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University Planning for Canadians for Dummies

ISBN: 978-1-894413-31-2
450 pages
August 2001, ©2001
University Planning for Canadians for Dummies (1894413318) cover image
Includes a directory of Canadian universities and colleges.

Let this book take you straight to the head of the class.

Heading off to university is serious business, but you'll make all the right moves with the help of this friendly, straightforward guide. From finding the best schools for you, to applying and gaining admission, the book also includes foolproof financial strategies to help parents shoulder the cost of post-secondary education.

Discover how to:

  • Prepare for university in high school
  • Research universities and colleges online
  • Get the most out of your campus visits
  • Save money for university ahead of time
  • Pay for your education without going broke
  • Live life at university to the fullest
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About This Book
How to Use This Book
Who Are You, Anyway?
Who Should Read This Book?
  • Elementary students
  • Grade 9 students
  • High school students
  • Mom and Dad
  • Grandparents
  • Adults thinking about university
  • Anyone accepted to university
Who Should Not Read This Book
  • Anyone with a Ph.D.
  • Anyone who works at a university
    How This Book Is Organized
    Part I: Crack Open the Book: Getting Ready for University
    Part II: Start Taking Notes: Finding the Right Universities
    Part III: Crunch Time: Getting into University
    Part IV: Please Report to the Financial Aid Office: Paying for University
    Part V: Dotting the "i"s and Crossing the "t"s: The Final Details
    Part VI: The Part of Tens
    Part VII: Appendixes
    Icons and Conventions Used in This Book
    Where to Go from Here

    Part I: Crack Open the Book: Getting Ready for University

    Chapter 1: What You Need to Know about University
    What Is a University?

  • Universities, colleges, and institutes
  • Public universities and private universities
  • Canadian universities and American colleges
  • Open-admission universities
  • Universities in other countries
    Is University for You?
    University Is for Me— Now What?
  • Can you get in?
  • Can you afford it?
  • Which university is for you?
  • What is university life really like?
    Where to Go First: Information Sources
  • Counsellors
  • Teachers
  • Friends and family
  • University literature
  • Directories
  • Web sites
  • Computer programs
    What If You're Older?

    Chapter 2: Planning 101
    Read This Book in Grade 4
    If You're Not in Grade 4, Just Read Faster
    If You're Out of High School
    Beginner Level: What to Do Early On

  • Stay awake in grade 4 math
  • Unplug the TV
  • Empower yourself for two hours
  • Take the toughest courses
  • Get a job
  • Be exceptional
    Intermediate Level: Decisions You Need to Make
  • Stay or leave home?
  • Large or small campus?
  • Big city or university town?
  • What do you want to major in?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • With whom do you want to live?
    Advanced Level: Life Planning
  • Studying what you're good at or what you love
  • Investigating your chosen career
  • Investigating the job market
  • Looking forward to graduate school
    Don't Sweat It
    Money Is Not Important— Yet
    Early Steps to Get More University Money
  • What you can do
  • What your parents can do
  • What everyone else can do

    Chapter 3: Big Changes in Canadian Schools
    More Competition for Spaces

  • Ontario's double cohort
  • Population growth across Canada
  • More mature students
  • Are you as prepared as you can be?
    Some Technical Schools Are Becoming Universities
    Community Colleges Are Becoming Mainstream
    Blending a Degree with a Diploma or a Certificate
    Private Universities: Coming Soon to an Application Near You

    Chapter 4: Big Options for You
    Taking a Year Off Before University
    Deferring Your Acceptance
    Going Abroad: International Universities

  • Going American
  • Going farther away
    Coming to Canada: Canadian Universities for International Students
    Going Back to School: What Mature Students Need to Know
  • Professional resasons for becoming a mature student
  • Personal reasons for becoming a mature student
    Easing back into it

