University FAQs

When should I apply to University/College?


The following dates are intended to be general guidelines only. You need to visit each University or College’s website in order to find their exact deadlines.


For early admission: In general Early Admission has a deadline in the Fall (October or November). This is intended for those students with a strong transcript and resume from their Grade 11 year.


Standard admission deadlines will typically be in the winter (January or later).


It is important to note that you can begin preparing your applications now and then have the required documents sent in before the various deadlines.


What do I need to send when I apply?


Always make a checklist of what is required, some schools will even supply this for you.


Most Universities and Colleges use online admissions but make sure to check as there are some that still require paper applications.


Each application will require a application fee, and this can vary in cost.


Some places such as Ontario, Canada, and much of the United States use an application center so that you can submit a “Common Application” which will be sent to all the universities you wish to apply to.


Typical requirement documents include…


  • Your high school transcript  (final marks will be required later)
  • A letter of intent: Why should they want YOU in their school?
  • References: Typically at least two teachers who know you well
  • How do I request my transcript?


Visit Tracy Chen for your Ontario or Chinese transcripts.


What is the difference between an Official Transcript and an Unofficial Transcript?


Universities and Colleges require Official Transcripts. This means your transcript is printed using the official school letterhead, stamped, and signed by an administrator. It is then put in an official school envelope and sealed with an official school sticker that cannot be broken otherwise the transcript is considered void.


Unofficial transcripts are for your own records and you may have access to those at anytime by requesting a printout from Tracy Chen.


What else should I be doing to strengthen my application?


Schools want to know who you are beyond your academic records. They are seeking well-rounded students who will contribute to their community. Volunteering, work experience, and extra-curricular activities such as sports, drama, music etc are all viewed favorably.


What other tips can you give me?


Get organized. You should have a calendar or agenda to keep all the deadlines organized. You might have deadlines for the general application, when to submit references, your current and final transcript, when to write the SATs, scholarship deadlines etc.


You mean I still have homework?


This should be an exciting time for you as you get to choose where you live for the next four or more years, what program you want to take etc. So enjoy it, but yes there is work to do.


You need to research schools, what can they offer you? Do they have a strong international community? Do they have clubs and activities you would be interested in? What scholarships do they offer? What is the cost of tuition?


You are researching where you are spending the next few years of your life, academics are extremely important but make sure the school can offer you a good balanced life as well. If you are not happy, your marks will suffer. Research shows that when you have a well-balanced life your marks tend to be much higher and you will be far less likely to drop or fail out of school.


Who should I get for a reference?


It can vary, but typically you will be required to submit two or three references. Normally this will be two academic references (teachers, principals, guidance counselor) and possibly one character reference (coach, employer).


Do not use family or friends as references.


Make sure to ask for references well in advance of the deadline in order to give time for them to write it.

Always give your reference writers your resume or a list of things you would like to see included in the reference letter. This allows the writer to use examples that they may otherwise have forgotten about when writing the letter.


What scholarships are available?


National Scholarships

Provincial or State Scholarships

Special Scholarships: For example, if you have a parent with Multiple Sclerosis you may apply through the Multiple Sclerosis Society 

Prestigious University Scholarships: Many Universities have specific scholarships you can apply for, this may require writing an essay for example

Entrance Scholarships: provided purely based on your marks in high school. Normally you are automatically awarded these; however, you should check with the school to see if you need a separate application

Employee Scholarships: Offered through a parent’s employer

Local Scholarships: Sometimes businesses in your area have scholarships for students in the area or customers of their business


Any other questions?


Make an appointment or email Tracy Chen