The Skinny on Alternative Offers

Posted by York & U on May 19, 2016

Get In The Know | York & U

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It’s an exciting time of year, when universities like York are sending out their offers of admission, rewarding your hard work of the past weeks and months with the promise of a bright future and a new life on campus. Sometimes, though, the letters you receive may leave you with a few questions, so let’s talk about one of the most important ones: alternative offers to York University.


What is an Alternative Offer?

You open your mail, see you have been accepted, do the happy dance . . . and then pause, because you have been offered admission to an unfamiliar program, rather than the one to which you applied. Or you have been admitted to the major of your choice, but to an alternate degree program (e.g. to a Cinema & Media Studies BA rather than a BFA in Production, or to a Computer Science BA instead of a BSc). What happened?


It may come as a bit of a surprise to find an alternative offer, but the good news first: York is interested in you and you have been admitted to university. Individual cases vary, but York University generally makes alternative offers for one of the following reasons, and always after careful consideration of your application:


  • Admission to some programs is quite competitive and can in part be based on non-academic criteria, for example, a supplemental information form for Social Work applicants.
  • You might not meet the requirements for your program of choice, usually because your high-school averages fall below the year’s cutoffs for your university program. Cutoffs for college or university transfer students may be different.
  • Your transcripts did not show evidence of one or more of the prerequisites for the program.
  • If you had a later application deadline, some programs will have filled up by the time you were considered for admission. You raise your chances of admission by submitting a complete application package as early as possible.


What to do now?

If you are only missing a prereq for your program of choice or need to upgrade your marks just a little, a summer-school course might do the trick. Check MyFile for the specifics of your case and be sure to contact the Office of Admissions to let them know of your plans to upgrade. It is also good to keep in mind that York always tries to offer you admission to an alternate program that is the most similar to your first choice and the most likely to help you achieve your ultimate career goals. Find out more about the opportunities individual programs at York offer and check in with your enrolment adviser about the best ways to include your original interests in your new program. At this point in the admissions cycle, it may be best to accept your alternative offer — many roads lead to your desired destination!


Still have questions? Take a look at the Alternative Offers FAQs. Above all, don’t let this fork in your road slow you down. You still have lots of options.



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