FAQ

The Admission Team at Havergal wants to ensure that our admission process is open, compassionate and enjoyable for you and your child. Below are some frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answers you are looking for here, please contact us at 416-482-7547 for inquiries regarding Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. For Grades 7 to 12, please call 416-482-4724. Our email is [email protected]

We look forward to introducing you to the Havergal community!

What do we look for in an applicant?

Our admission process is focused on finding all the ways our applicants are unique and why they will thrive at Havergal. Will they be excited and engaged by an academic culture that is stimulating, challenging and rooted in the liberal arts? Will they embody our values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage? How will they embrace our incredible array of athletic, co-curricular and leadership opportunities? We seek to understand who each applicant is: as a learner, leader, friend and community member. We use report cards, the confidential applicant profile and our internal assessment to understand each applicant as a learner. The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to share more about what makes them tick. What are they passionate about? What do they love about learning? What questions keep them up at night? How might they make a difference to the Havergal community and the world?

Are you currently offering in-person tours?

Due to COVID-19, we are not currently offering in-person tours. We encourage you to watch our Virtual Tour and participate in our many online admission events, which have been designed to allow your family to understand our school, our community and the Havergal difference. We hope that we will be able to welcome you to our beautiful 22-acre campus soon.

How many students do you admit each year?

The number of students we admit each year varies by grade. Our major entry years are Junior Kindergarten and Grades 1, 5, 7 and 9. We welcome new Boarders in Grades 9 to 11. Please check our How to Apply page for a detailed breakdown of our intake at each grade level. 

We are interested in Havergal for our child, but they would be applying for a non-entry year. Should we apply by the application deadline or wait to see if a space becomes available?

Occasionally, space is available for non-entry years, so it is always advisable to apply. If we have your child’s application and a space becomes available, we will review all applications and invite select candidates to an interview and to participate in an online assessment.

Can I submit an application after the December 1, 2021 deadline?

We do not accept applications for Day Students after the December 1, 2021 deadline. Applications for Boarding Students are received on a rolling basis, but we strongly encourage applicants to apply by December 1, as spaces are limited.

My child’s school will not fill out the Confidential School Report. What should I do?

The information on the Confidential School Report helps us to better understand who your child is as a learner. We understand that not all schools are willing to complete the report. If there is a teacher from a previous school who knows your child well, they are more than welcome to complete the form. If that is not possible, please return the report to us with a note indicating that the school will not complete the form. Applicants are not penalized for this.

Does Havergal require the SSAT or other standardized admission assessments?

Havergal does not currently require the SSAT for students who are applying for Grades 5 to 9.  We do require it for both Day and Boarding Students applying to Grade 10 or 11. Please visit ssat.org for more information and testing dates. 

As a highly academic school with a Liberal Arts focus, it is critical that our admission process includes the identification of qualities and skills that are important for success at Havergal and beyond. We are also mindful that the pandemic has resulted in different educational experiences for all of our applicants. We want to ensure our process continues to be inclusive and meets each of our applicants where they are at. Through the interview, we complete a carefully designed academic, age and stage appropriate assessment which allows our team to work with each applicant to understand who they are as a learner.  

At this time, the assessment will be conducted remotely via Zoom in the course of your child’s interview.

My child is worried about her interview. How can I prepare them?

Interviews provide an opportunity for us to get to know the families who would like to join the Havergal community. To prepare for an interview, encourage your child to be themself. We recognize that girls, particularly those applying to the Junior School, may be nervous about this. Our staff members will do their best to ensure that your child feels comfortable throughout the process. We will be asking your child who they are, what they like to do and what they hope the Havergal experience will mean to them.

If your child is applying for Kindergarten or Grade 1, a member of the Admission Team will speak with you and your child. If your child is applying for other Junior School grades, they will be given the option of having you with them during the entire interview or, if they are comfortable, having you join the interview part way through the meeting. If your child is applying to the Middle or Senior School, we will invite you to join the conversation after their interview and remote assessment. This will be an opportunity for you and your child to ask any questions about our school and programs. 

Please note that our interviews and assessments are currently being conducted online via Zoom.

Can I submit supplementary documents beyond the required report cards and Confidential School Report?

You are welcome (but certainly not required) to submit supplemental or supporting materials as part of your application to Havergal. After you complete your application in the Admission Portal, please email any additional documentation to [email protected].

Are siblings and connected applicants treated differently in the application process?

