Last week (week of February 19th 2013) we finished processing our first round of offers for applicants who are Ontario high school students. Some of the processes were described in an earlier post, How to Get an Early Offer. But to summarize, we took the data we had at that point and made enough offers to fill about 1/3 of our available spaces in each program. These are applications where we have enough data and it’s clear that they are competitive, based on previous years experience. We are relatively conservative and don’t give out too many offers, since we want to leave lots of spaces for a fair competition in the final round in May. Some universities give out a lot more offers and earlier, but that’s simply a matter of less competition and so they have that flexibility.
So now there are several thousand applicants wondering why they didn’t get an early offer and comparing notes with others who perhaps did. My advice is to not spend much time worrying about it. From an applicant’s perspective, the decisions will possibly appear to be somewhat random and irrational. To us, the decisions are quite reasonable because we can see all the data put together in context, but you’ll just have to take our word for it. There are several reasons why an early offer wouldn’t be made in this round, and I’ll summarize them here:
- You are not an Ontario high school student (OUAC Form 101 applicant). If you applied on Form 105, we haven’t made any offers to that group yet but will in the coming weeks.
- No AIF was submitted by the time we started assembling the decision data. If an AIF wasn’t submitted, we skipped it. Some applicants may want to check that they actually clicked on “Submit”, and not just “Save” for their AIF.
- Missing or inadequate English proficiency information, either a test score (e.g. TOEFL) or proof of English language schooling outside of Ontario. We skip these too.
- Inadequate Grade 12 grade data. We usually like to see at least 3 Grade 12 required course marks, although sometimes 2 are OK if the Grade 11 courses are very strong. Also, some grades may not have reached us in time for this round. In a small fraction of the applications there are missing grades when we make the early decisions because of the timing of data uploads and downloads from OUAC. This can result in what seems like “random” offer decisions. The grades that an applicant knows they have, and what we actually can see at a specific point in time can be different.
- The AIF was submitted but not yet scored when decisions were processed. We score as many as we can before starting decisions, but it’s not feasible to wait until they are all scored. So for some applicants, they wouldn’t be getting the full bonus from the AIF score during the early round of offers. However, they will all be scored before the final round of offers.
- The grades and scores are just not in the top 1/3 of applicants to that program at this point in time. When we get down to the bottom end of the top 1/3, there are so many applicants with similar grades that a fraction of a percent can make the difference between an early offer and not. You’ll probably get an offer in May if you’re in that situation.
For those who did get an early offer, congratulations, but keep working hard because your scholarships depend on the grades we get in late April. For those who didn’t get an early offer, keep working hard too because there are still plenty of offers to come in May.