    Part II: Start Taking Notes: Finding the Right Universities

    Chapter 5: What You're Doing (and Not Doing)
    You're Looking for Places Where You Can Thrive
    You're Making Lists
    You're Checking Personalities
    You're Looking for Universities
    Why You're Not Choosing a University

  • Someone else likes the university
  • The university has prestige
  • The university is tough to get into
  • Your parents want you to go to the university
  • The university ranks high in magazines and newspapers

    Chapter 6: Grade 9: Starting Early
    Start Your University Applications File
    Universities Look at Your Entire High School Career
    Take the Tougher Courses

  • Tougher courses increase your odds
  • Tougher courses prepare your mind
    Don't Drop English or Math
    Prepare for Your Major
  • Setting goals
  • Choosing courses
  • No one said you have to be exclusive
    Start Your Mull List

    Chapter 7: Grades 10 and 11: Starting Later
    Take the Right Courses
    Refine Your List of Universities

  • Consider this
  • Talk their ears off
  • Get more information
    Refine Your List of Majors
  • Figuring out what you really like
  • This doesn't mean your decision is made
    What You're Not Worrying About
  • Money
  • Selectivity
    The Final Cut

    Chapter 8: Researching Online
    Get Ready for Your (Virtual) Trip
    Where to Go First
    How to Read University Web Sites

  • Navigating the site
  • Some things to look for online
  • Too good to be true?
    What Else Is Out There: Unofficial Sites
    Finding Money Online
  • Money from the university
  • Money from the government
    Organizing Your Information
  • Keeping track of your digital details
  • The paper trail: Expanding your University Applications File
    Communication: More Than an Art, It's a Necessity!

    Chapter 9: Getting the Feel of a Campus
    You Won't Know Until You Go
    Personality Check: A Reprise
    Set Your Visit in Spring or Fall
    Do Mom and Dad Really Have to Come Along?
    Cover the Four Essentials

  • The admissions office
  • The financial aid office
  • The students
  • The overnight stay
    You Can Do Even More
  • Visit a professor
  • Audit classes
  • Read the student newspaper
    Add It to Your File
    All Around Town
    Hunting Down Housing
  • Life in residence
  • Life off-campus
  • Life on the home front
    If You're a Mature Student
    Don't Drop the Ball
    What If You Don't Visit the Campus?

    Part III: Crunch Time: Getting into University

    Chapter 10: How Universities Look at You
    What Universities Are Really Looking For

  • Marks, marks, marks
  • Students who do more than just study
    What Universities Don't Judge You On
  • Your class rank
  • Your high school's rank
  • Your test scores
    When a Great Recommendation Counts
  • Avoid a bad one
  • Get a good one
    Yes, We Know You're Special, But Will Universities Think So?
    Summing Up

    Chapter 11: Grade 12: Making It Happen
    Step 1: Getting Ready to Apply

  • How many applications?
  • Go for the reach
  • Everyone needs a safety net
  • Looking forward to graduate school
    Step 2: When and How to Apply
  • The early bird gets the worm, er, edge
  • What a break! A common application
  • Applying online
    Step 3: Anatomy of an Application
  • Vital statistics
  • Program selections
  • High school attendance
  • Past college/university attendance
  • Residence and special needs
  • Payment
  • Other stuff
  • Declaration
    Step 4: Padding Your Application (Umm...Sending Additional Materials)
  • Awards
  • Jobs, achievements, and talents
  • Explanations
    Step 5: Considering Your Special Circumstances
  • Applying from another province
  • Applying from another country
  • TOEFL: The real English test
  • Applying later in life
    Step 6: Silly Mistakes That Are Easy to Make
  • What does that say?
  • The big blank space
  • Make sure your information is accurate
  • Get rid of typos
  • The mysteriously changing name
  • Just give the answer, already
  • Get it there on time
    Step 7: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
  • Make a copy
  • The wait

    Part IV: Please Report to the Financial Aid Office: Paying for University

    Chapter 12: Shake Off the Sticker Shock (Remember, It Costs More in the U.S.!)
    How Much Do You Need?
    Tuition: Different Universities Charge Different Amounts

