Becoming a student
A journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet. Follow these four steps to become a Camosun student.
Camosun College views any student who is a descendant of the Indigenous peoples of North America to be an Indigenous student. This includes status and non-status Indians, Métis, Inuit and Native Americans who reside in Canada.
Step 1 - Talk with someone
Meet with a post-secondary education counsellor at your Band or Métis office, or Friendship Centre. See your school counsellor or contact one of our Indigenous Advisors. Talk about what kind of work you would like to do eventually, or what kind of education you’d like to get. Discover what is available to you here and other places. Learn about the admission requirements you need to get into programs that interest you.
Attend a program information session – a great way to get information on what a program is really like. Find out about application deadlines for different programs. Seek advice that makes sense to you.
Step 2 - Gather your records
If you are currently in grade 12 completing the requirements for the program you want to get into, your records will be provided to Camosun College once you’ve completed an application to the college. If you aren’t currently in high school and you have completed grade 10 or higher, Camosun College needs to see your academic records. You can contact your former school to request transcripts or record of marks. You may also be able to get your marks through the Ministry of Education.
If you went to another college, Camosun needs to see those transcripts as well. Contact the institution you attended. If you didn’t complete high school, or if you don’t have the English and/or math prerequisites to the program or courses you want to take, you can take an assessment. The assessment will show you where your academic skills are right now. If you need to upgrade, the results will tell you where you can start so that you can be successful as you move through your studies.
Step 3 - Plan your finances – find funding
Part of the preparation for becoming a college student is to organize funding. There may be more funding opportunities than you think! Early in your planning process meet with an Indigenous Advisor to learn what kinds of funding are available, and what you need to do to apply or qualify.
Band or Inuit funding
If you are status First Nations with Band membership, you may be eligible for post-secondary funding that includes tuition, books and living allowance. To qualify, you usually have to be in a program that requires at least Grade 12 English and is considered post-secondary education (rather than upgrading or trades). However, you may be eligible for a special kind of funding called UCEP (University and College Entrance) if you’re in the Indigenous College Prep or Indigenous Human Services Career Access programs. To see if you qualify for post-secondary or UCEP funding, check with your Band or Tribal Council and request a copy of its post-secondary policy.
Usually, this is the basic process:
Call your Band office and talk to the Education Coordinator. Ask them to send you their post-secondary education application and policy. You may have it mailed to you or, if you are working with an Indigenous Advisor, you can have it faxed to you in care of our office – Fax: 250-370-3291.
Read the policy and fill out the application. Make sure you pay attention to deadlines. Usually an application will ask you to provide:
- a completed application form
- a self-written letter briefly introducing yourself and outlining your education plans, both short-term (what you want to do the following year) and long-term (what credential and career you want to achieve)
- information about the program you are applying for, including costs and timelines
- high school records, or your most recent transcript
- a copy of your application to the college.
Your Band’s Education Coordinator will inform you if you have been approved. Meet with an Indigenous Advisor to get a tuition and a bookstore sponsorship form faxed to the Band. Follow through with any additional requests from the Band. (For example, they may require you to sign a form that allows Camosun College to share educational information about you with them).
Make sure that you opt out of the Camosun College Student Society medical/dental plan.
If you are Inuit or status First Nations without Band membership, you may be able to access funding through the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
If you are Métis, there is limited education or training funding available through the Aboriginal Skills Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). You must be eligible for a Métis identification card issued by Métis Nation BC (MNBC) or one of its affiliates. For more information, please see an Indigenous Advisor.
Non-status or otherwise unfunded
If you are a non-status or an otherwise unfunded Indigenous student, Victoria Native Friendship Centre has limited ASETS funding for tuition and books.
Financial aid – grants and loans
Camosun’s Financial Aid and Awards department provides support for you to apply for student loans or bursaries. See an Indigenous Advisor for more information before applying for any student loans.
Financial Aid will also help you apply for grants if you need upgrading or have a disability.
Awards and scholarships
Indigenous Education & Community Connections, in partnership with the Camosun College Foundation, offers a series of awards to students who demonstrate outstanding community service and dedication to studies. We have 23 award categories (some include multiple awards) and, thanks to generous donors, we are able to provide about $25,000 in awards annually. See awards and application dates.
Step 4 - Apply and register
Ready to study at Camosun? See How to Apply. Indigenous Education staff are happy to answer your questions about application and registration procedures and timetabling. Make an appointment with an Indigenous Advisor.
Once you’ve registered
Student identification cards
You'll need to get your photo taken for your student identification card. Students on campus and at community sites are issued a Camosun College Student/Library/U Pass card which opens up access to the following services:
- borrowing privileges at the Library and Audio-Visual department
- Universal Bus Pass (U Pass)
- photocopy card (to add copy credits to your card take it to the Camosun Bookstore)
- recreation facilities and programs
- Camosun computer labs
- discount services at local merchants and restaurants (see the student handbook available from the Camosun College Student Society for a complete list)
- Camosun pub nights (students must be 19 years of age).
Do you have a Status card? Opt out of the Camosun College Medical/Dental Plan!
Your Status card offers health and dental coverage similar to that offered by Camosun College so you’ll need to opt out of Camosun’s Medical/Dental Plan.
If you do not opt out of the Camosun College Student Society Benefit Plan (CCSS Benefits Plan) by the opt–out deadline, you will be billed, and won’t be able to register for courses for the next semester until the fee is paid.
To opt out, bring your Status card to an Indigenous Advisor.You can save approximately $200 a year by opting out!
Interested in Nursing, Practical Nursing, and Early Learning & Care?
The college wants to increase Indigenous student enrollment in these programs and be a part of the process to help meet critical health and child care needs in urban and rural Indigenous communities.
Five per cent (5%) of the seats are set aside for qualified Indigenous students.