Ever wonder what should go in your university application package? The first place to look is your program’s information page. A comprehensive research on the qualities that are considered to be desirable by your program’s admissions committee can prove to be very rewarding in the long run. To help with that, we compiled the Three Program Matrix to help you understand the type of candidate your program considers ideal.
Most university programs send signals regarding the types of characteristics they appreciate in students. In that regard, university programs fall into 1 of 3 categories: Direct, Covert, and Well Rounded.
These schools will highlight straightforward character traits that you can use to structure your application. Ideally, you would want to insert experiences that directly demonstrate the qualities sought by the program.
While these schools will avoid overtly mentioning any desirable characteristics, you could still uncover them through some research. For instance, you can discover that your program is aggressively marketing a particular initiative or department (something like an incubator for start-ups or a new program major), or you could research the types of activities that the program considers to be a “highlight”. This will help you infer the qualities that the school will expect from candidates.
3. Well Rounded
This category of schools and the one most candidates struggle with, contains schools looking for the proverbial “well-rounded student”. The program will often mention (too) many characteristics that it considers desirable, or will simply state that it is looking for students who are well rounded, complete or (our favorite), someone who can be “the leader of tomorrow”. As an example, both the BBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business and the Engineering program at the University of Waterloo mention that they seek candidates who are “well rounded”. How should you deal with this? MyReducation can help!
Want to learn more about how to make your application stronger?
At MyReducation, we help candidates create strong university application packages. You will be matched with a coach who will personally guide you through the application process, help you understand your strengths, and will allow you to position yourself in the best way possible. Want more information? Contact us for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Roni Zveiris is the Founder of MyReducation. He has spent almost a decade in the post-secondary education system as a student, Teaching Assistant, and Sessional Instructional Assistant. He earned a JD and an MBA from University of Toronto.