Tips and Advice for Prospective University Students

A current UWaterloo student offers tips for finishing high school strong and getting ready for university

 Hi! I’m Matt, and I have just entered my fourth year of the Honours Arts and Business program here at the University of Waterloo. I have worked at the School of Accounting and Finance in previous co-op terms, and have recently returned as a part-time employee. I wanted to take this opportunity to offer some tips for surviving the university application process.

an image of students sitting and working on their laptops

1. Take a look at the course offerings

When you’re shopping around looking for programs to apply to, make sure you take a more in-depth look at the courses you’ll be taking. Taking the time to look at the course offerings will help you get a picture of what your university career might look like and if the program is the right fit for you. Pay attention to all mandatory courses (both in the first year and beyond), but also look at the electives available to you. The best kind of program is one that focuses on a subject you’re passionate about but also gives you the freedom to explore your other interests.

One great resource to judge program offers is &Vision, which is a not-for-profit organization started by two of our SAF graduates! Their website will help you find programs that include the subjects you are interested in, which will help you manage the overwhelming choice that comes with looking at university programs.

Browse &Vision’s Vision Board

2. Apply only to programs that interest you

Sometimes you might feel like you need to apply to a certain program because you feel like you need to get a specific job. However, if a program doesn’t look interesting when you’re checking it out, it will most likely be less interesting when you’re deep into assignments. Being genuinely interested in what you’re studying is, in my experience, the best way to do well in school because your passion will encourage you to put out the best work possible.

3. Ask questions

Through my time at SAF, I have LOVED talking to prospective students and helping them out, and I know everyone who works for universities feels the same way. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions or request additional information if something is confusing to you. I know I certainly did when I was applying for university. I was able to learn about important dates, helpful tips, and the details of what my program entailed, which was really helpful throughout the whole process.

Have questions about the student experience? Book a chat with one of our ambassadors. Other questions? Reach out to Kelly, our Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator.

4. Prepare for any secondary admissions assessments (and complete your AIF)

For the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, we have the AFM Admissions Assessment (AFMAA), which is a video interview and a trait assessment. However, other programs also have different types of secondary assessments, which are crucial to your application. Be sure to read instructions thoroughly and prepare in any way you can. For the AFMAA, we post the interview questions so students can practice, and other schools and programs likely also have tips to help you maximize your success in these secondary assessments.

The University of Waterloo has the Admissions Information Form (AIF), which is not always a required component of your application but is recommended. Make sure to fill out the AIF and brag about all the great things you’ve done to give yourself an edge over the competition!

Instructions on how to complete the AFMA
Information on the AIF

5. Enjoy the end of high school

After you’ve applied and gone through the whole process, seriously, take some time to relax. It can be draining, and I know you might feel anxious as you wait for an answer. You’ve done basically everything you can do at this point. While I’m sure you’ll still be working hard to keep your grades up, make sure you have time to just take it easy and enjoy the end of this chapter of your life!

  1. 2021 (98)
    1. October (2)
    2. September (9)
    3. August (8)
    4. July (9)
    5. June (11)
    6. May (7)
    7. April (6)
    8. March (31)
    9. February (12)
    10. January (3)
  2. 2020 (103)
    1. December (10)
    2. November (12)
    3. October (9)
    4. September (2)
    5. August (17)
    6. July (7)
    7. June (5)
    8. May (6)
    9. April (28)
    10. March (4)
    11. February (2)
    12. January (1)
  3. 2019 (45)
    1. December (7)
    2. November (4)
    3. October (6)
    4. September (4)
    5. August (2)
    6. July (3)
    7. May (2)
    8. April (7)
    9. March (3)
    10. February (4)
    11. January (3)
  4. 2018 (4)