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USU Streamlines Students' Return to School

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

students on the Quad at USU

Current and prospective Utah State University students are encouraged to lock in admission and scholarships prior to leaving for church, military or humanitarian service.

Those who do may find themselves one step ahead of the curve in a couple of years, said John Mortensen, assistant vice president for Enrollment Services and Retention.

To make it as convenient as possible, the university has created a one-stop leave of absence website to help walk students through the process of applying and deferring attendance at USU. The site is at

The message to prospective students is to apply now, regardless if they are planning to be away. For those leaving for military, church or humanitarian service, USU will allow admitted students to defer admission and scholarships for two-and-a-half years. By being proactive, students who leave will have one less thing to worry about when returning home. It will also help to fast-track them back into college and life-long careers, Mortensen said.

“College can wait but planning for college should never be put on hold,” he said. “Prospective students who plan to leave for church missions or to serve in other humanitarian or military capacities are highly encouraged to apply for admission and scholarships before they leave.”

It is a round-trip ticket approach to college planning to ensure admission to USU and take advantage of scholarship opportunities now, rather than later. The scholarship deadline is Dec. 1.

“Scholarship parameters could possibly change while they are gone,” Mortensen said. “It’s better to lock in the admission and scholarship now.”

The leave of absence website helps both current and prospective students properly plan while officially letting the university know of their intention to eventually attend USU. The one-stop site gathers all the necessary data the university needs to hold a student’s place and better anticipate his or her return, Mortensen said.

“It is designed to simplify the process for students in their transition back to USU,” he said. “Once students fill out the necessary documentation, they can go and not have to worry about reapplying. Otherwise they would be required to re-apply.”

Students in transition who are waiting for a missionary or other service assignment, but who are not sure about registering for classes in the spring, are encouraged to go ahead and register anyway. If after registering, they find they will be leaving before or during spring semester, they have up until Jan. 28, 2013, to drop their classes and get their tuition refunded at 100 percent.

The university created a special task force to explore options to best accommodate students with special leave of absence situations. It was also formed to address ramifications behind an October announcement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that it was lowering the age for its young members to serve proselyting missions, beginning at age 18 for males and 19 for females. A majority of USU students are LDS.

Contact: John Mortensen, assistant vice president for Enrollment Services and Retention, 435-797-9303;

Writer: John DeVilbiss, Public Relations and Marketing, 435-797-1358;

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