Difficulties applying to university outside of Ontario

By Cristina Rulli, Student Writer

Father Bressani Catholic High School has a fairly good support system for those who are looking to pursue a post secondary education.  Whether it be through the guidance department, the teachers, the school’s website or even the Ontario Universities Fair, the students planning to do their post secondary schooling in Ontario have many resources to assist them through the application process and what follows.

However, for those students who are planning to do their post secondary schooling either in another province or abroad, the amount of resources available to them within Father Bressani are significantly less than those planning to stay in Ontario.  The guidance department tries their best to help the students, but they too have limited knowledge on the information the students need in order to make their decisions.

The Ontario University Fair (OUF) happens every September in downtown Toronto. It is where all universities from across Ontario come together in one location for all prospective students to visit each booth and get information about the schools they’re interested in.  However, for students who are planning to go to university out of the province, there are no planned fairs or events for the prospective students to visit and gather the information they need in order to feel comfortable enough to travel abroad.

Some students who want to study outside of Ontario actually make the trip to where their universities of choice are located.  They tour the campuses, meet with admissions counsellors and gather information that was not available to them at home. Which for many students can be very expensive, especially with the loom of upcoming tuition within the next year. I was actually forced to take a trip out to British Columbia in January, over Christmas break, in order to visit the four schools I had applied to; the University of Victoria, Capilano University, Trinity Western University and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver Campus) to have meetings with representatives from each of the different schools.  

In most cases, students are not able to fly out to the universities and must resort to looking for their information online and/or emailing representatives from the schools.  As inconvenient as it is for the students to not be able to go to the universities in person, it does encourage them to be more independent because they must contact the schools themselves and do their own research more so than those going to university in Ontario.  

Guidance counsellors at Father Bressani are very helpful when it comes to applying to university, however, their knowledge is limited when it comes to applying out of province.  The counsellors are on the email lists of universities that are out of province and will therefore tell prospective students about any upcoming events or updates that they need to know about.  The guidance counsellors also get viewbooks from the universities which are available in the guidance office.

Some things that the students should ensure that they do when applying to universities outside of Ontario is that they must authorize OUAC to give your marks to the schools they’ve applied to and visit the Student Life Expo which takes place in the fall in Toronto and has some, but not all, out of province schools attending.

“You must be sure it is what you want to do.  Ask yourself why you want to go out of province.  Knowledge is power.  The more you know about the university the better you can make an informed decision,” Mrs. Venneri, a guidance counsellor at Father Bressani said when asked what advice she had for students applying to university abroad, “make sure it is a realistic goal…be grounded and know who you are.”

Father Bressani does have some services to help out those students who are applying to university outside of Ontario, however, it is a good idea to look into how we can ensure there is more help for those students who apply out of province in future.

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