A friend from U of T’s UpbeaT blog passed along this fantastic question, which is definitely post-worthy:
I have a question…
Okay, lets say you have been accepted on a conditional acceptance into the Humanities program, all your grades are okay but then you fail a subject like physics that has NOTHING to do with your desired major. So, you do your final retake and then you pass, and your average does not drop below a C- (like requested in your acceptance).
My question is…Do you get rejected if this happens? (like you fail a subject, but then have a retake and pass … do you still get rejected?)
or…You only get rejected if your total average drops?
Can someone help me out with this question because I’m really lost.
First of all, Anais, amazing question – this is exactly the kind of thing Surviving Studenthood is about, and we’re thrilled to have been passed your question. A lot of students can be in your position. Lets jump right in:
Right off the bat, congratulations for getting into university. A lot of students get conditional acceptances, and you shouldn’t sweat it. The major mistake that students make about conditional acceptance is they don’t actually understand the conditions.
1. Read your acceptance letter carefully: Depending on the program you’ve applied to, the university and several other factors, your conditional acceptance might vary. Sometime, the letter only states a required average in order to guarantee your acceptance. Other times, particularly for more specialized programs – like biology, for example, the letter will contain information about specific courses, or pre-requisites. You may be required to maintain a certain average, along with getting above a certain mark in specific courses – like Grade 12 Chemistry and Biology. It is important to understand exactly what your letter is insisting you maintain.
2. Remember the Pre-requisites the letter DOESNT mention: For Humanities programs, conditions for specific courses – like physics – may not be as important. But the most detrimental thing a student can do is forget about the initial prerequisites in place for their program. When you apply to university, you need to meet certain pre-requisites in order to get a conditional acceptance into that program in the first place. For example, you might have needed an average of 70% and a strong Grade 12 English mark. Although the conditional acceptance doesn’t re-specify those terms, you must still continue to meet those pre-req requirements. For example, Grade 12 English is an important pre-requisite – it is a core course and the only one required by every program at every university. Your conditional acceptance might not say “oh, and you must pass English” but if you fail it, you can bet-your-bottom-dollar your acceptance will be withdrawn. The conditions you met to get the acceptance in the first place, the conditions you met in order to even apply to that school, must not be breached even if not explicitly stated in the letter.
At loss about your pre-req requirements? When I was in high school – which I confess was over three years ago – we had the magic book Info book about universities. It explained the program requirements for any program in Canada you wanted to apply to…check it out, or speak to your guidance councilor. I encourage you to check it out, and make sure you didn’t miss anything there.
In your case, physics might not be a big deal – but you need to check if course-retakes are factored into your average, etc. Remember, the universities look at your top 6 Grade 12 marks (again, depending on the pre-requisites of the program) and you want to make sure they look at your re-take.
3. Talk to your guidance councilor: Anais, I’d strongly recommend you talk to your guidance councilor at your local high school. I know school is winding down, and I encourage you to move fast. You might be cutting it close, as most universities are finalizing their decisions over the summer. Your guidance councilor has plenty of experience in this area, and can direct you accordingly.
4. Get a second opinion – from the horse’s mouth: While your guidance councilor has plenty of tips, what is a better source than the school itself? Taking a bit of time to call the school’s registrar office, or even making an appointment with a university councilor is a wise investment of time that could solidify your spot in a university. Don’t let your guidance councilor be your last source: schools are getting pickier during the recession, with plenty more applications, and you don’t want a non-influential course to jeopardize your changes of getting in! Its worth the call!
Unfortunately, we can’t give you any guarantees about your acceptance. Judging by your question, as long as you maintained your average and physics wasn’t a required course, and you made up the credit to ensure the university had 6 credits to base your acceptance on, you should still be okay.
You definitely want to back that up with a second and third opinion (your high school councilor and someone from the school registrar’s office).
Thanks for your question, Anais, and Good luck! Feel free to follow up with any questions, and fellow students, provide your own thoughts/new questions!
p.s. Do you have a question for us? Send us an email and we will write a specialized post answering your question – just for you