Recently we were able to process a batch of offers for applicants from outside the Ontario high school system (Form 105 applicants). Similar to our earlier Form 101 round of offers, this is a limited number based on what documents we have reviewed so far. There are still something like 60 to 70% of the spaces in each program unfilled at this point, and everyone continues to be considered in our upcoming round.
From now until about the end of April we continue to review documents, AIFs, and interviews in preparation for our main round of offers in May. The exact timing of those offers is impossible to predict. We have to wait to get the electronic grade data from Ontario high schools before we can start, so it’s somewhat dependent on them. I guess we’ll see how it goes. Thankfully our offers can now be electronically posted on our Quest system, so we’re not scrambling to mail them to applicants in a narrow window of time.
As usual around this time of year, we have processed a few offers for applicants who are currently in an Ontario high school. Generally this will fill less than 25% of the available spaces in each program, leaving the large majority of spaces for our final round of decisions in May when we have more complete data for a fair comparison. People who don’t get an offer at this stage are automatically carried forward for consideration then.
The selection process is a bit random at this stage, which is why I don’t like to commit very many spaces. Typically, people with offers at this point have consistently high grade 11 and 12 math, English & science marks, and at least 3 Grade 12 required courses completed. Also they probably ranked in the top end of all the program applicants, taking into account an AIF score (and optional interview score, if one was submitted). It takes us until mid-April to complete all the AIF and interview scoring, so at this stage it’s somewhat random whether those play a significant role or not for any one individual.
Eventually (by the end of April), we get all the Grade 12 marks and other scores, and then it’s much fairer to compare everyone on the same basis. Any high scoring applicants who missed out on the early round will get selected at that point.
For out-of-province applicants (OUAC Form 105), we’ll do a bit of a preliminary offer round in a few weeks when we have more data compiled from transcripts. It’s difficult to say exactly when (it depends on many things), but hopefully by early April to help out those with May 1 offer acceptance deadlines at U.S. universities.
One of our messages this year is to encourage engineering applicants to do their “homework” before applying, because we have no general first year. This means carefully reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, interests, aptitudes, career goals, etc. Then carefully examining our different programs, courses, typical career paths, co-op job examples, etc., and selecting the program which seems to be the right fit. Quite possibly, engineering is not the right fit and you should consider something else. In general, people who put some effort into this process will end up in the right program and do well. Why is this so important? Continue reading
A brief update on what’s happening in the 2017 engineering admissions cycle.
- Recently we sent out some offers to Ontario high school (OUAC Form 101) applicants. As usual, we only sent enough to fill about 25% of the available spaces in each program, so we leave lots for the major round in early May. Generally these offers go to top-ranked applicants with strong grades across the board, a submitted AIF, and 3 Grade 12 required courses completed.
- Plans are in motion for our annual March Break Open House on March 18. A visit to Waterloo is highly recommended for those within travel distance, especially if you’ve never been here before. It’s a great chance to meet and talk with current students about their class and co-op experiences.
- We’re working away on the non-Ontario (OUAC Form 105) applicant files, which is a complicated and manual process. Tentatively, we hope to send out some offers to this group in early April.
- We continue to review Admission Information Forms (AIFs). Applicants should make sure they pressed “Submit” and not just “Save”, otherwise we don’t consider it and an offer is very unlikely.
- We’re also working away on reviewing the submitted optional interviews. It’s too early to conclude anything, but they seem to be going well.
- Our big push for offers comes in early May, and then all the admitted applicants have until early June to make their final decision. We will start compiling a wait list for any spaces that might open up in June.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve finished our first round of engineering offers, and they should be all posted on Quest by now. As mentioned in other places, we aimed to fill around 25% of our spaces at this point, and the rest of the offers will be processed in early May. In the meantime, we’re waiting for the Ontario second semester grades to come in April, and we continue processing the transcripts and documents sent in by the other applicants (Form 105 applicants).
With the increase in application numbers, things seemed a bit more competitive again this year. But it will be impossible to quantify that until everything is over in May, so I can’t really comment any further.
So for those who recently got an offer, congratulations. Make sure you think carefully about the program, and whether Waterloo is a good fit for you. Maybe try to attend our open house on March 19, or come for a visit some other day.
For the 10,000+ people who didn’t get an offer, make sure your AIF (and any other required documents) are submitted, and just sit tight. We’ll have the rest of the decisions in early May. (note, for the AIF make sure it’s “submitted” and not just “saved” on Quest.)
Just a short update on progress for our 2016 admissions.
- Applications are still coming in (until March 1), but it’s looking like we will have between 1,000 and 2,000 more than last year, so admissions will be a bit more competitive than last year.
- Plans are in progress for our open house on March 19.
- As described in the overview of the process, the Admission Information Form (AIF) reading is in full progress and we’re getting ready for the first round of offers. We will accept AIFs until March 18. Any submitted after February 5 might not be reviewed in time to have any impact on the first round of offers, but they will have their full consideration for the big round of offers in May.
- For the first round, some offers for Ontario applicants (Form 101) will come out in late February. Some for other applicants (Form 105) will probably come out in early March. We can’t give specific dates, it depends on how things go.
- With the increasing applications, I’m thinking that we will be fairly conservative with the first round and maybe only give away about 25% of the spaces. It’s easier to be thorough and fair to everyone if we hold back most of the offer decisions until early May. Most of the applications we consider in February will be deferred until May for a final decision, when we can see the whole picture.
Things are moving along nicely for our Engineering admissions. The Ontario high school applications are submitted (a few continue to trickle in), and the out-of-province applications will be winding up and closing at the end of February. Here are a few observations and comments:
- Overall application numbers look similar to last year, possibly a few percent higher. I would anticipate competition levels for most programs to be similar to last year.
- Applications to our new Biomedical Engineering program jumped significantly to around 900. Since there are only 50 spots available, we’re going to have a tough time deciding. Interesting observation: according to OUAC statistics, there are about 6.9 applicants per available space for medical schools in Ontario. We have 18 applicants per available space for Biomedical Engineering!
- Our AIF readers are busy evaluating what has been submitted to date (some 6,000+). AIFs not submitted by now may not get read in time to be considered for the first round of offers. However, as long as it’s submitted by mid-March it will be OK for the final round of offers in May.
- We’re waiting for the Ontario school grades to be available and downloaded, and then we will do some offers in late February. As usual, we generally aim to give away less than about 30% of the available spaces at that time. The rest are held until May when the second semester grades are available.
- The applications from outside Ontario are being analyzed as fast as we can (it’s all “manual” work). In early March we will take what information we have and do a few offers, but again most will come in May.
- We’re making plans for our March Break Open House. A very worthwhile event, especially if you’ve never visited the Waterloo campus before.