Final Admission Round 2014

After many hours of review and work by the admissions team, the final set of admissions decisions are done.  I’ll just summarize a few things for now.

  1. Offers are being posted to Quest initially, and will get updated on OUAC in the next few days.  Ontario (OUAC 101) offers come out first (like today), and out of province (OUAC 105) offers take a few more days to process, so probably by the end of this week.
  2. Emails should go out shortly too (I think).  Mailed packages take a bit more time to assemble and deliver.
  3. As we suspected, competition for the limited number of spaces was higher again this year, about 1,000 more applications than last year.  At the end, we received a bit over 10,000 applications, and made about 3,000 offers.  This should give us about 1,600 new students in September, which is our target.  On the downside, there will be about 7,000 disappointed applicants.
  4. At first glance, it seems that the increased competition pushed up the typical admission averages by about 1% across all the programs.  We will have to update our admission stats for the 2015 cycle in the coming weeks.
  5. Some people will call the office to find out why they didn’t get an offer, or didn’t get their first choice program.  It’s a bit pointless however, since the answer is always the same…in the ranked list of applicants, the program was filled before we got down to that part of the list.  In many programs we were filling the last few spots with applicants having low 90s averages, and there were still 500+ applicants left in the list.
  6. We will have a waitlist for those who want to be reconsidered in June if there are any open spaces.  You can ask to be put on the waitlist by emailing with your name, ID# and desired program.
  7. I see that there are dozens of comments on other posts that I haven’t had time to address.  Sorry, but I’ll have to delete most of them and start fresh, unless they are key questions of general interest.

157 thoughts on “Final Admission Round 2014

  1. Hello Professor,
    I’m a South African applicant waiting for the OUAC 105 application decisions. I’d like to know if you take grade equivalencies between Canada and South Africa into account when considering the application?
    Thank you for your helpful and informative blog

  2. Dear Professor I am student from India ,applied for University of Waterloo. Still my XII results are not announced, we are expecting them in third week of May. In the application I just sent my projected marks only.If I send my XII marks in third week of May,any chance for me in waiting list ?

    • If your XII results are significantly better than predicted, then we will use those for the waiting list decisions. It’s hard to say what the chances will be, because we don’t know about the space availability yet.

  3. Hi, I have been admitted to Geological Engineering program with 93.87% average over my top 6 courses (midterm). Can I switch into Chemical Engineering program in case I don’t like Geological Engineering and change my mind?

  4. Hello Professor!

    Firstly, thank you for all the informative posts. Just an inquiry: Are all the offers for 105 applicants (out of province) offers posted on quest already? If it still says the status as application, should we assume we got denied.

    Thank you

  5. Hi professor I am 105F international applicant.In my Quest account it still says Application in my status.Does it mean I have been denied.How am i gonna know if i am denied?Please help

  6. Hi Professor Anderson,
    I was wondering: What was the average for people who got an acceptance into software engineering this year?


  7. Hi Professor,
    I have read that the conditions for our offers must be met by June 30th. However, for IB schools, we will be receiving our exam results on July 6th and they will subsequently be uploaded to
    OUAC by our teachers. Does this mean that our final IB exam grades will not be considered for the conditions and that our midterms will be carried over?


  8. Hello Professor,
    I received an early acceptance way back in February and decided to only accept it now due to doubts in the major field that I wanted to study. Will I be able to still change my co-op stream if I don’t like the one that’s assigned to me? And how long does it take for Waterloo to send me a confirmation letter?
    Thank you!

    • Confirmation materials won’t come out until after June 2 when the confirmation deadline passes. Changing streams is possible with reasons, but we do have to limit it to keep the classes balanced.

  9. Hey Professor Anderson,

    As a high school teacher, I’ve always tried to keep up to date with the post-secondary admission process and our education system. I frequently visit your blog as well as student forums related to admissions. I recently came across a post on (, in which the author described his experiences with this admissions cycle, and I was shocked by its contents. The school I teach at is fairly competitive. Students obsesses about marks to a point where it fosters a unhealthy learning environment. I’ve had students who had low nineties percentage ask if I had any tutors to recommend them, so they could boost their “low” mark. I would then always recommend these students some extra projects that could enhance their knowledge in the subject, as I feel any additional studying would not be beneficial to their education. Their response would always be: “can I get bonus marks with these projects?” These same students who are masters of the subject with low nineties averages would then come back at the end of the year, and inform me that they didn’t get into most of the programs they want. I always assumed these rejections were because they had no extracurricular activities, and because they were not well rounded individuals.

    Coming back to the post I read on, the author was rejected by most of his choices. The thing is, this student is what I wished all my students would be like! He applied to schools with a 92% average, and a exceptional accomplishment outside of school. This student, on his own, produced studies on a topic of his interest, hockey, that were impressive enough for him to be recruited by a NHL team. He sent me copies of his work. Although lacking some formality, his work is comparable to that of post first year university students. This 17 year kid is producing university level papers, with knowledge he has acquired on his own, on a topic of his passion, in his spare time! Not only that, but he has managed to take 2 academic classes one year ahead of their intended grade level, and a third class two years ahead of its intended grade level, in his grade 11 year, while seemingly doing very well on all of them, without taking any summer or night school. This, to me, showcases not only his intellectual capability, but also his passion for learning. For many years, I’ve guided my students to become, more or less, a version of this student.

