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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
November 28, 2014

Canadian Excellence


Tips for Parents

University is often a transition for parents just as much as it is for students! To help ease this transition we have compiled a list of common university and Laurier terms that you will hear during the application process and throughout their time at Laurier.

ABS Form (Applicant Background Summary Form): A form available for all Laurier applicants to fill out. This form allows students to describe any athletics, extra curricular activities or special circumstances that may have affected their marks in high school. This form will be taken into consideration if a student falls within 3% of the mark needed to be admitted into the program. Completed online through LORIS during the application time.

Academic Advisor: There are academic advisors for each program of study as well as one central academic advisor for the whole school. The advisors can help students with degree and progression requirements, graduate school options and much more (Undergraduate Academic Advisors).

Admission Requirements and Averages: The high school courses or other requirements (such as an audition for Music) needed in order to be considered for admission into a program at Laurier. Admission averages are the grades needed to be considered for admission (Admissions Office).

Don: An upper year student who lives in residence with first year students. The Don acts as a mentor to first year students and creates programming to help ease the transition from high school to university.

Exam Period: The exam period takes place at the end of each academic term when all classes are finished. This period gives students an opportunity to focus solely on studying for and writing their exams (Exam Schedule).

GPA (Grade Point Average): The numerical system Laurier uses to measure how our students are doing academically. Whether they are allowed to move to the next year in a program, continue in a program, or continue to study at Laurier depends on the GPA they achieve. If it starts to fall or if they're getting too many grades of C and D, they can contact their honours program advisor so they can put together a plan to get their studies back on track. Laurier's GPA system is out of 12 (website).

HeadStart: A transition program for incoming first year students held every summer. New students and their parents can get help picking their classes, take a campus tour and attend university preparation sessions on campus (website).

Laurier Day and March Break Open House: Open houses held in November and March every year. Come see what Laurier has to offer! (

LORIS: This is the online portal for students to pick classes and check their marks, tuition fees and much more! (

MyLearningSpace: The online educational tool used by the university. Professors post slides, grades and important information and students can use it to ask questions, discuss with their peers or access information for their courses (website).

Area of Specialization (Major): The field of study or discipline within an established honours program.

Minor: A secondary area of concentration in an honours program only, requiring a sequence of at least 3.0 credits or equivalent in one subject as specified in the program description.

Option: An area of concentration students can take in addition to their honours program which shows up on their degree.

Orientation Week (O-Week): A week of events starting on "Move-in Day" (Labour Day) and going until the first Saturday before classes begin. Hundreds of volunteers including "Ice Breakers" welcome the new students to Laurier through fun activities and spirit events. The week is aimed at ensuring students feel completely comfortable and integrated into their new home by the time classes begin the following Monday. (Information and Registration).

OUAC: Ontario Universities Application Centre handles all applications to all Ontario universities. Onatario high school students receive a pin code from their guidance counsellors used to apply online. OUAC website

OUF (Ontario Universities Fair): An annual fair held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where high school students and parents can visit informational booths by all Ontario Universities to learn more about the schools and ask questions directly to campus representatives. OUF website

Study Abroad: Laurier offers a student exchange program through "Laurier International" where students can travel to and study at one of our partner universities while paying Laurier tuition. Examples of exchange countries are: Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Germany and France (Laurier International).