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Nontraditional or mature students, typically over 25, demonstrate remarkable resilience as they navigate Canadian post-secondary institutes. Despite the added pressures of managing school and home responsibilities, these students often excel academically compared to their peers in traditional educational settings. Retention rates can be affected by challenges that are unique to each individual. Therefore, it is essential to provide customized support to improve retention rates.

Mature students, characterized by their age, enhance the learning atmosphere with their exceptional and valuable viewpoints. Their extensive experience and strong inner motivation to succeed make them stand out from younger students. They prioritize personal development and have specific educational objectives that distinguish them. Still, they also face unique obstacles and multiple responsibilities related to their roles within a system primarily designed for traditional students. Their existence is not only recognized but also appreciated for the diversity it brings.

If you are a mature student looking to study in Canada, here are the summarized details of the top 10 universities for you:

1. York University, Ontario

York University, a prestigious institution in Canada, proudly hosts over 6,000 mature students. These individuals bring a wealth of practical experience to their academic pursuits, a factor that significantly contributes to their success. Despite the age difference, their goals align closely with younger students’ goals – to create positive change in their lives. The university considers you a mature student if:

  • Starting a degree at age 25 or older
  • You have been out of formal schooling for a period of five years or more
  • You have less than a year of studies at an accredited college or university

York welcomes senior citizens 60 or older to take academic courses and earn degrees. Another good part of this program is that Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for a tuition fee waiver. This waiver is restricted to one graduate and one undergraduate degree.

2. Canadian Mennonite University, Manitoba

The university is affiliated with the Mennonite Church of Canada and the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba. In Canada, those who are citizens or permanent residents and do not meet the academic requirements for Regular Student admission may be considered Mature Students if they are at least twenty-one years old by the end of the year they apply. To be eligible, applicants must have:

  • Completed grade 12, although they may have some missing subjects required for Regular Student admission.
  • Finished three approved 40S courses or their equivalents in the last three years.
  • Completed at least one semester (9 credit hours) with a minimum 2.0 GPA at another post-secondary institution, such as a technical college, Bible school, or college.
  • Successfully completed a certificate program equivalent to one semester of study (9 credit hours) in the continuing education department of a post-secondary institution.
  • Passed the General Education Development Tests.
  • Had a successful prior learning assessment at CMU.

Immigrate to Canada as a Mature Student

Apply for a Canada Study Visa as a Mature Student with the help of our Licensed RCIC Experts.

3. The University of British Columbia

Requirements for Mature Students

  • You must be outside full-time education for at least 4 years, including high school and post-secondary programs.
  • If you have an undergraduate degree and wish to earn a second degree, you can apply as a transfer or unclassified student.
  • Full-time study is considered when you take three or more courses per term/semester or nine or more transferable credits per term/semester.

Program Choices in Okanagan

  • Arts
  • Fine Arts
  • Health and Exercise Sciences
  • Management
  • Media Studies
  • Nursing
  • Science (if you have not taken math or science courses in the last four years, you are strongly encouraged to take refresher courses before applying)
  • Sustainability

Program Choices in Vancouver

  • Applied Biology
  • Arts
  • Fine Arts: Acting, Creative Writing, Film Production, Theatre Design and Production, Visual Art
  • Food, Nutrition, and Health
  • Indigenous Land Stewardship
  • Kinesiology
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • Natural Resources (Conservation, Bio-economy, Wood Products and other Forestry related majors)
  • Urban Forestry

4. Concordia University

Concordia University offers a unique opportunity for individuals who may not meet the standard academic admission requirements through its Mature Entry Program (MEP)1. Here are some critical details about the program:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 21 years old by the time of application.
  • Academic Background: Applicants who lack the standard academic requirements for admission (for example, did not complete high school, did not attend CEGEP, or started but did not complete a DEC) but can demonstrate the ability to undertake undergraduate courses successfully are eligible.
  • Period without Studies: Applicants must not have studied full-time for at least 24 months since the age of 18.
  • Residency: Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Application Process

  • Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, a letter of intent explaining why they have chosen to study at the university at this time, and any experience, knowledge, or skills they have acquired that would assist them in their studies.
  • A birth certificate or other accepted proof of age and transcripts are also required.

Program Requirements

  • Mature Entrants at Concordia are treated as regular undergraduates and are expected to meet the same standards before graduating.
  • The MEP usually requires the completion of 18 additional credits.

Canada Student Visa After 5 to 25 Years Long Gap

5. University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo considers mature students on a case-by-case basis. While all applicants are expected to meet the published criteria for their chosen program, the university also takes into account academic records, resumes, and other biographical material.

