November 18, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 44  

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Western frosh avg. 86

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Students who are accepted at Western are increasingly those with high averages coming out of high school. The entrance average this year was 86 per cent, compared to 84 per cent last year.

“A lot of students applied to Western,” said Greg Moran, Western’s VP-academic, when asked why the entrance average was so high. “We see this as a good thing.”

Last year’s average increase in applications to universities was 16 per cent province-wide compared to application levels in 1992-93, Moran explained, noting Western’s increase in applications over this same period was 56 per cent. This year, the average increase in applications was 69 per cent province-wide, compared to the applications in 1993-94, he said. Western’s increase in applicants for the same period was 136 per cent.

“There are a limited number of students we can take,” Moran explained. “We are trying to make Western a place where students want to come and study,” he said. The recent Globe and Mail survey, as well as the steadily rising number of applicants, shows this to be successful so far, he added. Moran also commended faculty and staff for doing a “great job” in ensuring undergrads have a good university experience.

“Western has improved considerably in the past five years that I have been here,” said Paul Yeoman, University Students’ Council president. “Western has advanced quite a bit in the Maclean’s rankings — we went from sixth to third in a couple years.

“Students see this as a great place to come for an outstanding undergraduate education, both inside and outside the classroom,” Yeoman said. “Western’s reputation is ensuring that we’re getting the best and brightest students.”

Yeoman denied Western’s high entrance average signalled a shift toward a more elitist environment. “I don’t think you can really say that when we had a first-year class of 6,600 students this year.”

“I think they should pay more attention to extracurricular activities — it should be based upon well-roundedness,” said third-year arts student Katie O’Brien.

“It’s a bad thing because there are a lot of people who do better in high school classes but not in university classes,” said Melissa Snell, a second-year nursing student, noting she thought the new entrance average was high.



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