FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The purpose of this section
is to address some of the general issues of concern that do not appear in
the general information or procedures. The answers to the questions that
follow have been approved by all of the universities in Ontario. In some
cases more specific answers can be found in the pages pertaining to the
individual universities. If further clarification is required please
direct your inquiries to officials at the university in which you are
1. What is OUAC and what does it
"OUAC" is the acronym for the
Ontario Universities? Application Centre. The OUAC is a centralized
processing office for applications to undergraduate admission to the
universities of Ontario. Located in Guelph, the OUAC receives your
application form, processes it and transfers this information
electronically to the universities you have selected.
The OUAC also offers similar
services to students currently registered in Ontario secondary schools,
applicants interested in entering teacher education programs, law schools,
medical schools and rehabilitation sciences programs. We will elaborate on
these services in later sections.
The OUAC does not make
admission decisions. That is the responsibility of the universities to
which you have applied.
2. How do I apply?
Carefully read the questions
and answers that follow and then use the instructions provided to help you
fill out the enclosed application form.
Normally, only one
application form is required for each processing year with the application
processing fee of $85 ($95 if the mailing address is outside Canada). You
can select up to three choices of universities or programs for the initial
$85/95 processing fee. However, additional choices of universities and/or
programs are also permitted on the application form with payment of
additional choice fees, as noted in the SUMMARY OF FEES section.
A great deal of information
pertaining to all the universities can be found in the outlines provided
in this book. However, if you have any specific questions or concerns
about the application procedure not covered in this booklet, contact the
admissions offices of the universities to which you wish to apply.
3. What is the application
The OUAC itself does not have
a specific deadline for this type of application. You will notice that,
depending on the university and program you choose, this application form
can be used for a variety of entry points including January/February
(Winter), May or July (Spring/Summer) and September (Fall).
Certain professional and/or
limited-enrollment programs, as well as those requiring special
interviews, auditions or the submission of portfolios, may have unique
deadline dates set by the individual universities. You should pay close
attention to the information sections provided by the universities in
which you have an interest and if you have any doubts about the deadlines,
you should contact their admissions office.
Some universities have
separate deadlines beyond which changes cannot be accepted. You should
contact the admissions office at the university directly.
4. I have previously attended a
postsecondary college or university but I would prefer that this information
not be used...
Unfortunately, you cannot
leave this out since universities normally consider all educational
experiences to be part of your academic background and necessary in
processing your current request.
It is important that each
applicant understand and observe the terms of the certification clause
that appears on the application form immediately above the space for your
In some cases, applicants may
have taken certain non-degree, non-diploma or certificate courses which
were not part of a normal recognized college or university program. Some
institutions would not require that transcripts be submitted for these
types of courses. To be absolutely sure, check with the admissions offices
of the universities to which you are applying.
5. What is a mature student?
You will find that the
phrases "mature student" and "adult student" are often interchangeable
depending on the customs and regulations of the individual universities.
In most cases, a mature or adult student is an applicant who has not
completed the normal academic requirements for admission to the university
but who conforms to a specific age and/or work experience requirement
stipulated by the university.
When admission is granted
under such guidelines the university is judging that maturity and life
skill experiences can substitute for the normally required formal academic
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO
UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NO AGREED-UPON COMMON DEFINITION OR CRITERIA.
EACH UNIVERSITY ESTABLISHES ITS OWN REQUIREMENTS. The universities have
been asked to provide their own definition in the appropriate section of
this booklet. Contact the universities directly with any questions you may
6. What do I do if I want to make
more university or program choices than are available on the application form?
The OUAC 105D application
form provides spaces for the three initial university/program choices
included in the base application service fee of $85/95. It also provides
spaces for six additional university and/or program choices for a fee of
$25 per additional choice beyond three.
If you have not yet submitted
your completed application form and wish to make more than nine
university/program choices in total, please photocopy the front of the
application form, complete only the UNIVERSITY AND PROGRAM SELECTIONS part
on the photocopy, ensure that your OUAC reference number is legible on the
photocopy and attach it securely to your original application. Make sure
that you include the applicable Additional Choices fee of $25 per choice
beyond three along with your payment of the $85/$95 base application
If you have already submitted
your application form to us, you should wait until we have sent you the
Acknowledgement/Amendment Form. You may make additional university/program
selections on this form and return it to the OUAC along with the
applicable Additional Choices fees.
Please note that all
published deadlines for applications to specific programs will also apply
to additional choices. You must ensure that the OUAC has sufficient time
to process your additional choices before the universities? stipulated
7. Does it matter how I number
(rank) my university or program choices?
For the most part, no!
