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Stratford Hall Students See the World with Some of the Highest University Acceptance Rates

Achieving 100% acceptance rates to post-secondary institutions, Stratford Hall students are studying around the globe, prepared for higher-learning—and for life.

In Canada, student acceptance rates to the country’s top universities range from 18% to 80% with students applying from a broad cross-section of locations, academic backgrounds and secondary schools. Naturally, GPA is the first determining factor for admissions, but also important is demonstration that students are well-rounded and prepared for life.

A seat for every student

Students at Stratford Hall, an independent International Baccalaureate school in Vancouver, apply to a global range of post-secondary schools, and 100% of them receive an offer to at least one school of choice. In 2024, 37 out of 40 in one class applied to schools in the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America and Canada, while the other three elected for purpose-oriented gap years before applying.

“Many students received offers from their first-choice institutions and 100% of students who applied received at least one offer,” says Angela Collins, post secondary advisor at Stratford Hall. “Over $700,000 in scholarships were offered to the current graduating class.”

The reasons for these students’ success are layered. For one thing, the International Baccalaureate curriculum ensures a well-rounded course selection and encourages holistic development. “Students select one course in each of six subject groupings, as opposed to the ability to concentrate in any one area,” says Isobel Willard, Stratford Hall interim diploma programme coordinator. “It focuses on academic excellence but also on creativity, physical fitness and community service.”

Learning how to learn

Across all subjects, teaching is rooted in how to learn, rather than what to learn, and every lesson encourages inquisitive, open-minded, reflective learning while developing thinking skills, communication, research, self-management and social skills.

The overarching paradigm views the classroom as a lab for life. Drawing inspiration from Michelle Obama’s famous quote, “You have to practice what you want to be,” the classroom becomes a safe and supported place where students can discover their strengths, tackle their challenges and develop meaningful life skills.

“As an example, our students are guided to use conflicts that arise as means to talk about communication skills for conflict resolution,” says David Chiu, post secondary advisor at Stratford Hall. “We present relatable case studies and role plays that challenge students to take on the helper or bigger sibling role to solve a problem.”

Learning goes beyond the classroom. The Career Conference invites a diversity of professionals who have experienced winding pathways to the school to share their stories and open students’ minds to the different forms that a career journey can take. Students are also connected to internship opportunities that foster a sense of responsibility and accountability to real world tasks and people other than themselves.

Experiential learning

A wide variety of universities visit Stratford Hall yearly at mini-fairs, singular visits, presentations and the Think Beyond Fair, which highlights the post-secondary educational opportunities that are close to home.

“Think Beyond exposes our students to a wide variety of career options from medical doctor to artist to visual effects artist and beyond,” Chiu says. “We also organize presentations and panel discussions for students to engage with in industry and in universities.”

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