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Dicentra

Canadian (mostly Ontario) acceptances - Woo hoo!

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I know there are a few scattered Canadians around the boards so I thought I'd share our success story.  Canadian homeschoolers getting into university seems to be much more hit-or-miss than in the States so I was pretty apprehensive going into DD's final year of homeschooling.  What if I'd totally messed up her entire future and no university would take her because she's homeschooled?!?   You do your research but there's always that tiny part of you that lives in fear until the acceptances start coming in.  A HUGE thank you to the other Canadians who have helped me and have gone before to show the way.  You are amazing parents and educators. :smile:

DD applied to 3 universities in Ontario and one in Manitoba.  She applied to two different programs at two of the Ontario universities.  Here are the results and what we did for each...

**For all universities, I put together a physical package of documents and mailed it to the Office of the Registrar for each school.  I included  a cover letter written by DD outlining our homeschooling journey (including educational philosophy and her future career plans), a homeschool transcript including AP exam scores and SAT score, grade reports for courses taken through any online provider that doesn’t provide an official transcript with email from provider explaining that official transcripts not provided, detailed SAT results document, record of volunteer hours signed by the individual in charge of each volunteer opportunity, course descriptions for Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12, copy of a graded essay (graded by someone other than me), and a copy of DD’s current resume.  It was probably overkill but it allowed me to make sure that the universities had EVERYTHING they could possibly need to make their decisions. :smile:  I also made sure that any online providers we used for course work sent official transcripts directly to the universities and that DD’s AP scores and SAT scores were sent directly to each university.  Additionally, I called each registrar’s office on the phone back before Christmas and asked to speak to an admissions officer for each specific program so I could get a feel as to how homeschool friendly each school was and whether or not the person on the phone would give me the same info I had found on the school website.

**For Ontario universities, the student will need to fill out a 105D application on the OUAC website:

https://www.ouac.on.ca/ouac-105/

There’s a lot of information on the OUAC website so don’t be afraid to spend a couple of hours with your student and click around.

For specific universities:

*University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) – accepted into the Honours Math Co-op Program and into the Honours Science program (President’s Scholarship of Distinction awarded)

For Waterloo, MAKE SURE your student fills out the AIF (Admissions Information Form).  I know it says the form is optional but it’s only optional for some programs.  The more competitive programs (like math or computer science) have it as a mandatory part of their application process.  Even if it isn’t mandatory, it’s a good way of letting Waterloo know what your student has done outside of academics.  If your student is applying to either math or computer science, try to see if a local high school will allow them to write either the Euclid Math Contest or the Canadian Computing Competition along with their own students:

http://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/contests/euclid.html

http://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/contests/computing.html

Waterloo uses the results from the contests to help decide on some scholarships.

Overall, I thought Waterloo was quite homeschool friendly.  The admissions officer I spoke to for the math program was homeschooled himself. :smile:

*Western University (London, ON) – accepted into the Bachelor of Medical Sciences program and into the Bachelor of Music program in Piano Performance (Continuing Admission Scholarship awarded)

The Med Sci acceptance was actually the first that DD received awhile back and it was the most competitive program she applied to.  That was my “thank the stars that she’s accepted SOMEWHERE and I didn’t mess up her whole life” moment.  DD and DH went down to London, ON for DD’s audition for the music program.  You are allowed to send in a recorded audition but scholarships can only be awarded if the audition is live.  They WILL ask the student to do technique and ear tests/sight reading as well as pieces EVEN if the student is an ARCT student who doesn’t require technique or ear tests/sight reading for the ARCT exam. :laugh:

Overall, Western seemed to be quite homeschool friendly, too.  Their website actually makes them sound less homeschool friendly than they are in person so that was interesting to find out.

*McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) – weirdly, we’re still waiting on hearing about an acceptance into Mathematics and Statistics program

McMaster was a weird one.  When we attended a university fair here last fall, McMaster seemed to be one of the more homeschool friendly Ontario universities.  Once we started the application process, though, they seemed decidedly homeschool unfriendly.  Even with DD’s 6 AP classes (all with syllabi approved by the College Board and with official AP exams) and her SAT scores (with essay) and along with some courses taken through distance education from accredited schools in Ontario, they seemed to be really hesitant about accepting those credentials.  They really just seemed to want us to say that DD would be receiving an official OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) and then everything would fall into place.  Weird.  We keep checking DD’s account on Mosaic (McMaster’s administrative information system) and one area of her account says that everything is complete but another area says she still needs to complete her application.  Because she’s decided not to attend McMaster, she hasn’t called to clarify things.  Maybe they’re waiting for final Grade 12 grades before offering acceptance?  Given that DD got into Waterloo for Honours Math Co-op (arguably, the best school for math in the country) WITH a President’s Scholarship of Distinction, I find it difficult to believe that her marks aren’t good enough for McMaster. :wink:

Overall, I don’t know that I’d recommend McMaster for homeschooled students unless you REALLY wanted to go there.  But that’s just been our experience.

*Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, MB) – accepted into the Bachelor of Music program with a double major in Musicology/Piano Performance (top level entrance scholarship awarded and one of three continuing Music Merit scholarships awarded)

This was a complete surprise to her dad and me.  DD did the application, arranged the audition, and did everything on her own.  It’s a VERY small university and it’s private (unlike the States, most universities in Canada are public).  It is a member of Universities Canada, though, and CMU’s music department is a member of the Canadian University Music Society.  It seems like a progressive Christian university and music is one of the main programs.  They are also focused on social justice and peace-keeping which appeals to DD.  CMU seems very homeschool friendly and because it’s so small, it’s easy to talk to an actual human being to ask questions.  And you get consistent answers because you’re always talking to the same human being each time you call.

DD has made her choice but I’d rather not say which for privacy reasons. If anyone wants to ask questions, particularly about applying in Ontario, I’m more than willing to be of assistance.

Thank you , again, to all of the wonderful Hive members who are always so willing to help, share advice and stories, and be so incredibly supportive!

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Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience. My husband is from Quebec, so Canadian universities are a real possibility for my kids (waaaaaay down the road). 

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Thanks for sharing. My oldest is going into 11th and we're in Manitoba, so it's always helpful to hear the stories of people who are going before us. ? And of course, congrats to your daughter!

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"What if I'd totally messed up her entire future and no university would take her because she's homeschooled?!? "

Oh, I hear you! Lots of waking up at 3 am with this exact thought.....

Congratulations on all of her acceptances! I'm sure she'll make a wonderful success of university and have a grand time exploring her new community. Enjoy your summer together--it will be a special time. 

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On 5/18/2018 at 4:12 PM, Dicentra said:

*University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) – accepted into the Honours Math Co-op Program and into the Honours Science program (President’s Scholarship of Distinction awarded)

 

I loved reading your entire post - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!  As to what I quoted - WOW!  My son sometimes wishes he had applied there for math - he may apply there for grad school.  But now, isn't it all a relief to know you didn't mess up?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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On 5/20/2018 at 11:20 AM, Emerald Stoker said:

"What if I'd totally messed up her entire future and no university would take her because she's homeschooled?!? "

Oh, I hear you! Lots of waking up at 3 am with this exact thought.....

Congratulations on all of her acceptances! I'm sure she'll make a wonderful success of university and have a grand time exploring her new community. Enjoy your summer together--it will be a special time. 

 

On 5/20/2018 at 10:37 PM, Colleen in NS said:

 

I loved reading your entire post - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!  As to what I quoted - WOW!  My son sometimes wishes he had applied there for math - he may apply there for grad school.  But now, isn't it all a relief to know you didn't mess up?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

 

I was pretty impressed with Waterloo's offer, too, Colleen.  There have been a number of people in my small community who, I think, really wondered if a homeschooled student could get into competitive university programs.  I think that question has been answered. :biggrin:

A great big thank you to both of you!!!!  You've both been so helpful, supportive, and inspiring.  You've answered my questions, offered advice, and even offered to meet up for lunch!! :smile:

And it IS a massive relief to know I didn't mess up DD's entire life!!

