Applying some relief
By Ian C. Robertson
High school students can now breathe a sigh of relief sort of.
The deadline for university applications from high school students has been extended past Dec. 4, said Gregory Marcotte, executive director of the Ontario Universities Applications Centre in Guelph.
Marcotte said this is not an official change in policy but rather an added effort the centre is making to deal with the teachers strike. "We're willing to take applications in after the Dec. 4 deadline, even if it means adding a second shift to help process the applications."
He said while there have been a lot of requests for extensions on an individual basis, no school boards have officially notified the centre for an extension.
Paul Inksetter, Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation VP, said he too has heard concerns while attending public meetings about high school students' ability to apply to universities on time.
Inksetter said while it may be hard to get the applications in with a late school start, the full OAC year will be made up. "The academic training in the OAC year will be more intense, but students will still have the skills they need for university," Inksetter said.
Rob Tiffin, deputy registrar at Western, said it has been the experience of the registrar's office in recent years that students having their final year disrupted by a teachers strike have not had any added difficulty entering university. "There is no concern they will not be able to make up lost ground," Tiffin said.
Understanding OAC students are in a difficult position, Marcotte said students can contact the centre and ask for an extension. "It has always been our policy to grant extensions in tough situations like last fall's teacher strike or mail strike," he said.
While there have already been requests, it is not expected to be problematic from the centre's standpoint.
Marcotte said the date of Feb. 22 to look at OAC students' first semester grades will not be extended unless a major problem with a re-scheduled school year comes up.
Tiffin said Western will begin looking at marks as soon as information becomes available in late January and continue until June.
Marcotte said they hope to have all university applications in by Dec. 10.