Parents & guardians

As parents or guardians of students transitioning to university, this resource page will help you support them as they explore their choices, possibilities, and future at SFU.

As parents or guardians of students transitioning to university, this resource page will help you support them as they explore their choices, possibilities, and future at SFU.

How you can help your student

By informing yourselves about what to expect in your student’s journey to SFU, including our undergraduate programs, admission requirements and the application process, their transition to university, and the overall SFU experience – you’ll be able to help guide and support their decisions better.

The SFU student experience

Understanding the student experience at SFU is knowing what to expect in the type of experiential, interdisciplinary education students get inside and outside of the classroom. Learn more about the open and diverse international SFU community, the resources and supports that set students up for academic success, the academic and professional opportunities that can help establish their career, and more.

Visit the student experience page

Where to start

Choosing the right university can be overwhelming for students—programs and faculties, tuition and other costs, access to financial aid, location or proximity to family and support, student life, and support networks and student resources are just some of the many things they’ll need to consider.

Help your student confidently navigate through the application process at SFU, while encouraging their independence as they plan for their own future, with the suggestions below on where you and your student can get started:

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Understand general admission requirements

Requirements for incoming students vary with their pathways to SFU. Canadian and international high school or secondary school students will find different eligibility requirements for admission, while college or university transfer students will have a different process in place, that takes program-specific transfer credits into consideration.

There are also additional categories of requirements, such as pathways for Indigenous students, Advanced Placement (AP) program students, International Baccalaureate (IB) program students, and many more.

Find the admission requirements specific to your student’s pathway

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Understand general admission requirements

Requirements for incoming students vary with their pathways to SFU. Canadian and international high school or secondary school students will find different eligibility requirements for admission, while college or university transfer students will have a different process in place, that takes program-specific transfer credits into consideration.

There are also additional categories of requirements, such as pathways for Indigenous students, Advanced Placement (AP) program students, International Baccalaureate (IB) program students, and many more.

Find the admission requirements specific to your student’s pathway

Basic eligibility for high school students

Domestic high school students
International high school students

Basic eligibility for high school students

Domestic high school students
International high school students

Application periods & deadlines

It’s important to take note of the application period, along with the application deadline, which vary with students’ pathways.

Term of admission Pathway Application period
Summer 2024 All students December 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024
Fall 2024 High school students October 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024
Fall 2024 Transfer students March 1, 2024 to April 15, 2024
Spring 2025 All students TBD

Application periods & deadlines

It’s important to take note of the application period, along with the application deadline, which vary with students’ pathways.

Term of admission Pathway Application period
Summer 2024 All students December 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024
Fall 2024 High school students October 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024
Fall 2024 Transfer students March 1, 2024 to April 15, 2024
Spring 2025 All students TBD

Understand program-specific requirements

Once your student decides which undergraduate program they’re interested in, ensure they understand the admission requirements specific to that program. We suggest students do ample research on both their first and second choice of programs, as each faculty has its own admission requirements. Meeting the requirements for both program choices on their application can optimize their chances of getting a competitive offer of admission from SFU.

Explore our undergraduate programs

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Understand program-specific requirements

Once your student decides which undergraduate program they’re interested in, ensure they understand the admission requirements specific to that program. We suggest students do ample research on both their first and second choice of programs, as each faculty has its own admission requirements. Meeting the requirements for both program choices on their application can optimize their chances of getting a competitive offer of admission from SFU.

Explore our undergraduate programs

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Consider undergraduate fees and scholarships

We understand that the cost of a university education can add up, but we make financial aid supports and income opportunities more accessible to students, so that they can offset some of those costs each term. We recommend you do a bit of financial planning together, and explore all the different options that will help fund their undergraduate studies and personal expenses during their time at university.

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Consider undergraduate fees and scholarships

We understand that the cost of a university education can add up, but we make financial aid supports and income opportunities more accessible to students, so that they can offset some of those costs each term. We recommend you do a bit of financial planning together, and explore all the different options that will help fund their undergraduate studies and personal expenses during their time at university.

Use our undergraduate cost calculator to estimate your student’s costs

Calculating an estimate of the expenses an undergraduate student might typically have can help you and your student anticipate costs for each term of their study. Keep in mind that tuition fees for domestic and international students can vary widely, so your student may need to budget accordingly. Once you have a general value, you and your student will be able to explore more financial options and make financial decisions.

Use the cost calculator on our Financial Planning page

Use our undergraduate cost calculator to estimate your student’s costs

Calculating an estimate of the expenses an undergraduate student might typically have can help you and your student anticipate costs for each term of their study. Keep in mind that tuition fees for domestic and international students can vary widely, so your student may need to budget accordingly. Once you have a general value, you and your student will be able to explore more financial options and make financial decisions.

Use the cost calculator on our Financial Planning page

Financial aid and awards

Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship (USES)

SFU awards incoming domestic and international students who demonstrate academic excellence and extracurricular involvement or community contributions. This entrance scholarship covers tuition from $20,000 up to a sufficient amount for any undergraduate program. And for exceptional students with demonstrated financial need, further funding is available in the form of living allowances each term.

