Admission guaranteed for qualified students

January 13, 2005, vol. 32, no. 1



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Canadian high school students with a graduating average of 80 per cent are guaranteed admission to Simon Fraser University for the 2005-06 academic year if they apply by Feb. 28.

Applicants must acquire conditional acceptance into their chosen program by that date, which can easily be obtained by self-reporting projected graduation marks via email.

The guarantee includes not only admission to nearly all of SFU's programs, but a place in campus residence and priority course access. High school applicants anywhere in Canada with a 90 per cent admission average, who meet the deadline, will also be guaranteed a minimum $3,500 entrance scholarship.

SFU dean of student services Ron Heath says there are three reasons why the university launched You have our guarantee, a novel, student recruitment initiative, just before Christmas. The ad campaign is running in the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and Lower Mainland community newspapers. “We wanted to demystify the academic admission qualifications at SFU for potential applicants across Canada. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about academic admission standards at post-secondary institutions nationwide.” In the first two weeks of the campaign there were 11,000 hits on the website.

Many institutions, including SFU, have started increasing grade point average entrance requirements as a means of coping with shrinking government funding for new student spaces. Heath says surveys indicate that many high school grads with an 80 per cent average or more do not even apply to SFU, thinking their marks are not high enough.

Eighty eight per cent was the required average for SFU's early acceptance of high school grads last year, but no student with an average of at least 80 per cent was turned away. They just had to wait until late May to find out they had been definitely accepted. After extending offers of early admission, SFU begins accepting students with lower grades until it is full.

The provincial government's push through television ads to attract new residents and its expansion of B.C.'s post-secondary school system have also prompted SFU to more aggressively recruit high achieving high school grads. “We want to remind homegrown high school grads that they have one of the best comprehensive universities nationally in their backyard,” says Heath.

“We also want promising high school grads coming to B.C. to know that SFU is within their reach academically and hopefully financially too, if they qualify for scholarships.”

A study in December indicated that more than 1,400 B.C. high school graduates qualified to get into one of B.C.'s four major universities, including SFU, in the fall of 2004, but could not because of space shortages. SFU had to turn away 163 of those qualified candidates.

Heath hopes that SFU's cross-country newspaper ad campaign will erase SFU's previous reputation as a university with little student housing. Earlier this year, SFU opened new student residences to house 470 first year students.

For further details about SFU's You have our guarantee campaign, log onto students.sfu.ca/guarantee.

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