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On 5/18/2018 at 2:12 PM, Dicentra said:

 

*Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, MB) – accepted into the Bachelor of Music program with a double major in Musicology/Piano Performance (top level entrance scholarship awarded and one of three continuing Music Merit scholarships awarded)

This was a complete surprise to her dad and me.  DD did the application, arranged the audition, and did everything on her own.  It’s a VERY small university and it’s private (unlike the States, most universities in Canada are public).  It is a member of Universities Canada, though, and CMU’s music department is a member of the Canadian University Music Society.  It seems like a progressive Christian university and music is one of the main programs.  They are also focused on social justice and peace-keeping which appeals to DD.  CMU seems very homeschool friendly and because it’s so small, it’s easy to talk to an actual human being to ask questions.  And you get consistent answers because you’re always talking to the same human being each time you call.

 

Congrats!  It is great to hear!

CMU is very homeschool friendly.  I believe they generally have a booth at the main Homeschool conference in Manitoba....

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19 hours ago, scoutingmom said:

 

Congrats!  It is great to hear!

CMU is very homeschool friendly.  I believe they generally have a booth at the main Homeschool conference in Manitoba....

 

Good to know!  My alma mater is the U of M and, from what I understand, they've become distinctly less homeschool friendly over the past few years.  I wasn't homeschooled myself and didn't attend as a homeschooled student but the change of policies away from accepting homeschoolers was something I heard through the grapevine.  Glad that Manitobans have a homeschool friendly school. :smile:

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33 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

 

Good to know!  My alma mater is the U of M and, from what I understand, they've become distinctly less homeschool friendly over the past few years.  I wasn't homeschooled myself and didn't attend as a homeschooled student but the change of policies away from accepting homeschoolers was something I heard through the grapevine.  Glad that Manitobans have a homeschool friendly school. :smile:

Any indication of why they change in policy?

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42 minutes ago, liber said:

Any indication of why they change in policy?

 

You know, liber, I don't really know.  They don't mention homeschooled students ANYWHERE on their website, from what I can see:

http://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/requirements/index.html

I'm trying to recall where I heard that they were becoming more homeschool unfriendly and I can't recollect.  A FB group, maybe?  If anyone is considering applying, a call to the registrar's office would be a good place to start.  Who knows - I could be completely mistaken!

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2 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

 

You know, liber, I don't really know.  They don't mention homeschooled students ANYWHERE on their website, from what I can see:

http://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/requirements/index.html

I'm trying to recall where I heard that they were becoming more homeschool unfriendly and I can't recollect.  A FB group, maybe?  If anyone is considering applying, a call to the registrar's office would be a good place to start.  Who knows - I could be completely mistaken!

We are applying there now.  I have known homeschoolers in the past who have gotten in without having a problem.  When Dh and ds went down to admissions a few months ago it didn't seem like they were homeschooling friendly.  They got a totally different vibe than what has been touted in the homeschooling circles here that U of M is homeschooling friendly.

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22 minutes ago, liber said:

We are applying there now.  I have known homeschoolers in the past who have gotten in without having a problem.  When Dh and ds went down to admissions a few months ago it didn't seem like they were homeschooling friendly.  They got a totally different vibe than what has been touted in the homeschooling circles here that U of M is homeschooling friendly.

 

That's good to know, liber!  Thanks!  So your DH and DS thought that U of M was homeschool friendly or unfriendly?

If you don't mind my asking, do you know what the homeschool admittance policies for the U of M?  Can the student be directly admitted to a program or do they have to go through University 1 first?

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Just now, Dicentra said:

 

That's good to know, liber!  Thanks!  So your DH and DS thought that U of M was homeschool friendly or unfriendly?

If you don't mind my asking, do you know what the homeschool admittance policies for the U of M?  Can the student be directly admitted to a program or do they have to go through University 1 first?

I was always under the impression they were hs friendly.  Dh didn't get that feeling.  They can be directly admitted but it requires quite a bit of work proving that the student is capable of doing the work.  Lots of hoops to jump through so most homeschoolers I know go U1. Then after that first year apply to their program of choice. I did just ask on a FB group and a mom said that her child got into U1 with her transcript and and letter of completion from Manitoba Ed. So far all U of M has asked of us is the letter of Completion.  Ds is applying for U1. 

 

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Dicentra, I am just so pleased for you and your dd!!