  • What if you are from another province?
  • What if you are from another country?
  • What if you have First Nations status?
    Other University Fees
  • Student association fees
  • Medical and health fees
  • Athletic or college fees
  • Lab fees
  • Miscellaneous fees
  • Books
  • Tools of the trade
    The Cost of Living
  • Housing
  • Food
    More Costs of Living
  • Transportation
  • Embellishments
    Putting It All Together
    Financial Aid: The Basics
  • Are those horror stories and myths for real?
  • Tax credits to the rescue
  • Don't forget to plan

    Chapter 13: Long-term Planning (Parents, Read This!)
    Planning Is Key
    Figuring Out How Much You Will Need

  • How much is tuition increasing?
  • How much is the cost of living increasing?
    Settling on How Much You Should Save
  • Mull over these numbers
  • A work-free income source
    Your Financing Options
  • Can't I get more if I have less?
  • So many ways to save, so little time, it seems
    RESPs: Your Best Option
  • How are RESPs administered?
  • How much will the RESP earn?
  • What if I decide to discontinue the RESP?
  • Can I extract my money from the RESP if my child doesn't go to university?
  • Working it all out
    Juggling for Money
  • Put your money in the right place, in the right name
  • Say "no thanks" to gifts
  • Teach
  • Get some good advice

    Chapter 14: Getting Financial Aid
    What Is Financial Aid?
    Busaries, Grants, and Loans— Oh My!
    Bursaries and Grants
    Student Loans

  • Federal and provincial student loans
  • Loans from the university
  • Bank loans
  • Personal loans
    Applyng for a Government-Sponsored Student Loan
  • Who can apply?
  • How do the financial aid officers decide how much I'm eligible for?
    Filling Out the Application Form
  • First things first
  • Personal information
  • Current status information
  • Residency
  • Previous post-secondary studies
  • Applicant's children
  • Next of kin in Canada
  • Financial data
  • Intended institution and course of study
  • Information from partner
  • Consent to release personal information
  • Information from parents
  • Other programs
  • Declarations, consents, and signatures
  • Application fee
  • Supporting documentation
    Getting the Money
    Repaying Your Loan (the Part Everyone Forgets)

    Chapter 15: Winning Scholarships
    Good News! Lots of Money Is Available
    Scholarships from Universities

  • Entrance scholarships
  • Other university scholarships
    Government Scholarships
    Private Scholarships
    Applying for Scholarships
  • When should you apply?
  • How do you apply?

    Chapter 16: Working Your Way through University
    I'm about as Co-Operative as the Next Guy...Co-op Programs Explained

  • What do co-op programs offer?
  • How much money do they pay me?
  • Are the placements guaranteed?
  • What do you mean I have to pay a fee?
  • I thought they would pay me!
    Join the Military, See the World, Earn Your Degree
  • How does this work?
  • How long do I have to serve after I get my degree?
  • Not that I'm considering it, but how can I get out of my commitment?
  • Can I go to RMC and not serve in the military?
  • How do I apply?
  • Do they have to take me?
  • What's life in the Forces like?
  • How will I be viewed when I get out?

    Chapter 17: International Universities
    Why Go Away (Far Away) to School?
    Where Do You Start?
    What You Need to Get Accepted to an International University
    Student Visas and Work Permits
    Welcome to America

  • Information sources
  • Can you get in?
    Can We See You SAT I Scores, Please?
  • What is the SAT I and why do I have to take it?
  • What abilities does the SAT I test?
  • What do my SAT I scores tell admissions officers about me?
  • Does the SAT I really show how well I'll do in college?
  • How can I register for the SAT I, when can I take it, and how much does it cost?
    How Much of the Green Stuff Do You Need?
  • Some financial aid is available
  • Additional U.S. financial aid resources

