Mehran Kiai

Admissions to be confirmed as early as spring break

March 6, 2008

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By Stuart Colcleugh

SFU has dramatically reduced the time to confirm early admission to high school students applying for the fall 2008 semester.

Qualified high school students will now receive confirmed admission offers as early as  March 15 if they have applied for scholarships and achieved a 90-per-cent or better grade-point average (GPA). Otherwise, they will be confirmed by May 1 as long as they meet SFU’s admission requirement.

“For top students with interim high school transcripts to qualify for scholarships by the deadline, we will now offer not just a conditional offer, as before, but a confirmed, competitive offer as of March 15,” says Mehran Kiai, enrollment services director.

“For general admission students, we’ll confirm based on interim marks provided by the Ministry rather than waiting, as before, for final results in August. That means most students will be receiving confirmation of their admission to the university as much as 3 ½ months earlier than before, while top students will be admitted up to five months earlier.”

Kiai says his department’s experience shows the vast majority of students maintain the grades they self-report when completing their applications. The difference between self-reported grades, interims and final marks is often minimal. Under the previous process, if 4,500 new students were admitted in a given year, roughly 200 might have their conditional admissions revoked for not achieving their chosen faculty’s GPA requirement. Another 200 might be denied because of issues involving the university’s literacy and numeracy requirements.

“But the great majority of more than 4,000 actually achieve what they said they were going to achieve,” says Kiai. “The new process provides more certainty for students earlier in the admission cycle.”

Under the new system, even if a confirmed student’s final average falls below their chosen faculty’s GPA requirement, their confirmation will still be honoured as long as they meet university minimum-entrance requirements. “Once they’re in, they’re in,” says Kiai.

“If one of our applicants had proven themselves through Grades 11 and 12 operating at, say, 92 per cent and then in finals suddenly dropped below the competitive average due to extenuating circumstances, the applicant would have only been accepted on compassionate grounds through our appeal process.”

Kiai adds the new process will make SFU more competitive with UBC and many eastern universities that have already adopted early-admission policies and, “more importantly we’ll be much more in tune with student expectations.”
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