Change will save students money in an effort to increase access to higher education

Most students enrolling in classes at Highline College will no longer be charged a $17 admissions application fee. First-time students enrolling in general admission classes for spring quarter 2015 will be the initial beneficiaries of the change.

“Eliminating the admissions application fee is part of our continuing effort to increase access to higher education for members of our community,” said Dr. Jack Bermingham, president of Highline College. “While $17 does not seem like much to some people, for members of our South King County community, it can be significant and be an unnecessary barrier to education and training that is vital for improving their lives.”

Highline serves an area with a significant low-income population. One indicator of families struggling financially is the high number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch in four of the public school districts in Highline’s service area: 56 percent of students in Federal Way; 68 percent in Highline; 52 percent in Kent; and 73 percent in Tukwila. The average for school districts in all of King County is 36 percent.

The application fee was originally created to decrease the number of uncommitted applicants. The fees for Selective Admissions programs — programs such as Nursing, Respiratory Care and the college’s four new applied bachelor’s degrees — will remain, as will the fee for students applying to Highline’s International Student Programs. Those programs have unique application processes and fees may vary.

Highline averages nearly 16,500 students each year. Of those, 8,017 — or 49 percent — were matriculated students during the 2013–14 academic year. During that year, nearly 5,000 of Highline’s matriculated students received financial aid.

Spring quarter registration for new students begins February 27, 2015; spring quarter classes begin March 30, 2015.

For questions or more information, contact Toni Castro ( or Lorraine Odom (