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Admission FAQ


Please be aware that Toronto Public Health (TPH) updates its health and safety guidance frequently — please consult the information in this link accordingly. UCC's Health and Safety FAQs are updated as soon as possible after TPH guidance is received by the school. 

Getting to Know UCC

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • How do I know if UCC is right for my family?

    Before starting your application, it’s important to determine if UCC is a good fit for your family. We encourage all families to learn more about our programs and stay connected to the school. To find out more about UCC and what makes us truly stand apart, start your exploration at the Explore UCC page.
  • What are you looking for in an applicant?

    We look for students who represent a broad range of experiences and backgrounds and who, with the support of their family, demonstrate the motivation to get involved in UCC and school life. Successful applicants show strengths in three different developmental areas:


    Your child is not expected to know everything. While we require a solid foundation in English literacy and numeracy, we also look for potential and a willingness to listen, learn and embrace challenges.


    Your child has a spark. We look for a cross-section of talent – in arts, athletics and other activities – and students with potential to contribute to school life beyond the classroom.


    Your child is an individual and part of a larger group. We look at social skills and overall self-regulation – inside and outside the classroom. Above all, we consider the whole child.
  • What are the actual annual costs above and beyond tuition?

    While tuition covers most curricular costs there are some incidental charges which are not covered. Please visit the Tuition and Financial Assistance page to get a better idea of what the total cost may be per year. PLEASE NOTE: these charges will vary from student to student.

Curricular Program

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • What courses do you offer at each grade level?

    For detailed information please visit the Academics section.
  • What school and/or academic program do you recommend as preparation for UCC?

    We do not recommend any one school or program for UCC prep. We admit a wide variety of boys from different educational backgrounds who meet UCC’s academic, co-curricular and social skills criteria. Parents should always choose a school based on “fit” — the school that will best meet the needs of their family.
  • What is the philosophy behind all boys’ education?

    Many studies have shown that the traditional co-ed classroom setting does not favour boys nor does it support their learning styles. Our faculty have become experts in boys’ education, through professional development opportunities and research conducted by our own Centre for Learning. For more information and research on the benefits of boys' schools, visit the International Boys' School Coalition website.
  • What technology is used in the classroom?

    UCC is a one-to-one school, with a school-supplied iPad used in the SK-4 classrooms and Macbook used in Year 5 to Year 12. Students receive UCC technology loaded with all the programs and applications required to support their curriculum, plus our IT HelpDesk is available to support and troubleshoot as needed. Our investment in technology includes interactive whiteboard technology, wireless projection, streaming cameras, and multi-direction microphones in all classrooms.
  • Can you accommodate students with learning differences?

    When applying, we ask that you provide a current Psychological Educational Assessment so that we can assess your student’s needs and what support we can offer.
  • Do you offer a gifted program?

    UCC's delivery of the IB programmes is academically rigorous and challenges students.
  • Do you offer a French Immersion program?

    We do not offer a French Immersion program at UCC, although French is taught as a second language in all grades. Students arriving into Year 6 and 7 are placed in one of three streams: Core Basic, Core Advanced and Extended. Most students will follow our Core French program at either the Basic or the Advanced level. Some students will be recommended for the Extended French program on the basis of a demonstrated strong background, fluency and skills in the language. At the Upper School, students need to study French for at least one year in Year 8. In Year 9 they can continue with French or choose Latin, Spanish or Mandarin and continue with this language until Year 12.
  • What are the expectations around English language proficiency? Does UCC have an ESL program?

    At UCC, the language of instruction is English and therefore students need to demonstrate proficiency in English. UCC does not have a formal ESL program; however, the Wernham West Centre for Learning provides a great deal of support for English language learners, including some boarding students.
  • How does UCC acknowledge Canada’s Indigenous population in its programming?

