I'm graduating from high school - NOW WHAT?
As many students head into the final few months of high school, a popular question being asked is "So what are your plans after high school?" Did you know that a university education will help you earn more money than just having a high school diploma — 78% higher, according to the 2006 Census. University graduates also have a job placement rate of 88% — well above that of those with just high school (61.4%) according to www.td.com.
Where to begin? Start by asking yourself some questions. What subjects do I like? What interests do I have? Think about your favourite subjects or activities. If there are more than one, that's okay, you don't have to have all the answers right now.
Once you have an idea of the subjects that interest you, or to look for ideas, check out the Web. The University of Regina has designed a special site — uregina.ca/futurestudents — to help you. You'll find information about programs, admission requirements, scholarships, services and more. There is even a special section for parents.
Over the next couple of months admission counsellors will be visiting schools across the province to help you with your admission application and give you tips on how to apply for scholarships. They are armed with information to help you select a program that meets your interests, and they'll make sure you have all the supporting documents. We even conduct admissions "on-the-spot" sessions in a number of communities, so you can find out right away if you are admitted. Check with your guidance office for more information.
Tip: Apply by March 15, 2013 — our Priority Deadline. Submitting your application by this date will enable you to take advantage of scholarships, early course registration and our residence guarantee. For details go to uregina.ca/futurestudents/apply-now.
Don't forget to visit the campus. Campus visits are the best way to find out why the U of R will be a good fit for you. The University of Regina offers daily campus tours, special events and our Open House in May, where you can spend a night on campus and experience residence. For more information visit www.uregina.ca/futurestudents.
Financial planning for University education
Many students who plan to attend university inquire about scholarship programs. However, few students look into all of the funding opportunities available, or know all of the costs associated with university education. It is important to understand the costs of attending university and to have a sense of how you will fund your studies. Here are some tips and time lines you should consider.
Determine the costs. It is important to have a clear understanding of the costs for the specific program you are looking at. Tuition fees vary from program to program and from institution to institution. Residence costs can also vary significantly, depending on the style of residence and the meal plan. To help you get a sense of the costs visit uregina.ca/futurestudents/money-matters/costs.
Apply for entrance scholarships, awards and bursaries. The University of Regina offers a number of entrance scholarships and awards. Some are automatic and others require an application form. Application-based scholarships have a March 15 deadline. Full details are available at uregina.ca/futurestudents/money-matters/scholarships-awards.
Tip 1: One common mistake made by students is waiting for an offer of admission or waiting until they accept an offer of admission before applying for scholarships and bursaries. This is too late. Students should apply for scholarships and bursaries at the same time they submit an application for admission.
Tip 2: Be strategic when responding to scholarship application questions. When listing activities and accomplishments, students should focus on quality, not quantity. Providing a list of everything you have been involved in does not provide depth about who you are and what you have accomplished. For example, if you were a member of a student club, write about what you did as a member of the club and highlight your specific accomplishments.
Apply for external scholarships and awards. There are many private companies and organizations that provide funding. Popular Web sites to access external scholarship information are Studentawards.com and Canlearn.ca.
Apply for the government student assistance program available in your home province, such as Saskatchewan Student Loans. Government student assistance programs provide funding in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. To ensure students receive funding in time to pay for tuition fees in September, it is recommended that applications and any supporting documents are submitted by mid-June. For more information visit
Following these steps will help ensure your access all possible sources of funding to pay for university. Every student will have different needs and each institution will have different costs, and that's why it is important to look at your specific situation and take advantage of all opportunities available.
For more information visit www.uregina.ca/futurestudents.
Life-long learning remains focus at Parkland College
Parkland College is celebrating its 40th anniversary by doing what has made it successful over the past four decades — focusing on its diversity and adaptability to serve the education and training needs of adult learners and industry partners in East Central Saskatchewan.
Since its inception in 1973, Parkland College has worked to expand the philosophy of life-long learning in the Parkland region. Among the seven basic principles upon which the Saskatchewan community college system was founded is the idea that programs are to be developed in response to the needs of the community. Today, Parkland College delivers hundreds of program sessions at its campuses in Canora, Esterhazy, Fort Qu'Appelle, Melville, and Yorkton. Students can choose from a broad spectrum of educational services from trades training and high school upgrading to the province's most diverse off-campus university offerings.
The trades and industrial area is an example of the responsiveness and flexibility of Parkland College. For example, the College is again offering the SIAST Multi-Mechanical Trades program in Yorkton. In just 26 weeks, students learn the skills necessary to work in the Heavy Equipment, Truck & Transport, Agricultural Machinery, and Automotive Service trades. The popular Boom Truck, Crane and Hoist Operator program returns to Fort Qu'Appelle in September for 13 weeks. And new for 2013 is the 12-week Railway Conductor program which will run this spring and summer.
