UBC updates admissions process to take into account COVID-19

With many secondary and post-secondary schools transitioning courses online for the remainder of the year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UBC has updated its admissions process to ensure applications are fairly assessed.

On its admissions blog, the university has published answers to several frequently asked questions from prospective students including how applications will be assessed given changes to online classes and grading schemes at many schools.

“We are aware that many applicants have had their schooling interrupted in recent weeks. We understand that you may now face difficulties like having to take online classes, being unable to complete all the activities you listed in your Personal Profile, or experiencing the cancellation of your final exams,” reads the post.

“UBC has been working hard to make sure your application will still be evaluated fairly, even if you have suffered disruptions due to COVID-19.”

The university confirmed that the admissions process is going ahead as planned with a comparable amount of applicants as the year before. The grading requirements will also remain the same, but the university is reminding students that grades from multiple years are assessed and other factors, such as Personal Profile answers, are also taken into the overall decision.

The university will also be taking into consideration how COVID-19 might have impacted the activities students wrote about in their Personal Profiles.

“The Personal Profiles is assessed on a holistic basis, taking into account the number of years of activity. We feel that we’ll be able to make admirable admissions decisions given the information that is already provided,” said Sam Sairi, UBC associate registrar of undergraduate admissions, student recruitment & advising, in a video released on March 17.

Additionally, if students could not complete their exams, UBC will take into account the grades reported by the student’s school as long as there are letter grades.

For students transferring from other universities and colleges, UBC has confirmed that they are in contact with other post-secondary institutions and are currently assessing applications.

“Please rest assured that you will not be disadvantaged by any disruptions you’re experiencing due to COVID-19,” reads the web page.

“If we require any additional information from you in order to process your application, an advisor will be in touch.”

According to UBC Media Relations Director of University Affairs Matthew Ramsey, it is still too early to determine if the COVID-19 pandemic will have large impacts on enrolment.

“The situation is evolving so it is difficult at this time to estimate how enrolment at UBC will be impacted,” wrote Ramsey in an email to The Ubyssey, adding that the university is taking guidance from BC health authorities and factoring their advice into the school’s enrolment planning.

The admissions evaluation process is still expected to be completed by the end of April.