Parents and Families

Welcome to Seattle Colleges

You are a valuable member of the Seattle Colleges' community. You've nurtured and raised bright, enthusiastic, and capable young adults who are now Seattle Promise scholars. We are thrilled to have your student on our campuses and excited to be with them as they begin their college experience and continue to chart the path to their desired careers.

The opportunities and decisions students are presented with during this phase of their lives can often feel overwhelming. Your support and guidance can give them the confidence boost needed to succeed. Following are a few helpful links, resources, and reminders about dates and deadlines your student will be expected to meet to remain eligible for the Seattle Promise program.

Let us know how we can support YOU as you support your student.

Important Dates & Reminders

  • October 1, 2020: Seattle Promise Application Opens!
    • Submit two applications by Feb. 15 to apply to the program.
      1. Seattle Promise scholarship application
      2. Admissions application to one of the Seattle Colleges (North, Central or South)
  • Before February of their senior year, encourage your student to visit the college campuses they’re considering. Schedule tours at all three Seattle Colleges to explore the unique programs each college offers.
  • February-April 2021: schedule time to sit with your student and complete the 2021-22 FAFSA or WASFA. This process takes about an hour and you and your student need to be together to complete it. The earlier your student completes this step the better. 

Your Role in Your Student's Success

  • Seattle Colleges have an articulation agreement with Seattle Public Schools.
  • Encourage your student to seek support to succeed in their high school math courses.
  • Students who earn an A- or better in Algebra 2A&2B are eligible to be placed directly in college-level math.
  • In general, students who earn a B+ or higher in both semesters of their high school math classes will be eligible for math placement without using a math placement test.
  • Talk to your student about their academic and career goals. Ask them what programs or majors they’re considering. Help them explore new career fields and paths by having them network with other working adults and by searching options of college and university webpages.

Important Dates & Reminders

  • There are several important deadlines in April with items to complete.
  • Be sure to mark your student marks their calendar for Summer Bridge on September 15 &16. This two-day orientation from 9-6 p.m. will prepare them for their first day of classes. Please be sure they've requested time off work if needed and make necessary arrangement to be at this mandatory event. This is the final eligibility requirement before fall quarter begins.
  • *Read more about Seattle Promise eligibility requirements to remain in the program.

Questions? Your Seattle Promise Outreach Specialist is available by phone, email, FaceTime, and other virtual methods to support you and your student.

Your Role in Your Student's Success

  • Your student will need your help and support with completing their federal (FAFSA) or state (WASFA) financial aid applications by April 15. This is a requirement for the program and takes approximately an hour to complete. 
    • If you’re completing the FAFSA, you will need an FSA ID. This YouTube video explains how to get one.
    • You’ll also need the following items to fill out the FAFSA or WASFA:
      • Your Social Security Number (and your student’s number)
      • OR Your Alien Registration Number (and your student’s, if applicable)
      • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned from 2018
      • An FSA ID (you and your student need one)
  • Help your student stay on track with their upcoming Seattle Promise milestones. There’s a lot to complete between now and high school graduation. We're here to help.
  • Contact us anytime for assistance: promise@seattlecolleges.edu

Important Dates & Reminders

  • There are several important deadlines coming up with items to complete.
  • Your student will need your help and support with completing the 2020-21 federal (FAFSA) or state (WASFA) financial aid applications by April 15. This is a requirement for the program and takes approximately an hour to complete. 
    • If you’re completing the FAFSA, you will need an FSA ID. This YouTube video explains how to get one.
    • You’ll also need the following items to fill out the FAFSA or WASFA:
      • Your Social Security Number (and your student’s number)
      • OR Your Alien Registration Number (and your student’s, if applicable)
      • Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned from 2018
      • An FSA ID (you and your student need one)
  • *Read more about Seattle Promise eligibility requirements to remain in the program.

Your Role in Your Child’s Success

Additional Information and Resources

Following are additional information and resources that will be helpful to you as parents of a college student and Seattle Promise scholar.

The information college officials can release about a student is restricted by federal law. This can sometimes be challenging for parents and family members supporting students if they do not fully understand these restrictions. Please read more below about the law and the steps your student can take to grant you access to information you may need or want.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students" with the following rights:

  • The right to inspect their education records.
  • The right to request an amendment to their records if the student believes the records are inaccurate.
  • The right to control disclosures of their records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

Students who wish to grant permission to a third-party representative (such as a parent, spouse, or other) to access their student records on a one-time basis may do so by completing a form at their college’s Records and Registration Office. Please visit the official FERPA website for additional information.

More information about students' rights and rules at Seattle Colleges is available at the Students' Rights and Rule website.

There you will find information about:

  • Student Rules in the Washington Administrative Code
  • Student Progress (Academic)
  • District Policies Relating to Students

The parent checklist was created to assist new students and their parents as they transition to college.

Items that need to be completed prior to your student's first day of classes and the start of their first quarter

[  ] Help your student complete their Financial Aid File.

Your student received an email from their college’s financial aid office with next steps. Many students are asked to submit additional supporting documentation and/or to accept their financial aid award.

[  ] Register any documented disabilities.

Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments, auxiliary aids or services) must provide documentation and register with the Office of Disability Services at their college. Your student received a flyer about how to access Disability Services in their Welcome Packet. 

[  ] Remind your student to save the date and request off work for the mandatory 2-day orientation, Summer Bridge, on September 15 and 16, 2020.

This is a required Seattle Promise milestone. Students who do not attend Summer Bridge will lose their Seattle Promise eligibility.

[  ] Learn more about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records.

Review the information about FERPA on our Parent Page website in the accordion above or at the official FERPA website.

[  ] Register for Rave Alerts – both you and your student 

Rave Alerts is a free service that will keep students, families, faculty and staff informed during weather-related or other threatening situations.

[  ] Help your student determine the best plan for transportation to and from college.

All three Seattle Colleges are accessible by public transportation and offer parking options (for a fee).

Once fall quarter begins

[  ] Remind your student they’ll need to pay their fees after the 10th day of the quarter.

  • Fall: October 8, 2020
  • Winter: January 13, 2020
  • Spring: April 14, 2021 

[  ] Encourage your student to get involved as soon as possible.

Research shows that students who develop a connection with other students through organized activities and organizations are more satisfied with their college experience, more likely to be academically successful, and more likely to graduate.

What will the first few weeks of college be like for my student?

The first few weeks of college are busy. The college and campus organizations sponsor different events throughout the first few weeks. In addition, this will be the time your student is getting to know their new classmates and instructors and will be adjusting to college life, its expectations, and their new responsibilities.

The first week of college can be particularly overwhelming as students will be reviewing the entire quarter’s worth of work for each class on their syllabi. Remind your student to take things one day at a time and to communicate regularly with their instructors when they have questions. Encourage them and tell them they can do this.

What are the top 5 things my student should do to be successful in college?

  • Go to class! Even when it’s raining. Even when it’s cold. Even when it’s sunny. But not when they’re sick
  • Get involved – with a student group, job on campus, internship opportunity, or community service opportunity.
  • Communicate with their instructors. Encourage your student to attend office hours at least once a month.
  • Check in with their Seattle Promise Retention Specialist each quarter. This is a mandatory program requirement.
  • Use resources. Encourage your student to take advantage of the many resources on campus (tutoring, counseling, career services, student life, and others).

What are the major changes my student may experience in their first quarter and how can I best support them?

You know your student best, and you’ll probably pick up on any changes in their habits or behaviors first. Keep in mind they are making a major transition socially, academically, and emotionally.

Time management will look different. College students are only in the classroom 12-15 hours each week compared to 6+ hours a day in high school, but they may feel busier than ever with schoolwork. They may experience growing pains where the study skills that worked for them in high school are not as effective in college. They may realize they need to ask for help more than they ever did in high school, and that can feel uncomfortable.

Some tangible ways you can help:

  • Give your student the space to process the problem and possible solutions.
  • Encourage them to log in to Starfish, our new communication and advising tool, and use their support network to find the right helping resources
  • Help your student identify quiet study spaces where they can work on their homework and research 3 to 4 hours each day. Think outside of the box. Is there a different space in the home that’s dedicated to studying? The college or local library? A close-by coffee shop? A friend or family member’s house that may have fewer distractions?
  • Remind your student of their strengths, and help them leverage those strengths as they navigate these new changes and challenges.
  • Now is a great time to have them expand their social network. Encourage them to make connections in and out of the classroom so they have built-in study and support groups when the time comes. Friends are especially important come midterm and finals week.

What should my student do if they need to miss class? 

Your student should let each instructor know if they’ll be missing class. Encourage them to ask what they can do to make up any missed work. They should also follow up with their instructors during office hours to catch up on lecture material.

What happens if my student missed a Seattle Promise milestone or deadline?

It’s important students keep up with their Seattle Promise eligibility criteria. Their Retention Specialist will help with this, but ultimately it is your student’s responsibility to maintain eligibility. Students who miss a milestone or deadline can submit an appeal within a timely manner. Students who miss a milestone or deadline and don’t appeal, miss the appeal deadline, or don’t receive an approved appeal will be removed from Seattle Promise. They can still attend Seattle Colleges, however they are no longer eligible for Seattle Promise benefits.

Can my student get a job on campus?

Campus employment can be obtained by connecting with the Work Study coordinator in the college’s Financial Aid office. NOTE: not all students are eligible for Work Study positions.

Where can we access important dates and deadlines?

Click on the respective link for dates, deadlines, and related information:

Does Seattle Colleges have an emergency notification system?

Yes, you and your student can sign up for Rave Alerts for free. Rave Alerts keep students, families, faculty, and staff informed during weather-related or other threatening situations.

What kind of computer will my student need once they start college? Are computers available on campus?

There are multiple computer labs on each campus available for students to use. Each campus also offers printing options for students.

Different academic and career training programs may require different types of technology. Students should check with the faculty in their program to verify technology needs. Students are also eligible for discounts on computers and software.

Are Seattle Colleges safe?

All of the Seattle Colleges campuses are open-access and have a mission to serve anyone in our greater community. This means your student will get to experience many diverse perspectives from people in all walks of life. You can read more about the safety and security measures in place at each college here: