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Understanding College Admissions in Ontario

Friday | January 18, 2019 | by Betty Liu

college admissions in ontario

International students might want to learn about their academic options in Ontario, Canada. That’s because the province has the largest population in the country. It’s also the most multicultural province, offering a variety of opportunities in business, science, and the arts. But most importantly: Ontario is home to a large number of high-quality colleges and universities.

If you’re considering your options, here’s what you need to know about college admissions in Ontario.

First: Do Your Research

Before you apply anywhere, it’s important for you to do your own research about college admissions in Ontario. The good news is that if you’re reading this blog, then you are on the right path!

However, you also need to visit college websites to find out what programs and credentials meet your needs and interests. Then, find out what you need to do in order to apply to the schools you like. Each school and program has different admissions requirements. So you will need to make sure you meet the specific requirements for the program you’re interested in before applying.

Still unsure? Most schools have an international office that can help answer your questions. You can call them or send an email.

Find Out When to Apply

In Ontario, you can usually start applying to college about 8 to 10 months before the start of each school term (Fall, Winter, Summer). Registration for courses typically starts in July (Fall), November (Winter), and March (Summer). However, you need to know the specific dates that will guide your application plans. Check with the college directly so you don’t miss any deadlines.

Always plan ahead, and give yourself enough time to prepare an outstanding application. Then, remember that it will take some time for the college admissions office to process your application.

Interested in studying in Canada? Download the free e-guide:

Canadian Colleges and Universities: A Guide to the Canadian Higher Education System

Prepare Your Application

What do you need to include with your application? Each school will have a specific list, and you can’t leave anything off. For example, you might need to send your academic transcripts from high school or a previous post-secondary institution. As an international student, you might need to provide a credential evaluation. Contact the school directly to find out what you need.

You might also need to translate your transcripts and documents into English. Translations will need to be notarized in front of a certified translator. Certified translators can be found through the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

Check for Additional Requirements

Some college programs in Ontario will also ask to see additional documents or information to help process your application. This could include items such as written work, portfolio samples, letter of intent, or references, depending on the program. Some programs may also require additional placement tests or assessments.

Develop Your English Skills

Do you speak, read, and write fluent English? If English is not your first language, you may need to provide proof of English proficiency in order to attend school in Ontario.

To find out what tests and scores are required, contact your college admissions office or international student office.

Many schools offer an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) certificate program that can help you develop your language skills. These programs teach reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. All of these lessons have an academic focus, which means that they prepare students to excel in college programs.

However, Ontario is a dual-language province. It offers several academic programs that can be completed entirely in French. Learn more about your options here.

Learn the Immigration Requirements for International Students

To attend college in Canada, you need to apply for a study permit (Form IMM1294). This must be arranged before traveling to Canada. It is available only to full-time students. You can apply online or at your nearest visa application centre.

For more information, contact your local Canadian Embassy or visit Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Plan Your Financing

Tuition fees for international students are about $14,000 per year (Canadian). There may be additional fees depending on the college and program. In addition to student fees, keep in mind that there will be other expenses, such as: medical insurance, housing costs, food, transportation, and other living expenses.

Learn more about your financial aid options here.

In Conclusion

Ontario offers incredible academic opportunities. It’s an exciting place to live and study. It is also a diverse province where you can build the skills, experiences, and relationships that will help you plan your future. Plus, its schools offer a wealth of resources available to help international students transition smoothly to living in Canada.

Once you learn what you need to know about college admissions in Ontario, and start your application, make sure you contact the school to find out what resources will be available to help you succeed.

Betty Liu is an International Admissions Officer at Humber College, Toronto (Ontario), Canada.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of World Education Services (WES).