University Applications: Are You Ready?

University application deadlines are just around the university-applicationcorner. Make sure your application is fully complete and submitted on time. Follow these four steps to make sure you understand what to do and have made the necessary decisions.

1. Understand the university application process

The Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) processes applications for admission to universities in Ontario. The application deadline for programs starting next September is January 13, 2016. OUAC charges a base application fee of $150, which provides you with 3 university/program choices. Each university/program you apply to after this will cost another $50. You may apply to as many Ontario universities/programs as you wish; however, you are limited to a maximum of three program choices at any one university (including affiliates). Some universities may further limit the number of programs to which you may apply.

2. Decide which programs and universities you will apply to

Choosing a specific university program can be challenging. Start by choosing a career path that is line with your personality, interests, skills, and the lifestyle you want to have. Then apply to schools and programs that are in line with your career goals, and that will provide the experience you are looking for.

Many universities send representatives around to high schools to provide information to interested students. I recommend students attend some of these sessions to become more familiar with various universities and the programs they offer.

The Ontario University Fair (OUF) is held in Toronto every September. Each of Ontario’s 21 universities are on hand at this event to provide information on admissions, programs, finances, lifestyle, etc. If you miss the fair, OUF then goes around to various schools to provide a university information program (UIP). I recommend students attend one of these events if they have any questions for specific universities that they’re interested in.

3. Ensure you meet the required prerequisites

Once you’ve determined which universities and programs you’re going to apply to, you need to research their admissions requirements to make sure you have all of the required prerequisites. Ontario universities require you to have a minimum of six grade 12 U or M level courses, but many have further requirements specific to individual programs. Be sure to check the requirements for each of the programs you plan on applying to. This information can be found on the university website, at www.electronicinfo.ca or in admissions booklets.

4. Understand any special circumstances that may apply

Personal Statement of Experience (PSE): Some universities, such as Queens, require students to write a personal statement of experience when applying for admission. The purpose of the PSE is to provide information about you that can’t be determined from your grades. It should include anything that makes you stand out as a good leader, time-manager, and committed student (examples include your contribution to student athletics, an arts program, volunteer work, part-time jobs, etc.).

Interviews: Some schools will require you to pass an interview to be considered for their program(s). Although this is usually done when applying for graduate school or specialty schools, you need to know if it’s required at the universities you will be applying to. The purpose of an admissions interview is to determine if you have the skills, experience, expertise, etc. that they are looking for. Again, they’re looking for information that is not provided through your grades.

If you have a couple quick questions feel free to ask below in the comments or post your questions on on our Facebook page and I’d be happy to answer them for you.

If you have a lot of questions or want to learn more, setup your complimentary discovery call to find out how we can help with your university application, or with additional education and career planning!

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