Parkland College in Melville is home to two popular emergency services programs: firefighting and paramedic training. The 14-week National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 — Professional Firefighters program gives graduates a comprehensive blend of theory and practical skills required for an entry-level career. This year's student intakes, called platoons, are scheduled for March and August. Meanwhile, the 18-week Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program trains graduates for work with ambulance operations, fire services, industrial sites, mining sites, military departments, or special care facilities. The next PCP program begins in November.
To meet the steady demand for special care aides in the area, Parkland College continues to offer the one-year SIAST Continuing Care Assistant Program in Yorkton. Graduates typically find employment in home care settings, special care facilities (such as nursing homes), and hospitals. Two full-time programs are slated for 2013: the spring session begins in April, followed by a fall program starting in September. Part-time courses are also available throughout the year.
Parkland College offers more than 130 courses from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. Students in Yorkton can complete several degree options at the undergraduate and master's levels from these institutions. Bachelor's degrees available at Parkland College include Social Work, Indigenous Education, Geography, Justice, Northern Studies, Police Studies, and Sociology. Graduate degrees are offered in Master of Education Administration and the Master of Nursing (coming soon).
Along with these diverse training options, many students are drawn to the unique learning environment at Parkland College where class sizes are typically smaller. Students flourish in a friendly and welcoming setting where their teachers know them by name. Instructors and counsellors are dedicated to their students and have a passion for life-long learning.
The College also offers a very generous scholarship program. More than $100,000 was awarded to 103 students enrolled at Parkland College in 2012. The benefits are two-fold: students don't have to leave the community to further their education, and they don't incur the costs associated with living away from home.
To inquire further, call Parkland College toll-free at 1-866-783-6766, or visit www.parklandcollege.sk.ca. Additional information can be found at www.facebook.com/CollegeofChoice
U of S scholarships contribute to student success
When Melody Wong received a letter informing her she was the recipient of a prestigious University of Saskatchewan scholarship, she couldn't believe her eyes.
Wong, who attended high school at Regina's Campbell Collegiate, was awarded the George and Marsha Ivany President's First and Best Scholarship. Valued at $24,000 — $6,000 over four years — the scholarship is provided annually to five students beginning their studies at the U of S. The students must graduate from a Canadian high school, go directly from high school to the U of S and achieve a minimum high school average of 95%.
Wong was thrilled to receive the scholarship, which she says "secured my path to the U of S."
"I felt extremely excited, happy and honoured to be chosen for this scholarship. I couldn't believe my eyes; I had to read the letter over twice to be sure it was real," she said.
"I recall running down the stairs in joy to tell my parents, and they were just as happy as I was. It was a great day."
Wong is currently in her first year in the College of Arts and Science. She dreams of becoming a doctor.
"Receiving the scholarship helped my family and I tremendously in funding my education. It makes it easier for me to pursue my ultimate goal to become a physician, as it will take additional years of financial resources," she said.
Su Ping Ng, an international student from Selangor, Malaysia, also felt "really surprised" when she received an email informing her she was the recipient of a scholarship for international students. The news that she would receive the scholarship — valued at $45,000 over four years — was a determining factor in her decision to study at the U of S.
"Knowing that there would only be two recipients, I tried my best to apply for the scholarship but I didn't get my hopes up too high to avoid disappointment. I have to admit that I still couldn't believe the good news after two weeks of receiving the email," said Ng, a second-year student in the Edwards School of Business.
"I needed a scholarship to finance my studies, and that was a huge amount of scholarship," she added.
In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the U of S awarded $35 million in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Arvelle Van Dyck, awards administration officer at the U of S, said awards provide a way for students to offset the financial investment of a university education. She noted scholarships, awards and bursaries are "free money," as they are not paid back, and students can enhance their resumes by listing the awards they have received.
"Awards lead to student success. Financial support allows students to focus on their studies and excel academically," Van Dyck said.
"The U of S and its donors use awards to recognize excellence in certain academic areas and provide financial support to students who need it most. As a university community, we believe everyone should have access to a university education. Also, we want students to attend the U of S and graduate with a University of Saskatchewan degree."
At the U of S, there are two types of awards for undergraduate students: Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships and Competitive Entrance Awards. Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships are based entirely on high school academic achievement. Competitive Entrance Awards are based on academic achievement and other criteria, such as participation in extra-curricular activities, athletic ability or financial need, and require a separate application form and, often, supporting documents.
The deadline to apply for Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships and Competitive Entrance Awards is Feb. 15, 2013. For more information, go online to explore.usask.ca and look under the Money Matters tab.
"My advice is you can't win if you don't apply, so apply, apply, apply," said Van Dyck.