Hi everyone, welcome to Episode 2 of mycampusGPS Facebook Live. This is the place where we talk about how parents can help
their high school student prepare for university. Tonight is part two of why
Grade 11 is so important for scholarships. So in my first Facebook
live, I talked about how Grade 11 ACTIVITIES can affect scholarship
applications, and tonight we’re going to talk about how Grade 11 MARKS can
affect both admission and scholarships. So tonight we’re mainly focusing on
university admission and university entrance scholarships. I’m Janet McDonald,
and I’m a former university admissions officer. I’ve worked in a university for
over ten years in the areas of admissions, academic advising and
scholarship programming. And now, with mycampusGPS, I help high school students
and parents with the process of applying to university — so I help with admission, career exploration, and scholarship preparation. Before I dive into the
meat and potatoes of the information tonight, I need to give you that flashing *disclaimer*, because not all universities operate in the exact same
way. It would be really nice and simple, or I guess simpler anyway, if they did,
but they don’t so the information that I’m going to give you tonight may or
may not apply to your student. The chances are good that it does, but I
can’t say with any certainty that this is exactly the way that it’s going to
work for your student. Each university is different, every student is different,
and they apply at different times, so there are a lot of variables that can
can affect the outcome. But most universities do operate in a similar way,
so what I’m going to tell you tonight is really what will happen with most
universities, most of the time, generally speaking. Okay so that’s my
disclaimer. You should look at the websites, the webpages for the university that your
student is thinking of applying to, and if the information is not really clear
to you then contact the university directly and and inquire about their
process. Okay, so now on with the show. When I was an admissions officer and I was
recruiting in high schools one of the most common questions I
got was, “Do grade 11 marks matter?”. I can say with some certainty that, in most
cases, absolutely — Grade 11 marks do matter, and they probably matter a
little bit more than what you probably realize, because most of the time grade 11
marks matter for both admissions and scholarships. This is quite
confusing, the information that I’m going to to give to you, but I’m going to try
to do it in the simplest way possible. So just as I said in Episode
one that with scholarships, a lot of it depends on timing. Well, it’s the same in this
situation — so namely the timing of early admission for for students to apply to
universities. Most universities will open up their applications for admission
in November of your students Grade 12 year, some of them will open up earlier
or later or whatever, but they start to open up around November and then the
different universities will have different deadlines to apply for early
admission — early admission means admission based
on grades that are not final. So this is the time that students will apply for
early admission and to be considered for scholarships as well. So as you
probably know, the universities will require generally five or six Grade
12 courses for admission. But if your student is applying, obviously, in
November or December or January, even into March, then they probably don’t have five or six Grade 12 courses completed when applying for early admission. So admissions will, likely in this case,
use a combination of Grade 12 and Grade 11 marks to work out the the
average for admission. So how does this work? What courses do they use for admission to determine your average? To explain
this, what I’ll do is we’ll start with the admission requirements — so all
university degrees will require certain Grade 12 courses as prerequisite courses
for admission into those programs so, for example, if your student is applying for
a Bachelor of Engineering degree, then there are certain Grade 12
prerequisites that are necessary to be admissible into that program. For most
universities in Canada it’s Grade 12 English, Grade 12 Pre-cal or Calculus Math, Physics, Chemistry, and one or two other courses. So if a student applies to a Bachelor of Engineering program, admissions will use
the grades from those courses from English, Pre-cal or Calculus, Physics,
Chemistry and one or two other courses to calculate the students admission
average. Another example would be a Bachelor of Arts program — for most
Bachelor of Arts programs most universities will require English 12 + 4
or 5 other grade 12 courses. And there might be some specific
requirements, depending on which university you’re applying to. So these are the required courses that
the admissions office is going to use in your in your average. So
your admission average is not just all the courses you’ve taken in
Grade 12, and all the courses you’ve taken in Grade 1, or your top five or
six grades in whatever courses. Admissions needs to use the courses that
