How to apply to Waterloo | Ultimate University Guide

Written by Arry Pandher and Kim Spencer

Waterloo has a focus on strategic integration of teaching and academic excellence, experiential education, entrepreneurial spirit and impact-driven research. This makes the University of Waterloo one of the most relevant, connected and innovative institutions in the world. Still wondering on how to apply to Waterloo? If so, read on to find out all about applying to The University of Waterloo.

Applying through OUAC

When applying to ANY Ontario university, you will need to apply through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC). And, since we’re talking about you applying to Waterloo, this applies to you!

Applying through the OUAC means that you only need to apply or submit grades to the OUAC instead of through multiple Ontario universities.

How to Apply as a Full Time Student:

If you’re currently an Ontario high school student or have graduated from an Ontario high school, you’ll need to fill out  the OUAC 101 application.

If you are a high school student or graduate from any other high school, you’ll need to fill out the  OUAC 105 application.

Take a look at the deadline dates below to make sure you apply on time!

Within two weeks of receiving your application from the OUAC, Waterloo will email you with your student number and any actions you might need to take including creating your Quest Account, reviewing important dates, campus tours, webinars and info-sessions, and Waterloo Wednesday Webinars

Waterloo also recommends adding to your contacts to ensure you receive their emails.

What Happens After You’ve Applied through the OUAC?

Whether you applied only to Waterloo, or multiple Ontario universities through OUAC, they’ll need to see whether you’ll be a good fit for the program you applied to.

What you need to know is that there are different admission requirements for different types of programs.

While all programs will require transcripts, additional requirements can include English language test scores, a personal essay, an interview, a portfolio of creative work, online assessments, and even math or science contests!

Waterloo’s Admission Information Form  (AIF) is an important part of many admission decisions – and is required for admission to some programs, including those in the faculties of Engineering and Mathematics.

How To Stand Out  Among Other Applicants

On top of your grades, Waterloo looks at other factors when making admissions decisions. As you may know, they accept approximately 53% of applicants, so make sure you use the Admission Information Form (AIF) to brag a little about yourself and talk about your extracurricular activities.

At Waterloo, they use the Admission Information Form (AIF) in place of personal statements or essays that other universities may require. The AIF helps them learn about your interests, extracurriculars, goals, and more. The details you provide can help universities when they make admission and scholarship decisions.

  • For programs where the number of students applying greatly outnumbers the spaces available, universities need ways to distinguish between many students who have similar averages.
  • That’s where personal statements (such as Waterloo’s Admission Information Form), interviews, math or science contest results, and portfolios can be used by universities to learn about students’ academic and personal backgrounds.
  • If you apply to a highly competitive program at Waterloo and have opportunities (such as math or science contests, etc.) to make your application stand out, make sure to add them! These will only enhance your application and will never work against you if you happen not to do well.

Let’s Talk Finances!

Make sure you add the cost of applications to your budget! Applying isn’t free, so here’s a breakdown of the application fees:

  • Ontario secondary school students (101 form) – $150.00 (CAD)
  • Other full-time undergraduate applicants* (105 form) – $156.00 (CAD)

Visit the OUAC website for further fee information!

When submitting a 105 form, you will also be expected to pay an Evaluation fee which is a single non-refundable fee of $93.50 (CAD), payable to the OUAC.

Tuition Fees

Like most universities, tuition costs will vary depending on the program you take!

On average at Waterloo, Canadian students’ tuition costs:

Worried about how you’re going to cover these costs?

Don’t worry! Waterloo is well known for its co-op program where you can earn money to help pay for your education costs, and gain experience towards your future career!

Through Waterloo’s co-op program, students make an average of $14,400 per four-month work term which can help pay for school. At Waterloo, you’ll have between four and six co-op work terms opportunities!

And as always, you can earn money through scholarships, bursaries and government assistance (such as OSAP). Remember,

GrantMe services can help lower tuition costs, and give you other great money-saving tips! If you’d like to know more about how GrantMe can support your goal of getting into Waterloo, start by taking our quiz to see if you qualify!

Join The GrantMe Program

Get Started