Privilege in Admissions
Author: Aidan Coward
It is often said that the education system is a meritocracy. Unfortunately, this merit has a cost that not all are able to pay.
When applying for university, one is judged by high school marks and extracurriculars. One must devote a lot of time to achieve high marks. This becomes more difficult if students do not have access to tutors or if their parents cannot help them with school. If the students need a job to be able to afford to go to university, they have less time to study. This severely disadvantages low-income students in university admissions. For competitive programs, schools rely on extracurriculars to evaluate the students. If someone barely has time to get the marks and money required for school, extracurriculars aren’t accessible and these students are blocked from many programs. The situation persists during university.
Another matter entirely is being able to afford higher education. Attempts to fix this situation include government student loans and many scholarships and bursaries. Government loans merely delay the shackles of debt on anyone who relies on loans to go to school. Scholarships are primarily based on grades and volunteer experience (towards those who can afford to work for free). Bursaries exist, but often have limitations which exclude international and inter-provincial students.