Open-sourcing my applications to Canadian universities (2020 admissions cycle)

0. Preface

While writing my 4 applications (one of which I didn't save in a doc) probably only took less than 40 hours, the emotional burden of anticipating a decision and hypothesizing worst-case scenarios has been weighing on me from November 2019 to the time of writing this (April 2020) where I still have not confirmed where I will be attending school next year. Right now, the Uni. admissions process is like The Bachelor(ette) - try your hardest to impress and hope you're the 1 in 30 that gets picked out of all of the other equally impressive people. It's long and stressful - not to mention all the other quips I have with the concept of university itself. Shoutout to Dev Degree for trying to fix it - besides the waiting for admission, this should be what a university should be. Honorable mention to Minerva who's also doing something right. #notsponsoredbecauseIhaven'tacceptedeitheryet

1. Applications

I just finished applying to universities in Canada a few months ago. It was awful. I want to to my part to make sure the process is less awful for anyone who has to go through it in the future so I'm open-sourcing my applications.

As of now, I haven't been accepted into any of these programs but that's likely because of my poor grades. I think the applications are good. I'll share both for context.

Also, you should obviously get good grades if you want to go to the program you want. The point of this is to help write good applications regardless of what your grades or extracurriculars might be.

All three of my applications are fairly different styles and can serve as a good example of how to approach different types of character and achievement testing questions.

Here they are exactly as I submitted them:

And here are my grades as of April 25th, 2020:

OUAC doesn't show anything other than final grades on their official dashboard but universities received my mid-term marks as follows: Calculus - 97, Comp. Sci. - 84, and English - 96

2. Advice

To be a bit more helpful, here's what you should understand before you start writing:

2.1. Other Advice

This comes from a friend who received the Chancellor's Scholarship at Queen's ($36K over 4 years with the choice of any undergrad program) and was offered a $7K scholarship from visiting a professor at Western.

1. Contact a prof of the program & visit them at the uni if possible. The prof liked me and after that the school offered me a scholarship that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Works wonders.
2. Don’t . Listen. To. People. In. Your. High. School. For. Advice. On. Anything. Uni. Related!!! They probably don’t know more than you do, probably are not smarter than you and don’t always have your best interest at heart. They will view you as a competitor, even if your not applying to the same thing. High school is a competitive environment.


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions via email at aliaadil2002@gmail.com - I'd be happy to help!

And if you found this tutorial particularly useful, consider buying me a coffee ☕️.