Transitioning from high school to university can involve a steep learning curve.
Students find themselves taking classes with more students given in a new way while living away from family and having to support themselves for the first time.
Kwalikum Secondary School grad Jasmin Ford has found a way to soften that curve, save money and earn a lot of scholarships funding along the way. The way she did that is by applying to the University of Victoria through North Island College, allowing her to take her first year of engineering while still living at home — which should equal savings of about $10,000, said North Island College in a news release.
The decision also made Ford eligible for scholarships from both institutions, leaving her with $2,500 from the NIC Foundation, and $26,000 waiting for her once she goes to UVic.
“It definitely takes a lot of the pressure off, the financial pressure,” said Ford.
Though she still does some tutoring work at KSS, Ford said not having to maintain a job while also taking on a larger academic workload is a relief.
Ford’s plan is to spend one year living at home in Qualicum Beach and commuting to NIC’s Comox Valley campus before heading to UVic.
The deal between NIC and UVic, in place since 2011, allows students to take university-level courses for up to two years at NIC while also reserving a spot for themselves at UVic, provided their grades at the college are good enough.
That means students can pay less in tuition in that first year or two, and be eligible for awards from both institutions.
“I had heard about it from a teacher at KSS, and his daughter had gone there as well for the first year, and she enjoyed it,” said Ford.
“It just sounded nice to have kind of a transition year that I could still live at home and then kind of figure out college life and a heavier workload. And then have the next year to figure out moving out and living on my own.”
Gaining that much in entrance scholarships, however, is a result of work Ford put in before reaching the post-secondary level.
“I worked really hard all through my years of school and I just always did the best that I possibly could,” she said. Her interest in engineering comes from a love for numbers, math and the sciences, she said. “I thought this would be a good way to channel that into a career.”
Asked how she feels about living at home for another year, she said she wasn’t itching to head across the country or anything, but said she’ll probably feel ready by next year.
Until that time, she can get accustomed to post-high school life without having to contend with classes with 300 students in them, and teachers who don’t know who she is.
“It’s a nice transition, I think,” she said.
Asked what kind of engineering she wants to get into, Ford said she is currently leaning toward electrical engineering, but added she hasn’t decided yet.
For more info on the dual admission partnership, or to apply, contact Danielle Hoogland at 250-334-5000 ext. 4102, or go to www.nic.bc.ca/ut.