Updated: Applying to Post-Secondary Education in British Columbia

By Logan Bright Modified on March 16, 2020
Tags : Academics

A guide to using EducationPlannerBC to get your application in on time.

Massive, vibrant trees in a Vancouver rain forest in British Columbia.

COVID-19 Update:

As of March 16, EducationPlannerBC has no planned maintenance or service interruptions on its schedule. No deadline extensions have been announced. Apply as normal, but be sure to check out the website of the school(s) you're interested in for the latest information.

Getting started

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.

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 and StudyinCanada.com for lots of juicy details, from programs to careers.

Your application

When you're ready, you'll create an account at EducationPlannerBC, the application portal for most of the province's public institutions. Four of these, though, are exceptions:

These four public universities, as well as all private BC institutions, require separate applications, which you can learn more about on the schools' websites.

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.

A screenshot from EducationPlannerBC's online application portal showing a quick checklist.

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.

Once you've confirmed everything, you'll choose your start date, and tell the system which "type" of applicant you are.

  • Current student applying to a new program — if you're already enrolled in uni but switching degrees
  • 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

Then you'll select your intended start date, and the Faculty and Program you're interested in. You'll see a few more details on the program, which may include external links, or even another question or two, deepending on your choices. You can also choose a backup, second choice, which is often a good idea, especially if you're trying for a competitive program.

Some universities may want more details from you, which comes in the Additional Information section. You may be asked about Aboriginal identity, support services, international scholarship funding, or anything else the school may want to know. 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.

A screenshot from EducationPlannerBC's online application portal showing the application is complete.

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

You can expect to hear back from schools some time 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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