BY MAIJA SHEA
For more details, visit this article from The Global News.
All high schoolers worry about their transition to university and wonder if they will be able to cut it with their grades in the challenging environment. What if their university already knew if they would be able to cut it or not? Waterloo University’s engineering program can predict a student’s mark based on data they have collected over the years, and have even declined applications because of the list they have constructed.
Waterloo collected their data by taking the final marks that high schoolers received in their senior year and found the difference of their final marks in their first year of university. Other universities have been allegedly using the same or similar methods. With this, Waterloo made a grade average for nearly 75 different Ontario high schools, and thus created the list which features Milton District High School. View the list in the middle of this article.
High schoolers who fed from schools at the bottom of the list found that they struggled to get the high marks they were used to once they were in Waterloo’s engineering program as compared to the students from schools at the top of the list. Because of this, Waterloo sees 95% from Grimsby Secondary School (a 27.5% grade inflation, the worst score) as worth around 67% in their program.
Milton District High School was given an 11.8% difference from data collected in 2016. This means that 95% as a final grade looks like just over 80% in Waterloo Engineering’s eyes. No wonder that program is so hard to get into! However, this shouldn’t discourage MDHS students who wish to apply to this program, as many universities also use a similar method for evaluation, and MDHS is nowhere near the bottom of the list.
Does this list affect acceptance rates into Waterloo and other universities? Unfortunately, it does. It isn’t against the law for universities to do this, and it has become their method to decide the worth of a high schoolers final grade. This has caused controversy recently with teachers and schools, as many see it as unfair and an invasion of privacy despite universities having full permission to have access to data regarding grades.