Skip to main content

FAQs

Parents & Families

Seattle and University District

What's the weather REALLY like in Seattle?

Despite Hollywood’s repeated claims that Seattle is dark and rainy, the delightful weather in the city is a local’s best-kept-secret. Ranging from sun-drenched summers to artistically grey winters, precipitation is typically a light mist. In fact, Seattle is only the 24th rainiest city in the US with an average annual rainfall of 38.6 inches. While many in the area won’t bother to carry an umbrella, a good rain jacket is a staple in the Puget Sound area, especially between the wetter months of October through May. Our temperate climate with few extremes prevents any need for deep winter gear – although our nearby mountain ranges provide plenty of opportunity for your student to break out their favorite parka. The typical Northwest weather pattern is characterized by wonderfully warm (but not too hot or humid) summers, upper 70s on average, and moderate winters with low 40s on average.

Where is the UW in relation to Seattle?

The University of Washington’s three campuses can be found in Bothell, Tacoma and Seattle, WA. The flagship Seattle campus, located in the beautiful northeast corner of Seattle, covers over 690 acres. Its neighborhood – called the University District or U-District – boasts extremely high scores for walkability, bike access, and public transit. It is serviced by all the major bus routes as well as the Husky Stadium Station on the Link light rail (with more stops being constructed).

How does transportation between the University of Washington and the Sea-Tac airport work?

The Link light rail runs between the University of Washington and the Sea-Tac Airport every few minutes. The ride takes about 45 minutes and offers scenic views of the International District and Downtown Seattle before arriving at the UW station, just steps from Husky Stadium and Union Bay. Students can use their U-Pass to ride the light rail or bus. Alternate options include prearranged shuttles, taxicabs, Uber, Lyft, Wingz…or even a bike, if you’re feeling adventurous!

What is my student's UPass, and how do they use it?

The U-PASS provides students with a variety of low-cost transportation options—from unlimited rides on King County Metro Transit buses, commuter train service and Link Light Rail and Sounder Trains, to vanpooling and discounted impromptu carpooling. Full fare coverage on King County Water Taxis, Seattle Streetcar, unlimited rides on NightRide, discounted & priority carpool parking at gatehouses and selected lots, vanpool and vanshare fare credits, and low membership rate for Zipcar make the U-PASS an invaluable addition to the UW student experience.

When I visit my student, where should I stay?

There are many hotels within walking distance of the University, and the entirety of the downtown Seattle hotel scene is easily accessible to campus via the Light Rail. Learn more about hotel accomodations here.

The campus is big! What's the best way to map around the campus?

The UW is an expansive campus with uncountable beautiful places to explore. Find your way around all corners of the campus with UW Maps.

Campus life

As a proud member of the #UWFamily, I’m always looking for fun facts to share with friends about UW and its accomplishments. What are some of the latest?

Check out these Fast Facts to learn about UW’s campuses, student body, awards, research and more!

How do I learn more about the residence hall schedule?

The residence halls remain open over the Thanksgiving break and spring break; however, no on-campus dining service is offered during the Thanksgiving break. The residence halls, with the exception of Lander Hall, Mercer Court and Stevens Court, are closed to all students during winter break. Learn more about the residence hall schedule here.

How does my student ship items to their residence hall prior to move in?

One week before your student’s move in date, they may ship boxes directly to their new residence hall address to be picked up at the front desk when they arrive. All shipped items will be stored until residents retrieve them during the check-in period. The UW does not assume financial responsibility for such items.

How does my student join Greek Life at the UW?


The University of Washington Greek Community is a great way for your student to make friends and engage in their community, no matter what major they intend to pursue, the identities they hold, or other extracurricular activities that may capture their excitement. For information on sorority life at the University of Washington, check out the PanHellenic Association website or for information on fraternity life, check the UW InterFraternity Council website.

How can my student get involved with clubs and activities on campus?


Getting involved on campus is the best way for students to immediately get plugged in to student communities, campus resources, and to develop leadership skills. The Student Life website is chock full of information about the people, places, and programs that are here to support your student throughout their Husky Experience. To dig a little deeper, browse the Registered Student Organization Directory, get engaged with programs for first year students at First Year Programs, learn about ways your child can be involved with the Associated Students of the University of Washington with the Office of Volunteer Opportunities and find out how they can volunteer with the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What does my student do if they get sick?


The University of Washington Hall Health Center provides comprehensive medical care to students, faculty, and staff and is conveniently located on campus.

How do I catch a Husky Football game?

Go Dawgs! Single game tickets can be bought starting in August at 206-543-2200 or online. Parent & Family Programs offers discounted football tickets during Fall Football Family Weekend every year, so stay tuned for updates on Fall Football Family Weekend here, on our Facebook page and in our newsletter.

Financial

How does a student apply for Washington state residency?

To learn more about the process of applying for Washington state residency, visit the Office of the University Registrar.

What types of scholarships are available?


Information about scholarships for UW students can be found at the Office of Merit Scholarship Fellowships & Awards.

When and how do I pay tuition?


Tuition is always due the 3rd Friday of the quarter and can be paid via credit card, web check, or in person. Information about tuition, e-billing and late fees can be found on the Student Fiscal Services website.

International

How can an international student obtain a Social Security Number?

US social security numbers are issued to international students who have been offered on-campus employment or are authorized for off-campus employment. A Social Security number will not be issued for non-work purposes. For more information, visit International Student Services.

How do international students get health insurance?


All international students at UW are required by federal and state laws to maintain health insurance while studying in the United States. Review the details of the plan on the International Student Health Insurance Plan website.

Miscellaneous

When is it too early for my student to start engaging in a career pursuit?

It’s never too early to begin thinking about career development! Explore career resources for students, student internships on and off campus, student jobs, and classes that students excellent experience to develop transferable skills that will prepare them for post-grad career exploration.

I've heard that staying fit, eating well, and other kinds of support make a big difference in a student's ability to succeed in college. How can my student stay on top of their wellness?

Visit UW Health & Wellness to learn about the resources, programs and services we offer to support your child’s needs: social, emotional, intellectual, physical, financial, and spiritual.

What are the best UW calendars to keep an eye on?


To stay up to date on what’s going on all over campus, check out the UW Academic Calendar, Seattle Campus Calendar and Husky Athletic Calendar.