Now that you did your research, it's time for you to start applying to schools.

When do I have to submit my application?

Application deadlines depend on the school where you’re applying. Schools in Atlantic Canada usually ask you to apply before March 1 so you’re eligible to receive scholarships. If you’re not looking for a scholarship, many programs let you apply later — usually until a few weeks before classes start — and still be accepted, as long as there’s space in the program.

Some programs might have different deadlines or limited enrolment, which means there is more competition for open spots. If you’re not sure, contact the university for more information.

Are my grades good enough?

How universities judge your grades depends on where you’re applying and what program you want to study. Universities usually have a baseline average that your top five Grade 12 grades have to exceed. If the school expects a 70 percent average, your academic average has to be higher than that. The higher your marks are above that, the better your odds of getting accepted. Some universities also look at your grades in certain classes, depending on the academic requirements of the program.

Do schools look for anything besides good grades?

You can get accepted at most schools if your grades are good enough and there’s room in the program. Things like volunteer work or other extracurricular activities can boost your chances. Some schools might also want a résumé or reference letter and will ask for it as part of your application.

When will I find out if I got accepted?

The exact date you get an answer from a school you’ve applied to depends on a few things. The school and program you chose will have an effect. The length of time to hear back can vary from a week or two to a couple of months.

Many schools offer conditional acceptance if you apply to a program with rolling admission. That means you will be accepted before you graduate as long as you meet all the requirements for the program by the time you’re finished Grade 12. When that happens, you’ll get a formal offer of acceptance from the school. This is a common path for many students and won’t prevent you from applying for scholarships, bursaries or other financial aid.

Can I be ‘un-accepted’ if something changes before I graduate from high school?

Yes, you can lose your acceptance if you don’t maintain your grades. If your grades drop below what is required for your program, your offer of admission could be deferred or taken back. When you’re accepted into a program, the school will expect you to keep up the same level of grades until you finish Grade 12.

How do I know if I have the right courses to apply?

Check with your high school’s guidance counsellor or someone in the recruitment or admissions office of the school where you’re applying. They’ll help you figure out whether you’re taking the courses you need so you can apply to the program you want. It’s a good idea to do this as soon as you can, in case you need to make changes to your courses.