Skip to main content

Independent Data Shows Dramatic 85% Increase in First-Choice Applications to Trent University

April 18, 2019

Higher Education Strategy Associates crunches Ontario University Application Centre data between 2009 and 2019

Students enjoying the Trent University Durham campus.

More students than ever are choosing Trent University when applying to universities in Ontario, according to independent data by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) showing an 85% increase in first-choice applications to Trent over a ten-year period where average growth was 8%.

Chart created by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) showing an 85% increase in first-choice applications to Trent over a ten-year period where average growth was 8%.

HESA’s Alex Usher created the chart, which shows Trent well ahead of other institutions across the province, based on data publicly available through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC). In an April 17, 2019 blog post, Mr. Usher looks at the most successful institutions and remarks, “And goodness, Trent. An 85% increase in applications. No, that’s not a misprint and no, I have [no] idea what is going on there, but good on them.”

During his first year as president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Leo Groarke conducted a review of the Recruitment and Marketing functions at the University, implementing the recommendations of an independent consultant to merge the departments. A new Strategic Enrolment Management committee with leaders from across the institution was formed and led by President Groarke. Since that time, the University has seen year-over-year increases in applications and registrations. Trent has paid down its deficit and had surplus budgets five years in a row.

“I think that Trent University was poised for enrolment growth and had all the elements for success,” said President Groarke. “Trent has always provided a transformative learning experience and really has facilities that in many ways are the envy of others. This first-choice data illustrations the momentum that has simply taken off domestically – and our recent international travels tell us that the world is taking notice of Trent too.”

New program innovation has been integral to fueling the growth in applications – and new buildings and renovations like the Student Centre and Bata Library have renewed Trent’s Symons Campus in Peterborough. Trent’s Durham campus in the GTA has seen the most growth to the extent that a new building with residences and academic will be built by 2020. The University just hosted its biggest ever crowds at March Break Open House events at both campuses, further demonstrating that Trent’s transformative student experience continues to attract the attention of future students and their parents.

Learn more from the HESA blog about Trent’s success.

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information contact:
Marilyn Burns, associate vice-president, Communications and Recruitment, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 ext. 6184 or

If you no longer wish to receive news releases and advisories from Trent University, please email to unsubscribe. Accessible versions of this document are available upon request at