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U of T Engineering is now participating in, an online platform that enables student applicants to start earning scholarship credits right from their first year of high school. (Photo: Neil Ta)

A new partnership is letting American applicants to U of T — including prospective U of T Engineers — start earning credit toward ‘micro-scholarships’ through the online platform is a program that allows U.S. high school students to accumulate credits toward real scholarships based on achievements like high grades, attendance, volunteerism and participating in school clubs and sports teams. Students can begin accumulating credits as early as Grade 9, and continue throughout their high-school years. The incremental awards can add up to $6,000 (or $5,000 USD) toward tuition when the student receives an offer of admission.

Through an online interface, students can upload their test scores and extracurricular activities to an online profile. They can then “follow” various institutions, including U of T, to find out what those achievements would earn in terms of entrance scholarships.

Like many universities, U of T offers scholarships to both domestic and international students, including the International Scholar Award, which offers full tuition renewable for four years. However, currently students don’t know what they will be offered until after they apply — the new program allows students to get that information immediately, and continue to build toward their goals. U of T is one of four Canadian schools and more than 100 U.S. colleges participating in the program.

In addition to grades and volunteer activities, students can also earn credits by attending U of T recruitment events. For example, each November the University of Toronto’s Engineering Student Recruitment and Retention Office (ESSRO), in cooperation with the Office of Student Recruitmenthosts a special campus experience just for U.S. students. Last year’s visitors came from as far away as California, Texas and even Alaska.

Michelle Beaton, associate director of ESSRO, notes that U of T Engineering has long been a destination for many U.S. high-school sophomores and juniors, who participate in the DEEP Summer Academy program offered by Engineering Outreach. These activities have been added to the platform.

“We are excited about welcoming more talented aspiring engineers from the U.S.,” says Beaton. “We hope that will be another great way to recognize U.S. students’ achievements and help them discover the potential of a U of T Engineering education.”

With files from Arthur Kaptainis

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