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i won’t fear when people like you are here

Hi, I’m from Singapore and I recently got accepted into UTSG
I got placed into Woodsworth College, fear not, this message is not about which college is better but rather about what is the point of a college?
Has I understand it, it doesn’t matter which college you chose because you have access to any courses and you can even live inside the residence of an other college.
Thank You for your time and answer
Best Regards


hey there,

congratulations on your acceptance! and welcome to the four-year party that is uoft. by party, of course, i mean constant panicking about what the future holds, arguing with roommates about everything from Rilke to Riemann sums, and eating dinner about five hours later than normal people. it’s awesome.

your question is a very understandable one. i haven’t met a single person at this university who doesn’t think the college system is confusing – however, it does actually serve a purpose other than just turning first-years against each other.

since the Faculty of Arts & Science is so big, the job of dealing with students is split between seven colleges. the college you belong to has a file all about you, and acts kind of like the main office in a high school. you’ll go to your college registrar’s office for academic advising, for example. that includes crying about your grades, trying to figure out what the heck you’re gonna do with your life, and all that fun stuff that comes with a wholesome, university experience.

each college also has its own student committee/council/union type deal. they run your frosh week and college-specific clubs, and make other important decisions about which i only have the vaguest ideas. you can read about a couple of them here.

importantly, if you’re dirt poor but have something more than “good at blowing bubble-gum bubbles” on your resume like me, colleges have their own unique scholarships that are available only to students of that college.

your college might offer cool, extracurricular programs that are unique to that college. UC, for example, offers a mentorship program for its students.

finally, if you’re interested in taking any College One classes, you can only take the classes from one college. that doesn’t necessarily have to be your college, but most people take the College One program at their college – in fact, many people base their college decisions largely on the One program offered by that college.

and i see you picked up on the taboo question. good on ya. you’ll go far, young grasshopper.





what’s a solid reason to switch colleges? if i told them i wanted their scholarships and the exclusive clubs, would that be enough? having a good (3.5+) GPA help?


hey there,

i’m a bit afraid of your tone there, amigo. “would that be enough” kind of implies to me that you’re looking for the perfect words that are gonna unlock the key to your college’s heart. unfortunately, there are no secret phrases that will guarantee you a transfer.

having a higher GPA definitely does help. i don’t know of any clubs that are specific to one college, but hey, there are lots of weird clubs out there. maybe there’s a whole world of secret, college-exclusive societies that i don’t know about because i failed their secret admissions test. if there is something specific to one college that you desperately want to be a part of, for sure mention it in your communication with the registrar.

talk about scholarships too, if you’d like – personal finance is important, and if that’s part of your request, the registrar will take it seriously into account. make sure to do your research though; you may not necessarily be eligible for certain college scholarships in the first year you’re a member, particularly in-course scholarships. if you’re entering your final year of school, then changing colleges may not be the best idea.

again, this isn’t a game. there are no specific reasons that the registrar takes more seriously than others; you just gotta play it straight. just note that certain colleges (innis, for example) aren’t currently accepting applications for transfers, though others (like UC) are, so you may want to double-check with the college you’re trying to woo.

also, just a note: if you’re going into first year and panicking because you didn’t get into the college you wanted, my standard advice is: give your college a test-run first. you’ve got lots of time to transfer during or after first year if you find it’s not for you, but i wouldn’t bail just yet. if you don’t know what it’s like yet, you shouldn’t knock it, right?

i hope you find the college of your dreams, my friend.




gimme one chance, gimme one night, to be your college

Hi there, I m a student frm malaysia admitted for faculty of life sciences in sept2014 intake at U of T. FYI, I had applied UC as my first choice for the college ranking in St George campus, yet I was given st mikes….is there any possible way for me to switch my college now? Or I had to wait till the 2nd yr? Thx.


hey there,

from malaysia?? that’s cool! well, i hope you like toronto. it’s probably a lot more frigid than you’re used to, so hopefully the academics will be worth the frostnip.

i spoke with UC and – lucky you – they are currently accepting applications to transfer. i say ‘applications,’ but really, you just have to send an e-mail to the registrar’s office explaining why you want to transfer, and they’ll let you know their decision. keep in mind that all colleges provide the same basic services (scholarships, academic advising, etc.), so make sure to explain what specifically at UC you don’t want to miss out on.

