Registrar Kate Ross explains UBC’s admissions process for prospective students
As high school students eagerly wait to hear if they’ve been accepted to university, Kate Ross, UBC’s new registrar and associate vice-president of Enrolment Services, gives us a glimpse into the selection process.
How does UBC evaluate applications?
UBC’s admission process includes a combination of grades and a personal profile. This provides the ability to examine the whole person. We want applicants to tell us who they are because we’re looking for students who want to be engaged in their learning and university experience.
We ask students to fill out a personal profile because we don’t want to be in a position where we only accept students with very high averages. We find very talented and capable students who can be successful at UBC who are applying with an 85 per cent average. We want these individuals to be part of our community because it means a greater diversity of experiences and more engagement in the classroom.
We want students to take advantage of everything UBC has to offer and graduate as engaged citizens who have a strong sense of themselves.
What do you look for in the personal profile?
Students have to meet university and program requirements and we also look at their grades. But broadly speaking, we’re looking for students who show initiative, leadership, readiness and who have made strong commitments and contributions to their community.
I think one of the biggest challenges for our applicants is that they sometimes underestimate their potential. Take leadership, for example. Different people show leadership in different ways. Someone might be class president but someone else might be the oldest child in their family and they have taken on a lot of responsibility at home. It’s not about what you do, it’s about reflecting on what you’ve learned from your experiences. We want students to be authentic.
What are the biggest myths around admissions?
The number one myth is that international students take the spots of domestic students. This is not true. We are funded for a certain number of domestic spots and we actually admit more than that number every year. We are committed to not displacing domestic students.
Another common misperception is the belief that some people get special access or special deals–like there is a way to use favour. I can assure you there are no strings to pull. UBC does not do favours for any applicant. Admissions works from approved Senate policies that are rooted in principles of integrity and fairness.
B.C. applicants to UBC can expect to hear this month about initial offers with decisions being finalized in mid-June. For more information about applying to study at UBC, visit you.ubc.ca.