The Washington State University Everett campus on July 25, 2018 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Washington State University Everett campus on July 25, 2018 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

You’re in! With 3.0 GPA, many students can now punch ticket to college

Five districts in Snohomish County are participating in the new Guaranteed Admissions Program. Hundreds of students will benefit.

EVERETT — This school year, hundreds of seniors in Snohomish County will receive college acceptance letters before they even apply.

Some already have.

Local educators say the state’s new Guaranteed Admissions Program will show students who never thought they were college material that, in fact, they’ve got what it takes to attend one of five public universities in Washington.

“The most exciting part of it is students are coming to me saying, ‘Hey, guess what? I got my admissions notice. I was accepted to so and so,’” said Alicia Coragiulo, career and college readiness counselor at Marysville Getchell High School. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity to be able to celebrate, tell them I’m proud of them and acknowledge all of the hard work they have done.”

GAP gives automatic acceptance to Central Washington University, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University and The Evergreen State College for students who have a 3.0 GPA and complete the core requirements for college admission, also known as CADRs. The program is organized by the Council of Presidents, an association of Washington’s public, four-year universities and colleges.

Five local school districts — Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Northshore and Snohomish — signed on for the program’s inaugural year. With permission from families, school districts share high school juniors’ and seniors’ GPA, transcript and contact information with the universities. In turn, those institutions send acceptance letters to any senior who meets the two minimum requirements for admission.

The universities also send information to juniors to outline what they need to do to get automatically admitted to college once they are seniors.

The aim is to “grow the college-going culture,” and to help keep Washington students in Washington jobs, said Julie Garver, director of policy and academic affairs for the Council of Presidents.

About 43% of the students from the class of 2019 will earn a degree, apprenticeship or certification by age 26, according to the Partnership for Learning, a state education foundation. In the same time frame, employers will create about 373,000 new jobs, of which 70% will require a postsecondary credential.

The state’s 2021-22 Skilled and Educated Workforce report emphasized Washington relies heavily on “in-migration” of workers with postsecondary credentials from other states.

“We have a misalignment of the college-going culture here,” Garver said. “We have a lot of people in Washington with a college degree. They just aren’t Washingtonians.”

Research indicates automatic admissions programs like GAP boost students’ confidence, reduce the time and cost of applications, and ease the decision to attend college. And that helps “build a bridge” to higher education for students who had not planned to enroll, Partnership for Learning says.

Garver said last year during the small pilot of GAP, the program gave guaranteed admission to 200 “unique students.”

“That means we picked up 200 students who would not have come into our institutions through normal outreach,” she said.

Marysville participated in the pilot and now the district has built a structure to automatically enroll students in GAP, Coragiulo said.

This year more than 150 seniors at Marysville Getchell High School have met the admissions requirements so far, Coragiulo said. That’s about 10% of the total student population.

“That doesn’t represent the entire district. That’s just Getchell,” she said, alluding to the program’s expected wide reach.

Students still have to apply to the university they want to attend, but the automatic acceptance saves them time, Coragiulo said. They don’t have to wait to learn if they got in, because they know right away.

“Overall, it’s a pretty straight forward program and opportunity, and I think they’ve done a really good job of taking away any barriers for student participation,” she said.

In Everett Public Schools, where the program is brand new, the district sent out permission forms for parents and students to opt in to share information. Jeanne Willard, the district’s executive director of career and college readiness, said she wanted to get involved in GAP as soon as she heard about it.

“What appealed to me was that we would have a program that would actually take down some of the barriers for students to enroll in college,” Willard said. “I think one of those barriers is the belief set that students have of, ‘I won’t be admitted, so why try?’”

GAP clearly outlines what it takes to get into five of the six public institutions in Washington, she said. It eliminates the “fear or rejection” that prevents some students from applying at all, she said.

Automatic acceptance also “gives students the bandwidth” to focus on more important decisions about where to attend, what to major in and how to pay for classes, Willard said. That can be especially helpful for first-generation college students whose families are not familiar with the options and resources available for students, Willard said.

So far, about 80 students have agreed to participate, Willard said.

“It’s going to be really thrilling for kids to get their letters,” she said. “When that starts happening here in the next few weeks, I think even more kids are going to sign on.”

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035;; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Two Washington State ferries pass along the route between Mukilteo and Clinton as scuba divers swim near the shore Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ferry shuffle: Mukilteo, Edmonds riders can expect ‘loading delays’

For four weeks, Mukilteo sailings will be reduced by 34 cars and Edmonds by 20 cars, in boat swap due to ferry maintenance.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Freeland massage therapist charged with sex crimes

The judge set bail at $7,500 for the health care provider, who was accused of sexually assaulting two clients last year.

Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

State Trooper Isaiah Oliver speaks to a BNSF worker at mile marker 31.7 as road closures and evacuations mount in response to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
As wildfires creep west of Cascades, county plans for next Bolt Creek

Wildfires are an increasing concern in Snohomish County. A new project aims to develop a better plan.

Everett High seniors, from left, Avery Thompson, Lanie Thompson, Melissa Rosales-Alfaro and Saron Mulugeta sit together in front of their school on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Everett, Washington. The group have called to question their district’s policy that does not permit graduates to decorate their mortarboards or graduation clothing. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
After student campaign, Everett schools allows custom graduation caps

“It’s a really good first step,” the Everett High School ASB president said. But the students still want relaxed rules for future classes.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.