    Over the years UCC students have welcomed First Nations guest speakers, visited First Nations and Inuit communities, and discussed Indigenous Peoples and the issues they face in a variety of contexts. Here are some current examples of how UCC recognizes and pays respect to Canada’s Indigenous population:
      • In a Year 5 unit of inquiry, the central idea is that “people have different perspectives that influence interactions,” and students explore the features of Indigenous societies.
      • In Year 7 history and geography, the relationship between European explorers and Indigenous societies is a main topic of discussion. A specific unit and assessment is dedicated to the students' understanding and impact of the Residential Schools.
      • In Year 8 and Year 9 English, students participate in an exchange with Manitoba high school students where written pieces focusing on personal experiences are shared and used to start a dialogue about First Nations history, identity, and culture.
      • In Year 11 Language and Literature, students learn about residential schools through documentaries, editorials, poems, political cartoons, testimonials, and newspaper articles.
      • UCC’s Amnesty International club raises awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
      • At both the Prep and Upper Schools, an Acknowledgment of Traditional Land is read aloud at the beginning of special assemblies and events.
  • Where do students go for post-secondary education?

    Students work with our University Counselling Office to learn about schools and programs that best fit their educational goals. University counsellors assist students to put together applications, prepare for entrance requirements and decide, ultimately, which school will be their ideal match. UCC graduates are well prepared to study in Canada, the United States and abroad. Every year, we have a number of students who choose to attend prominent schools in the United States and around the world.
  • How many graduates receive university offers?

    All of our graduates receive offers to university or college, partly on the strength of the internationally recognized IB Diploma. Our 2023 graduates, for example, received more than 800 offers of admission to 147 universities in Canada as well as the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe — graduates will be attending 53 distinct universities around the world.

Safety and Transportation Concerns

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Are UCC’s teachers Ontario certified?

    We currently have 151 teaching staff at Upper Canada College, including residential assistants, Norval outdoor educators, and After School Program staff; 140 have the Ontario teaching certificate.
  • Are UCC faculty and staff screened to ensure they are qualified to work with children?

    UCC has a rigorous hiring process and a dedicated HR department to oversee it. Job applicants who are selected for an interview are questioned by current staff members in the related department as well as a senior administrator. Once the successful candidate is chosen, reference checks are done with previous employers. If those meet our requirements, we require a previous satisfactory criminal reference and “vulnerable sector screening,” and request a new one from the police. New checks take up to two months to process, so we ask for a previous one as insurance. UCC strives to provide a positive, humane and safe environment for students, faculty and staff — a community that supports the dignity, wellbeing and safety of all its members. Employees are trained in standards and boundaries for working with children, and they are guided by the comprehensive UCC Policy and Procedures for Preventing, Identifying and Investigating Harassment, Abuse and Violence.
  • Is there a bus my child can take to and from school?

    We do not offer any bus or shuttle services. Some private transportation companies service UCC, and some families carpool. In addition, UCC is close to public transportation, including bus, streetcar and subway lines. 

Financial Assistance

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Who is eligible for financial assistance?

    Assistance is available to Canadian citizens starting in Year 5, and we encourage all eligible families to apply.
  • How do we apply for financial assistance?

    The application for financial assistance is separate from the application for admission. Both must be submitted in order to be considered for financial assistance. Candidates wishing to apply for financial assistance must complete and submit the Financial Aid for Canadian Students (FACS) application form available via the Apple Financial Services website. The fee for applying is $125 and regretfully we do not offer waiver codes for the financial assistance application. All new student financial assistance applications must be completed no later than December 31 to be considered for the following entry year.
  • How is financial assistance eligibility determined?

    Financial assistance is offered on the basis of family need. The Financial Assistance Review Committee (FACS) makes recommendations to UCC based on the information provided by you in the Parents’ Financial Statement. This includes, but is not limited to, the parents/guardians’ gross family income; net income (after taxes and other deductions); assets and liabilities; and information about dependents and other expenditures. The computation is based on a process of analysis developed by a standing committee of experienced financial aid officers. It measures what is possible, though not necessarily comfortable, for a family to contribute toward educational expenses. Schools assume that parents, to the extent that they are able, will bear the primary responsibility for financing their children’s education, sometimes at the expense of other discretionary expenditures.
  • How do I know if I’ll qualify for financial assistance, and for how much?