Whether you list a university or a specific program as first, second,
third or higher choice is not normally a factor in the universities?
admission decision. Where there are exceptions to the policy of not using
the choice numbering, the university is to make its policy clear in its
own information literature. Currently the OUAC is aware of one exception:
In the case of scholarship
evaluation only, the Faculty of Mathematics programs at the
University of Waterloo give priority to first-choice applicants, although
second, third and higher choice applications are also considered.
Your choice ranking does
provide valuable information to the university admissions offices. This is
particularly true for limited-enrollment programs. Admission officials use
this data to project the number of applicants who are likely to accept
offers of admission in order that proper resource planning can be done by
8. I've already submitted my
application form, but I've changed my mind. Or, the information sent back to
me by the OUAC is not correct. What should I do?
Upon receipt of your
application form and the applicable processing fees, the OUAC will prepare
a computerized data file of your application form which will be sent to
each of the universities to which you have applied. The OUAC will send you
an Acknowledgement/Amendment Form following the initial processing of your
application. Use this form to make any correction or change. An updated
form will be sent following any changes.
9. Explain part-time studies.
Some university programs can
only be completed by full-time study, others can be completed by part-time
study, and still others offer you both options. Each university is free to
establish such policies as it deems appropriate. The OUAC processes
applications for part-time studies for some universities; study
application forms which may be obtained directly from them and must be
returned by the applicant to the university; such forms cannot be used to
apply for any university other than the one issuing them.
10. Why does the application form
ask for personal information. What about confidentiality?
As mentioned earlier, the
information provided by you on the form is coded into a computerized data
base and sent to the universities. Initially it will be used to create an
application file. If you are admitted to the university and subsequently
register as a student, this data will become part of your student file.
The universities are required
by law to provide certain statistical information to Statistics Canada.
Some information such as marital status is also useful to the universities
and to the OUAC in recognizing individuals who have had legal name
changes. This is sometimes necessary to match official documents with
application forms. Social insurance numbers are needed to provide proper
income tax receipts for registered students and to differentiate between
individuals with the same name who have applied for student loans and
The list of activities and
work experiences following your last attendance at school is necessary
information leading up to the admission decision. Admission
committees/assessors use this information to account for periods of time
away from formal education and it is particularly useful when considering
those who are asking for admission as mature students.
In all cases, the staff
handling your file at the OUAC and the universities are committed to
maintaining strict confidentiality of the information provided.
11. Can I have someone else apply
for me, modify my application if necessary, accept an offer of admission...?
Yes, a parent, guardian or
partner may sign for you if he or she has legal permission to do so. The
OUAC requires that you submit an official authorization for such an
arrangement in the form of a signed and dated letter, along with your
application form. This will help us avoid confusion and any processing
12. I have a disability... Who
should I contact for information on services?
All universities offer
exceptional services for individuals with disabilities. This may include
special admission practices.
Should you require any
special consideration due to a disability, be sure to write directly to
the Admissions Office of each university to which you applied for
admission or, where specified, to the office responsible for students with
disabilities to discuss the considerations you may need. These steps
should be taken early in the application process so that individual needs
can be adequately addressed. You may request someone, such as your
guidance counsellor or a professional who is familiar with your
disability, to provide supporting documentation.
A number of universities also
have special residence accommodation for students with physical
disabilities, including wheelchair access. You are advised to also
contact, in writing, the appropriate residence administrator when seeking
special residence accommodations.
13. The universities to which I
have applied have requested my official transcripts. What are these and how do
I go about getting them?
A "transcript" is a record of
your academic performance at an educational institution. Normally a
transcript is considered official if it is produced by and bears the seal
of the institution issuing it. Universities will not normally accept
Depending on the type of
institutions you have attended in the past, the procedures to send these
records will vary; each institution to which you have applied will
instruct you regarding the submission of transcripts to support your
application. (See "Transcripts" for details). Post secondary institutions
require that the student provide written authorization to release a
transcript and will charge an issuing fee.
Please do not forward
transcripts or other supporting documents to the OUAC. We are not able to
forward these transcripts to your selected universities or return them to
You may have directed your
official transcripts to the universities either before or at the same time
as submitting this application form. The transcripts may arrive at the
universities prior to you receiving your Acknowledgement/Amendment form.
If this happens, the universities will retain your documents on file and
will match them to your application when it is received. It is very
important that you indicate your OUAC reference number, full legal surname
and given names, as well as any previous surnames, on all documents. This
will ensure that your documents are properly handled. If you have
undergone a legal name change which is not reflected on any documents you
are submitting or forwarding to the universities, it is also very
important that you advise the universities of the situation. This will
help to avoid incorrect matching of your documents and application form
and the resulting delays in the decision process.
