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In Education: Weeding through post-secondary options

What sets apart universities, colleges, and institutes, aside from the names?

When Grade 12 students are considering life after graduation, there is so much information bombarding senior students that it’s nearly impossible to keep everything in order.

There are lists of universities, colleges, and institutes, but aside from the names, what really sets these schools apart?

Universities are largely considered to have the most prestige of post-secondary education institutions, but what differentiates them is that they encompass multiple faculties that are focused on distinct fields.

Universities maintain undergraduate, graduate and post graduate programs. They often have an emphasis on progressive research, for which they receive government grants.

Sizable endowment funds are also allocated to universities. These schools have a primarily academic focus as opposed to a vocational focus, and their professors are required to have a PhD-level education.

While universities offer a collection of faculties, colleges offer collections of degrees in one specific area. A graduation from a university means that you will be graduating from one of their faculties such as the business faculty.

Colleges are referred to as independent institutions primarily focused on undergraduate studies, often with an emphasis in the area of liberal arts, vocational and trade skills.

They generally award bachelor degrees, as well as associate degrees, certificates and diplomas to graduates.

Institutes, on the other hand, are narrowly focused schools sharing a common topic, such as science or technology, among other programs. Their courses often provide vocational training in the form of programs spanning four years or fewer.

Within the Lower Mainland, there are many diverse post-secondary educational options, including multiple world renowned schools.

UBC is known as a one of these front running educators in Canada. The tuition cost for UBC is $6,084 for the year and it has an extensive Point Grey campus in Vancouver. The school has strong residence programs with 12,611 spaces.

SFU is also a very well respected school and its tuition costs $6,427. The Burnaby Mountain campus nestled in the trees has about 1,623 residence spaces.

University of the Fraser Valley has a tuition fee of $5,125 and campuses in Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission. There are 202 residence spaces available.

The University of Victoria has a $6,138 tuition and 2,299 residence spaces. It has a very nature oriented campus.

Kwantlen Polytechnic Universities’ Surrey campus has no residence, but a reasonable tuition fee of $5,197.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design is located in downtown Vancouver. The tuition costs $4,943, but there are no residence spaces.

Capilano University is found at the foot of the North Shore mountains in North Vancouver. The tuition costs are $4,742, but it has no residences.

Trinity Western University is one of the nation’s largest Christian schools. Its Langley campus has 900 residences and the tuition is $22,775.

BCIT is another unconventional education experience that is offered in our area. The Burnaby campus has about 333 residence spaces and the tuition is approximately $3,000, with variations depending on the program.

As for colleges Douglas, Langara, Vancouver are some of the more well known schools. Douglas College in New Westminster has no residences, but the tuition only costs about $2,250, depending on the program.

Langara is a Vancouver-based school. It also has no residences and the tuition ranges from $590 to $6,000 depending on the course.

Lastly, Vancouver Community College also has no housing on its Vancouver campus and a large range in tuition, approximately $1,500 to $5,000 based on the program.

There are also numerous post-secondary schools around the country that offer innovative programs. There are even international options, but staying local is often one of the most realistic options for many students.

Making these decisions is very difficult, but most high schools have counselors dedicated to helping Grade 12 students figure out post-secondary plans.

Post-secondary institutions also often provide counselors to help interested students get a sense of their potential future in the school.

Even though these decisions are important, the choices that we make immediately after graduation do not necessarily determine the path we will take in future years.

Bronte Miner is

a student at Maple Ridge secondary.