University applications up 5%

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

University application numbers are at their highest since the double cohort.

Each year the participation rate, or proportion of people in the demographic aspiring to university, has increased. This year was no exception.

“We were estimating beforehand a three to four per cent increase and the total number of individuals came in at a 4.8 per cent [increase],” George Granger, executive director of Ontario University Application Centre, said.

Granger explained the number of applications has increased steadily since OUAC changed its policy to allow individuals to apply to more than three universities. The number of applicants is on the rise as well.

University applications have risen approximately five per cent overall, according to the first round of numbers released by OUAC. It received 83,000 applications from high school students by last week’s application deadline, which is up about 4,000 from last year.

Western’s total applications are up by 5.6 per cent " just higher than the Ontario average.

Fred Longstaffe, vice-president academic, thought the numbers were good news for Western.

“Potential students recognize this is a really good place to come to university,” he said. “People want a Western degree.”

There are roughly 32,000 applications for Western, which is the highest in recent years without counting the double cohort " when the number of applications was 46,000.

College applications are increasing as well.

Jeff Sage, manager of marketing and communications at Fanshawe College said the total applications for the college system are up 4.7 per cent and Fanshawe is up 5.2 per cent.

The numbers are still on the rise, since the deadline for college applications is Feb. 1 at the earliest.

Western will not accept more undergraduates to accommodate the increase, which could mean higher competition and average grade requirements for applicants.

Longstaffe said Western committed to 4,350 undergraduate spaces in its strategic plan and will maintain that number.

“If we want to continue to do a quality job for our students, we can’t ... [dilute] resources.”

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