Universities say high school applications up again
Published Monday, January 16, 2012 6:00PM EST
TORONTO - The number of high school students applying to Ontario universities for the fall has gone up for the 11th year in a row, a trend education insiders predict will continue in coming years.
Preliminary statistics released Monday show 90,373 people submitted applications by Jan. 11, the deadline for high school students.
That's an increase of 2.2 per cent over last year.
Those students also filed more applications -- a total of 392,742, up 2.4 per cent from last year -- as many applied to more than one program.
"In some ways, it was anticipated, in that we have been following what really has been a trend for over a decade," said Bonnie Patterson, who heads the Council of Ontario Universities.
The organization, which represents 21 schools across the province, expects demand to keep climbing.
The sustained rise in applications is a sign students recognize the value of a university education when it comes to landing a job, Patterson said.
"It's a good news story for the economy, it's a good news story for the institutions and for students in the future," she said.
The council said more than 90 per cent of the province's university graduates were able to find work within six months of graduation, even at the height of the 2008 recession.
At the same time, uncertainty in the economy and the job market typically lead to an uptick in applicants from the workforce, Patterson said.
About 13,370 people not in high school have applied so far, an increase of 3.2 per cent over last year.
Those numbers are expected to swell during the spring and summer, since these applicants are subject to different deadlines.