Average entering grade now 85%

Marks needed to get into university keep going up

The average grade of high school students entering universities in their home provinces hit 85% in 2012, according to data from 48 universities published in the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings. The 2008 Maclean’s University Rankings, which used grade data mostly from 2007, showed an entering average of 83% across 42 universities. That’s an increase of two per cent in five years.

There are surprising regional differences too. Only four of the 42 schools considered in the 2008 rankings had lower entering grades in 2012 but three of them were in Quebec: Montréal, Sherbrooke and Bishop’s. The fourth was Saint Mary’s in Halifax, N.S. And only four schools improved their average grades by more than three per cent. Again, a regional pattern emerges: three out of four are in British Columbia: UBC, UNBC and SFU. The fourth is Waterloo. Particularly eye-catching is the number of students at these schools with averages of more than 90%. At UBC the proportion with 90% or higher went from 30.8% in 2007 to 54.1% in 2012; at UNBC from 19.3% to 34.1%; at SFU it from 15.7% to 39.5% and at Waterloo from 26.5% to 44.8%

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Students with B averages shouldn’t worry too much though. More than 21 universities’ entering classes comprise at least 10 per cent students who had less than 75% in high school. Six had entering classes that were more than a quarter students with less than 75%. To see the grade distribution of the entering classes at all 49 ranked schools, consult the 2014 University Rankings.

In the meantime, here is the average high school (in Quebec CÉGEP) entering grade for first-year students in 2012 with 2007 in parentheses. Schools highlighted in blue have increased their average entering grade by more than three per cent. Those in red saw their average entering grade fall.

McGill 90.3 (89.6)

UBC 89.6 (86.3)

Queen’s 88.7 (87.7)

Waterloo 88.4 (85.1)

Western 88.2 (86.0)

Saskatchewan 88.1 (87.6)

Simon Fraser 87.9 (83.4)

Montréal 87.6 (87.9)

Manitoba 87.4 (84.8)

McMaster 86.8 (84.1)

Alberta 86.6 (86.1)

Mount Allison 86.3 (85.6)

UQAM 86.2 (n/a)

Sherbrooke 85.9 (86.9)

Acadia 85.7 (84.9)

Toronto 85.5 (83.4)

St. Francis Xavier 85.4 (84.5)

Laval 85.3 (n/a)

UNBC 85.1 (81.5)

UPEI 85.1 (84.4)

Regina 85.1 (84.3)

Cape Breton 84.4 (82.5)

Moncton 84.4 (n/a)

New Brunswick 84.4 (83.4)

St. Thomas 84.3 (83.3)

Victoria 84.3 (83.9)

Calgary 84.1 (83.1)

Bishop’s 83.4 (84.3)

Carleton 83 (82.1)

Mount Saint Vincent 82.9 (82.9)

Ottawa 82.9 (81.5)

Concordia 82.7 (n/a)

Ryerson 82.4 (80.3)

Wilfrid Laurier 82.3 (82.2)

Winnipeg 82.2 (80.8)

Guelph 82.1 (80.9)

York 82.1 (81.6)

Memorial 81.5 (80.6)

Brock 81.2 (79)

Laurentian 81 (79.4)

Lethbridge 80.7 (79.6)

Brandon 80.1 (n/a)

Trent 80 (77.9)

Saint Mary’s 79.9 (80.2)

Nipissing 79.8 (78.7)

Windsor 79.7 (79.3)

Lakehead 79.3 (78)

UOIT 77.8 (n/a)