Six things to research about potential universities

Patricia Lora


Going to university is a whole different world from high school.

Not only is the student population larger but classes are more diverse and students are responsible for their own decisions.

These differences between high school and university may sound overwhelming, however, they give you opportunities to grow as a student and an adult.

As a university graduate myself, I believe it’s important to do thorough research on your prospective universities.

Think of university as an expensive pair of shoes you have to wear for four years straight. You would want to invest in durable exterior, a comfortable sole, and something you feel cool wearing.

You want know that you’ll get your money’s worth.

Are you Ready? written on the road

Unsure of where to start your research? Here are six areas you want to investigate when looking into your prospective universities:


There are so many programs to choose from! Make sure you look through the admission requirements of the universities you’re interested in to ensure you’ve completed any pre-requisites or supplementary essays required to apply for the program.  

Admission, application, process and dates

It’s essential to keep tabs on application due dates as contacting the school for an extension may defer your process of applying.

person writing on a calendar

Financial aid

School is expensive. That paper you receive after your graduation will have cost you pretty penny.

All things considered, you don’t want money to keep you from having a great education.

So, plan ahead. Look into the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), your university’s bursaries and even consider applying for scholarships!

Campus facilities

A lot of students forget about the ancillary fees that are a part of their tuition. Ancillary fees are mandatory fees that supplement the construction of the school, development of programs and facilities that might be of use during the school year such as the gym, clinic, printers, city transit and—of course—dental and health insurance.

If you are already under a dental or health plan, you have the opportunity to opt out from this fee. Ancillary fees enhance your experience as a student and make the most out of your time there.

Open houses

Universities host open houses to entice you to apply and accept and offer before your final decision is due. Open houses held by universities are fun events with booths set up for each program and usually provide free food!

Free food aside, it's important to give yourself the opportunity look at the university itself and ask yourself these following questions:

  • How are the conditions of the school’s facilities?
  • Do you see yourself there?
  • How is the atmosphere of the student body? How is your program’s faculty and advisors?

Student life

Even though university requires you to hunker down and get serious with your studies, don’t forget to have fun!

During your program you will get closer with other students and build friendships. You'll want to be part of communities you share similar interests with. Look into clubs, local event and campus-off campus hangouts.

You'll also want to consider the convenience of the city's public transportation and the proximity of all the places you'll find yourself.

Group of people throwing graduation hats in the air

Although universities offer extensive facilities and opportunities, it’s your job to do your research and determine which school suits your needs. Welcome to the first and most important stage of the university life—adulting.

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