If you applied for admission
to Ontario universities in a previous year but did not register at one of
the institutions, it is not likely that those institutions will have
retained your documents. You will be asked to provide current transcripts
and other documents this year.
Applicants who are not able
to provide official transcripts must directly contact each university's
admissions office for advice.
14. What happens when I complete
the Transcript Request Form in this application package?
When you complete the
transcript request form and return it to the OUAC with your application
form and the applicable fees (application service fee and transcript fee),
you authorize the OUAC to arrange for your grades to be transferred from
the Ontario university you have attended to the Ontario universities you
have chosen on your application form.
All the Ontario universities
have cooperated in the development of this transcript system. However,
some universities are not able to participate fully this year. Transcripts
from the University of Toronto, the Royal Military College and the Ontario
College of Art and Design must be requested directly from those
institutions. Do not use the Transcript Request Form for these three
The transcript request fee is
non-refundable and is collected by the OUAC for direct transfer to the
sending university. The OUAC will not be responsible for the refusal of
any university to provide transcripts (for example, because of a
delinquent account or incorrect/insufficient student identification). If a
university cannot provide the transcript you have requested, you will be
notified of the situation by the OUAC.
Note: Transcripts requested
from Carleton University and McMaster University are not subject to the $8
15. I previously attended a
postsecondary institution. Will any of the credits I earned there be
transferable to the institutions to which I'm now applying?
All Ontario universities are
committed to offering transfer credit for courses successfully completed
at recognized postsecondary institutions when the courses and grades are
deemed to be acceptable to the receiving institution and where they can be
integrated into the new program. In addition to being essential to the
admission decision process, the official transcripts requested are used in
the determination of transfer credit or advanced standing. In some cases,
the university may request that you submit detailed descriptions for the
courses being considered for transfer. Each university will correspond
directly with you with respect to these requirements. The number of
allowable transfer credits will vary according to the regulations of the
university applied to, and the nature and source of the courses in
In most cases, the offer of
admission will specify the transfer credit that you will receive.
16. What will the universities do
when they receive the electronic copy of my application form from the OUAC?
Upon receipt of the
electronic copy of your application form from the OUAC, each admissions
office will acknowledge receipt of your application and provide you with a
list of the specific supporting documentation or information required in
order to process your application.
Universities establish their
own requirements in this regard. In most cases, as a minimum, the
university will require that you provide a comprehensive response to the
sections of the application pertaining to secondary and postsecondary
education background and work (or other) experiences since you last
attended secondary school. In addition, official transcripts from your
secondary school and any postsecondary institutions you have attended
would normally be required.
Depending on the university
involved, your educational background, and the program to which you are
applying, some universities may also require the following, in which case
the university will let you know when acknowledging receipt:
a) A resume and/or a
personal assessment letter.
b) Completion and
submission of a supplementary application form, which will be provided
by the university, in order to collect additional special information.
c) Attendance at an
interview or audition, or the provision of a project portfolio.
d) Presentation of proof
of English-language proficiency, at a level acceptable to the
university, for applicants whose first language is not English who
select a program offered in English. (A similar proof applies to
French-language proficiency for students whose first language is not
French who choose a program in that language.) consult each
institution?s page for details. Others have their own part-time
e) Any other information
deemed necessary by the university. Some applicants choose to provide
some of this information or correspond with the university prior to
submitting their application form. Most universities will retain this
information on file and match it with the application when it is
17. Can I retrieve transcripts
and other documents if I cancel my application or I am not admitted to the
In most cases, no. The
universities consider such documents to be a permanent part of the
application file. However, exceptions can sometimes be arranged where it
is deemed appropriate by the university officials. Examples would include
educational documents which are no longer available from an issuing
authority (such as documents from a foreign education jurisdiction) and
portfolio/audition materials. In all cases, such arrangements are between
you and the university concerned.
RESPONSE FROM THE
UNIVERSITIES FOR HIGHER STUDIES IN CANADA
18. When will I hear from the
universities? When will they make their admission decision?
After the university has
acknowledged receipt of your application and provided you with a list of
its requirements, it will then usually wait until all documentation has
been submitted before making a decision. Once your application file is
complete, most universities will attempt to render a decision as soon as
Exceptions to this can occur
where the university has noted a specific date on which decisions will be
made for all qualified candidates and/or when the university chooses to
delay making decisions for limited-enrollment programs for which a
competitive admission standard must be determined or when the university
has already made sufficient offers of admission to fill the program
requested. In these cases, your application may be held pending additional
places becoming available. This part of the process is managed entirely by
the universities and the OUAC cannot provide you with information.
