First Time in College

Steps to Enroll: First Time in College

For people who are 18+ years of age or have a high school diploma/GED and do not have any previous college credits.

If you identify as one of the student profiles below, your enrollment steps will be different. Please visit their webpage for more information and their office’s contact information.

We want to make sure you have a strong start at South Seattle College. One of the best ways you can prepare for enrollment is to do a little research on the programs you might want to study. This will help you identify what degree might be best for you. If you need help exploring, contact our Welcome Center and get support from our friendly staff to learn more about your options.

All students must submit a free admissions application for South Seattle College with your intended program of study. We recommend reviewing the "Tips for Submitting Your Admissions Application" below before starting your application.

South Seattle College uses the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges Online Admissions Application Portal.

Apply Today!

Tips for Submitting Your Admissions Application

Before Applying:

  • If you already have a ctcLink account from a different community or technical college in Washington state, you can log in to the admissions application with your existing ctcLink ID and password.
  • We recommend applying for next available academic quarter for quicker admissions application processing (even if you plan to start classes in a later quarter). You will get your ctcLink ID sooner and can get an early start on your additional steps to enroll.
  • Students applying for financial aid should select a degree or certificate program on the admissions application. If you select “Undecided – Academic,” this will automatically place a hold on your financial aid account until you update your program of study with Advising and Financial Aid offices. You can always change your degree or certificate path in the future.
  • If you’d like support in completing the admission application and/or discussing South’s degree and certificate options, please schedule an appointment with the Welcome Center.

After You Apply:

  • South’s Registration team will send you an email once your application has been processed that will include your ctcLink number (which acts as your Student ID number). Keep this unique number safe as you will use it throughout your time at South Seattle College.
    • Registration prioritizes processing admission applications for the upcoming quarter. If you applied for the upcoming quarter and it has been more than 10 business days, please email Registration at to inquire on the status of your application. If you applied for a later quarter, you should expect to receive your ctcLink ID 30 days before the start of the quarter.
    • Be sure to check your junk mail or spam folder for emails from if you have not received your information in the expected time frame.
  • After you apply, you will receive additional emails from South with information to help you complete your enrollment steps and fund your education.
  • Have a question about your residency? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Are you undocumented? You have options! Read through the resources you can access for your education at our Undocumented Student Support website.
  • Don’t wait to apply for funding! You can start the process of looking for funding while you wait for your application to be processed.

Visit our Paying for College Overview Website to learn about key costs, important deadlines, and funding resources.

Financial Aid

  • Financial aid applications do not transfer between colleges.
    • Even if you have completed a FAFSA or WASFA and been awarded at another college, you will still need to send your FAFSA or WASFA to South Seattle College and complete the financial aid missing document/review process until you receive an award letter.
  • If you have not yet completed your FAFSA or WASFA for South Seattle College, we encourage all students to apply for Financial Aid to see if they are eligible for grants, work-study, or loans for college.
    • Start early to begin the process! To start the process, you must submit the FAFSA or WASFA. Use Federal School Code for South Seattle College: 009706.
    • Once your application is submitted, make sure to check your email often as you will get further directions from our Financial Aid office.
  • After you have submitted your FAFSA or WASFA to South Seattle College, you will need to complete the Financial Aid missing document/review process until you receive an award letter.
  • If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you may not be able to get financial aid funding to cover your classes. Contact if you have questions about eligibility.
  • Important Tip! Check you Junk Mail or Spam Folder often in case your email security filters may have moved messages from the Financial Aid Office.

Have General Questions? Contact You can also get help filling out your FAFSA or WASFA with South's Financial Aid team or the Benefits Hub

Are you planning to do Professional & Technical Career Training?

In addition to Financial Aid, you can also connect with the Workforce Education department to see if you are eligible for funding. Another great resource for students in these programs is our Opportunity Grant. Learn more at our Opportunity Grant website.

Veteran’s Benefits

Make sure to contact our Veteran’s Affairs Office for details on how to get your funding processed. For questions you can email


Explore Scholarships you can apply to.

Payment Plan

Split up your payments or have a back-up plan for your funding applications. Check out our Payment Plan option.

Visit South’s Paying for College Overview Website to learn about key cost, important deadlines, and our funding resources.  

If you have questions on financial aid, contact  

If you need help filling out your FAFSA or WASFA, contact either South's Financial Aid team or Benefits Hub. 

Before you can register for classes, you’ll need to establish Math and English placement at South.

