High grades will no longer be the only path to admission at the University of B.C., now that the school will also begin to consider personal profiles written by high school students.
The new admissions procedure, which the school is set to announce next week, will require students to describe the challenges they've faced as well as their leadership and teamwork skills.
"We think that the broader-based admission process will give us a lot richer information about who our applicants are," Lisa Collins of UBC Enrolment Services told CTV News.
Paul Harrison, the associate dean of student services for the Faculty of Science, says that the minimum average grade to get into the faculty has risen from the mid-80s to about 90 per cent in recent years. While academic achievement will still be the main consideration for applicants to UBC, Harrison says the school is trying to make sure it doesn't miss out on worthy students.
"The kinds of skills and behaviours that will lead to success in university are not necessarily reflected for everybody in their high school grades," he said.
At UBC's Sauder School of Business, personal profiles have been a requirement for several years. Some business students who spoke with CTV News said they suspect some classmates padded their applications to get in, lying about extracurriculars they didn't participate in.
UBC officials say they will be beefing up their screening procedures to weed out the cheaters.
"We do have mechanisms to catch them," Collins said. "They need to provide references who can verify what it is they've listed on their personal profile. We do random checking of those applications to verify information."
She added that if lies are uncovered, the student responsible will not be admitted to UBC.
The new procedure starts this year for all September undergraduate applications.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee