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Freshman Direct

Going to college is an exciting life venture, and you can start by investing in your future at Foster School of Business through the Freshman Direct Program.

This is an opportunity for freshman applicants to be admitted directly from high school into the business program at the UW. As part of Freshman Direct, students will be able to:

Business Administration is the most popular major requested by incoming UW freshmen, and we want to offer students interested in business a way to be part of the Foster community from their first day as a Husky. Freshman Direct gives high school students with a strong interest in studying business the chance to apply to the Foster School while filling out their UW application.

Pathway Application Deadline Enrollment Quarter
Freshman Direct November 15 Autumn quarter
Admission and Application informationScholarshipsInformation for parentsInformation for high school counselorsFAQs


Admission is competitive, as space in the program is limited, so if you don’t get in as a freshman, you can apply again at the end of your sophomore year as a current UW student. This will give you time to take the prerequisite classes that are required for application at the upper division level.

November 15 is the application deadline for freshman to the UW—this includes Running Start students. Check UW Office of Admissions’ website for details. Note that for Freshman Direct we only consider applicants for autumn admission.

To schedule a visit to the Foster School of Business, please visit the Contact Us page to register for an Information Session.


The only application you need to fill out to be considered for Freshman Direct admission to the Foster School of Business is the application to the University of Washington. See the UW Admissions website for more information about general admission requirements and how to apply to the UW.

When you are ready to apply to UW, start the application process by checking out the Office of Admissions’ Freshman Checklist. Once in the application, on the “Choose Your Program” page, there will be two ways for you to indicate Business Administration as your first choice major. You must select Business as your first choice to be considered for Freshman Direct.

Option One – Search by Keyowrd

Search Business in Keyword Search

Option Two – Search by Colleges and Schools

Search for Michael G. Foster School of Business in colleges and schools


For the 2017-18 academic year, the Foster School is planning to award scholarships to students prior to the May 1 confirmation deadline as an incentive to help students choose the UW and Foster. During the months of January and February 2016, students who applied to the UW and chose “Business” as their first choice major will receive emails encouraging them to apply for the Foster Freshman Direct Scholarship Program. Only students admitted to the UW and Foster will be eligible to receive scholarships.


The Freshman Direct application period is from January 15th to March 15th, 2017.
The deadline to apply and be considered is March 15th at 11:59pm PST. No late applications will be allowed.
Applications will be reviewed between March 16 and April 21.
Students will be notified of their scholarship award status by email on or around the week of April 24th.

Scholarship Application Information
There is one application for all scholarships offered to Freshman Direct students. The application is very similar to the one filled out by regular undergraduate students.


Scholarship funding from the Foster School of Business is awarded to entering freshmen who have been invited to join the Freshman Direct Program. Most awards are need based, and as such students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA to determine eligibility. For information about the FAFSA, please visit the Office of Financial Aid. There are a limited number of merit based awards available as well. These merit awards are given to in state and out of state students.

Types of Awards

  • Need: Consider a student’s merit and financial need in determining eligibility for award. You must be eligible for Financial Aid and have submitted a FAFSA to be considered for these awards.
  • Merit: There are limited scholarships that are awarded based on academic merit with no requirement for financial need. These merit based scholarships are available to all incoming Freshman Direct students, including international students.
    Note: Scholarships offers are limited to one year, unless otherwise specified during awarding.

Other Funding Opportunities

The UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards provides service for finding other funding sources. After the freshman year, business students may apply once annually to be considered for all scholarships that the Michael G. Foster School of Business has to offer to upper division students. Merit only scholarships are highly competitive. Need based scholarships are moderately competitive.

How to Submit Your Scholarship Application

The freshman direct scholarship application requires that you have a UW NetID to log in. Scholarship application coming soon.

Please contact:
Miriam Garcia
Scholarship Coordinator
202 Dempsey Hall
P: 206.685.3400

Information for parents

Whether it’s your first child or your fourth child, going off to college is a big event in a family’s life. We understand. Everyone is looking to find the college that best fits the individual—from academics to student life. We’re pleased you are considering the University of Washington and the Foster School of Business.

The Foster School of Business offers a world-class, highly ranked education to our students. We are a competitive admission major at the UW, which means demand for spots outnumbers the available space. In the past, many students were anxious about choosing the UW and not being able to apply to the business school until their sophomore or junior year.

The answer to those concerns is Freshman Direct, an expanded opportunity for students to be admitted directly to the Foster School of Business from high school. Any UW freshman applicant who indicates “Business Administration” as first choice of major will be considered for Freshman Direct.

Students who are offered Freshman Direct enter the UW assured they are part of the Foster School and may pursue Business Administration as a major.

We would like to share a few notes about the parent portion of our website. We assume you will also be looking at the student portion of this site, so the parent information is designed to be used in conjunction with the student information. If you have questions about general admissions, feel free to contact the UW Office of Admissions. We encourage your child to be proactive and independent in his or her journey to college, but we also hope you will be a supportive force during this very exciting time.

We look forward to helping your student navigate his or her way through the Foster School of Business and the University of Washington—from application to graduation. Please contact us if you don’t find what you need on our website!

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Information for High School counselors

Are your high school students excited about exploring the world of business as soon as they get to college?

The Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington offers a unique opportunity for students who have a strong interest in pursuing business as a major here. Instead of waiting until their junior year of college to apply to the Foster School, we have another exciting option exclusively for high school students.

The Freshman Direct Program, offered through the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, is a crucial step for students as they start thinking about what they might want to pursue academically. It is a program that allows incoming UW freshmen to automatically be admitted into the Foster School and pursue Business Administration as a major.

The process to apply for Freshmen Direct is simple. During the autumn admissions cycle, any freshman applicant who indicates “Business Administration” as their first choice of major on their UW application will be considered for Freshman Direct Admission. That’s it!

Business is the most popular major requested by incoming freshmen at the UW. It is also a competitive major, and we want high school seniors to have the advantage of applying even before they get to the UW.

Not everyone will be offered admission directly out of high school, and invitation into the Freshman Direct Program is very selective. However, we recruit for a class of around 200 students every year, and we’re excited to bring in future business leaders!

You play an integral role as your students’ transition from high school to college. Thank you for all you do! Students may look to you for guidance about Freshman Direct, and we’re here to help. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please contact us at You can also email us at that email address to request printed material.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Freshman Direct Program. If you have additional questions, please email

Is there a separate Business School application for the Freshman Direct Program?
The only application you need to fill out to be considered for Freshman Direct admission to the Foster School of Business is the application to the University of Washington.

If you choose “Business Administration” as your primary major on page 1, question MJ-1, and you are admitted to the University of Washington, your application will automatically be considered by the Foster School of Business.

I already submitted my application to the University of Washington but didn’t know I could be considered for direct admission to the Foster School of Business. Can I still be considered?
Yes, you can, but only on a space available basis. And, you likely will not hear if admitted until after May 1, as we have to wait to see how many of the students we offered admission to Freshman Direct actually commit to the University of Washington. If you would still like to be considered, please email with your name and student number.

How do you decide who gets admitted to the Foster School?
The criteria by which freshmen are admitted to the University of Washington are determined by UW Admissions. The Foster School of Business then selects the best candidates for our program from those admits who have specified “Business Administration” as their first major choice on their applications.

By state law, we are allowed a limited number of spaces within the major. The number of admits is determined, in large part, by the number of spaces we have available at each entry point—freshmen and upperclassmen.

When will I hear if I’m admitted to business?
You will hear about admission to the University of Washington before the Foster School of Business makes a decision. Foster School of Business offer letters will be sent via email prior to May 1, the date by which most admitted freshmen are required to accept or decline their offer of university admission. Students not invited to Freshman Direct will receive an email notifying them that they will be entering the University of Washington as a pre-major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

What if I don’t get in to the Foster School? I really want to be a business major.
Being admitted directly to the Foster School of Business as a freshman is not the only path to becoming a business major. As soon as you are on campus, academic advisers at Foster will be happy to meet with you to discuss strategies to maximize your chances of admission as a sophomore or junior.

I’m a Running Start student and have already completed the prerequisites to apply to the Foster School via Standard Admission. May I apply to be considered for both Freshman Direct and Standard Admission?
Yes. You apply to the University of Washington using the freshman application and indicate Business Administration as your intended major. But, you may also decide to submit a separate application to the Foster School directly (by April 5) and can be considered for admission through that process. You will need to take the Writing Skills Assessment (WSA) to apply via Standard Admission. Please be aware, Standard Admission decisions come after May 1, so you will not hear about the admission decision until after you have to commit to UW.

I am interested in majoring in business now, but what if I get into the program and change my mind? Can I change majors and how do I do that?
If you change your mind about majoring in business, you can meet with one of the advisers in the Undergraduate Programs Office, who will help you make an alternate plan.

Are there ways to specialize my business degree?
In the Foster School we use the term ‘option’ to describe areas of study. There are seven options available: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management, information systems, marketing, and operations and supply chain management. There are even more ways to tailor a business degree to fit your interests, including certificates, concentrations and individualized plans. Students may select an option after completion of lower division business requirements. See the curriculum page for more information.

Can I minor in business instead?
The Foster School offers a minor in entrepreneurship, which is open to all non-business undergraduates.

I’d like to visit the UW Seattle campus, see the Foster School of Business and sit in on a class. How do I arrange that?
High school students interested in studying business at the UW are invited to attend a Foster School of Business information session. During the session students will learn about the admissions process, academic requirements, scholarship opportunities and ways to specialize your business degree.

Information sessions are led by the Foster School’s Undergraduate Programs Office and include a tour of PACCAR Hall, home of the Foster School of Business. To see upcoming dates and register for a session please RSVP here.

The UW Admissions Office offers terrific tours of campus. There is also the ability to sit in on a class. Few business classes are available for visitation.