The happy answer is you are not too late, but you won’t get your original choices. This doesn’t mean there aren’t terrific schools with vacancies.
This situation has happened for many years. Admissions at the most competitive U.S. schools are unpredictable, and, as in every aspect of life, politics play an important role. Students with great qualifications face disappointments when April rolls around. In fact, it is usually the best qualified students aiming for the toughest colleges who find themselves in this situation.
You think: maybe I’ll stay in Canada for a year or two, and then transfer. In Ontario, you’ve known your favourite programs’ cut-off averages from www.electronicinfo.ca from the beginning, chosen accordingly, and likely obtained offers. Problem: if you’re at a big university and have large introductory courses, like psych, sociology and biology, often having as many as 2,000 enrollees, marks are calculated on a bell curve, and it may be more difficult to achieve that A you will need for a worthwhile US transfer.
Maybe I’ll just stay in Canada and hope for a US grad school, you think. It seems so much easier to do that. Problem: When planning grad school, students search for the program that now meets their more specialized focus – wherever that may be. If you want a Ph.D. in medieval literature, you can’t do better than the University of Toronto (financially as well). If it’s generative linguistics, you’d want the University of California at Santa Cruz. If it’s med school, your best offer may come from Ireland.
Advice for obtaining high marks and professorial recommendations in Canada: Find a way to make a large environment smaller, such as choosing a less popular major (like Italian studies) or enrolling in Huron College at Western or Trinity at U of T so you can get into smaller classes.
You still want the US? What to do? Luckily, many fine US colleges offer late and rolling application deadlines.
Here’s one website: https://blog.prepscholar.com/colleges-with-late-application-deadlines-complete-list. Scroll down to April, May and beyond. You’re not too late for such schools as Bard College at Slippery Rock or Bowling Green State U. Scroll further down and you’ll find a list of schools with rolling admissions. That means they keep admissions open until they fill their freshman class, and such schools are Michigan State U and the University of New Haven. I’ve contacted a couple of others that have welcomed happy Canadians and find that Rollins College in Florida and Canisius in Buffalo and, despite earlier deadlines, they still have vacancies. Nothing will stop you from trying that too.
But if you’re still in a quandary, we are available to help you.