McGill University '25 (entering fall '21) for US students - thoughts? doubts? stats? results?

The application form has been made available on 10/1, and I don’t see a forum on the topic yet so I decided to start one - our D just completed their wonderfully simple application process.
She has 4.0 UWGPA in grades 10-11 and 34 on ACT, plus 6 APs so far (5s on 5 of them, 4 on 1), 5 more this year, the math and science prerequisites are already met - so we are hoping the admission to their B.A./B.S. program should be problem-free, and who knows, maybe even some scholarship money.
Her French is quite fluent, and she doesn’t mind the cold climate (tested and proven in Chicago lakefront winters), and she’s traveled enough to avoid any culture shock.
Our anxieties are obvious - who knows how long the border will be closed, and how a big and less supportive institution (compare to US LACs) will manage it if the next academic year is still online.
Are you applying? What are your thoughts?
or - have you enrolled recently? If so, how is it this year?

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My daughter will be applying from us high school. We don’t have any test scores due to cancellations but she has 8 AP courses and A’s in all classes with all 5’s and one 4 on her AP tests. How competitive is management vs arts/science inter faculty - she is looking at environment and sustainability

I have two sons in Montreal - fourth year (U3) at McGill and second year at Concordia. Canada just opened the border to international students with a study permit. (This is something you will apply for the MINUTE you get your acceptance.) This is really good news because to date it has been at the discretion of the border agents.

Desautels (Management) is probably the most difficult faculty to get into. Over the last four years it’s just really become a challenge. Take a look at the minima listed on the McGill website. It gives you a good sense. ( Remember that McGill is solely by GPA and ACT/SAT scores. No recommendations. No weighting for AP classes. Much more cut and dry than in the US.

Dorm life has been tough this year; Quebec shut Montreal down this month and the kids aren’t allowed to have visitors to their rooms (and every room is a single this year). Normally, student life at McGill (and Concordia) are amazing. Both of my both have really treasured their time there. And I will say - the education at McGill (and my son’s program at Concordia) are truly top notch. The rumors of the McGill rigor are very, very true. The kids works their tails off for sure…but they have a lot of fun.

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@SwimmingDad Thank you for your lovely post.
The clarity of their admission requirements created an ideal situation for us - McGill became our ultimate safety school. We realize that this year anything may happen but I don’t see why a kid with 34 on the ACT and 4.0 UWGPA would be turned down from their Arts and Sciences, and the tuition is so affordable for those in the middle like us (too rich for a lot of FA, not rich enough for $75,000/year full pay in the US).
Once the test score became available, we had a wonderful conversation with our D - we asked her to divide her monster list of colleges into 2 groups - those she’d prefer to McGill (without financial considerations at this point), and the rest. It used to be 23 schools, now it is 12 (6 clearly above McGill for her, 6 equally desirable).
When you say the dorm life is tough, obviously you don’t compare it to so many colleges in the US (including some of the best) where there is no dorm life, just the old-bedroom-in the-parents’-house life. I’d take the sensible Canadian restrictions over the US situation any day!
As for the rigor - I think there’s something amazingly honest in taking ~40 % of kids applying there and demanding a lot of them. When you take 3-5% of candidates, you really have to try hard to mess them up. Working with a much less selective group and turning them into amazing young intellectuals - now, that’s art!

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@ArtsyKidDad A little clarity is amazing, isn’t it?! I’ve been through the process twice and am glad to be done with it!

Your daughter’s stats are indeed excellent and it would seem like there will be a good outcome. She should be proud - she clearly has worked hard and achieved!

The financial considerations for us were very real. We are very fortunate but are expected to be full pay…even with two kids in at once. McGill is less expensive than even our state flagship…it still blows me away.

The thing to keep in mind about McGill’s acceptance rate - it is so high because of the acceptance criteria. If you have a 3.5 you simply will not get into Desautels…so they don’t apply. It’s not like the US where you have people applying to schools they will NEVER get into. So don’t be fooled by the acceptance rates. :slight_smile:

The part that has stood out for me about McGill (and Concordia) is this: they simply expect the kids to adult and the kids really rise to the occasion. It can be a bit scary and frustrating at times, but yeah at 19 my son was in an apartment in a city doing his own grocery shopping and cooking and paying bills. He was creating his connections in his neighborhood - the owner of the breakfast place, the people who work at Tim Horton’s; the owner of the dive poutine place, etc. I sent a kid who was (in my opinion) a bit immature for his age to McGill and they sent me back a kid far more mature than his HS peers. There is a lot of value in that. (And no…this ad is not paid for by McGill.)