that said, if there’s nothing unique to UC that you were really hoping to take advantage of, i think it’s best to give st. mike’s a try. i’m willing to bet that when you’re here, choosing a program, keeping up with your studies, and trying to obtain all the f#%&! cards you need to use the horrendous public transit in the city will be much bigger concerns. you may find your college will magically transfigure from a nagging worry to a welcome helping hand.

if you give it a year and still find that your student life is gravitating towards UC activities, then you can consider transferring again, but for now, if it were me, i would just hold on and see what happens. st. mike’s may surprise you.

a warm and sunny (finally) welcome to toronto,



why can’t we just all be together??? :(

hi aska! is there a cutoff score for people applying to innis?


hey there,

the thing about cutoff marks is that schools don’t put them in place just for kicks. they exist because they just don’t have the space to take everybody, and schools need to use something to make a decision about who to admit. most places (like innis) use marks because, well, that’s just simpler, isn’t it?

what i’m saying is that because the cutoff exists to distinguish students, it is also dependent on the students. if the average mark of applicants one year is higher, then the cutoff will be higher. same thing if it’s lower. there’s no fixed number; it’s fluid, like a pool noodle soaked in water, or my marks depending on how much coffee i’ve had that week.

one trend that’s been pretty consistent over the years is that the cutoff is at least 1%-2% higher than the cutoff for entry into the Faculty of Arts & Science, which is usually somewhere in the low-mid 80s. but i can’t give you an exact number, ’cause students aren’t the same every year. hate to say it, but some of y’all are dumber than some of the rest of y’all. don’t worry though, i still love you all the same.




a college question and a tip

If I’ve been accepted into innis college, can I major in other courses that is not provided by this college? For example, can I major in human biology which is offered by new college even though I’m in innis college?


hey there,

you certainly can! the program you enrol into has no relation to your college affiliation.

by the way, i know that trying to navigate uoft when you’re just coming in can be a little confusing, so if you’re a first-year student who’d like some answers about uoft stuff from knowledgeable uoft staff,* you can always give fastanswers a try. it’s kind of like aska, but geared specifically towards answering questions for first years students. that’s just a lil tip from the inside track.

congratulations on being accepted to innis! i hope you have an awesome first year.

all the best,


*which i kind of am, but i seem to spill jam on my shirt much more than the rest of them.


at least you know aska will always be more antisocial than you.

I’ve just finished my second year of university at St. George and I haven’t really gotten into university social life. I went to UTSC, hated it,
transferred to UTSG and I’m just getting the hang of things around here. I’ve had a really rough past two years, but to avoid the sappy story, I just need some guidance on how to be social and make new friends when everyone seems to have a set social circle already. I know many people build their university relationships during frosh week and first year but since I wasn’t in the best emotional state during that period, I didn’t go to frosh. To solve this, I tried to become a frosh leader at SMC but I did not get the position. I tried really hard and put in my best effort but again, everyone knew each other already so it was hard to make an impression when you’re kind of the new kid. I guess my question is – are there any ways to get involved in UTSG social life during the summer? Any tips or resources on how to be social during the school year? I’ve joined The Varsity and UFashion but those are not running during the summer, I believe.

Also. another question.

I am thinking of transferring colleges. I’m currently in St. Mike’s but I spend a lot of time at UC and everyone that I’m close with is a UC member. I know it’s always good to go your own way but I feel comfortable at UC and the commuter resources are helpful. Overall, I just like UC a whole lot better for a lot of reasons. I know to do this I’d have to contact the college registrar and such but have you heard of any instances where someone was successful in doing this or am I just wasting my time?



hey there,

there are plenty of different activities that run in the summer. hart house has a whole range of different clubs and activities you can get involved with (archery??? heck yeah!). there are an overwhelming number of student organizations at this school, many of which run throughout the summer as well as into the school year. you can also browse work and volunteer opportunities on the student life website, which updates throughout the year.

