Home / Latest Breaking News / U.S. college admissions scandal puts selection process for Canadian schools under microscope

U.S. college admissions scandal puts selection process for Canadian schools under microscope

The school bribery scandal is spurring dialogue concerning the techniques during which cash greases the wheels of the U.S. admissions procedure – and whilst maximum recognize there are fewer shortcuts to securing a place in Canadian colleges, advocates say the device is slanted to present well-off scholars a leg up.

American government have accused dozens of folks of participating in a $25-million bribery scheme during which oldsters allegedly paid to make sure their kids’s enrollment in elite colleges. A few of the oldsters charged are Vancouver businessman David Sidoo, who has pleaded no longer accountable, and TV actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

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u s college admissions scandal puts selection process for canadian schools under microscope - U.S. college admissions scandal puts selection process for Canadian schools under microscope

The choice procedure at Canadian colleges is closely weighted in opposition to highschool document playing cards, leaving much less wiggle room for such a chicanery being alleged within the U.S., an admissions advisor says.

“The aggressive panorama may be very other in america,” stated Robert Astroff, president of Astroff Experts, which is helping scholars get ready for his or her post-secondary research. “There’s a lot much less alternative to recreation the device in Canada.”

Canada doesn’t have standardized admissions assessments just like the SAT or ACT, which a few of the ones charged within the U.S. are accused of falsifying, stated Astroff.

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Prosecutors additionally allege that oldsters bribed faculty coaches to recruit their kids. Within the U.S., varsity sports activities are extremely monetized, Astroff stated, so extra emphasis is put on athletics than in Canada.

There are a number of different components that may give a contribution to a pupil’s possibilities of coming into a U.S. college, he stated: non-public essays, letters of reference, category ratings and relationships with alumni.

In Canada, the admissions standards are much less subjective, he stated, and an applicant’s acceptance regularly comes down as to if their highschool grades meet the minimal necessities.

U.S. colleges are looked after right into a “tiered” device during which there’s an unlimited gulf between going to an Ivy League college and a group faculty, Astroff famous. There’s a long way much less differentiation amongst Canadian universities, so the choice procedure isn’t just about as cutthroat, he stated.

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Admissions officers at Canadian universities additionally stressed out those cross-border distinctions.

Curtis Michaelis, admissions and recruitment co-ordinator at Mount Allison College in Sackville, N.B., stated the U.S. scholars he works with are regularly surprised at how “clear” the Canadian device is.

Richard Levin, government director of enrollment products and services and registrar on the College of Toronto, stated maximum systems settle for 50 to 60 in line with cent of candidates, whilst acceptance charges at prestigious U.S. colleges can also be as little as 5 – 6 in line with cent.

“It displays the truth that we’ve higher public universities with a large breadth of systems which are normally beautiful obtainable,” he stated.


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In line with a 2017 document via Statistics Canada, the post-secondary enrollment charge of 19-year-old Canadians higher from 52.6 in line with cent in 2001 to 63.eight in line with cent in 2014 – with the biggest positive factors being made amongst formative years from lower-income households.

However Eloise Tan, analysis program director of Ontario-based advocacy staff Other people for Schooling, stated colleges and policy-makers shouldn’t be so fast to pat themselves at the again.

“It’s no longer with reference to particular paying or bribery to get your child into college,” stated Tan. “There’s different advantages to having a better revenue, that the information displays the ones scholars are simply much more likely to visit college.”

Tan pointed to a document launched previous this month via the provincially funded Upper Schooling High quality Council of Ontario suggesting that top college scholars who come from households the place neither father or mother has a post-secondary level are 33 in line with cent much less more likely to earn one themselves in comparison to friends whose oldsters finished a college or faculty program.


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Scholars from lower-income households have been additionally much less more likely to pursue larger schooling than friends from extra privileged backgrounds, the document discovered.

Tan stated oldsters are increasingly more spending cash on tutors to spice up their kids’s marks, however many scholars can’t manage to pay for the ones helps. And as Ontario educators battle for sources, she stated formative years from higher-income households are much more likely to wait colleges that experience the fundraising to provide extracurricular actions.

Scholars from lower-income households also are much less more likely to have get entry to to steerage counsellors, she stated, and if their oldsters don’t have post-secondary levels, the applying procedure can appear overwhelming.

“(The disadvantages) are virtually invisible, however we wish to make certain they don’t stay invisible,” stated Tan.


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Even if universities attempt to stage the taking part in box, they don’t at all times get it proper, stated one researcher with the College of British Columbia.

Emily Truong-Cheung, a PhD pupil in sociology, stated UBC modified its admission procedure in 2012 so that you can diversify its pupil inhabitants. As a substitute of simply having a look at grades, it asks candidates about extracurricular actions and volunteer paintings.

She interviewed 25 candidates and located that whilst upper-class formative years have the time and sources for volunteering, trip and extracurriculars, working-class scholars regularly spend their overtime finding out and dealing to make stronger their households.

“They have been very embarrassed – ‘I don’t need to write about operating at McDonald’s. That’s no longer spectacular.’ ”

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Running-class scholars additionally felt conflicted about answering a query on overcoming adversity, she stated. They sought after to turn that they had triumphed towards the chances, however additionally they puzzled what it needed to do with their possible luck at UBC.

The College of British Columbia stated in a remark the college ratings each facet of an utility, so directors can “empirically” measure the place each candidate falls relative to the pool of possible scholars.

Truong-Cheung stated she didn’t suppose the college will have to abandon the brand new procedure, but it surely will have to deal with the troubles of working-class scholars. She appreciates that the U.S. scandal has opened a dialog about category inequality in Canadian universities, she added.

“I believe what admission processes are seeking to say is: We wish the most productive. However what this information has proven is that the most productive appears to be like so much like anyone who has a large number of sources.”

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