Ballard High School

High School
Applying to College

College Planning Information

Senior College Planning Information 23-24

Financial Aid Events

FAFSA/WASFA Opens December 2023

  • To be eligible for financial aid, all Seniors should complete either (one, not both):
  • Complete the WASFA if you are undocumented, do not qualify for federal financial aid due to immigration status or don’t want to be considered for federal aid. All other students should complete the FAFSA. 
  • The FAFSA and WASFA will be available starting in December–Date TBD
  • Families will use tax documents from their 2022 taxes. (fill out the application for 2024-2025)
  • All Seniors should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) to be eligible for financial aid. A person should complete the WASFA if they are undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid because of immigration status.  Everyone else should complete the FAFSA. 

College Fairs  

College Visits at Ballard

  • College admissions reps from all over the country will be visiting Ballard throughout the fall.
  • Check Naviance to see which schools are visiting and to sign up.
  • Email Counseling Secretary Carol Bristol, if you have questions.
  • Visit the BHS College Visits page for a quick view of upcoming college visits.

National Portfolio Day – Art & Design Schools


Many institutions are now test optional – check with your school for their testing policy

  • ACT Fall Test Dates – October 28, December 9.
  • SAT Fall Test DatesOctober 11 at Ballard during the school day (no registration needed), November 4, December 2.
  • Do not wait for the deadline to register – testing sites fill up early.
  • SAT Subject Tests – Be sure to check your college websites to see if they require these additional tests.
  • If you qualify for free/reduced lunch, please see your counselor for a fee waiver for the ACT or the SAT.

Additional Resources

4-Year College/University Applications

Common Application One application sent to all schools that use it. Student requests recommendations from teachers and counselor through the application. Counselor completes the Secondary School Report includes GPA, class rank, and recommendation (if needed). BHS reports weighted rank (decile/percent), unweighted GPA (4.0 highest). Transcript is attached electronically by counselor (no paper copy needed).

Coalition Application  Similar to Common app, used by less schools.

College/University specific application: See school’s website for more information. Many schools offer options for using the Common app or their college specific application. Often the college specific application is easier/faster (i.e. Central, WSU, Western), and is a simpler choice if you are not applying to other schools on the Common App.

Letters of Recommendation           

To request a letter of recommendation from your school counselor, complete the Letter of Recommendation Student Information Sheet (Windows Form) online at least 2 weeks before your earliest application deadline.

If requesting a letter of recommendation from a teacher, you need to ask them if they would be willing to write you one (don’t assume – they sometimes reach their limit and aren’t able to write more).

Class Rank

On a weighted scale, will be given as a decile (i.e. top 10%, top 20%, etc.), available October 1. Contact Ms. Bristol, Counseling Secretary at or come see her in the Counseling Office.

ACT or SAT Test Scores

Most colleges and universities are test optional and do not require test scores as part of the application process. If you need to/choose to send your scores, you must order and send them directly to the colleges/universities from your ACT or SAT account. To access your SAT score access/create an account.

NCAA Eligibility Center

If you are considering participation in athletics at the university level (NCAA), you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center

Seattle Promise and 2 Year College Application

Visit the Seattle Promise site

All Seniors should complete application for free 2 years at North, Central or South Seattle Colleges. Do this, even if it’s a backup to your plans.

Technical/Trade School or Program

Visit the Wa State and Technical College for information about community and technical colleges and programs of study.


Visit Today’s Military for more information and help.

Gap Year

About overseas programs for more information and assistance.

Support Personnel

BHS Counselors (by students’ last name):  

Counseling Secretary, Carol Bristol at

Updated September 2023