University of Washington


The Halbert and Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars is composed to two, co-educational programs; the Transition School and the UW Academy. Both of these programs are associated with the University of Washington in Seattle. The UW Academy was founded in 1977, and the Transition Early Entrance Program was founded in 1980. The former director of the program was Dr. John Sahr and in September of 2010 the position will go to Dr. Nancy Hertzog. The Transition program enrolls 16 students a year, in a yearlong program, who take courses with one another, which prepare them for entrance to the UW Honors College. The Transition program accepts students no younger than 12 but no older than 14. After their year in the Transition program they enter the UW Honors College as part of the general honors student population. Students who enter the UW Academy have completed their sophomore year of high school and become college freshman in the UW Honors College. The UW Academy can only accept 35 students a year as mandated by the State of Washington as well as the University. Both UW Academy and Transition program students officially drop out of high school to enter these programs. UW Academy students take courses with the wider UW Honors College population. All students, in both the Academy and Transition programs must live in the Seattle, Washington area until they are old enough to move on to the UW campus. Students complete their undergraduate degrees at the University of Washington and then they continue on to prestigious universities throughout the country.


The program is non-residential however students do pay tuition. For the Transition Program the tuition is $12,050 per year. For the UW Academy it depends on whether or not the student is a Washington State resident because they pay the same amount as any student attending UW. For in-state students tuition is $7,692, for out of state students it is $24,367. In order for a student to be admitted to the Transition Program they must take the ACT and score at least within the 85th percentile, there are also two phone recommendations from a Humanities teacher and a Math and Science teacher followed by a student interview. UW Academy students are expected to score at least a 31 on the ACT and have a GPA between 3.73-4.0. The Academy accepts roughly 44% of its applicants and the Transition Program accepts roughly 36%.


Students in the transition program spend a year taking a college prep curriculum before being admitted to the Honors College at UW. These students take: Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Physics, English, History and Ethics. They also take UW course during the spring semester, which focuses on analytical thinking and writing. Students in the Academy take a standard advanced college curriculum, the same as all of the UW Honors College Students. These courses include, Honors Humanities, Honors Sciences, Honors Social Science, Honors Fine Arts, Honors Interdisciplinary, and two other Honors Science and Honors Civilization courses. Before beginning these classes, Academy students spend several weeks honing their writing and analytical skills in a sort of camp. During the winter semester, these students take a seminar to explore majors and minors, meet professors and advisors, and discuss study abroad, research and internship possibilities.


Students in the Transition Program are able to participate in extracurricular activities within their respective schools districts. There is also a Drama Society within the program which puts on a student directed and organized play each year which is a large part of the Transition Program community. Transition Program students take two trips together, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end. It is generally an outdoor camping excursion to promote bonding. Student in the Academy are encouraged to join any clubs and organizations on the UW campus as well as an clubs or activities they would have participated in at their high school. There is also a “Lounge” for the Academy students. It is only for them and it is a place where students in the Academy can socialize with one another. Students may move into the Honors Dorms once they turn 17.


The Program creates personal relationships with both the public and private schools in the area in order to find qualified applicants. They also run adds on the local radio station and advertise the Transition School and the UW Academy during their summer programs for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders to introduce the program to the community.