    Chapter 18: Staying Out of Debt
    People Don't Plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan
  • Save early, save often
    Budgeting 101: Your First Course
  • That's not all it costs
  • It costs even more if you go abroad
    Building Your Budget
    Getting a Part-time Job
  • The trade-off: Higher marks versus more money
  • The other trade-off: Earned money versus more aid money
    Getting a Summer Job
    A Last Look at Co-op Education

    Part V: Dotting the "i"s and Crossing the "t"s: The Final Details

    Chapter 19: Congratulations, You're Accepted! Now What?
    Now the Fun Begins
    The News Starts to Arrive

  • The safety net works
  • You're not Top-choice's top choice
  • One you didn't make
  • At last! Hooray!
  • But what about Top-choice?
    The Missing Piece
  • When you hear about financial aid
  • Why the financial aid offers don't always come with admissions offers
    Revisit Your Choices
    The Waiting List
  • What Waiting List means
  • Why they use the Waiting List
    The Deposit Dilemma
    Wait for the Other Shoe
    What If You Didn't Get into Your First Choice?
  • Take stock of yourself
  • Take stock of your academic situation
    What If You Didn't Get In, Period?
    Putting It All Together

    Chapter 20: Before You Go
    Step Back and Rethink Everything

  • Breathe in, breathe out, repeat
  • Re-evaluating the schools
  • Re-evaluating the program
  • Re-evaluating the money offers
    Your Options
  • Deciding not to go
  • Deferring your acceptance
  • Transferring credits
    Feeling Good about Your Final Choice

    Part VI: The Part of Tens

    Chapter 21: Ten Reasons to Go to University
    Qualifying for Graduate or Professional Studies
    Landing a Job
    Earning a Higher Salary
    Landing That Senior Position
    The Prestige Factor
    Changing Careers
    University Degrees Travel
    Learning to Think
    Having Fun
    Being Happier

    Chapter 22: Ten Reasons Why Colleges and Institutions Are Worth a Look
    Specialized Curriculum
    It Take Less Time
    It's the Top School in Your Field
    Hands-on Learning Style
    Smaller Classes
    Individual Attention
    Getting In Is (Often) Easier
    Greater Selection

    Chapter 23: Ten Questions to Ask about a University
    Does My Personality Match the University's?
    Can I Really Get In, Or Am I a Long Shot?
    Is This the Right Place for What I Want to Study?
    Can I Live on Campus? If Not, Where?
    How Large (or Small) Are Classes?
    Who Teaches the Classes?
    Is There an Effective Advisor Program?
    How Often Can I Get Home?
    How Safe Is the Campus?
    What Are My Prospects after University?

    Chapter 24: Ten Big Mistakes in University Planning
    Believing You Have to Go to University— and That You Have to Go There Right Away
    Applying to a University You Haven't Seen Up Close and Personal
    Thinking That Canadian Schools Are Just Like American Schools
    Ruling Out Going to University Because You Can't Afford It
    Lying on Your Application
    Missing Deadlines
    Submitting a Messy or Incomplete Application
    Sending Just the Application
    Choosing a University for Its Reputation Alone
    Putting Parent in Charge

    Part VII: Appendixes

    Appendix A: Directory of Universities and Colleges
    Size of Institution
    Tuition Fees
    Residence Costs
    Things Change
    Canadian Universities
    Canadian Colleges and Technical Institutions

    Appendix B: Money Sources
    Government Programs and Loans
    Group RESP Foundations
    Foundations and Granting Councils

    Appendix C: Useful Web Sites
    General Information
    Open-Admission Universities
    First Nations Students
    International Students
    English-Language Proficiency Tests
    Student Organizations

    Appendix D: The Mull List
    Questions to Ask Before Applying to a University


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    Caryn Mladen and David Rosen are business consultants and educators, and authors of Making Money with Multimedia and The Canadian Computer Handbook. Pat Ordovensky was an education writer for USA Today.
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