The Admissions Process

How to apply to a post-secondary institution in Ontario


College Application Process

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary between specific colleges and programs. In most cases a high school diploma is required. However, colleges may have program-specific requirements. It is prudent to enquire directly with the college regarding program specific admission requirements.

How to Apply

To apply to one of the province’s 28 colleges of applied arts and technology (also known as community colleges), go to www.ontariocolleges.ca, the website for the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS). Students can apply to several colleges at once.

When to Apply

It is strongly recommended that students apply in October when college admission applications become available.

While there are no deadlines to apply to colleges in Ontario, applications received on or before February 1, for programs starting the following September, will be given equal consideration. After February 1, applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For programs beginning at other times of the year, please contact the individual colleges for more information about application processing dates.

Application Fees

There is a non-refundable fee of $95.00 to apply to college through ontariocolleges.ca. Up to 5 program choices (no more than 3 at any one college) are included in this fee, as long as they start within the same academic year (August to July). To apply to programs starting in the next academic year, you will need to create a new application and pay a new application processing fee.

Your application will not be forwarded to your college choices until the application processing fee has been received. Please note that there are no exemptions from the application processing fee.

Other fees may apply in addition to the $95.00 application processing fee, including transcript request fees for some educational institutions.

You can choose one of the following methods to make your payments:

  • Online. With Visa (including Visa Debit), MasterCard, American Express or Interac Online.
  • Online banking. For online banking, you'll need your 9-digit application number.
  • By phone. You can contact them to pay over the phone using a credit card. They accept Visa (including Visa Debit), MasterCard and American Express.
  • Mailing a Certified Cheque / Money Order. Make the certified cheque or money order payable to ‘ontariocolleges.ca’ and be sure to include your 9-digit application number as well. For their mailing address, see their Contact Us page. Do not send cash in the mail.

English Facility Requirements

Some colleges may require proof of competency in English if the applicant’s first language and/or language of high school education was not English.

An applicant may need to provide a test score from:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
  • COPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Other English facility tests

University Applications & Admissions Process

Admission Requirements

Students from the Ontario high school system who want to complete an undergraduate (or Bachelor’s) degree at university, must complete six Grade 12 U or M courses. This includes any prerequisite courses required by a specific program.

How to Apply

Application System: The Ontario University Application System (OUAC) is found at www.ouac.on.ca and allows students to apply to several universities at a time.

Students are encouraged to complete their application online.

There are two kinds of applications: Students in Ontario high schools apply using the “101” application. Students who are currently enrolled in an Ontario high school will receive a personal access information code from their school guidance office in October or November.

The “105” application is used by all other undergraduate applicants. Only one application is permitted per academic year and all application fees are non-refundable.

It is always wise to apply to three or four universities at once to maximize your chances of admission.

Applicants will be assigned a unique OUAC application reference number and a university student number for each university they apply to.

Make sure to check the specific supplementary admission requirements for each program applied to (e.g., for the submission of portfolios, interviews, auditions). This information can usually be found in a university’s program/course handbooks; the eINFO website (www.electronicinfo.ca); through visits to campus; university fairs; or from your high school guidance office.

When to Apply

Deadlines vary from year to year, and vary by application type. See the OUAC website for details. Most deadlines are very early in the calendar year.

Application Fees

The base application processing fee is $150 (for 101 applications) and $156 (for 105 applications), which includes application to a maximum of three university program choices. For each additional application to a university, there is a $50 charge.

You can choose one of the following methods to make your payments:

  • by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express)
  • through online or telephone banking
  • cheque or money order payable to “Ontario University Application Centre.” Remember to include the OUAC reference number. The cheque or money order must be attached to the Application Payment Remittance form which is created when you apply online

What Happens Next?

Once applications are submitted, high schools submit final grades to OUAC, which will then be sent to the respective universities to which a student has applied.

After the universities receive all the required documents for admission, they will begin assessing the applicants.

Universities are required to send their offers of admissions in May. Typically, students must accept their offers in late May or early June.

Students must accept their offers of admission through the OUAC system. Universities will also send acknowledgement packages about their offers directly to students.

Scholarships

Many schools will have scholarship applications available through the admission process. Now is a good time to visit university websites to seek out these applications.

English Facility Requirements

Some universities may require proof of competency in English if the applicant’s first language and/or language of high school education was not English.

An applicant may need to provide a test score from:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
  • COPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Other English facility tests

Apprenticeship Program Admission Process

The most common method of entering into an apprenticeship is for the prospective apprentice to find an employer that will enter into an apprenticeship agreement — this is also the most challenging method because the employer must be willing to take on an employee with little or no experience.

Other methods for pursuing apprenticeship vary by province, but here are a few examples from Ontario:

  • Students who are unable to find an employer can enrol in a college program that compresses the in-class portion of the apprenticeship into nine months. The college then works with the student to find a placement for the on-the-job portion.
  • High school students can get an early start on their apprenticeship by working toward the first level while still in high school. They then complete the remaining levels of their apprenticeship training after graduating from high school.
  • There is also a nine-month program for new residents of Canada or those having difficulty getting into the industry of their choice.

The Government of Canada also provides incentives such as grants and tax credits to encourage apprenticeships. For more information about federal apprenticeship incentives, visit Human Resource and Skills Development Canada’s website www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/apprentices.html.

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