By: Josh Wegman

Jeff Macnab, an associate registrar in the client service department, has worked in admission departments for 26 years.

It’s that time of year again, when prospective students must make a very important decision in their life: where to go to school.

However, before this decision can be made, the staff on the admissions side have an equally weighty decision to make.

Algonquin has a very stern admission process.  Jeff Macnab, an associate registrar in the client service department, has worked in admission departments for 26 years.

“I oversee the fair and equitable processing of admission applications to full-time day programs including international applications,” said Macnab.  “My team works very hard to ensure we meet enrolment targets established by the college.”

In 2012, Algonquin received about 45,000 applications and extended 27,000 offers of admission.  In order to be granted a letter of admission, students must meet all college requirements.  For most programs, it may be high a school diploma and a high school English mark of 65 per cent, but for programs such as animation, journalism, paramedic and practical nursing it may require more.

Animation requires a portfolio of the prospective students work and journalism requires a written assessment. Paramedic requires an F class drivers licence and CPR level C, while practical nursing also requires CPR level C but in addition requires a successful health occupations aptitude exam.

Attaining these requirements is one thing, but for some students, getting them in on time is another.  According to Macnab, students sometimes undervalue the importance of deadlines.

“We run into some challenges with students who are eligible, but by the time we get the transcript, the program is already full,” said Macnab.  “There’s no such thing as applying too early.”

Just meeting the requirements does not necessarily guarantee acceptance to a program.  Programs like dental hygiene, powerline technician and paramedic are considered highly competitive and receive many more applicants than positions they have available.  Some programs such as police foundations have a ratio of 10:1 from applications received to offers of admission.

“Since some programs are more competitive, students who apply before the February 1 deadline are all treated as if they applied on the same day because the program will fill up,” said Macnab.  “It’s like if you have a favourite hotel you like to stay at you’re probably going to book it earlier rather than later because other people are going to be interested.”