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Adjustments to admissions averages follow demand

By Gurman Sahota, May 30 2019 —

The latest adjustments to high school entrance percentage requirements are a result of both program seating capacities and program demand says University of Calgary registrar Angelique Saweczko.

“We have a set number of spots available in every program or faculty depending on how the faculty’s admission structure is and so every year we look at the number of applicants we have to that program,” said Saweczko. “We set the average based on how many offers will go out based on the number of seats available.”

Take the psychology program for example — having a smaller capacity of seats with a larger demand adjusted the entrance percentage needed for application. Students are encouraged to maintain their percentages once tentatively accepted into the program, until the U of C receives final marks from high schools in July.

However, if come July, there is still space available in programs, the entrance percentage requirement may be lowered, admitting potential students into those spots.

“This is the average, at this point in time, that we’re expecting students to keep,” Saweczko said. “If we don’t have space in July, we don’t make any offers, and it’s the final average. But if we do have space, the averages may change.”

Since the university doesn’t use self-reported grades — grades the student anticipates getting before final grades are received by the institution in the summer — but rather, uses a combination of grade 11 and, depending on where the candidate is in the admissions cycle, grade 12 marks, Saweczko said that the U of C very rarely rescinds offers. Most of the rescinded offers that do occur happen because a student no longer has a course that is a requirement for the program they’ve chosen.

“Let’s say a student applied to a program where Math 30-1 is required for admission, and they dropped it, we see on their final transcript that they no longer have the math requirement, that is required for admission [into that particular program],” said Saweczko. “We can no longer offer that student the spot in the program they were admitted to.”

Although there has been a slight rise in admission percentage requirements, the amount of candidates applying to university programs has also increased. The evolution of entrance requirements has responded to this shift in demand according to student need. Moving from a process wherein students were admitted to programs in May to July, the bulk of admission offers now are made in February and March.

“We’ve been working to really get our admission offers out earlier because we know that our students want to know earlier in the cycle if they have a spot at the university,” Saweczko said. “And so with that, we know that we tend to attract a lot of different students from different backgrounds. Because we’re able to make them offers, they can make informed decisions earlier.”

Current entrance percentage requirements for Fall 2019 can be found online.

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