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2017-Choosing Between Acceptances - What's Your Fit?

What makes a university 'the one'?
How do you choose between acceptances?

These are the questions many high school students grapple with as they make decisions about where to apply and which offer to accept. As our current grads make their choices, we met with them to discuss how they found their match. Their words will emphasise the importance of looking past a 'brand name', of pushing aside pre-conceived ideas, and of understanding your individual priorities. Ultimately, its all about finding the right fit.


Duke vs. UPenn? It was a matter of programmes

When making the decision between Duke and UPenn, in the end, it all came down to which programme I could align my interests with. UPenn's Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business is quite unique, and much like my IB experience, this programme offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate course of study that combines two of my passions - business and international relations. I also loved the 'feel' of the university; although it is in an urban setting and is integrated into Philadelphia, UPenn still has a 'campus' feel. Above all, what I have appreciated most about UPenn is how 'international' the school is and how many cultures are represented on campus. For all these reasons, I know UPenn is the right fit for me.

Choosing Between Stanford and Oxford

My acceptance to Oxford is for mathematics and computer science and what I like about Oxford, in addition to its strong academics, is the university's extremely low faculty-to-student ratio. They have a great tutoring programme where you receive a lot of one-on-one mentorship with world-class professors, and that really appeals to me. On the downside, their focus is very narrow, so I would only be studying math. At Stanford, on the other hand, their focus is more open and requires you to broaden your study approach, so I would be studying other subjects as well, which I think is important. That way, if I ever decided to change my field of study, I wouldn't be pigeonholed. I have also been to summer camps at Stanford, and I know a lot of people who will be studying there, so it already feels like home. I have also been to Yale and it's very focussed on politics and humanities, which I think I could learn a lot from, but I think that I fit in better with the people at Stanford.


I chose Chapman because of its location, the campus, and the fact that it's the only school with a screen acting programme, which is ultimately what I want to study. Only around 20 people get accepted into this programme, so it's extremely competitive. Typically, you go for a pre-screen audition, and then you get a call back for a second audition, but I was fortunate enough to be accepted on my pre-screen!


Great Programme and Family Alma Mater

My brother, who goes to the University of Toronto, played a big role in helping me determine that U of T is the correct fit for me. I want to study engineering and, being in the U of T engineering programme, he was able to share his insights. Since he knows me well, he was able to highlight the aspects of the programme and the university that he knew I would like, such as being in a large city with great culture and sports.

Location and class size were a big factor in choosing UBC. My mentors and music teachers (Ms. By and Mr. Van de Reep) were graduates of UBC's music programme so I had first-hand knowledge of the great access to one-on-one instruction/support/mentoring happening within UBC's music programme. - Eric Lou

Family Connections and Small Classes in a Large Campus

I have decided to go to the University of Alberta as it's a great school for business. It's a big school, but they have small lectures and class sizes, which appealed to me. I also have some family connections there, so that was a draw as well.

It offered just what I was looking for

I was able to secure a spot in one of the most competitive dual-degree programmes in Canada and will be studying in two fields that greatly interest me: psychology and business. Having the opportunity to graduate with a double major from both Western and the Ivey School of Business will open up many opportunities post-graduation.

UBC quickly became the clear choice for me. I was keen to find a programme rooted in the same collaborative spirit that Mulgrave is steeped in. Some universities foster competition between students, which I think kills creativity and growth. I chose UBC because it offers a challenging sciences programme in a collaborative setting.
- Dina Yaghoubi

Discussion-based Lectures Made the difference for me

I actually had the opportunity to sit in an Ivey business class at Western with my older brother, and the school blew me away. Their teaching approach is case study-based and their lectures are driven by discussion, which is very similar to Mulgrave. I like that it's collaborative and that real-life situations are studied rather than theory, so I knew it was a good fit for me.

What Makes a University 'the one'?

It's easy to be swooned by an Ivy, but does it have the programme that best fits your long-term goals? Have you connected with graduates from the university who are professionals in your chosen field? Can you maintain your focus in a class of 200+ students or is a smaller classroom better suited for you? Mulgrave's University Counsellors share tips and insights that can help you with your university choice.


Why Dartmouth was the Right Fit for Me

Initially, my two criteria for a university were to be coastal and to be in a city. Dartmouth was neither of those, but when I visited, I realised how outdoorsy and friendly it was. The opportunities offered at Dartmouth also made me realise it was a good fit. They offer figure skating (which most other schools don't offer) and rowing - two activities I look forward to pursing at Dartmouth. The academics are also rigorous, and that was an another important factor that I took into consideration.

USC Means More Independence and a Bigger Campus

I knew I wanted to go away for school to gain independence. USC was the right fit for me because of the campus. It's also a great school and Dramatic Arts is the best programme at USC, which I plan to study as a student there.

Chapman or NYU? Location will play a role

I am deciding between Chapman and NYU, which is a tough decision because I can see myself at both schools. In the end, my decision will mainly be based on which is the best school for film, which has the best facilities, and which is the best area for industry after I graduate.



Why going OVERSEAS was the right fit for me

Excellent History Programme and Family Nearby

I knew I wanted to study in the UK for post-secondary. Durham has one of the best programmes for Ancient History and Archeology, which is really close to what I want to study and pursue. I also have family in town, so it will be nice to have them close by.

It represents going back to my roots

University of Maastricht is a great fit for me because I was born in Amsterdam and speak Dutch, so it will be nice to be back in the Netherlands. University of Maastricht has the best programme for International Relations and it's also in a great town. I also chose this university because of its accessibility to Europe.

It offered a highly specialized programme in my desired field

ANU was my top (and only) as it is one of only a handful of schools in the world that offers a degree in International Security Studies, the are in which I want to specialize.

Using Japanese and learning in an international setting

I am interested in studying tourism and wanted to take advantage of going to an international school. As a dual citizen and fluent Japanese speaker, Japan made a lot of sense and Yokohama's tourism programme, international student body, and flourishing city were all things that I valued and took into consideration when choosing the right school for me.

Question your pre-conceived notions. I started this process thinking I wanted to go to a school in a large coastal city. Dartmouth, my final choice, is neither in a city, nor a coast, but I loved it! Keeping an open mind is the best advice I could give future grads.
- Daisy Harris, Head Girl '17


Smaller Classes, Independence and New Traditions

Initially, I was trying to choose between Queen's, St Andrew's, UBC, and McGill. After looking at programme size, I narrowed it down to UBC and St. Andrew's, but then had to decide whether or not I wanted to leave home. UBC had large lectures (300 - 400 students compared to St. Andrew's 100 students) and I really wanted a small community that was similar to Mulgrave. Visiting St. Andrews, I realised that I loved its culture and how the campus was integrated into the town, and they have some great traditions that I saw myself wanting to be a part of. The university is very international with lots of Canadians (including two Mulgrave alumni!) St. Andrew's also has a lot of connections with employers outside of the UK, so if I want to return to Canada after graduating, I feel confident in my opportunities to find a job.