Wednesday I attended a meeting of independent school counsellors in Vancouver with Andrew Arida, VP for Enrollment at UBC, to gain clarity on the admission situation for our current Grade 12 students who have applied to UBC.
Students completed applications to UBC in January to meet the Jan 31 deadline. This year, included in their application at that time, students self-reported their FINAL Grade 11 marks for all Grade 11 courses (as well as any completed G-12 level or AP courses). Those marks were verified by the Ministry data that UBC received in mid-March. Students were also required (on the initial application) to answer short essay (profile) questions about their involvement in school activities. They were additionally going to be expected to self-report their Interim Marks (representing 2/3 of the year) in March/April; however, with the teacher strike, public school students would be disadvantaged, so this policy was altered.
What UBC has opted to do is to make offers to those students whose Grade 11 final marks AND personal profiles made them strong candidates. What they negotiated with the BCTF is that the public school teachers will mark students so that reports could be sent to the Ministry in time for the scheduled May 7 Ministry transfer of marks to universities. So, although they are making offers to some students based on Grade 11 final marks, they are reserving space until they can review in-progress Grade 12 marks for the remaining applicants as of May 7th. In the meantime they are continuing to review the profiles of applicants that were completed in January. THOSE students may expect a decision as of May 7th, likely by May 10 or 11.
To date, UBC has made about five times as many offers to students from independent schools as at this time last year, so our students are not being disadvantaged in any way.
Current UBC guidelines are:
- Students with averages in the 70’s (or below) will likely not receive offers of admission to most/if not all faculties. Students with averages in the low to low/mid 80’s will be considered for some programs and the decision will rest on the profile questions and entrance average. Students with averages in the mid to high 80’s will be considered for most/all programs and the decision will rest on the profile and entrance average.
- All faculties are aiming for eventually placing equal weight (50:50) on profile and average; however, this year, that is true only for Commerce (Sauder). Because of this, they are waiting for the May Ministry marks to complete their reviews and will make the majority of their offers at that time (about May 10/11). Other faculties, this year, may make more initial offers with a stronger emphasis placed on entrance average, due to the size of the applicant pools and the issues of managing the reading of profiles given the time frame and staffing – largely, an issue of resources. In the future there will be continue to be a shift toward the 50:50 weighting.
- Students who are facing unusually difficult situations regarding decisions involving the UBC offer should contact their individual counsellor as these may be dealt with on a case by case basis.
- Finally, students who applied for major entrance awards were considered earlier in the process. If they find they have not received a decision by the end of this week or next Monday/Tuesday, it is likely that they have not received a major entrance award offer and their admission decision with be forthcoming in May. UBC has been, in general, shifting its award funding from merit to need-based.