EDUCATION | Education tips

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A Beginner’s Guide to Post-Secondary Applications: EducationPlanner BC

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This is the season… of university applications. Applications are pretty daunting, especially when you’ve only just started the application process. So many universities with so many programs to apply to… The options seem nearly endless. As somebody who went through the process of applying to universities myself, I know how intimidating it may seem. I didn’t even know where to start! Luckily, you are not alone, and there IS a resource out there that aims to help you in your application endeavors.

A very stressed out woman with her head in her hands sitting in front of a computer screen.

Your Best Friend When it Comes to University Applications

EducationPlannerBC is a public service that aims to improve access to universities and post-secondary institutions in British Columbia by allowing learners to explore and learn about the admission process. The planner acts as a resource for students, people who support students (such as parents, advisors, and counselors), and post-secondary institutions in British Columbia so that anyone who uses EducationPlannerBC has accurate and relevant information. The planner is laid out into three main sections: Plan, Search and Apply. The “Plan” tab allows students to gather information about different programs, institutions, and opportunities so they may plan out their entire educational journey, and because the “Plan” feature consists of so many resources, that will be the main focus of this article. The “Search” feature on EducationPlannerBC allows users to find many different university programs from many different post-secondary schools in British Columbia, as well as other post-secondary programs such as trades programs, continuing-ed programs, and graduate programs. Finally, the “Apply” feature allows students to apply to one or more university institutions by creating an EducationPlannerBC account. The planner has it all, and as a resource for students who are new to Canada and need some information about their post-secondary opportunities, EducationPlannerBC is invaluable. Let’s take a look at the planner’s main feature: the “Plan” feature.

The cover page of EducationPlannerBC; Has three main options which are Plan, Search, and Apply.

Plan

Getting Started

Within the “Plan” tab, there are so many sub-sections that help users narrow down exactly what they are looking for within the planner. The “Getting Started” tab within the “Plan” section offers the details and information to help get users started on the post-secondary application journey.

Plan for Success

The “Plan for Success” tab within the “Getting Started” section lays out a step-by-step to-do list on the best way to learn more about universities in British Columbia, what programs they have to offer, and how to apply once the options have been narrowed down. Ultimately, it gives users a place to start, and a good starting point is so important when there is so much information surrounding post-secondary options.

People of Post-Secondary

The “Getting Started” tab also allows for specific demographics of people to find information relevant to them with the “People of Post-Secondary” feature. Here, there is information for every type of person and student, such as high school grads, indigenous students, international students, adult learners, transfer students, academic advisors, and parents so that every person who might need to use EducationPlannerBC has a place to go. Like the “Plan for Success” tab, every tab for the different demographic of users has a step-by-step process on what resources are available to them and how to plan for success. For example, the “International Students” tab gives more information on the basics of Canadian post-secondary requirements and goes into detail about English being the language of instruction (meaning every institution has some sort of English Language Proficiency requirement), study permits in Canada, health insurance in BC, and advisors at academic institutions that offer even more help that is pertinent to specific schools. It also offers more external resources that international students would find useful in the planning process. Overall, every type of user has a place in the planner with so much information at their disposal that makes the application process significantly easier.

Glossary

The “Glossary” section within the “Plan” tab allows for users to do research based on the experience or information they already have, or do research based on the specific aspect of the post-secondary application process that they want to learn more about. For example, the “Glossary” contains information about different pathways, credentials, apprenticeships, institutions, programs, and majors. All these different tabs give users the ability to learn about what opportunities would be the best fit for them.

A notebook with the saying, "Let's Get Started" on the front, placed beside a pen.

Apply

After you have gone through the beginning stages of the planning process in “Getting Started”, the next set of tabs fall under the “Apply” section. Here, you can learn more about application planning, transcripts, what happens after you apply, and how to register for institutions (if the application process goes well!). Every step of the application-process journey is accounted for to eliminate stress and uncertainty for users of EducationPlannerBC. To learn more about applying through the EducationPlannerBC planner, keep reading until the end of the article!

Scrabble letters that spell out, "GO FOR IT" on a whitebackground.

Finance

University is not a cheap endeavour, so arguably one of the most important features of the “Plan” tab is the “Finance” section. This section covers more information about the different types of finances that come with post-secondary learning such as the cost of education (and the types of expenses that come with it), student financial assistance, scholarships and bursaries, and money tips so students know how NOT to break the bank every other week.

I think I should definitely check out that tab, considering a considerable amount of my personal spending money is dedicated to my Starbucks order…

As a student myself, I understand how expensive University can be, so it’s important for students who are unfamiliar with post-secondary costs in Canada to learn about what sort of finances they will encounter while studying here.

A jar of coins spilled over.

Study

Another crucial aspect of the university experience is studying; We go to university to learn, after all. EducationPlannerBC has accounted for this step of the post-secondary journey as well, with a section specifically dedicated to studying in British Columbia. The “Study” section offers information about student services, study tips, co-op education programs, program-completion planning, disability or accessibility services, and work experience. As I aforementioned, every step of the post-secondary journey is accounted for, including the study process and the completion of the study process.

Someone working at a table with a pen in their hand and papers in front of them.

Work

After university, it’s job hunting time. If EducationPlannerBC helped get a student through the both application and study process in the university, then their job has been successfully completed. With this being said, they also offer resources for the stage that comes after the post-secondary journey: the work stage. The “Work” tab gives users more details about career assessments, career centres and alumni services, job search resources, and career opportunities for international students. Here, international students can learn more about the permits required for working and the post-graduate work permit (or the PGWP, for short). It also offers additional resources for international students directly from the Government of Canada about working in Canada. 

That wraps up the “Plan” feature of EducationPlannerBC. No matter what type of student, learner, or user you are, EducationPlannerBC has resources and information for you to use, making it an exceptionally useful tool in the post-secondary application process.

Many different people behind desks working at their laptops in a huge office.

Search

As I mentioned earlier, the “Search” function allows users to search for the programs and universities that might interest them the most. They can search for anything from keywords that will lead them in the right direction to specific programs at specific universities. If you want to learn more about the “Search” feature, I encourage you to check out EducationPlannerBC to see what you can find that interests you.

The "Search" page of EducationPlannerBC.

Apply for Admission

The final step of the application process is the act of actually applying to institutions. This can be done through EducationPlannerBC with their “Apply” tab. The application instructions for many post-secondary institutions are clearly laid out in a step-by-step process so anyone with an account for the planner can apply to one or more universities at a time.

When first finding the “Apply” tab, the user will be asked to sign up for an EducationPlannerBC account or log in with an existing account. 

The "Apply" page of EducationPlannerBC.

To complete your profile, you will be asked to provide some personal information, some contact information, and some academic history. Once these have been filled out, you can continue the application process.

The first step in the application process through EducationPlannerBC, which is completing the applicant profile.

From here, you will select the institution you wish to apply to, complete the application, then finally review and submit what you have. After you have submitted your application, institutions typically allow you to track your application so you can be kept updated on your application status. With that, the application process is complete, all thanks to EducationPlannerBC.

So… What’s Next?

Even if you’re not applying for a university in British Columbia, EducationPlannerBC is a great resource that allows you to find out more information about the post-secondary journey and the resources that are available to you. If you want to learn more about the university you already attend or just learn some tips about how to save money (which is what I will be doing in my free time), then EducationPlannerBC is the best resource for you. I cannot recommend it enough, and I encourage you to do your own research and see what the planner can do for you. Thank you for reading, and happy studying!

Check out the planner here: EducationPlannerBC

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