Good luck with the journey. I think your daughter will have a lot of amazing options in the end. :slight_smile:

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@ArtsyKidDad I had another aha thought when I was working out this morning…and it is an important one. McGill charges tuition by the unit versus in the US where (at most schools) 12-16 units you pay the same “full tuition”. My son entered with 18 units (from 6 AP classes). The nice thing is it allows a student to take just four classes in a semester which is a HUGE difference. (Again…McGill = workload and rigor.) Now the important piece. The 18 units were “free” meaning what I am paying out over the four years is 18 units less. So this is another enormous cost savings. (The other big one is when they move off campus second year…Montreal cost of living is low.)

Just another consideration. Have a great day!

@SwimmingDad thank you for all this info and insight. My daughter applied to McGill. Her first choice is a program in the agriculture faculty - that is on the MacDonald campus - do your kids have any experience with that smaller campus? She is excited about McGill - is doing very well in French and wants to become fluent (is American )! Also, She had sent a transcript and letter of Recc. from Naviance before she applied and realized they didn’t want any of that. She knows in mid November to check minerva about entering grades. Do you think bad that the transcript and Recc went?

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@phlped At worst the transcript and rec letter will be ignored. If she will be applying for merit aid it is a separate application and it is holistic.

My son graduated from McGill some years ago. While not a Mac campus student he was familiar with that campus. The Macdonald campus is on the western tip of the island in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, a quaint bilingual community. The campus contains a farm, an arboretum and several orchards. Ste. Anne is also home to John Abbott College, an English CEGEP, and Macdonald High School, also English.

Ste. Anne is about 25 miles from downtown. McGill operates a shuttle bus between the campuses. There is also a commuter rail station giving access to downtown for weekend visits. In a couple of years the REM light rail system will be extended to Ste. Anne about a mile from campus. As a Mac student you can live downtown but it is not recommended given the nature of Montreal winters.

Mac has about 2000 students in in Agriculture and Nutrition.

My sister applied last week. Following to hear about when decisions start coming out. I’m a current McGill student. Good luck everyone!

@mnys21 Can you tell us a bit more about MacDonald campus if you are familiar? Is there really no dining plan there?

Mac campus is beautiful! Just asked my friend, there is no meal plan, but there are communal kitchens and restaurants.

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This year US students are supposed to self-report their grades on Minerva. This does not work for my son. The Self-report now is set only for Canadian students. Were you able to upload your grades as a US student?

D21 US here- not able to upload grades yet. I figured they just hadn’t opened that part of portal yet. It originally said to check in mid November for that, but now says to check back in late November…

So I figured, thank you. Also, my son took the SAT I and SAT II Math but not the other SAT II due to cancellations. He wants the SATs that he took to be taken into consideration + his AP Physics C tests, all with ‘5’. However, it seems that it’s all or nothing this year, either submit all required tests or upload the form and ask for all of them to be excluded. He is not sure whether to submit the form or not.

McGill has opened the portal for US students to self-report their grades. It is available on Minerva now for those who have already submitted their application.

@MangoMangoMango thanks for the heads up. My daughter’s school does a block schedule - so she may only have History for one semester but it was double length classes. Only gets one grade at year end - would you still put “year long/one grade” - if she tries to enter “semester” it wants two grades which doesn’t work!

MacDonald campus is nice, in a quaint historic town on the tip of the western end of the island of Montreal. It is a good 45 minute drive to the downtown McGill campus, and I believe you can take a train there. You don’t want to be taking the bus. It used to be far bigger, but a large part of the campus was taken over in the early 70’s by a newly formed CEGEP(provincial Junior college).

The social life would be radically different than what would be available to a student at the main(downtown) campus. Much quieter, with less in the way of restaurants, shows, nightlife in general, diversity. 

In other words, you should probably treat Macdonald as a completely different school than McGill. I do not think that it would be practical to attend there and live downtown.

I am not sure. My daughter has one class that is every day for one semester. She entered it as a semester class and entered her first quarter grade. She left the spot empty where it asked for the second quarter grade. I assume she can add that when she gets it in Feb if it is required later on. I am hoping they make a decision on at least of her faculties before then without it, though.

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Does anyone think we could start hearing this week about US applicants? My son goes to Queens and he got accepted two years ago this week in first round… eagerly awaiting now that a lot of US schools are returning acceptances. McGill is my daughters first choice.

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@labradoodlemom Let’s hope for the best and be prepared for the worst, everything is so much delayed this year…