Applying to a Canadian university now is a lot more complicated than it was for me, about 30 years ago, when I absent-mindedly filled out a few forms and sent my grades off to schools.
For one thing, the competition is stiffer. The bar to get into the most sought-after programs is high, and many teens get turned away. Some schools receive almost 20 per cent more applications now than they did just a few years ago. A growing number of students find this process so daunting that their parents hire application coaches to brush up their CVs and tell them what extracurriculars are required to get in. Many students now apply to a dozen schools, including a couple of safe bets, to improve their odds of getting in somewhere.
It’s also harder than ever to stand out. In an era of widespread grade inflation, when it’s not uncommon for high schoolers to have averages in the mid-90s, admissions officers can be swamped with excellent candidates.
The Maclean’s University Guidebook is for students and parents who are looking to navigate this process without losing their minds. Our goal is to help high schoolers identify the best programs and schools for them, and to demystify what’s required to get in.
Maclean’s is uniquely qualified for this role. The magazine has been ranking universities since 1991 using a carefully developed methodology, and Maclean’s journalists have been chronicling social and academic trends on campuses for decades.
I’m particularly proud of this year’s education guide. I have an 11th-grader at home and I will enthusiastically recommend this guidebook to him, his friends and the parents in my community who are anxiously looking for a roadmap. If you’re looking ahead to universities for your teen, this book is for you.
The Maclean’s University Guidebook is available now. Pick up your copy today.
—Sarah Fulford, editor-in-chief, Maclean’s