January 29, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 66  

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Too early to tell about admissions

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

According to an article published last Thursday in the Toronto Star, some Ontario universities — including Western, Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo — might be lowering minimum entry marks due to a drop in the number of applicants this year. However, officials at Western, Queen’s and Waterloo said this is premature.

“We don’t know where the [entrance] average will end up — we don’t have the grades [of applicants] yet,” said Lori Gribbon, manager of undergraduate admissions in the Office of the Registrar at Western, explaining admission averages are calculated based on the quality of the pool of applicants.

“Last year was very unusual and very competitive,” she said, adding although there will be a smaller number of applicants this year, the quality of those applying may still be high. “It may be competitive still.”

“The quality of the pool of applicants is not known yet — we have no grades for the first semester yet,” Gribbon explained.

According to Gribbon, the Star’s article represented her comments incorrectly and she has requested that a correction be published.

“We won’t have the [applicants’] grades until March — I don’t know how anyone can predict [entrance averages] at this time,” she said.

“We now have the applications, but we don’t know anything about them — we would never expect to know [entrance averages] at this point,” said Joanne Brady, spokesperson for the registrar’s office at Queen’s. She noted that applications from out of province students are not due until Feb. 20.

“We are not expecting much upward pressure on [entrance] marks,” Brady said.

“We haven’t done an analysis [of this year’s applicants] yet — it is a bit early to tell,” said Peter Burroughs, director of admissions at Waterloo, when asked to comment on the Star’s statement that they may be lowering entrance averages.

“Some programs will [have higher admission averages], some will drop, some may stay the same,” he said. “Until we know the quality of the applicant pool, we can’t tell.”

The University of Toronto, the University of Guelph and Carleton University were contacted but did not respond to phone calls by press time.



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