You remember the time-honored college admissions drill? Filling out your application at the kitchen table, clicking submit (or, gasp, mailing it in), then stressing for weeks as you waited to find out if you’d been accepted? Fortunately, Eastern Washington University is working to make that antiquated process easier, faster, and, quite frankly, more fun with a program called On-Site Admissions.

On-Site Admissions, or On-the-Spot Admissions, started in 2018 when Eastern began holding admissions events at high schools across Washington. Here’s how the events work: high school seniors bring their transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, other supporting documents, and, preferably, their EWU application pre-filled-out online. Then it only takes a few minutes for an EWU admissions advisor to make the call.

EWU accepts Kent-Meridian High School students during an On-Site Admissions event in January. (Photo: College Success Foundation)

“It’s important for us to see the transcript,” says Jana Jaraysi, the director of recruitment at Eastern Washington University. “Once it’s reviewed, we’ll provide a letter of admissions saying they’ve been accepted with next steps.”

Newly hatched Eagles will then receive official confirmation emails and a packet of acceptance materials after the on-site event, Jaraysi says.

To make the on-site celebration even more exciting, Eastern admissions staff typically create a “photo booth” opportunity at the events. This involves a large pull-up banner and some swag items for the students to use when sharing their accomplishments via images on social media. Swoop is usually there in spirit. Some events even have cake!

“Eastern is where I want to be. It’s my top choice,” said Ismael, a senior at Rogers High School in Puyallup, Washington during a recent event. Ismael and other students were featured in an article by Ready WA, a coalition of more than 20 state and local agencies, associations and advocacy organizations that work to help Washington students graduate high school and prepare for a successful future.

Rogers High School (Puyallup) senior Ismael celebrates acceptance to EWU. (Photo: ReadyWA.org)

According to the article, Ismael received an admissions letter in about 10-minutes with the help of an Eastern advisor and one of his teachers. “I’m relieved and I’m excited,” he said. “I can’t believe it—I’m going to college!”

Jaraysi says Eastern guided 797 students through On-Site Admissions events in the fall. “This helps us connect with the students and ensure they continue thinking about EWU for their future,” she says.

Eastern holds similar on-site admissions events for transfer students at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College each spring. Recruitment officials are looking at options to add events at other community colleges in the region, as well as at more high schools.

Eastern is also dedicated to making the application process easy online. You can start here. Not sure what you want to study in college? Eastern also has an interactive Program Explorer.