    In his post, he laments the academic path he has chosen, that he should’ve spent the spare time on his projects into raising his low nineties average, that he should not have taken courses ahead for the academic challenge, and recommended readers to basically obsesses about their marks, and not worry about being a well rounded individual. This, unique, highly achieving student, was recommending his peers to become products of the cookie cutter template: run a few clubs, play some sports, and argue for marks, whenever they can.

    In the last couple of years, competition for admissions to top university programs have skyrocketed. I’m sure this student would have no problems studying at any of the programs he applied to, and that his studies showcase initiative that would, arguably, be an even better indicator for future academic success than the few extra percentage points he could’ve worked for had he not spent the bulk of his spare time on his studies. He was initially rejected from UBC and completely rejected from Waterloo, with a pending decision from UT. Approximating the number of offers sent out from these programs, 5 programs (2 from UBC, 3 from Waterloo) * 100 spots/program * 2 offers sent per spot, there would be 1000 students who the admissions office believe would have more success in their programs. I don’t believe that would be the case, if each applicant were evaluated individually, therefore I must conclude that these 1000 students are only “better” because of they had a higher average, and that it is much simpler to rank students by their average. Though, can anyone really say a 90% student would not be as successful as a 95% student? As students applying with low nineties are being rejected because of the sheer numbers of competition, is the education system fostering an environment that encourages these cookie cutter students, and stifling creativity and outstanding achievements these students are otherwise capable of, had it not been the opportunity cost of the time they needed to spend to raise their averages by a couple of extra percentage points that arguably do not enhance their knowledge in any way?

    a concerned math teacher.

    • Thanks. We’ve been overwhelmed with the volume of applicants with 90+ averages. Differentiating from among them has become more difficult, and we’re looking at re-working our processes. It’s changed significantly since I first started admissions work 6 years ago. Hopefully in a couple of months I’ll be able to report on our new “improved” system.

  10. Hi, I was wondering how competitive Management Engineering was this year as in what was the cut off average or the admission average? Thanks.

  11. Hello, I am a partial IB student in BC who has already been admitted to engineering. I am taking IB Math HL and have completed all of the regular required courses already save for Physics 12. I already have an in-school mark for IB Math. I would like to know whether my in-school mark or my exam mark would be used to calculate my average and used to decide whether my offer will get revoked or not. I am asking this because I understand that IB exam marks come later than my provincial school report card and there may be discrepancies between the two marks. I called the admissions office today and they told me they would use the school mark because that comes earlier and I am only taking the IB certificate. However, on this blog I see replies saying that Waterloo uses final IB exam marks to decide whether to revoke an offer or not. Which one is it? Thank you for your time.

  12. I am the anon above who is studying partial IB in BC. I forgot to ask another question. I already have both pre-calc 12 and calculus 12 as stated above, and I understand that IB Math will be used to calculate my average and meet minimum requirements. Will it be double-weighted and replace both Pre-calc 12 and Calculus 12 when calculating my average to see if my offer will be revoked or not? Will it just replace one mark? Or is it calculated using a different method?
    I am asking all of this because although I have a good predicted final mark (in-school mark that appears on my BC provincial report card) , I performed quite poorly on my IB math exams due to a very bad headache. There is a possibility that I achieved a 3, which is less than the minimum requirement. I am very worried about my situation and do not wish for my offer to be revoked when I tried very hard and my report card shows my true ability.

    • I’m not quite sure. However, we don’t revoke lightly and would ask you about the circumstances, and if there are other similar course grades that are good then it’s probably not an issue.

  13. Hi Professor,
    This question is a bit off topic, but I was looking at the Employment Statistics on the Waterloo website and I noticed this Spring term’s employment is low compared to the Winter term (54% employment rate for engineering for Spring). I’m wondering if the Waterloo website did not completely fill in the data, or if this is the accurate amount of employed coop students?

    Thank you so much

  14. Hi. I know that the faculty scholarships have been mailed out, but is this way of contacting the school to find out if you have received one? I would hate to chose another school based on what I think my scholarship situation is, only to find out later that some mail was simply late. Conversely, if I don’t have a scholarship to Waterloo, I would hate to accept Waterloo blindly because I assume that a scholarship will be arriving later.

  15. I’m a student in alberta. I’m in partial IB. I know for English our blended mark( school mark and provincial diploma exam mark) would be used. However I would also have a IB English mark. If I don’t do good on the diploma and end up with a final average below 70, can I use my IB mark to replace it? I currently have a 80% in English, but I just worried that the diploma exam might go side way, and I’m worried that my offer would be revoked. Also I feel I did pretty well on the IB exam.


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