How to Apply to College or University in British Columbia
A guide to using EducationPlannerBC to get your college or uni application in on time.
So you've decided to apply to college or university in British Columbia. Great choice! After all, west coast = best coast. If you're wondering what the application process looks like, or just need a hand getting through it, look no further.
Researching your options for programs and schools
But before we get started, be sure you've done some solid research.
Compare programs and schools, and think about where you want your career to take you after graduation. Doing your homework will help you make the right choice. Check out SchoolFinder.com (for Canadian students) and StudyinCanada.com (for international students considering Canada) for info on program requirements, admissions, potential career pathways, and more.
Starting your application to a BC college or university
When you're ready, you'll create an account at EducationPlannerBC, the application portal for most of the province's public institutions. However, there are a couple of exceptions:
These two colleges, as well as all private BC institutions, require separate applications, which you can learn more about on the schools' websites.
Filling out your personal profile
When setting up your EducationPlannerBC account, first you'll enter your personal details, contact info, and academic history, including any high schools or post-secondary schools you've attended. Once all the yellow icons turn green, you're good to move on and start applying.
The EducationPlannerBC website has a great FAQ section, by the way!
Choosing the first institution to apply to
Choose the institution you're interested in, and make sure you carefully read the Information for Applicants to find specific info from that school. This might include details on apprenticeship options, or specific instructions for international applicants with particular citizenship. Follow the directions if they apply to you.
Choosing a program for your application
Next, tell the system which program you want to apply to. The application form may vary depending on your program, so choose wisely! It's a good idea to re-read the requirements just in case.
Once you've confirmed everything, you'll choose your start date, and tell the system which "type" of applicant you are:
- New domestic applicant — if you're a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident applying to the institution for the first time
- New international applicant — if you're in Canada on a study permit, applying to the institution for the first time
- Returning student — if you've already attended the institution, but you've not attended in the last six months
- Current student applying to a new program — if you're already enrolled in college or uni, but you're switching programs
Additional requirements and the application fee
Some colleges or universities may want more details from you, which comes in the Additional Information section. You may be asked about Indigenous identity, support services, international scholarship funding, or anything else the school may want to know. Some questions may be program-specific, too.
When you're finished, choose "Review & Submit" to check your details one last time before sending in your application!
Now you'll need to pay your application fee, which will vary by institution and program. Expect to pay roughly $100 per program; you can pay online by credit card.
When all the icons are green, you're done! Congratulations, you've successfully applied to a BC institution. Want to apply to even more? Pick another school and follow the same process.
Next steps after your application is complete
Right away, you'll get an email receipt confirming your application.
You can expect to hear back from schools sometime in spring. Keep an eye on your inbox and your spam filter. If you have specific questions for schools — before, during or after your application — you can reach out directly. EducationPlannerBC has a list of contact details to help you.
We wish you all the best in your studies! Check back in at SchoolFinder and StudyinCanada.com now and then to find articles, tips, and advice to support you, from your first semester through to your career.
Enjoy your studies!
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