I did want to ask you a bit more about Waterloo.  DS was very interested in their math program given how great their program is and how great the merit based scholarships are.  But we did NOT find that they were homeschool friendly.  Perhaps it was because we were from New Zealand, but the woman we talked to in the Math department would only count the work that ds had done through an official provider.  All his classes needed to be formally assessed by someone who could provide a transcript - so the NZ Qualifications Authority or the local university.  I think they might also have counted AoPS coursework as they are now accredited.  The woman we spoke to in person (it was quite a drive to get there not even counting the flight!) definitely had a chip on her shoulder about homeschoolers.  Do you think that we just talked to the wrong person or do you think that they handle Canadian homeschoolers differently than international ones?  We so wanted ds to apply there because of the amazing program, but this and the acceptance/scholarship dates being a month after the USA deadline put him and us off.

Ruth in NZ

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22 hours ago, lewelma said:

Dicentra, I am just so pleased for you and your dd!!

I did want to ask you a bit more about Waterloo.  DS was very interested in their math program given how great their program is and how great the merit based scholarships are.  But we did NOT find that they were homeschool friendly.  Perhaps it was because we were from New Zealand, but the woman we talked to in the Math department would only count the work that ds had done through an official provider.  All his classes needed to be formally assessed by someone who could provide a transcript - so the NZ Qualifications Authority or the local university.  I think they might also have counted AoPS coursework as they are now accredited.  The woman we spoke to in person (it was quite a drive to get there not even counting the flight!) definitely had a chip on her shoulder about homeschoolers.  Do you think that we just talked to the wrong person or do you think that they handle Canadian homeschoolers differently than international ones?  We so wanted ds to apply there because of the amazing program, but this and the acceptance/scholarship dates being a month after the USA deadline put him and us off.

Ruth in NZ

 

I'm so sorry your experience was negative, Ruth!  With the larger universities, it really does seem to matter who you talk to.  The admissions officer that I spoke to over the phone had attended Waterloo for math and had been homeschooled himself and he was so very accommodating and friendly (and I've been digging around in my paperwork trying to find his name - if I find it, I'll share it).  It may very well have been the person you talked to.  It might have been because your DS is an international student.  Part of it is probably because Canadian schools are not nearly as used to dealing with homeschoolers as US schools and it seems to be hit and/or miss sometimes.  I just don't know.  I do know that Waterloo very much prefers to use students' scores on their own math contests to help them judge applicants for scholarships.  But truly - them not wanting to look at your DS baffles me!  My DD is a bright girl but she is SO not in the same league as your son in math!!!  She's never competed in the IMO and her highest level of math coming out of high school is only AP Calc AB!  Since DD did AP Calc AB and AP Stats through PA Homeschoolers and we had them send a transcript and she also had the scores sent through the College Board, Waterloo seemed OK with her math background.  Oh - they did want to see a description of her Pre-Calc course.  None of her math has been done through an Ontario accredited school.  That's just so very frustrating and sad for your boy!

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Congratulations!

DD just discovered that York University has a cognitive science program that looks made for her, so suddenly Canada is on our school radar as well. Looking at the homeschool admissions, I’m thinking she’d probably apply as a transfer, since she’s doing her AS as an early college student (and not expect much to transfer).  It looks much easier that way. 

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1 hour ago, dmmetler said:

Congratulations!

DD just discovered that York University has a cognitive science program that looks made for her, so suddenly Canada is on our school radar as well. Looking at the homeschool admissions, I’m thinking she’d probably apply as a transfer, since she’s doing her AS as an early college student (and not expect much to transfer).  It looks much easier that way. 

 

Thanks, dm! :smile:

I'm not sure how Canadian schools would handle non-Canadian homeschooled students so you're probably right - applying as a transfer student might makes things easier.

I was thinking about your dd the other day when the Narcisse snake dens came up on the news:

http://www.naturenorth.com/spring/creature/garter/Narcisse_Snake_Dens.html

It isn't anywhere near Toronto or York University :smile: but I was thinking she'd love it.

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She’s dying to visit the Narcisse dens. (And the Drumheller dinosaur range ) Unfortunately, they’re over 2,000 km from Toronto, so it won’t be on this trip. :). I’m hoping she can at least find a Canadian Herp or two.

It looks like homeschooled students are put in the same category as students without a high school diploma at all, unless they have just a total stack of exams and validated courses. I’m rather assuming the Canadian system is kind of like the California A-G one, with a very set series of hoops to jump . That’s not the end of the world-DD has been in that status at the community college until she was accepted as a degree seeking student this Spring,  but I’d prefer to avoid it if possible, which it looks like she can do as a transfer applicant.  Transferring doesn’t seem to be as much of a financial hit in Canadian schools as US ones (and the international list price is comparable to what we’d pay in-state here, at least at today’s exchange rate.

