April 2014 Admissions Update

Things continue to be extremely busy, so many of my planned posts are postponed.  Here are a few random comments that might be of interest.

  1. In late March we sent out a couple of hundred more offers to applicants from outside of Ontario.  By our estimates, most programs have now committed 40 to 50% of the available spaces.  We will give these remaining spaces away in the final round in early May.
  2. Currently, we’re waiting for the Ontario schools’ second semester mid-term grades to be uploaded.  And we’re frantically working through the remaining document submissions from the non-Ontario applicants.  Everything should be done by late April so we can do the early May offers.
  3. As soon as the early May offers are finalized, we will also make the scholarship decisions for all the offer holders (including those from the earlier rounds).
  4. Final application numbers are in, and it looks like we had a record number of applicants again this year.  Over 10,000 in total, for about 1,600 available spots.
  5. While scanning through some data, I noticed that one applicant had ranked Waterloo Engineering as #31 on OUAC (this might be a record in my experience).  As I have posted in the past, we don’t really care what ranking an applicant puts us as; if the grades are competitive we will make an offer.  But I have to wonder about people who are applying to so many programs (and spending so much money for the applications!).  And this is not an isolated case; there are a bunch that rank us in the 20s.  Surely they could be a bit more strategic and selective about their applications? When I was in high school (a long time ago, admittedly), we were only allowed to apply to a maximum of 3 programs.
  6. The AIF reading and scoring is pretty much done now.  Every year there are a bunch of applicants who didn’t press “Submit” for every part of the AIF (in spite of email reminders), so it doesn’t get read and scored because it’s not fully completed.  Unfortunately they won’t get any significant AIF bonus.
  7. We’re starting to finalize plans for our open house on May 24 for admitted students.  Hopefully the weather will be nicer by then!
  8. New this year, some of our 4th year design groups submitted 90 second videos to describe their “capstone” projects.  These can be viewed on our Youtube channel.  I haven’t had time to look at them all, but there are some very interesting ones, and they give a nice flavour of what some students do.
  9. Various other interesting items appear on our Facebook page.  I highly recommend it for exploring Waterloo Engineering activities and news, since it covers much more than I have time to look at.

That’s all for now.  More later, when I finish up some of the more pressing items.


46 thoughts on “April 2014 Admissions Update

  1. How many spots are left for Electrical Engineering and what is the expected average required for admission?

  2. Hi
    I did submit my AIF but the last page because I had not participated in any contests and had no teacher reference I did not submit the last page, does this mean that my AIF will not be read?

  3. Hi Professor,
    Is an 87% average competitive for Management Engineering? My first choice is ECE, but unfortunately my average dropped second semester from a 90% to a 87% so I am starting doubt that I would get accepted to ECE. My second choice is Mechatronics. As of this year, how does 87% stand with an average AIF? (I am in Ontario).

  4. Hi sir. While I understand that there is no set cutoff, one of my friends received an early acceptance to Electrical engineering with an 87.5 top 6 average. I was surprised by this and was wondering, how could an early offer of this average have been made when I know people who got 91% average but did not get early offer. Also, are you done marking AIF forms?

  5. Hey professor, at this point, will amendments still be looked at? And how early do you expect the May offers to go out? Thank you very much.

  6. Thank you professor for this information. I was wondering if their has been an increase in SYDE? Also, what does it mean by ‘individual selection from high 80s’? Does this mean that the admissions office looks at every individual that meets the grade requirements? Does diversity play a role in this selection?

    • Yes, SYDE has had an increase in applicants. “Individual selection” simply means that there is no specific “cut-off” where everyone above that point gets an offer. The AIF plays a role. Diversity is not a factor.

  7. Have all of the “competitive averages” applicants been given offers of admission based on what you have of their marks so far? Does Waterloo Engineering admit any students if their average is below the required “range” for their program (excluding the AIF)? (e.g. if my average was in the low 80s and for my program it’s required high 80s)

    • There are lots of applicants with high averages that did not get early round offers because their AIF had not been submitted, or we didn’t have enough Grade 12 data. There is no required range for grades. We will go down in averages as far as it takes to fill a program. What we mention on the websites is how far down we have gone in recent years.

  8. Hello, I was already accepted to mechanical engineering this February. However, I am currently considering changing to either computer science or computer engineering. Would I still be considered for a switch and if yes, how should I ask for one? Thanks.

  9. Hi professor do you happen to know how many spaces are left in Mechatronics? Also if I don’t have english mark and ap calc mark in right now, does that means I won’t be considered until i send them/lower chance of getting in?

  10. Hello Sir,

    When university sends out the offers, do they send out more than the spots they take? For instance, if a program has 200 spots, then they send about 350 offers, in case people might refuse the offers in June. From your previous posts, it seems like there is an increment of applicants this year. But how about quality of the applicants compare to last year?

    • Yes, we always send out more offers than spaces, with some estimates of how many people will accept the offers. We won’t have final analyses of the applicant quality until later in the summer.

  11. How many spots are left for Civil Engineering? Is 92 % a competitive average for civil engineering. Also do you round off averages, would a 92.7% be considered a 93% average? Thanks.

    • There are probably about 40 spots left in civil. We won’t know what’s “competitive” until it’s all over in May. We don’t round off averages, the rankings are done with something like 16 decimal place precision.

  12. Hi Professor,

    If you don’t receive an offer during the May round of offers, when will you be notified of your status (rejected/wait listed)? Also, if you are wait listed, and you receive an offer later on due to available spaces, when will you be notified? Would it be after the June 2 deadline for accepting an offer?

    • The “official” rejections come out around mid-May. We don’t waitlist anyone, but you can ask to be reconsidered or placed on a waitlist. We don’t pick from that waitlist until after June 2, when we can see how many spaces are open (if any).

  13. I was looking through the undergraduate studies calender for mechanical, mechatronics, and electronic engineering and I noticed that there were no laboratory courses. Will I not have to do labs anymore? I really want to be able to participate in labs since they’re one of my favorite aspects about education.

    • All of our programs have labs. Some programs have separate lab courses, while others have the labs combined into the lecture course. You would definitely be doing labs in engineering, as it is a professional requirement.

  14. Just wondering, does the “over 10000” applications with 1600 spots only apply to engineering? Or is it 10000+ in total and 1600 all the faculties combined?

  15. Hello, I went on my Quest account just now and beside my Nanotechnology Program, under the status, it says, “Conditional Admit” and the date is today’s. I have gotten no email or letter and my application status on OUAC has not updated. Does this mean I’m actually in or did they give this conditional admission to a lot of people? Also, do you think the conditions will be the common 80+ or can they customize the conditions for me?

  16. Have all the spots for Software Engineering been filled up?

    Does Quest take a bit more time to update for students outside of ON or is it safe to assume that no offer will be made if Quest has not updated yet?

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