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College Path

If you wish to go to college, there is a way to go to college. We have specialized pages nested under this one, so check on those for information that may pertain to your circumstances. 

Top Tips for High School Students

1.  Do Well in School

The single most important piece of your college application is your transcript. Colleges care about the classes you take and your GPA. 


2.  Seek Out and Attend Events That Aren't Required

You will learn about the college admissions process and develop good habits if you go beyond the minimum. Be the person who seeks out information and learns from others. Some options:

  • Come to some of the 50+ college visits every fall at Shorewood
  • Attend other Shorewood events
  • Attend local and virtual college fairs and/ or individual colleges' informational events
  • Pay attention when your class comes into the Career Center during 10th & 11th grade


3. Be Open-Minded and Think Outside the Box

There are nearly 4000  4-year colleges in the United States, but many students consider only a few colleges. The best place for you may be a place you have not yet discovered, and college can take many different forms. 


4. Read your SSD Email

The College & Career Updates and Counseling Newsletters will provide advice, details & resources about our own events, and news about outside events. 

5. Use Scoir &/ or Washington Career Bridge

Scoir is our college & career exploration platform. It is excellent for searching for 4-year colleges.

Access Scoir ("score") via Classlink. Go to Discover > Colleges and use the filters to do searches. Follow colleges to create a list of colleges you are considering.

Seniors applying to colleges will use Scoir, and if they are under 18, their parents/ guardians must use Scoir--via their parent/ guardian account--and sign FERPA to enable Shorewood to send materials to colleges on the student's behalf. For more information, see the Scoir page. 

Washington Career Bridge is excellent for finding programs at in-state community & technical colleges and for finding career training and apprenticeship options. Access directly: We like the Find Education tool. 

Who Does What? 

Shorewood Counselors and the College & Career Center work together to provide events, information, and guidance. The search and application process are collaborative endeavors between Shorewood staff and students & families. Here's what you can expect from Shorewood and what you can do on your own. 

Shorewood College Prep

  • Your classes will provide an academic foundation.
  • Career Center sessions by grade level will keep you on track.
  • Website pages (see contents at left) provide information and resources.
  • College Visits give all students an opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of colleges. 
  • Email Messages sent via Parent Square will keep you informed about our own and outside events and parts of the college search & admissions process. 
  • Special Events like the Write & Ready Workshop for Rising Seniors will provide specialized guidance. 


Student/ Family College Prep

Take Action
  • Create a "college stuff" email address and use it whenever you provide your information for a college-related entity.
  • Devise a strategy for college mail. It can get overwhelming! 
  • Prep your inner skeptic:  deceptive offers will come your way along with legitimate college related mail. 
  • Start following a few colleges in your Scoir account. This will be your "colleges I'm considering" list. 
  • Reach out to a few colleges; their marketing lists are not the same as their interest lists. Note that only some colleges count "Demonstrated Interest." 
  • Attend events at Shorewood and locally/ virtually. 
  • Visit colleges as possible:  sign up for tours and information sessions, but also go beyond these. 
  • Be mindful of social media. It matters. 
  • If you might qualify for Free & Reduced Meals, apply every year of high school. 
Work on College Fit
  • See our College Fit page for specifics on how to work on Personal, Academic, and Financial Fit. 

College Planning Timelines

All of these are links to one-page read-only Google sheets. Make a copy and then you will be able to customize to your situation. 

10th Grade Timeline

11th Grade 2-Year College & Options Timeline

11th Grade 4-year College Timeline

12th Grade College Application Checklist  

College Knowledge

This WA state guide covers timelines, apprenticeships, types of colleges, career choices, financial aid, college applications, and much more. Includes a full glossary. Select the version of the booklet best suited for you. 

College Admissions Testing

As of January 2024, 90% of colleges are test-optional and most Shorewood students are applying without scores and still getting very good results.

Test optional can mean different things for different colleges. UW Seattle is test optional though only looks at scores in 1 of 200 applicants and scores are never a determining factor. Auburn University is officially test optional yet they prefer scores. 

As you consider whether to test, use the following resources: 

Materials from Juniors Aiming for College Series November 2023

Aiming for College Packet  contains: