It’s that time again.
For many of us the OUAC is nothing but a distant memory categorized in the dismayingly foggy archives of “high school experiences,” but for over 100,000 students who have applied to universities across Ontario, university applications, forms and deadlines are a major concern.
Although there was a rise of 2.1% in applications for Ontario universities this year this is normal. More and more students are considering secondary education as an essential step in life. University of Waterloo has seen a drop of 3.5% in applications overall and a 4.4% drop in first-choice applications (OUAC requires students to rank their university preferences). Closer to home, the applications to the Engineering programs at Waterloo have shown a decrease of 2.3%. Some would worry about applications decreasing, but the drop is considered ‘slight’ in light of the steep increase in applications in the past couple of years.
Events continue to be held throughout campus to show off what makes Waterloo the best. Another shadow day is in the works for early March. Once again first and second year engineering classes will be invaded by observers (some very shy, others quite a bit louder). On March 16th there will be the annual Campus Day event during which the campus population will increase dramatically (as will the number of people who are hopelessly lost) due to the torrent of visiting high-schoolers and their parents.
All of this seems meaningless to many of us who now confidently attend university, but if you dig into the recesses of your mind and remember how important making the choice of where to apply and which university to choose was back in the days of grade 12, you may find yourself pitying these poor students at the brink of one of the most important decisions of their lives.