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UW in the High School

Info for Schools & Districts

UW in the High School partners with districts and schools all across Washington to offer college-level courses to students at their home high school campus.

Following legislative changes that eliminated fees for College in the High School courses for public school students in Washington, we wanted to provide information to assist districts and schools seeking to become new UWHS partners.

Benefits of UWHS

There are numerous dual credit and advanced options in Washington, so why should schools offer UW in the High School courses on their campuses?

  • Low to no cost: Starting in the 2023-24 academic year, there are no fees for UW courses for public school students in grades 9-12, and UW courses are offered to private school students at a fraction of the cost they would pay on a UW campus. This means that students can earn college credit while still in high school for free or for a greatly reduced rate.
  • Student success: Statewide, students who complete a UW course while in high school do so at a high pass rate — as high as 95% in recent years! This means that nearly all UWHS students earn the UW credits associated with the course. This success rate in earning college credit is in contrast to exam-based dual credit programs like AP and IB, which focus on single, high-stakes exams that result in lower pass and credit attainment rates.
  • Campus-based: UWHS courses ARE UW courses, taught on high school campuses by high school teachers, allowing students to stay engaged with their peers and campus life.
  • Professional development: Teachers learn alongside UW faculty and other teachers who teach the same course during a yearly training and throughout the year.

Program Expectations

As districts and schools consider offering UW courses through UWHS as an advanced option for students, there are several UWHS program expectations to keep in mind.

Course Rigor

UWHS courses are the same as the UW courses taught to students on the UW campus. To be considered a college-level course, the class:

  • Is taught by a high school teacher who has met certain educational requirements and has been trained by the college faculty
  • May be required to use the same textbook(s) that are used in the UW course on the college campus. Teachers are required to submit a course syllabus each year for review and approval to ensure consistency with the campus course.
  • Includes the same learning outcomes and uses the same ways of learning as the college course
  • Has the same quizzes, texts, essays, etc. used on the college campus

Districts and schools will want to consider their own course sequences and how a new UWHS course fits. There may be a need to add certain skills and content to lower-level classes to ensure students are prepared.


  • Course Fees: Free for all public school students in the state. For private school students, the fee is $77 per credit for the 2023-24 school year. There is no additional registration fee.
  • Textbooks: In many cases, there is a required textbook or other materials for the course. To promote equitable access, schools should cover these costs to the extent possible.
  • Teacher Training: There is no cost to teachers, students or families for the teacher training that occurs each year.

Equitable Student Recruitment & Retention

Since College in the High School courses are now free in Washington for all public school students, it is essential that districts and schools plan for the intentional recruitment and retention of students from historically underserved communities. Here are some strategies adapted from The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students by the Community College Research Center:

  • Use school data to identify students who should be recruited, using multiple measures rather than just grades to determine who might be successful
  • Conduct one-on-one conversations with students about the course, answering questions and encouraging them to sign up
  • Provide resources to promote student success, such as tutoring, study groups, access to homework hotlines, etc. 
  • Improve accessibility of communication to families via simplified and/or translated materials
  • Improve reach of communication to families through community organizations and social networks
  • Celebrate the success of UWHS students as part of school communications, school assemblies and at graduation.

If you would like support promoting UWHS and/or need promotional materials, please contact our UWHS team.

Planning Timeline

The UWHS program timeline is as follows:

  • January – April: New teacher applications open on our website, with a priority deadline about a month after opening. Notifications of acceptance or denial generally take about two weeks after the priority deadline or after applying, whichever comes later.
  • May – June: Training for new and veteran teachers
  • August – September: Local agreement signed by leadership of the school district or private school
  • August – September: Course syllabi approval process for Autumn courses
  • September – October: Registration for UW credit open for yearlong and first-semester courses. (Registration for second-semester courses takes place January-March.)

Note: For more information on the timeline, including course evaluations and observations, please see the For Teachers page.

Schools and districts will want to consider the above and how this planning timeline fits into their course approval process, course catalog creation, and registration timeline. Please note that there is a possibility that the course you are interested in may not be open to new teacher applications in the current application cycle. Schools can request to be placed on a waitlist by contacting the UWHS office.

How to Become a UWHS Partner School

The first step to becoming a partner school is for teachers to apply to become a UWHS teacher for the course or courses they want to teach. Not every course accepts teacher applications every year.

Once a teacher has been approved and trained by the UW department offering the course, they are eligible to teach the course for UW credit.

Schools and school districts that plan to offer UW courses through UWHS sign a local agreement with UWHS in August before the school year begins.

Note that the approval to teach the course stays with the teacher. If the teacher changes schools, their former school can only continue offering the course for UW credit if the new teacher goes through the approval and training process.


Planning to offer a UWHS course can be a large, even multi-year, process. Contact us if we can support you in bringing these courses to your campus.