More students pick McMaster as their first choice


McMaster University is on the mind of many high school graduates, according to statistics released by the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC).

As of Feb. 3, the University has seen a seven per cent increase in applications over the same period last year. More importantly, an increasing number of first year university applicants are listing McMaster as their number one choice.

The OUAC statistics show that applications listing McMaster first are up by 9.3 per cent over last year. “This is a very important factor,” says University registrar George Granger. “Typically, this group is most likely to accept an offer of admission (from the institution). It speaks well of the academic programs we offer here.”

Granger believes that one of the key reasons for the increase is the development of new, innovative programs. He says the multimedia and the Bachelor of Health Sciences programs have both generated a great deal of interest from prospective students. The B.H.Sc. program alone has attracted 1,320 applications to date.

Other factors he identifies as having an influence on application numbers are:

* the stronger presentations that the University is making at venues such as the Ontario University Fair;

* changes to admissions scholarships; and

* the guarantee of residence to all first-year students having a 75 per cent average who request on-campus accommodation.

Granger says the new admissions scholarships, called Honour Awards, have proved to be a very popular incentive. The monetary awards are based on a student's final grade in high school: students with 80-84.5 per cent receive a $750 credit; those with 85-89.5 per cent garner a $1,000 credit; and students with 90 per cent and over receive a $2,000 credit. The number of awards is unlimited.

All applicants will be invited to an Open House on March 18. They will have an opportunity to visit their selected Faculty, discuss course work, and tour program-related facilities such as the trading room and the multimedia lab.