as to transferring, i don’t know anyone personally who’s switched colleges (most of my friends are really lazy/contented though, so don’t take that to mean anything), BUT you’re definitely not wasting your time in trying. it never hurts to go and talk to your registrar’s office about it.

also, just a side note – if you’ve got friends at UC awesome enough to transfer for, then it seems like you’re already pretty involved in the social life here. maybe you’re just comfortable with a smaller amount of friends, and there’s no need to push yourself to do more. you should only ever be as social as you’re comfortable with – if you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s just not worth it. obviously this is just a suggestion, and getting involved is always a great idea, but maybe you’re not as much of an outcast/new kid as you thought!




should i stay or should i go now

I basically chose my colleges at random and got accepted to St.Mikes (which was my first choice). However..I feel like Trin or Vic would be the better choice since I’m going into Poli Sci and hopefully Law if all goes well. I will be a commuter so is it really a big deal? Also..what are some ‘legitimate’ excuses for transferring to different colleges?


hey there,

honestly, i don’t think it’ll be a huge deal, even if you weren’t a commuter student. the only way that college choice will really affect you will be through the scholarships you’ll get to apply for, the registrar’s office you may or may not deal with, and maybe there’ll be some extra-curriculars that are college-specific.

that said, i think you should really give st. mike’s a chance before you think about switching. i’m willing to bet you’ll find it’s such a peripheral part of your life that you won’t bother trying to go through the process of transferring.

there’s nothing that vic or trin could give you that st. mike’s can’t, in terms of your academic program. you say that you think vic/trin will be better because you’re going into poli sci, but ask yourself why you think that. what do you think those other colleges can provide a poli sci student that st. mike’s can’t; a more active student union? i don’t think that’s true. better work/volunteer opportunities for poli sci students? well, that’s all organized through the department of poli sci anyway. and finally, your college choice will not affect your academic ‘reputation’ or whatever when it comes time to apply to law school. trust me.

however, if you spend some time as part of st. mike’s and you find that you’re participating in vic or trin student life so much more – i.e. you do extra-curriculars there, you’re taking their ‘one’ classes, or maybe you have a part-time job there, etc. – then you can inquire at your registrar’s office about a transfer. or, if you’re adamant right now that you made the wrong choice about colleges, you should “contact [your] desired College as soon as possible to see if this is a possibility.

but if you want my honest, personal, organic, Ontario farm, 100% grain-fed opinion: it doesn’t really matter. i would just go with the flow for now. who knows? st. mike’s may surprise you.




a mysterious connection

i’m in the process of an internal transfer. i recently emailed the program director of the program i want to apply to about next steps and he asked me which college i intended to transfer to. he hasn’t emailed back in 2 days. can i hope that he’s pulling strings and talking to registrars about my application? is there precedence of this happening before? if this is possible then he is the best human on this planet. also this is a mighty fine blog you’re runnin’ here!


hey there,

i’m a little confused about your question (i always say that, don’t i?) i’m wondering why your college choice is relevant to the program you’re transferring into; because it shouldn’t be. whatever college you join has no bearing on your application to whatever program it is. so why the program director cares about your college is beyond me. i assume you need to rank your college choices as part of your application in order to transfer – just like you need to provide your name and date of birth – but like i said, it’s not related to your academic program.

either way, program directors are busy, busy people, so give him a couple of days to respond! and maybe ask about the relevance of your college choice to the program, and whether there’s some other consideration to do with colleges that i can’t think of that is related to your program.

if for some reason he is involved in your application to transfer generally, outside of academic program, then i guess he just asked because that’s information that’s relevant to your transferring? either way, i wouldn’t worry too much about it, because it shouldn’t have any connection to whether or not you get into the program you want!




hello darkness, my old friend


I got in to UTSG’s physical and mathematical sciences program along with Victoria College, but I’m not so sure about whether I want to stay at Vic or switch to UC. according to this —, uc is more diverse than Vic, and its residence is definitely newer. So my questions are:

1. Does choosing a college really matter if I commute? What changes if I don’t commute?
2. If I live in residence, which one is better? (so for example food, rooms, people, parties, environment etc)
3. Is it still possible to switch colleges after being accepted?



hey there,

ahh, the college question. i’d almost forgotten about it by this point. almost. until you brought it up again.

not to fear though, my friend, you have levelled up from the most vile college question – “wot college is da best 1” – to a tolerable college question! are you proud? you should be proud.

ok, so if you tried to link to something in those three dash marks after “according to this,” i didn’t get the link, so…i’m just gonna ignore it. onto the questions!

