York experiences a continued high demand for first-year spots

York University is experiencing a continued high demand for first-year spots by Ontario high-school students. In a report released Friday by the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC), early data collected following the Jan.14 application deadline shows that York cemented its number two position on the list of universities most preferred by applicants in Ontario. The University received 38,745 applications from high-school students for fall 2008. Here are the top five:



University of Toronto


York University


University of Western Ontario


Ryerson University


McMaster University


The quality of York’s incoming class continues to improve with a median entrance average of 81 per cent in 2007, as compared to the 2005 level of 80.63 per cent. Key program areas at York that captured applicants’ interest include those in engineering, health, fine arts and business. Applicants also displayed strong interest in York’s new programs, including Children’s Studies, programs with an international degree option and York’s Bachelor of Human Resource Management Program.

"We will be making initial offers of admission within the next week to applicants with the strongest academic record," said Robert Tiffin (right), York vice-president students.

The report revealed that Ontario universities are facing the highest demand for fall 2008 first-year places since the double cohort. In total, there were 83,381 secondary school applicants for the fall of 2008, up from 79,568 applicants in 2007, representing an increase of 4.8 per cent. Since students apply to more than one university, total university applications reached 368,749, compared to 350,759 in 2007 – an increase of 5.1 per cent.

The report also reveals a double-digit increase in applications directed to smaller universities in northern and western Ontario – a trend that may indicate that high-school students are applying to schools outside of the Greater Toronto Area, which they may perceive to have more capacity. Province-wide, more students opted for applied programs, with agriculture, business, engineering, landscape architecture and nursing experiencing the greatest demand. There was also strong interest in architecture, journalism and social work. Environmental studies programs in Ontario also experienced strong growth.

"The conversion activities undertaken by our Faculties and departments will play an extremely important role in bringing high-quality students to York University," said Tiffin.

Demand for university spots is being driven by the increasing recognition by high-school students that more jobs in the knowledge economy will require a university education, said Paul Genest, president of the Council of Ontario Universities.  

Ontario students are not only driving up university enrolment rates, said Genest, they are also boosting student participation rates as a growing number of them choose to apply and participate in university education to secure better career opportunities. The number of applications exceeded expectations this year as it has in each of the past three years.

OUAC highlighted that it is still processing applications and this initial data may change.

For more information, visit the OUAC Web site.