Choosing a University

Deciding which university to attend and what to study are two very difficult and important decisions. The University Counselling department's role is to guide students through this process. Here, students can find tips and resources to help them narrow down their selections, but students should also visit or contact the department at 250-370-6133 for help.

Finding a Good Fit

Picking a university is all about fit; find the school that is best suited to your interests, lifestyle and plans for the future. Many students fall into the trap of looking for the “best” university, but there is really no such thing – it’s a matter of what’s best for you.

Things to consider

  • location
  • class sizes and professors
  • programs
  • reputation
  • extracurricular opportunities
  • the campus
  • residence
  • school spirit/atmosphere

Researching Universities

Research is a huge aspect of post-secondary planning, because of the overwhelming number of choices available. No two schools are the same, and there are a variety of things you need to know before you send in your applications. We recommend students research four to six post-secondary options.

For each school to which you want to apply, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the program of study I want offered?
  • Do I meet or come close to meeting admissions requirements?
  • How will my AP credits transfer?
  • What extracurricular opportunities are available?
  • Can I afford tuition?
  • What kind of financial aid, bursary and scholarship programs does the school have?

University Visits

Admissions representatives from more than 80 universities visit the SMUS campus each year. This provides a chance for students to learn more about universities that interest them and ask questions. The school also hosts fairs for students and parents on our campus. If the fairs are hosted elsewhere, we make arrangements for students to attend.


Canadian University Event (CUE): 45-50 Canadian universities
Best of Britain: 6-10 UK universities


Ivy League Plus presentation: 6-8 Ivy League universities
Vancouver Island College Event (VICE): 25-30 American colleges


Art College Fair: 15-20 US and Canadian art colleges/universities

In addition to university visits, the school holds several information evenings for Grade 12 parents and students in September about post-secondary planning, and for Grade 8-11 parents and students in March, covering course selection and preparation for post-secondary planning. For all upcoming post-secondary events, see the SMUS calendar.


MaiaLearning is a one-stop site for university searches, scholarship details, application information, and almost anything else you will need to know about post-secondary education. Students and their parents are encouraged to use the site as often as possible to find information, store details about applications in progress, and to contact the University Counselling office at 250-370-6113 or by visiting the office in the Sun Centre.

Links and Resources Information and resources to help you prepare and take the SAT exam; you can also find information about Advanced Placement credits and placement policies The online application site for many BC universities and colleges Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC), the online application site for all Ontario universities and colleges The Common Application for Undergraduate College Admissions which you can use to apply to many universities in the United States eINFO - a guide to Ontario's universities for secondary school students An excellent career search engine ApplyAlberta is an online application system that lets students apply to one or more post-secondary institutions and authorize transcript transfers between participating institutions in the province. An online research and application tool for universities in the United Kingdom
Maclean’s oncampus News, articles, blogs and information about Canadian universities
Canadian University Report Annual report and profile of Canadian universities A searchable database of all study programs offered at Canadian universities.