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Getting into University, Explained.

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Written by a formerly scared and clueless student, for scared and clueless students.

 
 

Hello all! Welcome back to another riveting year of schooling, and welcome back to season two of Project Uni! Now, you probably didn't come here for the company, so let's cut straight to the chase.

 

Step One: Pre-Grade 12 Setup

The journey into University starts long before you even enter grade 12. Grade 11 is/was a pivotal year in your high school career. So to see what you need to do, or to analyze what you've done, please, consider the following:


  • In grade 11, your GPA/grades matters. Some universities analyze your grade 11 marks to determine your strengths, weaknesses, and to extrapolate how you'll do in any future courses or programs you've signed up for. This is especially important for early admissions where some universities will give out offers on or before March of your application cycle. For more information, visit our "Do Grade 11 Marks Matter?" piece here:

  • The courses in your grade 11 schedule matter too; they are the prerequisites for your prerequisite courses. So depending on what you're choosing/what you've chosen, it could decide whether or not you take Grade 12 Physics, Grade 12 Math, etc.

  • Finishing your volunteer hours, or taking part in a community service project before grade 12 helps immensely. Having the ability to spend time on studying rather than looking for volunteering opportunities, or being able to put a large project on your supp. apps truly is priceless.

  • Taking the correct prerequisites for any programs you plan on applying to is obvious, but truly doing research and balancing your schedule necessary prerequisites, courses you enjoy, and easy courses to boost your GPA is vital for ensuring future success.

 

Step Two: Scholarships

To be clear, this portion is optional; while scholarships are very useful and greatly ease the financial burden of post-secondary education, it's not mandatory. Now, typically, you'll be applying for scholarships throughout grade 12, however, certain scholarships start before OUAC, ApplyAlberta, etc. For example, the Queen's University Chancellor Scholarship requires a recommendation from your high school for you to be considered. Scholarships are variable; depending on the organization, it could start earlier/later, end sooner/later, etc. Thus, make sure to do further research and dig for more details on it's official website. Additionally, check out our official scholarship guide for more details and information here:

 

Step Three: Application

Seemingly the climax of the application process, actually applying to university is the easiest part thus far. Once you receive your student number, ID, and access codes for your application portal, you simply log on, and apply. More information on province's application portals/application processes are as follows:

​Province

Link

Opens

Deadline

Ontario

General Link: Here.

101 Applicant: Here.

105 Applicant: Here.


(101 Applicants live in Ontario, 105 Applicants live outside of Ontario)

101: Mid-Late Nov. 105: It depends.

For 101 applicants, January 15th is when applications are no longer accepted. For 105 applicants: Click Me.

Alberta

General Link: Here.

It depends on University.

It depends on University.

British Columbia

General Link: Here.

It depends on University.

It depends on University.

The exclusion of any province or territory is due to either a lack of a wide application portal, or lack of information.

 

Step Four: Supplementary Applications

Once again, this section is optional. However, some of the most competitive and noteworthy programs in all of Canada require a supp. app. For example, the following programs require some form of supp. app or another:

  • Health Science, Queen's University

  • Health Science, McMaster University

  • Engineering, University of Toronto

  • Engineering, Waterloo

  • Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto

Supp. apps are used to determine whether or not a student has certain qualities that the university is looking for during a given year. The most commonly looked for characteristics are:

  • Community Involvement

  • Leadership

  • Work Experience

  • Lifetime Experiences

  • Extracurricular Involvement

So be sure to try and get involved in as many volunteer, co-op, extracurricular, and leadership opportunities as you can manage in your last year! For more information, go to our volunteering blogs here:


However, different universities have different processes, supp. app forms, and look for different traits. Thus, be sure to do your own digging online, or contact your guidance office or scholarship co-ordinator for more information.

 

Step Five: Profit

The application process is typically overhyped in its stressfulness and difficulty, caused mostly by lack of information; no problem can't be solved by going out there and informing yourself! But, that's about all there is to it; just keep in mind that information varies a lot in a subject like this, so be sure to do your own reading! Good luck reader!

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