Entrance stress

Do grade 12 students freak themselves out too easily?

Note: This post has been edited below.

Ditch the plan. Throw it in the dustbin, tie up the bag and take it to the curb. It’s not doing anyone any good.

It’s January. University applications for high school students are due next week. But the first round of acceptance letters have already gone out, so panic is settling in as the rat race kicks into high gear. High school students are now comparing letters, entrance scholarships and who was admitted where.

But the fact is this: Those who have done well to date are more likely to continue to do well. Those who have done poorly are less likely to get into university. And the statistics back it up.

The race has already been run – now it’s just a question of who gets to run the next leg.

In 2005, approximately 57,000 high school students were admitted to an Ontario university. Considering more than 328,000 high school students applied applications were received for university programs that same year, acceptance is anything but a given. In Ontario, students can apply to three schools for a flat rate of $120, and each additional school costs $40. The Globe and Mail reports that the average student submits 4.4 applications.

But that raises the real issue. Is it true that only 17 77 per cent of applicants are qualified to attend university? Or is it more likely that, despite the premier’s investment in post-secondary education there are still likely qualified students being turned away?

The situation is improving. Investments are being made. But for the time being, the annual high school panic session seems warranted.

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