Prospective students planning to attend Ryerson or other Ontario universities are money-makers for post-secondary institutions, even before they’ve had their first class or paid tuition.
For the 2012-13 school year, Ryerson received more than $1.7 million from applications submitted to the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC), according to data supplied by school registrar Charmaine Hack.
The OUAC handles undergraduate and graduate submissions from students hoping to attend universities in Ontario. The processing fee is $130 for secondary-school applicants and $135 for non-secondary applicants.
The $1.7 million is a total of both categories. Ryerson’s share of funding from the OUAC applications accounted for 8.8 per cent of the provincial total.
Applicants can rank their top three universities in the event they do not get accepted to their first choice. However, that does not affect the amount of money each school receives from the applications.
“There is no allocation (of money) based on students’ preference,” said OUAC executive director George Granger.
“What happens is we charge fees and collect money and there is a calculation that’s done based on a formula on a combination of volume (of applications) and share of government funding.”
Ryerson received its final payment for the 2012-13 school year in October and won’t receive its final payment for the 2013-14 year until the spring, according to Hack.
From 2012 to 2013, applications to Ryerson increased by 11.1 per cent for secondary-school applicants and 5.8 per cent for non-secondary applicants, according to data from OUAC.
This means Ryerson could receive even more money for the current school year from first-year students — a welcome wave of financial relief to a school swamped with budget cuts.
“Like all departments at Ryerson, we have been working with annual base budget cuts in the range of three per cent,” Hack said.
“Base funding for recruitment, therefore, has declined, but we have been able to maintain consistency of activity year over year using (one-time-only) allocations, and by simultaneously reducing costs related to postage, for example, in lieu of expanded web.”