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Some high school students being turned away from their CEGEP of choice despite good grades

Click to play video: 'Some high school students being turned away from their CEGEP of choice' Some high school students being turned away from their CEGEP of choice
WATCH: Dawson and Vanier colleges have seen a significant increase in applications this year, making acceptance into popular programs even more competitive than before. – Apr 21, 2021

Many graduating high school students with above-average grades are being refused admission to the post-secondary programs of their choice.

In some cases, students with averages above 90 per cent are being waitlisted at Montreal’s Dawson College.

“I had a 92 per cent average, 97 in math, 92 in physics and a 90 in chemistry,” said Laurier MacDonald High School Grade 11 student, Thorin Malaka.

“I got waitlisted at Dawson for my first choice which was Health Science. I heard a few days ago I got refused for my second choice, which was commerce,” he added.

Read more: Coronavirus: Quebec CEGEPs see higher enrollment numbers but fewer international students

Westmount High School student, Mikayla Spencer was also disappointed when she didn’t get into her first choice at Dawson. With an 85 per cent average, she didn’t get into the social work program.

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“Everyone was telling me ‘you’re going to get in,’” she said. “When I saw I wasn’t accepted, I was pretty shocked.”

Both Malaka and Spencer did get into Vanier College, but say they’re disappointed they couldn’t go to their first choice. According to them, some of their friends weren’t so lucky and now have to take a semester off, or attend night classes.

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Coronavirus: Quebec universities and Cegeps slow to resume in-person learning – Feb 15, 2021

According to data provided by Dawson College, there is a 16 per cent overall increase in applications compared to last year. The science program saw a 27 per cent increase.

“We don’t know why exactly there is an increase in applications,” said Dawson College spokesperson Megan Ainscow.

“Dawson has approximately 250 less available spots this year, because of COVID-19 given that many students are taking longer to finish their studies and have extended their time at the college and we did not expel students who did not meet the academic standing policy.”

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Read more: Quebec provincial government considers capping spaces in English CEGEPs

It’s a similar situation at Vanier College, where there was a seven per cent increase in applications overall, and a 36 per cent increase for science programs.

In addition, Vanier has about 225 fewer places available for new students than last year.

Meantime, John Abbot College in Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue hasn’t seen a significant increase in applications.

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