Written by Nathan (he/him), student
So, you’ve submitted your application to the University of Waterloo and you’re wondering what to do next.
The simplest answer is to wait! But there are things you can do — and need to do — for some programs.
Our online student information system (called Quest) plays a crucial role during the application process, and you’ll continue to use it as a Waterloo student. In fact, once you’ve sent your application through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), Quest will become the number one way you can monitor and complete your application to Waterloo.
Setting up your Quest account
Once you’ve applied to Waterloo, you’ll receive an email from Waterloo within 10 business days that'll include your eight-digit Waterloo number. You’re going to use this number to create your Quest account so that you can complete the next steps in the admissions process. And don’t worry if you’re confused — the email will have detailed information on how to set up your account.
When you log into Quest, your home screen may look a little something like this.
Notice how there are a variety of tabs, such as academics, finances, personal information, and admissions. The following is a quick rundown of what some of the features on Quest can do for you.
- Admissions — This portion is highlighted in the red box and is probably the section that you — as a prospective student — will be checking the most. In this section, you’ll be able to see the status of your application(s), what documents have been received, and what's still outstanding. Here, you'll also complete your Admission Information Form (AIF).
- Academics — Current students use this to view transcripts, select courses for the upcoming term, search for classes being taught next term, and add or drop classes.
- Finances — This is your main hub for paying tuition. You can also access tax receipts, which provide proof of payment during the tax filing season.
- Personal Information — This portion allows you to customize your information, such as your address, phone number, and email address. Some of the information you can only change by updating your application through the Ontario Universities' Application Centre.
The Admission Information Form (AIF)
Although grades do effect how competitive you are as an applicant, they definitely aren't everything. Waterloo is full of students with diverse talents, passions, and interests. The Admissions Information Form (AIF) can be found in the admissions portion on Quest and is a great way to tell Waterloo who you are and what great things you do outside of the classroom.
Completing the AIF is required for students applying to
- the Faculty of Engineering,
- the Faculty of Mathematics,
- Computing and Financial Management, and
- Conditional Admission to Pharmacy.
I highly recommend that every student applying to Waterloo fills out this form. It’s your best chance to talk about any extracurricular activities, part time jobs, and/or any other endeavours that you’re a part of. This can help differentiate you from the rest of the crowd!
I suggest taking your time with the AIF to explain yourself in depth; however, keep in mind that there are deadlines to complete the AIF.
Checking on your application status
As mentioned earlier, you can check the status of your application and see if you need to submit any documents in the admissions section of your Quest account.
Waterloo’s Offers of Admission are sent between January and May, with the majority sent in early May. They're sent by email, but your status on Quest will be updated as soon as you are admitted.
In conclusion, remember that there are two ways Waterloo can communicate with you about an update to your application status: by email and Quest — so be sure to check both!
Still have questions?
Applying to university can be really exciting, but sometimes it’s overwhelming (we remember!). If you ever have any questions about admissions, refer to our frequently asked admission questions or email email@example.com to get in touch with our Registrar’s Office.