We highly value our community and families play an important role in our school. In a situation where two applicants are deemed equal, the school will favour the student who has a prior connection to Havergal as a sibling or a relative of an Old Girl. Although we do want a wide range of strengths, academic or otherwise, we cannot presume to meet the needs of every applicant. We believe that it is unethical to admit students who we think will not thrive at Havergal. Sometimes, for academic or other reasons, we are unable to offer siblings or those with a connection to an alumni a place at Havergal. As we make these difficult decisions, we will work closely with the family and ensure that we keep the needs of the student at the centre of our decision.

How can parents be involved at Havergal?

Every parent is welcomed into the Havergal Community Parent Association (HCPA). The HCPA is Havergal’s parent volunteer organization and serves as a liaison between the school and the parent body. There are a myriad of ways for parents to volunteer their time and expertise at the school, from one-hour shifts at Celebration Saturday, to helping organize school events and serving on committees that meet throughout the school year. We value the relationship we have with our parents and always appreciate when they are able to participate in the life of the school.

What is Havergal College’s philosophy about teaching and learning?

Havergal has earned a reputation for having a well-researched, state-of-the-art and gender-specific approach to teaching and learning. We believe that teaching is most effective when it is purposeful, relevant and focused on both the acquisition of basic skills and knowledge and the development of an appreciation for the big ideas and concepts that underpin a discipline. A Liberal Arts foundation fosters an attitude of inquiry and encourages students to be open to new ideas and varied perspectives. It cultivates the curiosity and collaborative mindset that a rapidly changing world demands. It also promotes the leadership qualities needed in this unpredictable global context: adaptability, innovation, courage, comfort with ambiguity and willingness to alter the status quo. We follow three strategies for an inspiring and connected student experience: 

  • Sparking excitement to learn through exploration and self-discovery;
  • Encouraging self-directed learning and resourcefulness in each child;
  • Focusing on active cross-disciplinary thinking and opportunities for mentorship and networking.
How are course placement decisions made?

Decisions regarding course placement will be made in the best interest of the child by Havergal’s Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning in consultation with the appropriate Department Heads. Course placement decisions will always maintain the integrity of the program and align to Havergal’s philosophy of teaching and learning.

My child has been identified as gifted. How will they be challenged at Havergal?

Havergal’s strong focus on teaching for understanding and teaching for depth rather than for breadth creates an enriched learning environment. There are no limits to what a learner can do at any grade level as the depth of understanding that is possible is limitless.

My child has no experience in French and is entering Grade 9.

The Languages department will make the appropriate grade placement based on the student’s level of proficiency. They may substitute another language for French.

How does the school place a student who completed a ‘Reach Ahead’ course (i.e. completed the requirement for a Grade 9 course in Grade 8)? Are there exceptions?

A student entering Grade 9 from a non-Ontario school may be allowed, based on their academic record, to take one advanced (above grade-level) compulsory course. This decision will be made by the Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning in consultation with the appropriate Department Head. 

For students entering Grade 9  from an Ontario school that offers ‘Reach Ahead’ courses, we will accept no more than two Reach Ahead credits in compulsory courses. Students must request that a Grade 9 Reach Ahead credit be considered by Havergal and may have to take a placement test. Placement decisions are made in the best interest of the child and respecting the integrity of our academic program. We wish to remind families that the teaching for understanding approach at the heart of our educational philosophy focuses on the development of a conceptual understanding and independent problem solving that are often lacking in condensed programs. 

Who is eligible for financial assistance?

Students applying to our Middle and Senior School are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The level of financial assistance a family may qualify for is determined by a third party, Apple Financial Services.  Financial assistance awards are shared with families at the same time they receive an offer of admission.

What is the difference between a bursary and a scholarship?

Havergal’s admission process is needs-blind, which means we admit students based on their merit, not based on their ability to pay tuition. For families who are not able to pay full tuition, we have a robust bursary or financial aid program. Families apply through a third party, Apple Financial Services, who reviews the family’s financial situation and makes a recommendation on the amount of need the family requires to make Havergal affordable. Financial aid awards are sent on the same day as the admission offers are sent from our Finance Office.

Scholarships are awards that are based on merit, however, the value of many of our scholarship awards may be increased based on demonstrated financial need. Applicants for scholarships are therefore also asked to submit an application to Apple Financial Services. Each scholarship has specific criteria for the selection of the recipient. The criteria is often determined by the donor of the scholarship in partnership with the school. Applicants must indicate that they would like to be considered for a scholarship when they apply.  Scholarship recipients are notified of their selection with their offer of admission.

Does Havergal offer any scholarships that cover 100% of a Havergal education?

The competitive Principal’s Scholarship is valued at up to 95% of the cost of tuition and is available to four new Grade 9 students of high academic standing who otherwise could not afford to attend the school.