    There are no predetermined levels or ranges used to determine financial assistance eligibility. We’ve created tools using our current data to help applicant Day families determine whether or not they may qualify for financial assistance. This table offers an at-a-glance look at all current families receiving financial assistance based only on gross family income. The calculator also factors in the number of dependent children in the household. Many other factors impact financial assistance eligibility beyond family income and dependent children. These tools should only be used as a rough guide.

    Boarding families are also eligible for financial assistance; 34.5 per cent of boarding families receive some amount of financial assistance, the vast majority of whom are Canadian. (There is one U.S. financial assistance award and one for a student from Hungary, provided by a donor.) For information on financial assistance eligibility for boarding, please contact UCC Admission (
  • Does any criteria other than need determine financial assistance eligibility?

    While there are a limited number of merit-based entrance scholarships offered to our top applicants, 98.5 per cent of financial assistance offered is determined by family need. You do not need to apply for merit-based entrance scholarships; they are awarded automatically to the top applicants (who demonstrate high academic achievement, interesting co-curricular experience or potential, and strong character).
  • How are decisions made?

    Financial assistance is offered on the basis of family need. Apple Financial Services makes a recommendation to the Financial Assistance Review Committee (FACS); they are a trusted partner in the financial assistance assessment for UCC and most other Canadian independent schools. Normally the FACS decision will be very close to the third-party recommendation made by Apple Financial Services. The College’s FACS makes all decisions about the actual amounts of assistance offered. All applications for financial assistance are reviewed and evaluated independently from admission applications.
  • When are decisions made?

    The Financial Assistance Review Committee meets frequently during the winter term to review FACS recommendations and to determine assistance allocation. Financial assistance decisions are sent with admission offers.

Application Process

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Can I apply for both day and boarding?

    We can only accept one active application for any candidate. If you're unsure as to whether a day or boarding application is the best fit, please contact the Office of Admission prior to submitting an application to discuss options.
  • Do you admit students mid-year?

    We don’t admit students mid-year.
  • How and when do I reapply?

    Every year in September we contact families who are eligible to reapply with updated admission information. Families then need to resubmit the online application form and include the most recent final report card. We will provide eligible families with a fee waiver code so they don’t need to pay an additional application fee.
  • Are families with a connection to UCC given preference?

    The College is committed to honouring relationships with families and applicants with siblings attending the school. While the sons, grandsons and nephews of alumni (whom we call Old Boys) and siblings will be interviewed, they will go through the same application process as all other applicants.
  • Can I apply after the deadline?

    Late applications for day admission are rarely accepted. Please contact the Office of Admission to inquire. This applies to both entry year and limited-entry year applications. Boarding applications are accepted from September to April. If you are interested in applying to Boarding after May, please contact the Office of Admission first to inquire about availability.
  • Can I apply for a different grade level other than the one determined by birth year?

    It is our usual practice to admit students based on year of birth. Exceptions may be made following a review of all admission requirements in cases where a student has been accelerated or kept back a year.
  • What are age and language requirements?

    Applicants who are not born in the entry level birth year indicated, or who have not had adequate English language schooling as evidenced by report cards, will be reviewed individually to determine eligibility. Ineligible applicants will be notified as soon as possible prior to any entrance test.
  • What are the chances of getting in?

    Applications and openings can vary yearly and by a student’s entry year, but the typical application ratio is 4:1, so for every three applications we receive we have room to admit only one student.
  • Do I need to attend all prospective family events?

    No, you are welcome to come to as many or as few events as you like. Attendance is not part of the decision-making process and will not affect an applicant's admittance. 
  • How does admission at limited-entry levels work?

    In most years limited entry levels are Years 1, 2, 4, 10 and 11. When space exists at a limited-entry level following re-enrolment of current students in March, we review all completed candidate files and select two or three students per available space for an assessment and interview. We understand that many families, including some legacy and sibling families, may be disappointed not to hear from us. Our main goal is admitting the best students while managing the expectations of possible outcomes for all families.
  • Can I send supplementary documents beyond the required report cards?

