The Idaho State Board of Education has changed the way it delivers direct admissions letters to Idaho high school seniors.
Students are only a few clicks away from learning which of Idaho’s public colleges and universities they have been admitted to rather than waiting for the direct admissions letter to arrive in the mail.
“Starting September 15th, students will be able to log into Apply Idaho on the Board’s Next Steps Idaho website, create their own account, and then open and print their personalized direct admissions letter,” said Byron Yankey, the State Board’s college and career advising program manager. “This letter will show all the Idaho public colleges and universities at which the student pre-qualifies for admission. Students just need to apply to one or more institutions to confirm their interest.”
The change this year in direct admissions notifications is necessary because of disruption caused by COVID-19, which forced the cancellation last spring of college entrance exams, where student home addresses and emails are normally collected for the direct admissions letter mail distribution. Board staff is working with high school counselors to assist students in printing the letter if needed.
Virtual College Fair
Because the pandemic has also made it difficult for high school seniors to attend in-person visits to college campuses, the Board is partnering with the State Department of Education’s GEAR UP Idaho program and the Idaho Division of Career Technical Education to stage a three-day virtual college fair on Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1. Yankey says all eight of Idaho’s public colleges and universities will be represented along with Northwest Nazarene University, the College of Idaho and Brigham Young University-Idaho. The college fair will be open from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. (MDT) each day.
“Participants will be able to view pre-recorded videos that will help them through the process,” he said. “They will be able to visit virtual college booths with information about available programs and degrees and they will be able to interact with college staff either by electronic chat rooms or live video fees.”
A link to the Virtual College Fair will be posted on the Next Steps Idaho website later this month. Meantime, students and families are encouraged to register at https://nextstepsidahocollegefair.vfairs.com/
Beginning Oct. 1, students can use Apply Idaho to submit their college applications free of charge.
“Students shouldn’t get in too big of a hurry,” Yankey said. “High school seniors should consider all of their options. The virtual college fair will be an easy way to learn about programs that maybe wouldn’t have occurred to them before that experience. Students should also use Next Steps Idaho to explore careers, salaries, work environments and personal interests. Even though Apply Idaho opens on Oct. 1, students have plenty of time and tools to weigh options before making decisions and submitting applications.”