One of the greatest pleasures experienced by the Admissions staff is informing a student they have been accepted to Washington State University. Seeing the reactions on their faces or reading their kind words in thank you letters is gratifying and keeps us energized and excited about the work we do.

Conversely, having to inform a student they will not be offered admission to WSU is one of the most difficult things we face in our jobs. We are not immune to feeling their disappointment and certainly feel the brunt of their anger or frustration at times.

We are fully aware there is a lot riding on our decisions, and we take the business of evaluating each student’s admission credentials very seriously. There are many factors we take into consideration such as a student’s GPA, test scores, meeting high school course requirements, grade trends over time and more. We look at each factor carefully to determine if the applicant has the qualifications to be a successful student at WSU.

The last thing we want to do is accept a student who is likely to struggle academically and fall behind their peers. Many students in this situation not only drop out of college (with some debt), but research shows they often never give higher education another try.

Our goal is to encourage all students who don’t initially meet our admissions standards to continue pursuing higher education. We have witnessed over the years that many of these students have great potential to earn bachelor’s degrees and even Ph.Ds. They just need more time to prepare for the rigors of a competitive university like WSU.

In the letter students receive from Wendy Peterson, WSU’s Director of Admission, she writes, “I encourage you to build your academic portfolio if you would like to be considered for admission in a future semester…should your academic credentials improve, we would welcome another opportunity to review your file and new application.” She is hopeful they will become members of the Cougar family at a future date.

Be assured, when a student is not accepted to WSU, they aren’t “out of sight, out of mind”. WSU’s Admissions staff are trained to help guide them on their next steps—whether that is encouraging them to attend summer school or a community college. We can advise students on what classes they should take and how they will transfer to WSU.

“We work individually with students to develop a solid transfer plan so when they are ready to come to WSU, their first Cougar experience will be a positive one,” Peterson said. “Our transfer team stands ready to assist students in planning a solid academic transfer program as a pathway to WSU in the future.”