    We understand that sometimes report cards don’t tell the whole story. Once you’ve submitted your application and the required documents, please contact your Admission representative to discuss submitting any additional documents. In terms of co-curricular achievement, we gain a better understanding of any arts or athletics involvement through the interview. If you would like to bring additional documents as evidence of co-curricular achievement to your interview, they will be added to your file at that time.
  • What if my son has been home-schooled?

    If the applicant has been home-schooled, we require proof that the student does not attend school (i.e. a letter of acknowledgement from the school board that the child has been excused from school attendance) in lieu of report cards. Please note that in some cases we may request additional material in order to supplement an applicant’s file.
  • How do I know my child’s application is complete?

    Once you submit your online application, you can log back into your account to view the status of required materials. Please allow at least three business days for your materials to be processed and marked as received on your checklist.
  • How do you determine who is selected for an interview?

    We base our decision to interview selected candidates on the information provided in the application form and the strength of their report cards. We look at all information provided to gain a basic understanding of the student’s abilities in academics, extra-curricular activities and behaviour. Selected candidates must demonstrate good work habits and proficiency in both English and mathematics. In some cases, we wait for test results to determine if an applicant meets our baseline academic criteria.
  • What if I’m unable to attend an assessment or interview in person due to distance?

    We strongly encourage families who reside outside of Ontario to contact the Office of Admission before booking travel arrangements.
  • How can we prepare for an interview or entrance tests?

    Applicants to entry level grades who are invited for an interview, family visit or entrance test are provided information including evaluation criteria and some sample questions. Generally speaking, all testing is age-appropriate and the Year 3, 5, 6 and 7 tests have timed sections in math, reading comprehension as well as a short writing sample. Again, we do not encourage any test preparation — it’s important for us to know what the student knows, and doesn’t know, in order to set the student up for success.

Applying from Outside Toronto

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What additional requirements are there for international families?

    International students for whom English is not their primary language of instruction must also submit their results from the Duolingo English Test platform. Select Upper Canada College from the list of Secondary Schools to have the test results sent directly to our admission office.

    International students who have been studying in a primarily English-language school for three (3) years or more are exempt from this requirement.
    Visit the Canadian government’s Study In Canada website to determine whether or not your child will require a student visa.
  • What if I’m unable to attend a test or interview in person due to distance?

    We strongly encourage families who reside outside of Ontario to contact the Office of Admission before booking travel arrangements.
  • Can an agent/consultant apply on behalf of a family?

    The account created when an application is submitted will live with one of the parents/guardians of the student through the admission process and after they become enrolled. Because our registration is all done online with legal requirements around agreements and payment of fees, we do require that this account belong to a parent or guardian of the applicant. To ensure that an agent's contact information is included on an application, please email for instructions prior to submitting an application
  • How can an agent help with my application?

    We make every effort to communicate our application process in a straightforward manner so that families have the information they need to complete an application. If translation is required during the admission process, we appreciate families advising us. Agents do not have any impact on the admission process at the College. 
  • Do you offer commission to recruitment agents?

    Currently we have a very small number of agent agreements in place, in regions where we do not have consistent representation. If you would like to inquire about an agent agreement, email before beginning any application. We cannot offer commission to an agent for an application in process.


Please be aware that Toronto Public Health (TPH) updates its health and safety guidance frequently — please consult the information in this link accordingly. UCC's Health and Safety FAQs are updated as soon as possible after TPH guidance is received by the school. 

Boarding Overview

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • When did the boarding program start?

    Upper Canada College’s boarding program has been in place since the College’s founding in 1829.
  • Where do boarding students come from?

    The boarding program is home to 86 students most academic years. Students hail from different parts of Ontario, other provinces in Canada, and more than 18 other countries, including those in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
  • What grade does boarding begin?

    Boarding begins in Year 8, and the main entry years are Years 9, 10 and 11. No students are admitted to Year 12.
  • How much does the boarding program cost?