If the date by which the
university has promised a decision has passed and/or you have any other
questions regarding the timing of the decision, you should contact the
admissions office of the university directly.
19. I may need financial
assistance to attend university. What about scholarships?
Financial assistance may be
available from federal and provincial government agencies depending on
your citizenship status and place of residence. Contact the Financial Aid
or Scholarship offices at the universities to which you are applying.
In addition, some
universities provide admission scholarships based on previous academic
experience. Many universities also have privately funded scholarships and
bursaries. Again, the Financial Aid/Scholarship offices can help.
Some universities offer
scholarships based on academic merit to international students. Please
consult with the individual universities for details.
20. Can I change my mind at a
If, after accepting an offer
of admission, you change your mind or if you wish to attend a university
that has admitted you but the reply deadline has expired, contact that
university?s admissions office. Remember, many university programs fill up
very quickly. The later in the application cycle that you decide to change
universities, the more difficult it could be.
If one of your university
choices sends you a refusal decision and you still have not heard from the
others, and if there is sufficient time in the application cycle, you may
wish to amend your application form to make another choice.
One of the primary functions
of the OUAC is to maintain a proper chronological record of the
acceptances submitted by applicants. This is to ensure that the
universities have a record of how many students have accepted an offer of
admission and assist with enrolment planning. Your observance of the rules
in these procedures is essential and very much appreciated.
21. If after being admitted to a
program I cannot attend, may I defer my entry?
Some universities permit
students to defer their entry for one semester or one year. Consult the
university?s admissions office or undergraduate calendar for details. You
will need to reapply for admission through the OUAC and pay the
application service fee. Forms are available from the OUAC.
22. What can I do if all of my
choices are rejected?
If you are refused admission
by one or all of the universities to which you have applied or if you
discover that you are not qualified for a program you have chosen, you may
amend any of your university/program/entry point choices by submitting the
Acknowledgement/Amendment form to the OUAC. If you are doing this late in
the application cycle, it may be useful for you to telephone the
admissions office of the new university you are considering to determine
whether spaces continue to be available and/or there is sufficient time
left to make an amended application.
Some universities will
automatically, or upon specific request, consider applicants for an
alternate offer of admission in the event that they are not qualified for
the program to which they originally applied. The policies of the
individual universities vary on this and therefore you should make
inquiries directly to the admissions office.
23. If I am not accepted at any
of my choices or if I cancel my application, can any of my fees be refunded?
Application fees, additional choice fees and transcript fees are directed
to expenses incurred by both the OUAC and the universities to produce
application materials, as well as to communication and processing costs.
OTHER UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS
FOR HIGHER STUDIES IN CANADA
- I wish to attend a faculty of law.
Information and applications
pertaining to the province's six law schools can be obtained from the Law
School Application Service (OLSAS) at the Ontario Universities'
Application Centre. Please note that the deadline for law school
applications is very early in the application cycle, usually in early
November of the year prior to the program start date.
I want a degree in teaching.
Some universities offer what
are referred to as "concurrent programs" in education. In these degree
programs you take teacher training courses along with your normal
undergraduate program. Universities that offer these programs have noted
them in the appropriate sections of this booklet and the enclosed
application form is the correct one.
However, if you already hold
an undergraduate degree and now wish to enter a faculty of education to
obtain Ontario teacher credentials (in a "consecutive program"), contact
the OUAC which will provide you with the appropriate application kit. The
deadline date for application to teacher education programs is usually
very early in the application cycle (around early December in the year
prior to the program start date) and competition is extremely keen for a
limited number of places.
I want to apply to medical or dental school.
For medical school contact
the OUAC which will send you the proper application kit. Please note that
the deadline for medical school is very early in the application cycle,
usually in mid-October of the year prior to the program start date.
For dental school, contact
each institution directly to obtain the appropriate application material.
I want to apply to rehabilitation sciences programs.
Information and application
packages to Occupational Therapy, Physical/Physiotherapy, Audiology and
Speech-Language Pathology may be obtained by contacting the Ontario
Rehabiliation Sciences Programs Application Service (ORPAS), a division of
Applicants who will not have completed one year of university studies by
next September (2000) and who are interested in applying to the University
of Ottawa programs (which are taught in French) must use the 105D
if your highest level of education is from a Quebec CEGEP, an Ontario CAAT
or a Ontario or Canadian secondary school, you must use the OUAC 105 form
in this booklet.
I am interested in Graduate Studies.
Each university has its own
application form for master's and doctoral studies. Contact the faculty or
school of Graduate Studies at each university in which you are interested.
The OUAC does not participate in graduate studies admissions and each
university has its own application form and procedures.