Here’s a summary of the mature student requirements by faculty:

  1. Faculty of Arts: Mature students, typically those who have been away from secondary school for four years, are considered based on academic records, resumes, and other biographical material. In some cases, upgrading in English courses may be required.
  2. Faculty of Engineering: Admission is based on the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses or equivalents. Experience in developing well-structured, modular programs is recommended.
  3. School of Architecture: Admission is based on the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses or equivalents. Selected students will be invited to submit a portfolio of creative work, make a presentation, and complete a précis test.
  4. Faculty of Environment: Mature students are considered based on academic records, resumes, and other biographical material. In some cases, upgrading in English, math, or science at the high school or equivalent level may be required.
  5. Faculty of Health: Mature students are required to have at a minimum the required Ontario Grade 12 U and/or M courses or equivalents for their program of interest.
  6. Faculty of Mathematics: Mature students should have covered all the material in the Ontario high school math courses required for admission. If it has been more than three years since you completed the Ontario high school math courses, you may be asked to repeat some or all of the required courses.
  7. Faculty of Science: Mature students are required to have at a minimum the required Ontario Grade 12 U courses or equivalents.

6. Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) recognizes the value of mature students in the academic community. Here’s a summary of the key points about mature students at TRU:

  1. Definition: TRU defines mature students as applicants who are at least 19 years old and have not graduated high school or completed their Adult Graduation Diploma. These students may have the grade level admission requirement waived but are still required to meet a program’s other admission requirements and all course prerequisites.
  2. Classification: TRU also uses the term “mature students” for students who come to TRU later in life, possibly with other life commitments, but do not need to use the mature student status for admission.
  3. Contribution: Mature students are an integral part of TRU’s student body. Their life experience and practical skills in the classroom provide additional learning opportunities for other students and faculty.
  4. Demographics: Did you know that 47% of TRU’s on-campus students are 25 or older? This statistic underscores the fact that it’s never too late to learn.
  5. Tuition Reimbursement: Students aged 65 or older at the start of their course(s) may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. However, all other non-tuition fees, including Student Union fees, still apply.

Here is a case study of a mature student who studied at TRU.

How Deepanjali Got Canada Study Visa After 25 Years Gap?

7. University of Toronto

Program Requirements for International Students

  • If you have enrolled in or graduated from an accredited international university or college with excellent academic performance, your application will be evaluated based on your post-secondary education and your latest yearly average.
  • However, the university will assess your complete educational history.
  • Those who meet the criteria will be accepted into a program. The Faculty/Department will decide on the specific program admission after assessing transfer credits and considering whether the program prerequisites and grade prerequisites have been fulfilled.

Education Programs

You can apply to the pathway programs if you are not eligible for your target academic program and have not completed university-level studies.

Academic Bridging Program – Available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons (refugees).

  • Academic Bridging at Woodsworth College (U of T St. George)
  • Academic Bridging at U of T Mississauga

Transitional Year Programme (TYP) – Full-time, 8-month access to university program for those who do not have formal university admission due to financial, social, personal, political, familial or mental health barriers issues.

  • Transitional Year Programme at U of T St. George
  • Transitional Year Program at U of T Scarborough
  • Diploma to Degree programmes provide 2-year arts and science diplomas in the university’s partner institutions.

8. Brandon University

Brandon University welcomes mature students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and are at least 21 years old. There are various programs for mature students who have not crossed high school and are applying for readmission after interrupting studies for at least 3 years. If any applicant has attended any other post-graduation institution, the transcripts will be automatically evaluated for potential transfer credit at Brandon University upon acceptance.

9. University of Regina

The University of Regina welcomes mature students to evening, weekend, and online courses. It also offers flexible offerings and personalized support services. Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person of at least 21 years of age can apply for programs.
If you are applying for programs in the faculties of arts, education, la cité, media, art, and performance, or kinesiology and health studies, you must have completed less than 15 credit hours of approved post-secondary courses.

You should have completed less than 24 credit hours for programs in the faculties of science (through the Science Qualifying Program) or social work. Additionally, you should be able to show your potential for success at university through life or work-related experiences.

10. Western University Canada

Requirement for Mature and Senior Students

  • Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply for this program.
  • Your age will be at least 21 years of age in the year of applying.
  • You have not completed a full-time formal university or college education.
  • You have not acquired full-time attendance at an educational institution in the past four years.
  • You have earned at least a grade of “C” (60%) in all academic work in the past 4 years.

Requirement for Senior Citizens

  • You are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who resides in Ontario
  • You will be at least 60 years of age during the first month of classes

Take Professional Help from Licensed Consultants

If you are a mature international student, we can help you apply to reputed Canadian universities even with a long education gap. We specialize in Mature student applications for Canadian study. Our team lead, Keshav Sharma, is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant with extensive experience in this category. Feel free to contact our experts or book a consultation with us.

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