If you’re a grade 12 student and cannot decide on which universities to apply to then this post is for you! If you’ve read my previous blogs before, you probably know that I am also an Education student studying to be a high-school teacher. Part of my program entails that I complete a practicum in a high school to gain in-class experience. Working in a grade 12U class has given me the opportunity to build rapport with students and hear about their hopes and fears about applying to university. A lot of the students wanted advice regarding how to choose a university; so, I have compiled a list of some useful tips to consider before making a decision.
1. Read program descriptions
Deciding upon your program can be a very difficult feat. Back when I was in grade 12 and making my decision, I wouldn’t have thought to sit and read through program descriptions. As a high-school student, I just wanted to be given the information and told what to do. I was intimidated by having to make such big decisions and it is okay to feel that way. However, reading program descriptions can help make the process of applying easier for you. Although the same programs at different universities may be similar, they all have something unique to offer. You want to choose a program that you’re drawn to, and you can only do that if you read enough about it and it grabs your interest.
2. Read student blogs to get a current student perspective
In my opinion, your decision to applying to a university should not be based solely on the program. You’re most likely going to be spending 4+ years at the university to complete your undergraduate degree, so liking the campus is very important if you plan to live on campus or commute! Reading a variety of student blogs will help you learn more about the campus and university from diverse perspectives.
3. Go on a campus tour
York University offers campus tours weekly, which means that you can easily find a date and time that works for you. If you’ve already visited campus there are also Faculty-specific tours available so you can learn more about the programs you are interested in and take a look at what some of your classes might look like! If you don’t think you’ll have time to visit our campus, you can check out some of the York U Video Tours.
4. Connect with current students
Before I applied for university, I definitely reached out to older cousins and mentors to hear about their own experiences about the universities they attended for their undergraduate degree. Sometimes getting the opinion of a parent, older sibling, relative or friend can be helpful when choosing what university to go to, especially if they completed their studies in the field of your interest. They may also be able to guide you through the application process and give you advice about courses if they are a recent graduate.
5. Attend an on-campus event
Checking out on-campus events such as a poetry reading or guest speaker or rally hosted by a student association is a great way to experience the atmosphere and environment of the university. In most cases this will be an easy way to learn more about the school from a perspective other than the university. You will get to experience the culture of the students and see the school spirit from a unique student-centric point of view. A positive influence when choosing a university!
Did you know that as a high-school student, you are allowed to apply to more than just three universities on the OUAC site? If you want to apply to more than one program at a certain university, or simply apply to more than three universities and are willing to spend a bit more money/have the financial means to do so, then you should consider it! The maximum amount of universities you can apply to is six. But if you’re set on your top three choices you should be fine!
I hope these suggestions help you make your choice when considering universities! If you have any specific questions about York U and want a perspective from a current student, feel free to tweet us @yorkustudents! Good luck!