University Planning Tips for Grade 12 Students

Posted by Sunera on September 5, 2014

On-board to York

Hi there! You’ve reached an older post on the #YUBlog that may no longer contain relevant or up-to-date information. For the latest posts on York University go to our homepage where you can also search for posts by topic.

Check your courses

Speaking from experience: I hated mathematics in high school. (I still don’t love it!). By the time I figured out what I wanted to pursue in university, I realized many of the programs I was interested in required certain grade 12 credits. All I wanted was to graduate from high school. So, I was delayed applying to university and took the math courses after work so I would be able to apply for my programs.

  • Make sure you meet the minimum requirements. Check your high school transcript or your timetable to ensure that you have a minimum of six—grade 12 U or M courses.
  • Ensure that you will complete all diploma requirements by the end of this school year to graduate from high school.  If not, then make an appointment with your high school guidance counselor as soon as you can.
  • Take an evening or online class to satisfy a required course to graduate from high school and apply to university on time.
Explore different programs to keep your options open.

Explore different programs

Speaking from experience: I waited until it was almost time to apply to university really to explore the programs and narrow down my choices. Bad idea—yes, because I didn’t satisfy all the requirements I need for the programs I wanted to apply to. So, I had to wait a year before applying to university as I still needed two courses.

  • Research programs that interest you.
  • Find the essential courses and required average for admissions.
  • Start preparing the required documentation you will need to submit to universities.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Explore several programs so you don’t limit your options.

Attend Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF)

York University--OUF 2011.
York University at OUF 2011.

Speaking from experience: I had no idea what I wanted to study after high-school. I went to the  OUF but I might have just stayed home. I collected a few brochures but never engaged with the staff from the universities.

  • I’m sure had I reached out to speak to someone then they could have pointed me in the right or even informed me about the undecided major (if it was offered at that time!).
  • I’m sure some would have told me about the math requirements for my programs of interest if I had reached out to them. This could have saved me an entire year!
  • Make a list of question and bring to OUF with you.
  • You can connect with current students and faculty members.
  • Ask questions about programs that interest you or if you are unsure what program to pursue.
  • Inquire about campus life, resources, commuting resources, admission requirements, residence, and finances.

Generate some ideas to gain hands-on experience

Speaking from experience: I also chose a program that gives me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a co-op position while completing my degree.

  • Explore the co-op and internship programs offered at your university to see how you can get hands on-experience while completing your degree.
  • If you are living at home and commuting then you can look for part-time work in your community or on–campus.
  • For students living on residence or moving away from home then on-campus employment is a great option because there is no commute time involved.
  • Whether you work on-campus or off—don’t look overlook the valuable experience you gain. Most companies have opportunities for growth at the store level or at their head offices.
  • Campus employment is just as valuable because there are opportunities for career mobility once you graduate.

Until next time!



Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

See other posts by Sunera