There are several different admissions processes that universities around Canada use to evaluate your profile. These vary across Canada, by province, and even by schools. However, the processes can be sorted into several categories:
There are still many top schools that only assess your grades to determine your admission including certain programs at Simon Fraser University and The University of Alberta. Many schools and programs have a minimum grade requirement in order to apply. The process of admissions is relatively simple when they only base your entrance on grades as you are only required to submit your transcript.
All universities will weigh your grades to some degree, and it is usually focused on your Grade 12 grades, so keep your academic average up in Grade 12!
Broad-based admission is the fancy way of saying you will have to write an essay or personal statement. This is a more holistic approach that can be used to determine an applicant’s fit for a school. Broad-based admissions are used at institutions like The University of British Columbia and The University of Toronto.
Broad-based admissions can include a set of essay questions that a student must answer, which allows the admissions team to gauge the applicant’s life skills from problem-solving to leadership. Some schools weigh the essays equally to grades, while others give the essay writing a lesser weight than grades.
PURPOSE: The purpose of broad-based admissions is to focus on the student’s character as a whole, rather than only considering the student’s grade point average. Universities have focused their attention on well-rounded students instead of students with good grades.
The most recent Canadian admissions requirement is online interviews. Many commerce faculties have implemented this across Canada, and it is expected that interview admissions will continue to rise. The interview usually occurs in combination with the broad-based admissions applications and grade point average.
PURPOSE: Universities and colleges are finding it increasingly important to identify critical skills such as collaboration, in-class discussion, and public speaking since these skills can’t always be identified by one’s grades or essay. Video interviews aim to assess a student’s ability to communicate clearly by verbally articulating one’s thoughts and ideas.
What is most effective when choosing between schools is to ask yourself questions – really understand what you want to create from your post-secondary experience. Ask yourself
The university application timelines are different depending on the university you are aiming for. However, as a general rule of thumb, for students transferring directly from high school into university for the next academic year, university applications will tend to open up in Mid-Late October and be due by late December.
In order to stand out on an application, you want to find your unique offering. Why is it important? Your unique offering can make or break your ability to get into a top post-secondary school in Canada. With the current focus being on broad-based admissions, universities want to know what value you are going to bring to them beyond great grades.
The reality is every student is a “good” candidate these days. At GrantMe, we help you identify your unique offering to differentiate you from the competition and turn your applications from “good” to “great”.
Once you are clear on your unique offering, then comes your skill of articulating this. Effective essay writing uses the following principles
The common essay topics and associated key terms that admissions look for are
The CRITICAL piece: Do your research to determine the values of that school and the qualities that they value in their students. For example, many schools look for leadership, an ability to problem-solve and a strong sense of self and community. These are qualities you want to display in your essays.
If one of the options is “a topic of your choice,” feel free to write about something that didn’t necessarily fit in with the other essay prompts. This is a good opportunity to include something unique that may not fit under another category!
When actually writing an application, the key points to get across are
Why You Want A Specific Major
Why You Want To Go To That Specific School
A Current Issue You’d Like to Address in Your Future Career
For strong applicants, a university is often willing to provide scholarships to the student as an incentive. University scholarships can also be broken up into two categories
By searching up the “[name of your university] scholarships”, the first couple links will be from the university website. They will explain which of the above systems they use, or more commonly how they use both. If you need support with how to write a strong scholarship essay, check out this article