    Tuition and fees vary depending on the entry year and whether the student is a Domestic (Canadian passport holder) or International applicant. Please visit Tuition and Financial Assistance for more information about the application fee, registration fee and ongoing tuition and fees for boarding. There may be other additional costs, such as Legal Guardianship, related to boarding. Please refer to the Financial Handbook in that section for more information.

Daily Life

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the dress code for students?

    Please see the 2023–24 Upper School Dress Code here.

    All uniforms items can be purchased online.
  • What are the meal arrangements?

    Boarders have breakfast, lunch and dinner during the school week. On weekends there is a full brunch and dinner served at designated times. During hours when the dining room is closed, the “milk and toast room” is stocked with a microwave, toaster, toaster oven, cereal and milk, bread, granola bars and fruits for a light meal at any time. During the school week, the cafeteria is open throughout the school day.
  • What furnishings are in the rooms?

    Each student has the below amenities in their dormitory. Students normally provide their own bedding and bring their own additional small items to personalize their rooms and make them more homey and comfortable:
    • Single bed and bedding (twin sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases)
    • Whiteboard
    • Shelving unit
    • Desk with two large clothing drawers
    • Desk lamp
    • Desk chair
    • Small three-drawer cabinet
    • Closet
  • How do you assign roommates?

    New boarders are asked to complete a survey to communicate their likes, dislikes and routines. With that information we match up students to their roommates to ensure the best fit. With the importance of the international experience, typically boarders of different cultures and backgrounds share rooms during their first year. After their first year, boarders may request a roommate. Rooms are shared with one student with the exception of our graduating seniors, who have their own room.
  • How does laundry service work?

    Linens are washed weekly by our laundry staff. Building toward university independence, students in Year 11 and Year 12 do their own laundry. The laundry facilities are in the boarding houses and all students have access to them at any time by using a swipe card. For younger students, laundry is done once per week on an assigned day.
  • Where can my student buy school supplies and personal items?

    The Blues Shop is normally open Monday to Friday and sells items such as shampoo and laundry detergent. There you can also buy athletic gear and UCC-branded items. During the new student orientation program, students will visit a transit stop where “Presto Cards” can be purchased and then used on public buses, subways and streetcars.
  • What amenities are within walking distance of UCC?

    The Forest Hill Village is within 10 minutes of campus and features coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, pharmacies, a barber shop and banks.
  • Where can my student do their banking?

    Branches of major banks are in the Forest Hill neighbourhood and at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue, within walking distance of UCC. We would recommend you open an account for your child, as that’s the easiest way to send pocket money, etc. Banks include CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, HSBC and RBC.
  • What school facilities can my student use?

    All boarders have the use of the playing fields, swimming pool, outdoor tennis courts, fitness centre, training room, music practice rooms, art and film room, computer labs and more. Boarders also have ice time and indoor tennis scheduled for recreational use two to three times a week.
  • What do students do in their spare time?

    Being in the centre of the city as interesting and diverse as Toronto, our students are fortunate to have world-class opportunities available to them throughout the year. During the school week, students have a full routine from breakfast through to bedtime. A typical evening includes a meal, study time and house meetings. After-school activities might include a workout in our fully equipped training studio or playing video games with housemates. Weekends are a time to have fun, and the school organizes many outings, some of them with nearby girls’ schools. They include:
    • orientation program for new students at UCC’s Norval Outdoor School, our private nature sanctuary outside Toronto
    • getting to know Toronto using its convenient transit system
    • visits to Canada’s Wonderland amusement park
    • bike tours
    • rock climbing
    • live theatre
    • winter ski program
    • professional baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer games
  • What should we pack?