1. choosing a college does matter if you commute! apart from those abstract notions of college pride, there are a few concrete ways i’d say college choice matters for the commuter. first, the size of the college’s student base determines how busy the registrar’s office will be. do you want to avoid waiting eons for an appointment at the registrar’s office? then maybe pick a small college. on the other hand, colleges with larger student bases may have more resources.

second, if you think you’ll ever be interested in applying for scholarships, it’s worth it to take a look at the different scholarships each college offers.

third, different colleges have subtle differences in the kinds of extra- and co-curricular programs they offer, so maybe do some digging and see if any offer things you especially like.

if you DON’T commute, then you have to factor in what you want out of residence into your college decision. that includes whether or not you prefer co-ed buildings/floors/rooms, whether you want a suite-style or dormitory-style room, the location of the college’s different residences, and the price. nothing else changes, practically or formally speaking. you just live on campus.

2. i haven’t lived in residence at vic or uc, so i can’t say for sure. what i’d recommend is that you take a residence tour and make decisions based on your own impressions. only you know what you want!

3. it is possible, but it’s difficult. usually you need a pretty good reason to switch colleges, and it involves a bit of hassle, what with going to your college registrar and having to talk with them about it and stuff. you can read what vic (the only college that even mentions the possibility of switching, to my knowledge) has to say about it here. tbh, i doubt there’ll be reason to make a switch. you’ll see once you come here that you’ll have more important things to focus on than college affiliation, and that colleges don’t figure as much into your student life as you might think.

i hope you have a grand-slamming end of high school, and that you enjoy first year!




i’ve scared the populace

Hi there,
Thank you so much for answering all those questions. It’s super helpful ! I’d like to ask if the choice of college determines whether you’ll be accepted or not accepted in Uof’T ? I chose Victoria University as my first choice and University College as my second, so if I dont get admitted in Victoria, will the other colleges look at my applications?

Thanks a ton.


hey there,

aww man, it’s been a while since the last college question! have i scared you all out of asking them? i’m sorry. well, not really. that was kinda my intention. but i still like you guys. you guys are my specials.

anyway, this is a very REASONABLE COLLEGE QUESTION, so congrats! and it has a very simple answer: first, uoft accepts you, then the colleges look at your application. so your admission to colleges is conditional upon your admission to the university, not the other way around. if you don’t get admitted to vic, you’ll be put into another college.

but if you DO get into vic, you’ll be in the same college as aska! and that’s something to celebrate, doncha know.



P.S. I’m glad you find me helpful, friend. I love being useful. It helps me deal with the fact that I never felt useful to my mother. #psych101


so you wanna be a frosh leader?

I was wondering if you could be a frosh leader for a college that’s not yours. I’m officially a St.Michael’s College member but I really hate that college/don’t know why I picked it and I don’t spend a lot of time with SMC people and I spend most of my days at UC since I know a lot of UC students. Would I be allowed to be a frosh leader for UC although I’m from SMC??


hey there,

i’m sorry to hear that’s how you feel about SMC. maybe, if you feel so strongly about it and spend so much time at UC anyway, it might be a good idea to consider transferring colleges. every college is different and if SMC isn’t working for you, then maybe you should consider contacting UC in person or by e-mail to discuss transferring colleges. that way, when it comes to things like applying to be frosh leader, the path will be a lot more straightforward.

as to whether or not UC’ll take you on if you’re from another college, it’s kinda hard to tell tbh. i haven’t found any OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS that specifically BAN students from other colleges applying, but it seems like one of those rules that goes without saying. like, they also don’t expressly ban students from other universities from applying, but i think we can agree they’re not gonna be hired. however, the people who would probably know for sure whether you have a chance are the folks at in charge of student life at uc. i’d speak with them first!

at the end of the day, if none of this pans out, i think that being part of orientation week is awesome, no matter which college you’re a part of. maybe doing frosh with SMC might even open your eyes to the cool stuff hidden away in little corners of your college. who knows! either way, i hope you go ahead and apply, ’cause it’s a great opportunity, no matter which college you remain affiliated with.

best of luck,



college one, college FUN

Hey aska!

