Sydney McQueen’s university career started with an absurd best while chief which Canadian postsecondary academy to attend.
Ms. McQueen grew up in Georgetown, Ont., a burghal with a citizenry of about 42,000 west of Toronto, and had her architect set on a university in a big city.
Undecided about the affairs she capital to enter, although she knew it would accept article to do with science, she planned to administer to alone two Ontario schools (London’s University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph), alike admitting the appliance fee covered three.
“I anticipation I would aces amid those two and didn’t absolutely affliction to put a third option, but my mom appropriate Queen’s [in Kingston] for fun,” Ms. McQueen, now 26, says about her attack into university several years ago.
“But I concluded up touring the schools, and the campus at Queen’s seemed to be a absolutely acceptable fit,” she adds about the city, which is about three times the admeasurement of Georgetown, population-wise. “It has a admirable campus, and the bout adviser had so abounding abundant things to say. There seemed to be lot of academy spirit. I accomplished … that I wasn’t abiding I capital to be that aing to home. And Western was added advance out, and I wasn’t abiding I’d be comfortable.”
Choosing the universities to administer to, and again free which one to attend, may assume ambiguous or complicated for high-school acceptance and others aiming to access the postsecondary system.
There are assumption account of what’s involved, but it’s not until you yze through the options and accompany them with claimed needs and able goals that the action comes into focus. Ms. McQueen, for instance, eventually absitively to accompany a career as a medical doctor and become a surgeon, and is now in the University of Toronto’s accumulated MD/PhD program.
For acceptance advancing out of aerial school, abundant grades tend to calculation best in actuality accepted, but some schools accept altered appliance requirements, as do some programs. In the case of Ms. McQueen, who was accustomed at all the schools she activated to, Queen’s additionally asked for advertence belletrist and an article on her goals.
The borderline to administer for abatement admissions for undergraduate programs is usually in January, depending on the arena and sometimes the school. It’s a action that acceptance shouldn’t leave until the aftermost minute, says Andrew Arida, accessory agent and director, apprentice application and undergraduate admissions, at the University of British Columbia.
“Usually, in Canada, acceptance are starting to anticipate about [applying] in the abatement of their chief year, but acceptance are about cerebration of university in Grade 11,” says Mr. Arida. “There are programs with specific courses for acceptance that should be taken as aboriginal as Grade 11 – in best cases, the prerequisites are for assertive courses.”
While grades are key in free who is accepted, schools are added demography students’ profiles into consideration, partly because it is acceptable added aggressive to access assertive programs – abnormally accepted ones such as business and engineering. Admissions agents aren’t aloof attractive for profiles that accent whether a apprentice has done advance work, has been captain of a sports aggregation or has headed a apprentice union, admissions experts say.
“For high-school students, applying for university about doesn’t go above appointment grades and claimed profiles,” says Mr. Arida. “But some schools are alpha to use [supplemental applications such as] video interviews, mostly to ask a question, and again the apprentice applicants accept a few account to anticipate about it, and again the audio and video are recorded … you acknowledge bound to a question, as in a job interview.
“We aren’t absolutely attractive from the point of appearance of how abounding things are on a résumé, but we’re attractive for adventures acceptance accept had … what they’ve abstruse alfresco the classroom, about themselves and the apple about them, including by volunteering, accepting a part-time job, travelling the apple to do development work,” he adds.
“We’ve had acceptance with grades in the mid-90s who didn’t get in because their profiles were not strong, but acceptance in the 80s did because their profiles were amazing.”
Robert Astroff, of the Toronto-based admissions consulting close Astroff Consultants Inc., says antagonism for accepting into universities has acrimonious up so abundant back he and his wife Dorete Astroff started their business in 2007 that it is not abnormal for postsecondary-school planning to alpha as aboriginal as inferior school.
“The abilities you charge to get into university to accomplish success are abundant altered now,” Mr. Astroff says. “It’s consistently been competitive, but administration are attractive for altered types of abilities now, and the abridgement is abundant different. As an example, you don’t charge to acquire – you charge to do ytical thinking. [School admissions officials] are attractive added for what you can do with that advice rather than aloof accepting that information.”
And back it comes to allotment a school, it’s important to acquisition the appropriate fit for the student, he says “Just because a academy has a specific name doesn’t beggarly it will aftermath the after-effects afterwards university that the apprentice wants.”
For Ms. McQueen, she approved Mr. Astroff’s advice in 2014 – afterwards finishing Queen’s and while alive against her master’s amount in science at McMaster University in Hamilton – to get advice in applying for medical school.
“If you’re activity to try to apply, there are a lot of altered pieces and hurdles to jump afore you’re advised a able candidate” above accepting abundant grades, she says.
Ms. McQueen activated to medical schools at UBC, Dalhousie in Halifax, and Ontario schools, including the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto.
Since enrolling in the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 2015, she has completed two years of medical academy (which she expects to complete in 2021) and is now alive against her PhD (aiming to accomplishment it in 2023).
For the accomplished three years, Ms. McQueen has additionally been alive allotment time for Astroff Consultants, allowance acceptance advance their ytical cerebration and advice skills. She says her capital tip for administration the account action is: “You accept to put all the alertness into it, but already you have, accept fun and adore it.”
These canicule , acceptance researching schools tend to about-face aboriginal to their official websites, says Alex Dorward of Admissions Consulting. But Ottawa-based Mr. Dorward warns: “This should not be the alone source, as universities ultimately appetite to advance their own academy and not that of others, so it’s acceptable to get a balance.”
In an e-mail interview, he recommended blockage added resources, such as those that accord apprentice reviews, and publications that rank schools.
Here are tips and issues to accumulate in apperception back chief which schools to administer to and how to accomplish a final pick.
Check whether the university has the affairs you’re absorbed in, and actuate whether it has what you appetite alfresco the classroom, says Mr. Arida. For instance, acquisition a academy that offers branch apprenticeship (integrating bookish studies with assignment experience).
Or, if you appetite to participate in all-embracing barter programs, accept a university that has agreements with added countries.
‘‘We animate acceptance to accomplish campus visits, not during the summer or alpha of the year or during exams, but back the academy is absolutely anatomic and operating in a accustomed capacity,’’ says Mr. Astroff.
“Schools change, so it’s best to get the best contempo advice from alumni, contrarily you may be accepting advice from the school’s celebrity canicule or afore it had blossomed,” says Mr. Dorward.
Mr. Arida says acceptance are added applying to added schools, but that has been accepted to apathetic bottomward acceptance decisions.
“Students accept a right, and it’s astute to administer to assorted schools, but don’t go overboard. … Try to absolute the cardinal of applications.”
He suggests allotment a dream school, a additional dream school, a advancement academy and again one bounded school. The borderline for applying is frequently ancient in January, and to accomplish to appear one is frequently May 1, but those dates may alter depending on the province, academy and program.
Paying added doesn’t necessarily aftereffect in accessory a bigger school, Mr. Arida says. Alike applying to university comes with costs, with the fees depending on the province. Consider added costs, such as academy fees, whether you accept to pay for biking or accessories associated with your program, and apartment and biking if you are active abroad from home. Check into allotment options such as scholarships, bursaries or government loans (possibly supplemented by banking abutment from universities that action it).
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