Applying to University
On what is University Admissions Based?
Universities are very interested in students who will be successful in the Higher Learning environment of university. This entails a large amount of material to be learner and applied in a relatively short time. The Nova Scotia Department of Education states, on their website, that the best predictor of student success in the P-12 classroom is the "Quality of Instruction" that those students receive. One registrar of a university in Nova Scotia stated that the best predictor of university success is a high level of "engagement" in the expected learning. These are very different predictors of success, and this difference can be attributed to the types of education systems. We know that the university education approach is different than that of P-12 education.
The main component of any university application is the high school transcript. All universities will state what courses, at what level, and the minimum grades that the applying student's transcript has to include to be eligible for admission. This is true for all universities. The rest of the components are not as important in this process, although all admissions departments will look at everything contained in the application. If a student is on the border of being accepted into a program, admissions officers will look at extra-curricular activities, volunteering, hobbies, and achievement in areas other than academics. They are looking for evidence that the student will be successful in his/her first year of university.
The transcript itself will either be in the form of an In-Progress or Final Transcript. The In-Progress Transcript will have an expression of mid-term grades to present the university admissions officers some evidence of the student's coursework before the course has been completed. All coursework in the In-Progress transcript will eventually be completed, final grades awarded, and the Final Transcript will come to exist. Universities should always ask for a final transcript to finalize admissions.
On the other hand, some universities will admit students early based on early in-progress grades (as early as October) as well as based on grade 11 final grades.
In all of these scenarios the main evidence for a high school graduate's predicted success in university is the level of achievement in the high school coursework.
At King's View Academy we recognize that final grades are indicators of a variety of skills, abilities, and knowledge. In addition, strong learning skills and self-direction, coupled with a high level of engagement will likely lead to excellent grades. We also recognize that there are students who are skillful learners and/or very knowledgeable in specific areas and/or very effectively self-directed, but may have certain conditions in their lives that have stood in the way of them achieving 100% in all of their high school coursework.
The reality of university admissions, unfortunately, is that the high school transcript is the key to university admissions. We recognize that there are people who will be successful at their first year of university because of their knowledge/skills/abilities/self-direction, but not predicted by their high school transcript.
There are options to overcome this difficulty. The best option (not the only one) to gain successful admission to university is to build a better transcript.
Hopefully the system will not always be like this. Hopefully universities will eventually recognize, formally, the characteristics of an individual that predict university success and add this to their admissions policies. Hopefully schools will eventually develop students' university survival skills and abilities (such as: self-direction, the ability to understand expectations of the student by the program, the ability to engage in the work, effective learning skills and abilities, the ability to manage one's progress, and the ability to set realistic and effective goals). Hopefully students and their parents will demand these experiences, and be better advocates for students academic development and success.
For now, make sure your transcript has lots of high grades on it so that you can go to the university you want.
Locally there are a number of universities and colleges.
The following list will direct you to high school graduate admission requirements for each:
- Dalhousie Admissions for High School Graduate Applicants Canadian Applicants International Applicants
- Saint Mary's University Admission Requirements for Canadian Applicants Admission Requirements for International Applicants
- St. Francis Xavier University Conditions for Acceptance
- Acadia University Admissions Office
- The University of King's College Undergraduate Admission Requirements
- University College of Cape Breton Admission Requirements
- Mount Allison University Admissions
- University of New Brunswick Undergraduate Admissions
- Mount Saint Vincent University Admission Office
- Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Undergraduate Admissions
If these do not get you to what you want, please inquire to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nova Scotia Community College will be a suitable post-secondary choice for you. In many cases, credits earned at NSCC can be transferred to university so that your final achievement is a Degree, in addition to the NSCC Diploma. Click here for the Admissions page of the NSCC website.