I was wondering how beneficial the One programs at UofT are. Is there a lot of work? Are the classes more difficult? And how exactly are they incorporated into your schedule? Do you take them along with all the other classes you have to take for your program? Thanks for answering!

Waiting patiently, AFutureStudent


hey there,

i’d say the college one classes are extremely beneficial, but probably not for ways you can appreciate just yet. firstly, they’re much smaller than a regular class, and believe me, your first year classes are more than likely going to be very, very big. this means that in a college one class, you’ll actually get to interact with your teacher! trust me, you don’t know how cool that is until you don’t have the opportunity to do it anymore.

is it a lot of work? i’d say it’s not more or less work than a normal class. it’s just a different environment. by the same token, it’s also not inherently more difficult. i mean, you might happen to have a college one class that’s more difficult than your other classes, but it’s not like a rule or something. it’s not like college one classes are structured to be more challenging than regular classes. they’re so diverse in subject matter that you can’t really say they’re all one thing or another, except that they’re all small. they’re essentially the university trying to give you the opportunity to feel like you’re in a classroom, instead of a huge holding pen like in all your other lectures.

they’re on your schedule just like a regular class. you enrol in the class on ROSI in like late August or whatever, at the same time as your regular lectures, and attend it every week a certain number of times, just like your other classes. i’d definitely encourage you to enrol in one if it piques your interest, or to meet a program requirement, but don’t do it just because you think it’s more prestigious or rigorous than other classes. it’s just a different format, and is not a requirement (unless you’re at vic, in which case you can use it to meet the small class requirement).

i hope that helps!


P.S. I realized that you are referring to College One as a program rather than a class, which makes me think that you are considering it to be like an extra thing on top of what you plan to major/specialize in. don’t think about it like that! you can take as many or as few college one courses as you want – there is no inherent benefit or disadvantage to taking all your college’s college one courses. it’s all about what you want to be learning.


applying to uni sure is fun

Hi there!

I was just wondering if I will get a separate email from Trinity College on how to apply for the supplementary application. I tried going through the link they have on their website but it won’t open.

Since I had to rank colleges… If I don’t get accepted to the first college, will the second then the next etc look at the application? Or will all colleges look at the application then offer an admission? I’m kind of confused with this process… How will this affect the choices for residence if let’s say I prefer Woodsworth or New College/s Residences over Trinity Residence? Is the deadline February 28?

When I tried applying to UTAPS, it linked me to the OSAP site.. is it the same application or separate? Also, how big of an impact does extra-curriculars have on getting an offer from U of T (Faculty of Arts & Science)? Is there something similar to a PEY for Humanities students (Ethics, Society & Law) or an internship etc?

Sorry for all the questions!

Thanks so much & I hope I hear back from you soon.


hey there,

i’m not sure what you mean about the trin application, because it works for me. you should be able to go here, enter your JOINid (which should have been e-mailed to you by the university) and fill it out! if it’s not working, e-mail the college for help (registrar (at) trinity (.) utoronto (.) ca).

as for colleges, basically, they try to put you in your #1 choice if at all possible. so if you put trin as #1, i hope you’re happy with getting into trin. if you prefer woodsworth or new, put one of those as your first choice!

Your OUAC application should have been handed in yesterday, January 15th (though it looks like you still can submit the application up until february 28th if you need to). Trinity college doesn’t specify a deadline for their college profile application thingy, but they do have early february BOLDED as a recommendation, so i’d aim for then.

as for UTAPS, this is the application procedure.

also lol no, if you’re in the humanities you basically have to fend for yourself. but if you do a bit of careful googling, you’ll find there are lots of private internships offered by companies in the city, that you can apply to all by yourself. there’s also work-study, which allows you to work on campus for actual money! woo!

ALSO extra-curriculars are not considered for your application to uoft, though they may have some bearing on your trin application, and they are also important for scholarship/grant/bursary applications, which i would strongly recommend you apply for.



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