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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 are still in high school to help find a university or college that’s the perfect fit.

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 guidance 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.

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.

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 Careers Nova Scotia for quizzes, tips, job listings and more.
  • 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.
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