  • If you have transcripts or classes from another school (outside of the Seattle Colleges) and want to use those to establish Math and English placement at South, and for those credits to go towards your degree or certificate at South
  • For students with credits from North Seattle or Seattle Central, if you have taken classes at either of those schools and want to use those classes to establish Math and English placement at South and want those credits to go towards your certificate or degree at South Seattle College
    • You do not need to submit official transcripts. However, you still need to complete an incoming transcript evaluation request form to have those credits evaluated and brought into your transcript at South to be used for establishing Math and English placement.
  • If you haven’t taken a college level Math or English class or the Math or English Placement Test/Tools at North Seattle or Seattle Central or South Seattle within the past 2 years you’ll need to establish placement at South before taking any classes.
  • If you are planning to use international transcripts for placement, before getting them translated check out the instructions and eligibility for South's free English and Math Placement tools!

If you have questions on placement, contact  


If you have taken classes from another school outside the Seattle Colleges and want those credits to go towards your degree or certificate at South you will need to complete the official transcript process by ordering an official transcript to be sent to South Seattle College for evaluation and complete the incoming transcript evaluation request form.

  • You will need to complete this process even if you’ve already brought official transcripts for schools outside the Seattle Colleges, into North Seattle or Seattle Central and have had them evaluated. South will still need you to re-order, send, and have these official transcripts for schools outside the Seattle Colleges to be evaluated at South.

If you have questions on transcript evaluations, contact 

You will need your ctcLink ID number in order to complete these steps. These steps will guide you through getting access to key student Tech Tools you will use in your time at South, including: ctcLink, MySeattleColleges, and Starfish.

Review this guide and follow the steps indicated to set-up your accounts: Students Guide to Accounts and Tech Tools.

If you need additional help understanding these tools, contact the eLearning Staff 

Set Up Your Tech Access: ctcLink

Once your application has been processed, you will receive an email from our Registration Department about your acceptance and you will be provided a ctcLink ID. Keep this unique number safe as you will need it for future steps. You will use your ctcLink ID number to activate your ctcLink Account. (You will only need to activate it once.)

  1. Go to the ctcLink Gateway page.
  2. Select “Activate Your Account”.
  3. Use your first name, last name, date of birth, and ctcLink ID number to activate your account.

Watch this video to go over the ctcLink account activation process. Your ctcLink Account will be used for a variety of processes. Your ctcLink account stores information about your student accounts, financial balances, class registration, enrollment, and transcripts. Visit our student ctcLink Resource Page to learn more.

Set Up Your Tech Access: MySeattleColleges

You will need to have your ctcLink Account activated to do this step. Use your ctcLink ID and password to create MySeattleColleges password (Video | PDF guide)

  • ctcLink ID is your student ID number
  • MySeattleCollege is your student username
  • Both accounts will be used throughout your time at Seattle Colleges.

To set up your MySeattleColleges account, go to and select “Get My Credentials” to activate your Seattle Colleges email address. You will be provided with your email and login credentials. After this, you will set your password by selecting “Reset Password.”

Your email is usually your and the password is one you can create. This password expires every 120 days. Make sure to use a secure and memorable password so you can access your account again.

Here is a student guide to explain how you will use your ctcLink Account and your MySeattleColleges account while in school. 

See our student guide

Set Up Your Tech Access: Starfish

Starfish is a tech tool you can use to schedule appointments with Financial Aid, Advising, and later on, Tutoring. You can view current instructor and course information and find your To-Do items and checklists assigned by your advisor. You will even be able to see notes from your advising appointments and other key messages.

  • Login here: Starfish (
  • Your login for Starfish: Use your MySeattleColleges credentials to log in. Do not include the in your username.

If you need additional help understanding these tech tools, contact the eLearning Staff

Once pre-requisites have been recorded and/or Math and English placement documents have been submitted, you should be able to self-register for courses through ctcLink. Here is the Class Schedule.

  • If you know what classes you will take, here is a Guide to Register in ctcLink.
  • Please note that while registering, the permission number box shows up for everyone. You may or may not need it to register. Leave this field blank and click “Save" to see if a code is needed.
  • If it does not work, you can request a permission code. See instructions on Advising’s website.
  • If you are unsure what courses to take or want to verify that you are selecting the correct course for your degree, please make an appointment with the Advising Office.
  • Advisors help guide students in choosing classes based on academic goals. Once you have completed placement for classes, you are encouraged to meet with an advisor to get help with your first quarter plan.

South’s mandatory New Student Orientation will begin two weeks before the start of the quarter. You will have the ability to do this online before your classes start. Learn more at our New Student Orientation homepage.

We're here to support you!  

If you have questions or need guidance on where to start, please contact our Welcome Center at and we will help you get started.