The more research and prep you put into post-secondary education, the more you’ll get out of your experience. Here is a list of things you can do while you're still in high school to help find a university or college that’s right for you.

Decision checklist

Grade 10

  • Challenge yourself: Consider taking challenging courses in high school that relate to your strengths, personality and interests.
  • Volunteer: Get involved! Volunteer, join clubs or teams, job shadow, or complete other activities that match your interests and will give you valuable experience and build your skills.
  • Get advice: Talk to your parents, teachers and school counsellor early. They will have information and insights that could help you make a more informed decision.
  • Know your interests: Make a list of the programs that interest you, and make note of any prerequisites or program requirements. Select your high school courses to meet these prerequisite requirements.
  • Involve your parent(s) or guardian(s): We have tips for them, too!

Grade 11

  • Go online: This website's a good place to start, but also check out the websites, viewbooks, calendars, and social media channels of the universities and colleges. See who offers the programs you're interested in.
  • Talk about money: Talk to your parents and figure out how you will pay for university or college. You can apply for many bursaries and scholarships while still in high school. Develop a budget and start saving now.
  • List achievements: Organize your work, achievements and accomplishments so that you're ready to apply for admission and scholarships.
  • Explore myBlueprint: if you haven’t already checked out the website, which is available to every public high school student in NS free of charge, now would be a good time to explore its features. You can explore different careers, take surveys to determine your interests or learning style, and learn about things such as budgeting. Visit 
  • Involve your parent(s) or guardian(s): If you haven’t already done so. 

Grade 12

  • Take a campus tour: Visit the universities that interest you. Many have ‘Open House’ days that let you explore what they have to offer. You can also schedule a campus tour, or take part in special events.
  • Review applications: Even before you are ready to apply, browse online university and college applications to get a sense of what's required. Keep track of all application deadlines.
  • Think about your career: If you like to plan ahead, there are many career resources that provide advice and answers. Check out Explore Careers and Careers Atlantic Canada.
  • Apply to more than 1: Don't put 'all your eggs in one basket.' Instead of just one school, plan on applying to a few so that you have choice and opportunity when the time comes.
  • Keep track of deadlines: There are deadlines not just for applications for admission, but also for scholarship, bursary and financial assistance applications.
  • Involve your parent(s) or guardian(s): From helping to pay for post-secondary to being a second set of eyes on applications, there are many ways to involve them.
  • Transcripts: If you’re applying to a school in Nova Scotia your transcripts (a listing of your courses and grades) will be electronically sent to the schools to which you’re applying. Any schools outside of NS will need a paper copy. 

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