our institutions are engaging communities dedicated to quality education. We understand we will need to be flexible and balance health and safety; we are working to implement a balance that meets these needs while continuing our commitment to a dynamic and meaningful education.

Currently, all campuses have determined initial summer sessions will be conducted via remote instruction with some extending remote learning for the full summer term. At this juncture, however, it is too soon to predict and evaluate the impacts of COVID-19, if any, on instruction beyond summer. We will continue to carefully monitor the rapidly evolving situation and will keep students and families informed as decisions are made.

Financial Aid

Is financial aid still available?
Yes. High school and college students should still apply for financial aid for fall 2020. It is not to late. The first step is to complete the FAFSA or WASFA. To learn more, go here.
How do I apply for financial aid?
There are several financial aid resources for high school and college students. First to apply for financial aid students should complete the FAFSA or WASFA. In addition, the Washington Student Achievement Council has identified other resources to help you apply for financial aid. To learn more, go here.
My family’s financial situation has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I be considered for additional aid?
Washington’s public four-year college and universities understand that families’ financial circumstances may have changed or may change in the coming months. If that’s your situation, please visit the campus financial aid office website. Campus financial aid websites also have contact information, including the best way to reach the financial aid office during remote operations for further assistance.

Institutional Financial Aid Websites:

• Central Washington University: http://www.cwu.edu/financial-aid/involuntary-loss-income
• Eastern Washington University: https://www.ewu.edu/apply/financial-aid-scholarships-office/
• The Evergreen State College: https://www.evergreen.edu/financialaid
• University of Washington: https://www.washington.edu/financialaid/
• Washington State University: https://financialaid.wsu.edu/
• Western Washington University: http://www.finaid.wwu.edu/

Prospective Students Fall 2021 and Beyond

What flexibility have institutions considered for fall 2021 applicants?
All of Washington’s public four-year college and universities are integrating flexibility into admissions processes to ease, to the extent possible, the disruption of COVID-19 for fall 2021 applicants. We recognize that while students must satisfy high school graduation requirements and meet minimum college admission requirements for freshman, our institutions will not disadvantage 2021 fall applicants due to the pandemic’s effects on education delivery.

In addition, the Washington Student Achievement Council revised the Minimum Admission Standards for public four-year college and universities. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Admission Standards policy was revised on April 27, 2020 to allow for institutional flexibility for fall 2021 admissions.
Will institutions require the ACT/SAT for admission for fall 2021?
Washington’s public four-year college and universities recognize the challenges that students are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in response, are temporarily suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission. Not submitting an SAT or ACT will not disadvantage an applicant in the review process.

In addition, the Washington Student Achievement Council revised the Minimum Admission Standards for public four-year college and universities. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Admission Standards policy was revised on April 27, 2020 to allow for institutional flexibility for academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
How will a “Pass” grade for high school coursework in spring or summer 2020 impact future admission decisions?
Students who complete high school coursework in in spring or summer 2020 and receive a “pass” in lieu of a letter grade will not be negatively affected in the admission process at Washington’s public four-year colleges and universities. This includes 8th-12th grade students taking high school coursework during this term at a high school in the state of Washington.

Washington’s public four-year do not re-calculate pass/no pass scores into numeric grade equivalents.

If your school is able, please designate a change to Pass from a ranked grade and add a notation regarding COVID-19 on the transcript so Admissions is aware when reviewing final transcripts.
How will a “Pass” grade for college credit bearing coursework impact future admission decisions?
Universities, colleges, community and technical colleges, districts, schools, students and families should consider, discuss, and plan for long-term impacts when deciding between grading options for college credit-bearing courses.

When considering pass/no pass as an alternative to ranked grades for college credit-bearing courses, we urge students to consider the long-term impacts for their education and career goals including, but not limited to, preparation for majors (e.g. nursing, engineering, and other STEM fields); prerequisite requirements; admission and transfer to out-of-state institutions and graduate and professional schools.

Alignment with Washington and national higher education requirements, NCAA and NAIA requirements, transfer, military enlistment and veteran benefits is critical for students’ long-term success.
Will institutions convert a “Pass” to a B grade (3.0) or lower?
No, institutions will not convert a “Pass” or calculate it in the cumulative GPA.
Does the flexibility apply to applicants for later years (e.g. Fall 2022)?
The flexibility provided through the Washington Minimum Admission Standards is not intended as a permanent admissions policy shift but is rather a temporary accommodation driven by the current extraordinary circumstances. Further updates will be considered for future cohorts as needed.

Contact Information

I have other questions not answered here. Who can I contact?