Getting admissions into a tertiary school has become one of the biggest headaches of the youths today. While some get their preferred schools and programs on their first attempt, others have to try many times to be able to get admission and some may never get admitted at all no matter how many times they try.

Admittedly, getting admissions largely depends on the kind of grades you have but as I always say, getting admission into a tertiary school goes beyond having good grades or meeting the cut-off point of the program of choice.

We all check the cut off points and the admissions requirements of the school and programs we want to apply.

Most schools will tell you that, to apply, you need to have at least A1 – C6 in three core subjects and 3 elective subjects. Even though that may be true, getting admission actually goes beyond getting between A1 –  C6 in six subjects.

I am Israel Boafo Bansah, Founder of and I have taken it upon myself to study the admission process of tertiary schools in Ghana for the past 6years.

I have helped many students through my consultancy BBCONSULTS in making the right choices concerning their tertiary application and I have over the years gathered some challenges and mistakes that normally prevents applicants from getting admission into the program of their choice.

Take note of all the details and don’t forget to alert me in case you have more to add.

1- Mistaking the admission requirement for the cutoff point: Most prospective students mistake the admission requirements of a particular school for the cut off points. Admission requirements are just the general standard set by the Ghana education service. The A1 – C6 you see in the admission brochure is just the requirement within which you are permitted to apply or get admission. A student cannot be admitted when he or she falls outside the admission requirement. This, however, does not mean you will get admitted when you apply with grades within the admission requirement. The cut-off point, however, is an aggregate beyond which you would not be able to get admissions into a particular program. Cut off points are program specifics whiles admission requirements are mostly general. Cut off points are however just to be used as guidance in selecting courses since they are the aggregates cut off of the previous admission year. They may change slightly for the year under consideration.

2- Selecting first choice programs as second or third choices. This may sound weird but some programs are just first choice programs and no matter how good your grades are, the very moment you select such programs as second or third choice programs, your probability of getting admission decreases by at least 50%. It’s that simple, some programs are in their own leagues and you don’t need to disrespect them by selecting them as your second or third choices. For instance, BCOM at the University of Cape Coast is a first choice program and the moment you select it as your second choice, just know that your success chances are decreasing drastically. Same applies to the almighty Business administration at the University of Ghana.

3- Applying to only schools in urban centers. This is mostly targeted at students applying to Nursing Training Colleges and Colleges of educations. It is true that we all want to stay and school in the urban centers but it’s also true the higher the demand of a specific product, the higher the cost if all other things stay equal. Almost every student wants to attend Accra College of Education, Korle Bu Nursing Training College, Ho Nursing Training college and many other colleges in the urban centers leaving only a few people to apply for those colleges in the rural areas of the country. This, in turn, makes the competitiveness of the schools in the urban centers higher leaving only a few prospective students to compete for the available spaces in the rural colleges. The requirements for colleges across the country are the same so it is advisable to apply for rural colleges if you have met the admission requirements but your grades are not very strong.

4- Applying too late to the closing date: The closing date of application is the date beyond which no application would be accepted. Even though a lot of schools have now moved their application system to a fully online portal, some schools will still require the posting of some vital documents to them. For this reason, it is advisable to always apply at least one full week to the closing date of admissions in order to avoid any inconveniences that may be caused by the postmaster or making mistakes due to rush in the application process.

5- Selecting two programs from the same department. Most people also select their first choice and second choice programs from the same department. It is advisable to select these programs in order of importance and according to their importance as well as cut off point and one program per college. For instance, it is advisable to select a social science program as your second choice if your first choice program is Business administration or Bachelor of Science at the University of Ghana.

6- Using the wrong passport picture for the application: This may fall under the minor mistakes but most tertiary schools actually consider the passport photo and the email address used in applying for admission. A tertiary admission is a formal application and one of the most important decisions at this age. All seriousness and formalness must be attached to the process and attention must be given to every single detail. The passport photo must look very formal and presentable. This will be the photo to appear on your student ID card in case you are given admission. Unless stated, all passport photos must have a white background.

7- Applying only one Tertiary School. Well, unless you are very confident in your grades and your ability to secure the school you are applying to, it is advisable to apply to more than one tertiary schools in order to increase your chances of getting admissions into a tertiary school.

They say education is the key to success and it is very true in our part of the world so all seriousness must be taken in making decisions concerning your education.

These and many more minor and major mistakes could be avoided in order to increase your chances of getting a tertiary education. Leave a comment in case you need more clarification on the points above.

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I'm out to make access to tertiary education as easy as possible. I own a number of websites including the most reliable tertiary-focused education website in Ghana -


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