College Applications Frequently Asked Questions

  • FAQs for Running Start Students

    How to list Running Start Classes on the Common App? 

    Most Running Start students will have to list both courses from Shorewood semesters and courses from SCC quarters. Here's how:

    • List fall quarter classes with fall semester classes. 

    • List both winter quarter and spring quarter classes with your spring semester classes. 

    • Figure out a way to designate the term and location of courses clearly in the titles. Use a system with titles like "English 101 Winter Quarter at SCC". 


    How to list Running Start classes on the Coalition App?

    Download this UW Seattle handout UW Seattle Coalition Running Start Instructions to find out how to answer the questions and fill out the section. 


    General FAQs for College Applications

    Test Scores

    How do my test scores get to the colleges?

    You--the student--order score reports or you self-report the scores, whichever a college requires. If they need an official score report, order it from the College Board for SAT or from ACT, or through the Coalition Application for colleges that use it (like UW Seattle & UW Bothell). Allow a few weeks. You can also order up to four free score reports when you register for or when you take the test. If time is short, use the automatic score reports, yet realize that you will not be able to preview the scores before they are sent to colleges.


    Will colleges take scores after the deadline?

    It depends. Some colleges will not, and some will. The University of Washington will usually take scores from the December SAT exam even though the application deadline is November 15. If you take the December exam and are applying to UW, send automatic score reports.  [Please note that it is unusual for college to take scores several weeks after the deadline.]


    Is my SAT/ ACT score good enough?

    It depends. Average score ranges vary greatly by college. There are several ways to look up score averages for the schools on your list and to compare your scores to those averages.

    1. At the top of your Naviance Applying To list, select Compare Me. You will see a color-coded comparison of your test scores (loaded into Naviance by the district) and the accepted averages of Shorewood students to those schools on your list. For some schools, there will not be enough data.
    2. In Naviance, go to the Colleges tab and to College Lookup and then to the Admissions section. Scroll down to see the graph/ scattergram. Your scores/ GPA are plotted with the blue circle, and the other marks on the graph represent Shorewood students. Use the graph as a ballpark to see if you are in the general test score range of the school. Again, for some schools there will not be enough data.
    3. Go to and search for your college. Once you have the correct school, select the Admissions tab. Scroll down to see the average ranges (nationwide data).
    4. Do a Google search for “_____ college freshman profile” and see what you come up with. Most colleges have a page where they list data about the latest incoming class. See how you compare to admitted students.

    Counselor Letters & Reports

    Common App Schools require recommendations from counselors as well as letters from teachers.

    How do I make counselor letters happen?

    1. Stop by your counselor’s office in person and ask your counselor several weeks ahead of time  to please write you a recommendation for your college applications.
    2. Email your counselor a list of the Common App and Coalition App schools and deadlines.
    3. Be sure that your Naviance “Schools I’m Applying To” list is completely up to date with the correct schools and the correct deadlines. The “thinking about” list is not the same as the “applying to” list.
    4. Use the Counselor Brag Sheet on the Letters of Recommendation page to write out some things about you that will help your counselor write a letter. Type up your answers and email it to your counselor. Do not print out the page and then hand-write the answers.
    5. If there is something in particular you would like your counselor to address--your health issue from 9th grade, the blip in Pre-Calc--be sure that you communicate that clearly.
    6. Optional:  sign up on your counselor’s clipboard for a quick meeting about your letter. Go with your counselor’s preference and availability on this one.
    7. Your counselor will complete the letter and upload it. Then, Mrs. Roma will send it off to the college with your transcript and the school profile.


    Some schools have weighted GPAs where AP classes count for more than regular classes. Can I choose to have a weighted GPA on my transcript?

    No. Unweighted GPAs are a Washington State thing. Applications (Common App, Coalition App, colleges’  own applications) ask if the GPA is weighted or unweighted b/c they want to know how your district/ state does it, not because they are asking you to choose how you want to be represented. It isn’t a choice. It’s more of a selection of what it already the case.  


    Won’t Shorewood students be at a disadvantage against students with weighted GPAs?

    No. Colleges know that Washington State has unweighted GPAs. Colleges convert all incoming GPAs to a common scale.

    For example, say a Shorewood student who has taken three APs has a 3.6 and student from Texas with the same AP courses and same letter grades in all courses has a 4.1. [These figures are made up.] The colleges know--from how the student has answered the questions on the application and their knowledge of the states--that the scale is different. The college will convert either all of the Texans’ scores to a 4.0 scale unweighted scale and the student will have the same GPA as the 3.5 Shorewood student or the college will convert all of the Washington applicants’ GPAs to a weighted scale and the Shorewood student will have a 4.1.


    Class Rank

    How do I find out my class rank?

    You don’t. Shoreline School District does not rank. On the Common App/ Coalition App, select “school does not rank.”

    [The Shoreline School District did away with rank in 2013-2014 because it had been based exclusively on GPA and was not an accurate representation of students’ academic achievement.]

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