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Education & Training

Planning for Post-Secondary: Grade 12 Checklist

Your time in high school has gone by quickly. Before you know it, you will have to make decisions about work or school.

Let's ensure you are ready for your transition to post-secondary education and training! Admissions, timelines, money matters, and more...


  • Make sure the courses you are taking right now meet the admission requirements for the post-secondary program and school you would like to attend. Admission requirements are available online, or for more information on other post-secondary schools, ask your guidance counsellor or visit the post-secondary school’s website.

  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you don't already have one. 

  • Create your own checklist of deadlines for:
    • Admissions applications (These will vary with each post-secondary school.)
    • Financial aid applications
    • Tuition
    • Housing
    • Materials you will need to submit.
    Tip:  Keep all this information in a folder and record important dates in your calendar.

  • Find out where and who to send your high school transcripts to.
    TIP: Not sure where to start? Check out the post-secondary school’s website or contact them directly.

  • Start researching scholarships and bursaries. Bookmark anything that interests you online or print paper copies of post-secondary student funding programs and scholarships.
    TIP: Get a head-start and begin to fill out applications now… send them in before the deadline to be safe.

  • Update your portfolio to showcase all your accomplishments in school, volunteer work, jobs, hobbies, sports or other extra-curricular experiences.

You Should Know...

  • Your Grade 12 marks, especially from the first semester, count heavily in post-secondary admissions.

  • Some post-secondary schools have application deadlines as early as November 1. Check application deadlines for the post-secondary schools that interest you. Also, find out if there are early deadlines to qualify for certain programs, attend different campuses, or to apply for student housing.


  • Check your calendar… are any of your admission application deadlines coming up?
    TIP: Most of these application forms can be completed and submitted online. Apply Alberta is a great place to start. It is an online application system that will let students apply to one or more post-secondary institutions and authorize transcript transfers between participating institutions in the province.
  • Continue to check and apply for scholarships from both public and private sources such as churches, community groups, the government or minority organizations. 
  • To get financial aid, you have to apply for it. Visit the Student Aid website to apply for financial aid, or talk with your high school guidance counsellor for more information. 
    TIP: Some post-secondary schools have separate financial aid application forms called institutional aid applications. Do some research and find out if this is an available option for you!

You Should Know...

  • Your transcript must be sent with your admission application, so keep working hard on your grades!
  • If you have to move away from home, start researching possible places to live or contact the housing office at the post-secondary school you plan on attending for more information.
  • Check to see if your school of choice is hosting an Open House-many do in the fall, so this is a great opportunity to visit the campus and learn more about your program options.


  • Make sure your transcripts have been sent by checking your Transcript Verification Report. See your school counsellor for details.
  • Continue to search and apply for scholarships and other possible sources of financial aid.

You Should Know...

  • There is a fee involved when requesting your transcripts.
  • If you plan on living in residence on campus, apply now. Many places offer accommodation on a first come, first serve basis.


You Should Know...

  • If you plan on living in residence on campus and have not yet applied for housing, apply now. Often accommodations are offered on a first come, first serve basis.



  • Check your calendar for any upcoming application deadlines in March.
  • Watch announcements, bulletin boards and newspapers carefully for scholarships. Local organizations and individuals sometimes award scholarships to students graduating from their local high school.



  • You may start getting conditional offers of admission and financial aid in April. Continue to make long-range plans with your family about how you're going to pay for post-secondary education and where you’re going to live.
  • Create a folder and put all your post-secondary materials (applications, transcripts, student funding information, etc.) in it for safe keeping.


  • Most offers of admission are made in May. Hopefully you should hear back soon from a post-secondary school!
  • When you hear back from a post-secondary school, remember to put your Student ID Number and PAC (Personal Access Code) in the special folder you created. You will use these quite often in the future.
  • As soon as you have decided which offer to accept, notify the post-secondary school of your decision.
  • If you are placed on a post-secondary school's waiting list and intend to enrol if accepted, call or write the Admissions Office to ask how to strengthen your application or to find out your standing.
  • If you’re considering student funding, ask your high school guidance counsellor for a student loan application form and begin filling it out. If you prefer, you can also apply online
    TIP: It’s a good idea to submit a student loan application by May 31.


  • Make sure that you have your student loan applications in by the end of June so you can receive the funds you need by the time school starts.
  • If you have accepted admission offers from more than one post-secondary school, make a firm decision on which school you will attend in the fall. 
    TIP: To help you decide, evaluate what’s important to you like location, class sizes, programs offered, student services, graduate employment rates, etc.
  • Send your final transcript showing high school graduation to the post-secondary school you will be attending.
  • Review and ensure you meet requests for deposits, housing information, and other information relevant to you from the post-secondary school you will be attending.
  • If you have completed Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, send your test scores to the post-secondary school so you can receive credit for those courses.

Congratulations, high school graduate! Good luck on an exciting and successful future! 


  • Think about ways to earn and save money for your post-secondary education… consider a summer job. 


  • If you have decided to pursue post-secondary education during this time, you may still have a "walk in" option. During the two- to three-week period, just before classes begin, post-secondary schools sometimes discover they still have room for students. Apply now… it’s possible you can still be accepted.
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