An article in the Toronto Star on Feb. 4 suggests that Canadian universities are going to start looking for more than just good grades for initial acceptance. Currently, students need a 75 per cent average or higher to get into universities. This may not seem hard to achieve on its own, but when more requirements are added to the checklist, it adds more pressure.
Soon universities will be looking for volunteer work on top of good grades. Before graduating high school in Ontario, students need to complete 40 hours of community service. It’s not difficult because it can be completed over the course of four years.
However, if a college student is planning on attending university following graduation, it will be more challenging. College students have more hands-on work which means they do more than listen to lectures and write long essays. It all needs to be accomplished over the course of two or three years depending on their field of study and educational institution.
In college it isn’t all that easy to achieve the 75 per cent average needed to be accepted into university, let alone the number of hours for community service. Some students can’t even afford to attend school without also having a part-time job. It just isn’t doable for some.
I don’t think that universities should change their current requirements. If students have great marks but not as many community service hours, they should not be penalized for it. It shows they are hard-working and that they care about their marks.
If a student doesn’t have above average grades but has more community service hours than necessary, it shows that he is passionate about helping out his community.
I don’t expect universities to be easy to get into. However, they shouldn’t penalize students who can’t put in a lot of volunteer hours due to work or family commitments.