Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Jan. 19, 2022

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Cougar QuickStart program helps WSUV applicants get decisions immediately

By , Columbian staff writer

A new feature of Washington State University Vancouver’s upcoming Preview Day will allow prospective students to apply and receive an admissions decision on the spot.

Upon registering for the Nov. 13 event, students will be eligible for the application program, known as Cougar QuickStart. All that’s required for eligibility is an unofficial high school transcript and a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. Admissions counselors will meet with each student and go over the application with them to offer feedback in real time.

According to WSU Vancouver’s associate vice chancellor for enrollment, Laurel Rea, the Cougar QuickStart program has two primary goals: to alleviate the stress of a drawn-out college application process and to accelerate a student’s ability to begin finding financial aid options that work for them.

“The college application process can be daunting,” Rea said. “Having this early decision process eliminates wait time and reduces stress and uncertainty and helps out counselors who already have a heavy caseload.”

Last year’s event was held virtually, which Rea said limited true insight into campus life and the college experience. For many students, the Zoom-based sessions contributed to a growing sense of burnout and longing for in-person connection. This year’s reorganized Preview Day aims to bounce back from those struggles.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WSU Vancouver has seen an estimated 7 percent drop in total enrollment across all students, along with even larger drops among transfer students. For many first-generation students, Rea said, remote education removes some of the major social perks of the college experience. Those trends were observed not just in Vancouver but across the state and country.

Preview Day will also feature faculty presentations on admissions requirements, campus tours, and a workshop covering the various ways students can apply or qualify for financial aid and scholarships. Aid programs such as the Washington College Grant — for which all Washington residents are eligible — often go overlooked during a rushed college application process, Rea said, which is part of the reason for Cougar QuickStart’s creation.

Check-in for the event will begin at 10:45 a.m. at WSU Vancouver’s Firstenburg Student Commons.