The funny thing is...due to air schedules, it actually takes less time and is easier to get to and from Toronto than most of our in-state schools. 

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On 5/18/2018 at 12:12 PM, Dicentra said:

What if I'd totally messed up her entire future and no university would take her because she's homeschooled?!?  

Oh, how well I recall thinking this!

Congratulations to your daughter, Dicentra, and to you!

Regards,
Kareni

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Congratulations to your dd and thank you for taking the time to post all this great information!  Those are some tough choices for your dd to make for her future studies. You'll have to let us know what her final decision is about where she'll go and what she'll study.

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Congratulations!!! And thanks for the really detailed info! My youngest has Waterloo on the radar, but she is not my homeschooled one. My oldest, who will homeschool high school, plans to go to the local high school for her 6 grade 12 courses. One thing I've noticed is that the universities seem to be more understanding of homeschooled applicants than the colleges, which is strange.

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On 6/3/2018 at 9:59 PM, Kareni said:

Oh, how well I recall thinking this!

Congratulations to your daughter, Dicentra, and to you!

Regards,
Kareni

 

Thanks, Kareni! :smile:

On 6/4/2018 at 9:46 PM, wintermom said:

Congratulations to your dd and thank you for taking the time to post all this great information!  Those are some tough choices for your dd to make for her future studies. You'll have to let us know what her final decision is about where she'll go and what she'll study.

 

Thanks, wintermom! :smile:  She has made her final decision but I didn't want to post it publicly for privacy reasons.  If you'd like to know, just shoot me a PM!

1 hour ago, wagingpeace said:

Congratulations!!! And thanks for the really detailed info! My youngest has Waterloo on the radar, but she is not my homeschooled one. My oldest, who will homeschool high school, plans to go to the local high school for her 6 grade 12 courses. One thing I've noticed is that the universities seem to be more understanding of homeschooled applicants than the colleges, which is strange.

 

Thanks, wagingpeace! :smile:  And you're right - colleges can be VERY obstinate when it comes to accepting homeschooled applicants.  I'm not sure why and it is strange.

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On 6/3/2018 at 2:29 PM, dmmetler said:

She’s dying to visit the Narcisse dens. (And the Drumheller dinosaur range ) Unfortunately, they’re over 2,000 km from Toronto, so it won’t be on this trip. :). I’m hoping she can at least find a Canadian Herp or two.

It looks like homeschooled students are put in the same category as students without a high school diploma at all, unless they have just a total stack of exams and validated courses. I’m rather assuming the Canadian system is kind of like the California A-G one, with a very set series of hoops to jump . That’s not the end of the world-DD has been in that status at the community college until she was accepted as a degree seeking student this Spring,  but I’d prefer to avoid it if possible, which it looks like she can do as a transfer applicant.  Transferring doesn’t seem to be as much of a financial hit in Canadian schools as US ones (and the international list price is comparable to what we’d pay in-state here, at least at today’s exchange rate.

The funny thing is...due to air schedules, it actually takes less time and is easier to get to and from Toronto than most of our in-state schools. 

 

I think, with regard to the bolded, that you will find it varies a lot by school - I'd not even go so far as to call it a system.  If you are looking in Ontario exclusively it may be more like a system, but I think you'll still find a fair amount of variation.

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15 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think, with regard to the bolded, that you will find it varies a lot by school - I'd not even go so far as to call it a system.  If you are looking in Ontario exclusively it may be more like a system, but I think you'll still find a fair amount of variation.

I'm finding the Ontario "system" to be very challenging to navigate. Each university has its own requirements depending on which faculty a student is applying for. Makes it really difficult to apply to multiple universities. 

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26 minutes ago, wintermom said:

I'm finding the Ontario "system" to be very challenging to navigate. Each university has its own requirements depending on which faculty a student is applying for. Makes it really difficult to apply to multiple universities. 

 

I'd say that's similar to the way it is here in NS too.  Though that flexibility has advantages, you can sometimes negotiate around the requirements.

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