Monday, November 29, 2021
Nov. 29, 2021

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WSUV holds fall preview day, when would-be students can get quick acceptance letters

Just like that, they’re Cougars

By , Columbian staff writer
10 Photos
Mountain View High School senior Olivia Haskett poses for a photo with her Cougar Quickstart certificate for same-day admission from Washington State University Vancouver during fall preview day at the Salmon Creek campus on Saturday.
Mountain View High School senior Olivia Haskett poses for a photo with her Cougar Quickstart certificate for same-day admission from Washington State University Vancouver during fall preview day at the Salmon Creek campus on Saturday. (Elayna Yussen for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

For many high school seniors, getting into college can be nearly as stressful as getting to graduation. For more than 20 students looking to attend Washington State University Vancouver next fall, that’s no longer a worry.

The students received their acceptance letters through the school’s Cougar Quickstart program during the university’s annual fall preview day held Saturday. Only students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and who provided a high school transcript when registering for the preview day, were eligible for Quickstart.

The school holds three preview days throughout the year — typically January, May and November — but the fall event tends to be the most heavily attended. Erin Jensen, campus director of admissions, said it’s the time when high school seniors begin to focus on college applications. Plus, applications for financial aid and scholarships for next fall are due by Jan. 31.

“This is the big one for high school seniors,” Jensen said.

The preview day is a way for prospective students to learn about the school’s admission requirements and how to apply. It also provides information on academic life, programs of study and resources available. Student ambassadors were on hand to talk about their experiences and offer guidance.

Jensen said 74 prospective students attended the preview day, bringing with them parents, siblings and grandparents. Of those, 82 percent would be incoming freshmen. The remainder are students transferring from other colleges.

Olivia Haskett, a senior at Mountain View High School in Vancouver, was one of the students to receive on-the-spot admission.

“I’m so happy, I’m like crying,” said Olivia’s mother, Maria Haskett. “I’m very excited.”

Olivia, who is leaning toward studies in communications and media, said she chose to apply to WSUV in part because it’s closer to home.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to leave yet,” Olivia said.

Ryan Danver and his parents were surprised when Ryan was handed an acceptance letter on the spot.

“I don’t think we expected to be handed that,” said Ryan’s mother, Lauren Danver.

Ryan attends the River Homelink school in Battle Ground and is leaning toward studying computer science.

“I was just checking out my options,” Ryan said.

Having a program like WSUV’s Cougar Quickstart is very helpful to students and parents, Lauren Danver said.

“In a time of transition at this age, especially with the pandemic, to have options that are available is really good,” she said.

Saturday was also the first time the school has been able to host larger in-person gatherings. WSU Chancellor Mel Netzhammer said WSUV returned to in-person classes this fall after a year of online classes and was happy to see so many interested in attending the school.

“We know that a robust, face-to-face experience is an important part of your college education,” Netzhammer told the prospective students.

WSUV is home to 3,500 students and 600 faculty and staff members. It is one of six WSU campuses.

One of the best things about WSUV, Netzhammer said, is that it’s connected to WSU.

“It’s a small-campus feel with all the resources of Washington State University behind us,” he said.

Many of the students at WSUV are the first in their families to go to college, according to Jensen. About 82 percent of all students rely on some form of financial aid.

Applying to college, understanding the requirements for financial assistance, knowing what resources are available — just understanding the ins and outs of college life — can be confusing. Preview days help address those questions and concerns.

Not all of WSUV’s new students next fall will have just graduated from high school. The university has more than 220 veterans from all branches of the military.

Former Marine Seth Moberly and Army veteran Nathan Palmer are both juniors at the school. The pair manned a Veterans Affairs booth during the resource fair Saturday.

Moberly said vets, who are usually older than the incoming freshmen, may not feel like they have a lot in common with their classmates or feel like they’re part of the community. But, he said, the school and the Veterans Center work hard to help vets fit in and meet any special needs.

“They are very accommodating,” Moberly said.