A revised and updated version of a post from 2013.
We just finished (February 20) processing our first round of offers for applicants who are Ontario high school students, and they have been posted in Quest. It may take a few more days for OUAC to be updated and emails to go out. Some of the processes were described in an earlier post, How to Get an Early Offer (which may be a bit outdated for 2014). But to summarize, we took the data we had at that point and made enough offers to fill up to 1/3 of our available spaces in each program (more specifically, those spaces reserved for Canadians and Permanent Residents). These are applications where we have enough data and it’s clear that they are competitive, based on previous experience. We were quite conservative this year, and gave out fewer offers than in 2013, since we want to leave lots of spaces for a fair competition in the final round in May. In part, this is because application numbers are up significantly again this year and it’s hard to distinguish fairly between applicants when there are so many with similar grades. So we think it’s better to hold off until the most complete data is available in late April. We’ll be processing some non-Ontario applicant offers in the coming weeks.
Some universities give out a lot more earlier offers, but that’s simply because they have a lot less competition for spaces and can just go ahead with whatever they have.
We sent out less than 1,000 offers, so now there are well over 5,000 applicants wondering why they didn’t get an early offer and comparing notes with others who perhaps did. My advice is to not spend much time worrying about it. From an applicant’s perspective, the decisions will possibly appear to be somewhat random and irrational. To us, the decisions are quite reasonable because we can see all the data put together in context and all the applicants in rank order, but you’ll just have to take our word for it. There are a variety of reasons why an early offer wouldn’t be made in this round, and I’ll summarize them here:
- You are not an Ontario high school student (OUAC Form 101 applicant). If you applied on Form 105, we haven’t made any offers to that group yet but will start in the coming weeks.
- No AIF was submitted by the time we started assembling the decision data. If an AIF wasn’t submitted we didn’t admit, no matter what the grades are like. Some applicants may want to check that they actually clicked on “Submit”, and not just “Save” for their AIF.
- Missing or inadequate English proficiency information, either a test score (e.g. TOEFL) or proof of English language schooling outside of Ontario. We skip these too.
- Inadequate Grade 12 grade data. We looked for at least 3 Grade 12 required course marks. In a very few cases we went with just 2 if the Grade 12 marks were very high, the Grade 11 courses were also very strong and there was a strong ICS4U and/or MDM4U grade too.
- Some grades may not have reached us in time for this round. In a fraction of the applications there are missing grades when we make the early decisions because of the timing of data uploads and downloads from the school and OUAC. This can result in what seems like “random” offer decisions. The grades that an applicant knows they have, and what we can actually see at a specific point in time can be different.
- It might appear to us that you’re not enrolled in all of the required courses. This can happen if you are taking one of them in night, online, or private school, and that information hasn’t filtered into OUAC yet.
- The AIF was submitted but not yet scored when decisions were processed. We score as many as we can before starting decisions, but it’s not feasible to wait until they are all scored. So for some applicants, they wouldn’t be getting the full bonus from the AIF score during the early round of offers. However, they will all be scored before the final round of offers.
- If you had any Grade 11 or 12 course grades less than 70%, we might have decided to wait until we get the rest of the grades in April to ensure they remain consistent.
- The grades and scores were just not competitive enough for the limited number of spaces we filled at this point in time. For most programs, the average admission grades were in the 94 to 95% range.
For those who did get an early offer, congratulations, but keep working hard because your scholarships depend on the grades we get in late April. For those who didn’t get an early offer, keep working hard too because there are still plenty of offers (up to 2,000 more) to come in May.