Who can apply to colleges?
You can apply to college if you are:
- a Canadian citizen
- an immigrant
- a U.S. citizen
- a citizen of another country with no (current) status in Canada
You can apply as a domestic student if you are a Canadian citizen or an immigrant who considers Canada their permanent residence. Some colleges may have different criteria for immigrant applicants such as educational background, proof of landing, and supporting documents so it's best to check with the college directly.
You can apply as an international student if you are not a Canadian citizen or immigrant who considers Canada their permanent resident.
How is my application processed?
You must apply through ontariocolleges.ca to any college in Ontario.
The platform processes admissions for Ontario's 24 colleges of applied arts and technology and skilled trades, as well as:
- University of Guelph
- Ridgetown Campus
- The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences
Ontario's colleges offer thousands of programs which range from one-year certificates to 4-year degrees.
Ontariocolleges.ca offers a central location for prospective students to apply for admission, send supporting documents, and pay application fees. Through ontariocolleges.ca you can view and accept or decline your offers of admission.
To start, find a program that appeals to you. You should also take into account what colleges offer the program and where they're located. Visit the websites of the colleges you're interested in to find out their unique requirements.
What are college admission requirements?
Admission requirements vary depending on the college or program. In general, you may need to provide:
- Test results (e.g., GED, English Language Proficiency, etc.)
- Residency documents (e.g., passport, permanent resident card, etc.)
- College or program-specific documents
In most cases, college applicants are required to have a high school diploma, either from Ontario or an equivalent from elsewhere. If you never graduated high school, you can:
- Take a test and get a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
- Apply as a mature student if you're over 19 years and do not have a high school diploma or GED
Some college programs are highly competitive, which means they only consider highly qualified applicants for admission. To find out if a program is highly competitive, you can use this Find a Program tool.
Highly competitive programs:
- May require certain prerequisites, cut off applicants at a minimum grade, or require an essay, a portfolio, or other supporting documentation.
- Will only consider applicants who apply on or before February 1.
- Give first priority to permanent residents of Ontario before considering permanent residents of other provinces. International applicants will be given last priority.
If you're applying for a Graduate Certificate program, you'll need either a college or university diploma or degree to be considered. Many programs also have specific requirements, like testing, prerequisite courses, or admission essays and portfolios. Visit the websites of the colleges you're interested in to find out their unique requirements.
If you're already in the workforce, your program may allow you to do a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). PLARs allow applicants with experience to show what they've learned outside of school at work, while volunteering, or through other life experiences. They are assessed through testing, interviews, and portfolios. PLARs can be used for academic credit.
What important dates do I need to consider?
Colleges do not have final application deadlines like universities. For most programs, you can apply to colleges at any time, if applications are available. However, if you apply after a certain date, you will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis, if there is space.
Some important dates to keep in mind are:
- October: applications open for programs beginning in fall of the following year
- November 1: applicants begin to receive offers of admission
- February 1: deadline for highly competitive programs
- May 1: applicants stop receiving offers of admission (though some colleges may keep considering candidates after this date)
- Mid-June: tuition deposits due