    Outside of school hours and on weekends, residential students may wear casual attire. Students should bring a full range of comfortable casual clothing, sufficient for about eight days (to allow time for laundering). Other suggested items include:
    • Dress shirts (white, light blue, plain light colour, quiet stripe or pattern (uniform items can be purchased online this year)
    • Sports coat
    • Running shoes
    • Sandals
    • Polished leather dress and casual shoes
    • Pajamas
    • Bathrobe
    • Washcloths
    • Bath towels
    • Rainwear
    • Bathing suit
    • Gym shorts (blue or white; also available at UCC Sports Shop)
    • Underwear or boxers
    • Belts
    • Dark socks
    • White socks
    • Toiletries
    • Warm winter clothing (winter coat, hat, gloves, ski jacket)
    • Laundry bag
    • Athletic gear for personal use such as golf clubs, skates, cleats, snowboard and ski wear
    • Bedding is provided, but many students like to bring their own to personalize their rooms (standard twin comforter is recommended; standard twin sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases are optional)
    The uniform items below can be purchased online through dgn-kilters and a wide selection of casual UCC “spiritwear,” school supplies, house ties and UCC memorabilia can be purchased through the Blues Shop’s online catalogue.
    • UCC crested blazer
    • 2–3 pairs of grey flannel pants
    • 2–3 pairs of khaki, beige or tan cotton pants
    • Gym T-shirts (UCC-specific)
    • UCC navy crested golf shirts
    • House and school ties
    • UCC-crested sweater or fleece
    These are the school supplies we also recommend you purchase at the beginning of the year:
    • 3-4 binders and dividers (if you want a binder for each subject you will need 7). Typically students use one binder for a few subjects
    • lined paper (loose leaf)
    • pens, pencils, highlighters, pencil case, ruler, pencil crayons (Geography)
    • TI83 or TI84 (not CAS) model calculator
    • Post-it notes
  • Can my student bring their bike?

    Yes, students are encouraged to bring their bicycle; they can be stored in the boarding houses. There are many wonderful bike trails that can be easily accessed from the College campus.
  • What is your policy around cell phones?

    All boarders must carry a cell phone. This is an integral communication piece between the students and boarding staff. There are a number of providers in the neighbourhood, including Bell and Rogers. Laptops and cell phones are turned into the Residential Adviser on duty before 11 p.m. every night and are returned before breakfast.

Holidays and Visits

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • How can I visit my student during the year?

    For the 2020-2021 school year, the campus is closed to visitors. When the campus is open, we welcome families and friends to visit. Please let us know when you’ll be here so we can sign your son out for special meals, etc. during your stay. You are most welcome to join us for meals as well. There are many special events throughout the year that provide great opportunities to see students in action outside of regular school hours. School events such as Association Day (Homecoming) in late September, Winterfest in January and the Nuit Bleue art festival in April are alive with activity and community and good times for visiting.
  • What arrangements can be made for my student when the boarding house is closed during the school year?

    The school is closed for four of the five designated weekends during the school year. If home is too far away, most boys stay with other boarders or with day families. Weekend programs and host families stays can be organized for a fee. At Christmas and March Break, most boys return home with the exception of March Break when some students are involved in international service trips.
  • What happens to my student’s items over the summer?

    Personal belongings can be stored in the boarding houses.

Support Services

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • My student has not studied in English before. What support do you offer?

    While UCC does not offer an English Language Learning program, support is available through the Wernham West Centre for Learning. Some students will have support sessions incorporated into their timetable while others will be scheduled outside of school time.
  • Is health insurance available?

    Students not covered by provincial health insurance or private insurance plans are automatically enrolled in coverage available to UCC at a cost of approximately $700.
  • When it comes to my student’s progress and well-being, who do I communicate with during the year?

    Each student has a Senior House Adviser. They are your connection to UCC and available by video calling, phone or email at all times. They also work with your son’s Academic Adviser on academic progress and can set up parent teacher interviews here at the school or by video call.
  • What if my child is feeling unwell?

    The Health Centre is staffed by two nurses, a school counsellor and sports injury specialist. As well our school doctor is located close to the school for required appointments and referrals. Further, there are many world class hospitals located within 20 minutes of UCC, and boarding staff will accompany your son 24 hours per day.

Visas and Custodianship

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

The word experience The UCC Difference