are required for the program you have applied to, so
that’s why it’s called the “admission average”, because they’re using the
courses that are required for admission. So just as a side note, you might be wondering what are these “other” courses are that I’m talking about — the other courses are kind of ones that are still required, but they’re not
specific prerequisites for that course. So if you look at university admissions
pages, they will often have a list of “acceptable” courses, and these are the
other courses that I’m talking about. And, usually if admissions has a has a choice
of what courses they can use in these other courses, so if they have two that
they can choose from, they will normally choose the course with the higher grade, so that can work to your advantage, which is really good. So, back to these
courses that are required for admission– you are required to have five or six
Grade 12 courses, and most students don’t have five or six courses completed when
they apply for early admission, so admissions will use a combination of
Grade 12 and Grade 11 courses. What grades they use will depend on what
program you have applied for. So how can these Grade 11 courses be
used in that average? I’ll give you a very simple example of how this can work — let’s say that your student is applying for a Bachelor of Arts program. In that case, they would be required to have English 12, and 4 or 5 other
acceptable courses. So now let’s say that your student is taking English 12 in
second semester…but if they’re applying for early admission they won’t have a
Grade 12 english grade, because they’re taking it in second semester. So that’s when admissions will go back to Grade 11 and use the Grade 11 English mark as a
“predictor” for that Grade 12 English mark. So that’s how that Grade 11 mark
can now be used in the admissions average. Okay, so you see how that works. Now all of a sudden, your Grade 11 English mark
is being used in your average for admission into the program that you’re
applying for. So how does all of this affect your scholarship? With most
universities, what they will do is they will use the admission average as the
scholarship average. So if your admission average is 87 percent, then your
scholarship average will be 87 percent. That will be the average that they will use to offer you a scholarship… or not. So now you can see how that Grade 11 English mark is now factored into BOTH
your admission into the university into that program, and it’s factored into your
scholarship offer as well. Again, *flashing disclaimer* — this may not be
exactly how it works for your student, but it may, and the chances are quite
good that it will. So the big takeaway here tonight is that there is a good
chance that at least some Grade 11 grades will be factored into both
admissions and scholarships in Grade 12. Obviously then, it’s really important to do
your best both in Grade 11 and in Grade 12. This is, admittedly, quite confusing
the way that this works, so if you would like it in written form I actually
wrote a blog about this it’s called, “Yes, Grade 11 marks matter”,
and it’s on my award-winning blog, which you can find at mycampusGPS.ca
/blog. I’ll put it in the in the notes below too, so that you can have a look at
that, and it’ll be a good refresher for you. If your student is
taking IB or AP there will probably be a separate kind of application
and admissions process for that, so it’ll be really
important that you check out the webpage for the university that your student is
applying to and find out what their process is for IB and AP, because it’ll
be a little bit different. Now, I didn’t mention external scholarships. I’ve only
been talking about the scholarships that are awarded by the universities. As far as external scholarships, and by that I mean
all scholarships offered by organizations outside of a university, so
banks and charitable organizations and community groups and that kind of thing,
not all of those scholarships will have any kind of a requirement on them. They
may not have an average that is required but, if they do, then there are
hundreds of those ones, and they’re all different and I can’t know how they all do it, so
the best thing to do is to contact them if you are curious and if you want to
find out whether or not you qualify. But I would just generally say that if you
think you qualify for a scholarship then absolutely apply, but if
you’re not sure and you want to check it out, then contact the organization directly. So, wow, that’s a lot of information I laid on you tonight. I hope you found
it helpful. If you did, I would really appreciate it if you would give me a thumbs-up and pass this information along, so share with anyone who
you think maybe may benefit from it. If you have any comments or questions
please leave them below; even if you’re not watching this live I’ll still be
checking the comments and answering any questions over the next few days. If
you’d like to find out more about my services, I’m at mycampusGPS.ca. I look forward to seeing you again here next week. Thanks!