Learn more about USES

Uggla Family Scholarship (UFS)

The only one of its kind in Canada, SFU's Uggla Family Scholarship is awarded to a select number of domestic Canadian students, who demonstrate a high level of academic excellence. By giving them the opportunity to overcome significant financial barriers to university education, UFS aims to foster future leaders among the SFU community. UFS provides scholars through the entirety of their academic program with:

  • Tuition fees, including textbooks and materials
  • On-campus housing and meal plans
  • Mentorship programs
  • Networking and engagement opportunities

Learn more about Uggla Family Scholarship

Support for youth in care

If your student is currently living or has previously lived as a youth in care in BC, they may qualify for additional financial support to help cover the costs of their education, such as through the BC Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP), which waives tuition and mandatory fees for students who meet the eligibility criteria.

Learn more about Youth in Care programs

Financial aid and awards

Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship (USES)

SFU awards incoming domestic and international students who demonstrate academic excellence and extracurricular involvement or community contributions. This entrance scholarship covers tuition from $20,000 up to a sufficient amount for any undergraduate program. And for exceptional students with demonstrated financial need, further funding is available in the form of living allowances each term.

Learn more about USES

Uggla Family Scholarship (UFS)

The only one of its kind in Canada, SFU's Uggla Family Scholarship is awarded to a select number of domestic Canadian students, who demonstrate a high level of academic excellence. By giving them the opportunity to overcome significant financial barriers to university education, UFS aims to foster future leaders among the SFU community. UFS provides scholars through the entirety of their academic program with:

  • Tuition fees, including textbooks and materials
  • On-campus housing and meal plans
  • Mentorship programs
  • Networking and engagement opportunities

Learn more about Uggla Family Scholarship

There are over 700 scholarships, awards, and bursaries that eligible domestic and international undergraduate students can apply for each year.

Applications for most open and close around the same time admission applications do.

While we encourage your student to browse through our database to find programs that fit their eligibility and needs, we recommend starting off with these.

Support for youth in care

If your student is currently living or has previously lived as a youth in care in BC, they may qualify for additional financial support to help cover the costs of their education, such as through the BC Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP), which waives tuition and mandatory fees for students who meet the eligibility criteria.

Learn more about Youth in Care programs

Attend our campus tours & events

Participating in tours and events is the best way for students to see firsthand if SFU is the right fit for them and their goals in university. By meeting with current students and other SFU representatives, they’ll receive guidance on applications and the admission process, gain invaluable insight into university life, sample a bit of the student experience and what it entails, and more.

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Attend our campus tours & events

Participating in tours and events is the best way for students to see firsthand if SFU is the right fit for them and their goals in university. By meeting with current students and other SFU representatives, they’ll receive guidance on applications and the admission process, gain invaluable insight into university life, sample a bit of the student experience and what it entails, and more.

Campus tours

While students are welcome to sign up on their own, we strongly encourage parents and guardians like you to join in on campus tours, so that you can all see SFU for yourselves, and ask any important questions you may have about SFU in person. We offer regularly-scheduled tours at SFU Burnaby and Surrey campuses year-round to accommodate people’s busy schedules.

In-person and virtual events

Throughout the busy fall and winter months, we regularly host a series of events covering different topics, addressing domestic and international student needs. These include how-to webinars that take students through the application process in detail, drop-in advising sessions where students can bring their questions, and information sessions and one-on-one meetings with our admissions representatives that are hosted abroad, to name a few.

In-person and virtual events

Throughout the busy fall and winter months, we regularly host a series of events covering different topics, addressing domestic and international student needs. These include how-to webinars that take students through the application process in detail, drop-in advising sessions where students can bring their questions, and information sessions and one-on-one meetings with our admissions representatives that are hosted abroad, to name a few.

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Consider the living arrangements

SFU housing & residence

Staying at SFU Residence will give students their own private living and study spaces, access to housing amenities, complemented by all-you-care-to-eat meal plans at the Dining Commons. It’s the ideal setup for students who want the convenience of being within walking distance to their classes, living just a few doors down from their friends in the SFU community, and enjoying their independence in a safe, welcoming environment.

Applications for next Fall term open in early October, so we suggest students apply early! Spaces on SFU Residence are limited and offers are made to students on a first-come, first-served basis. However, those who apply will get an offer from SFU Residence and Housing only after they've officially accepted an offer of admission from the University, so their original date of residence application still matters.

Learn more about SFU Residence

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Consider the living arrangements

SFU housing & residence

Staying at SFU Residence will give students their own private living and study spaces, access to housing amenities, complemented by all-you-care-to-eat meal plans at the Dining Commons. It’s the ideal setup for students who want the convenience of being within walking distance to their classes, living just a few doors down from their friends in the SFU community, and enjoying their independence in a safe, welcoming environment.

Applications for next Fall term open in early October, so we suggest students apply early! Spaces on SFU Residence are limited and offers are made to students on a first-come, first-served basis. However, those who apply will get an offer from SFU Residence and Housing only after they've officially accepted an offer of admission from the University, so their original date of residence application still matters.

Learn more about SFU Residence

Off-campus housing

There are many off-campus housing options to be found in Greater Vancouver, and depending on which SFU campus the majority of your student’s classes will be held, Burnaby, Surrey, and Downtown Vancouver are good places to start looking for accommodation. Please note that the closer the accommodation is to campus, the less likely there will be availability closer to September each year, due to their proximity and popularity among students studying from out of town.

Learn more about off-campus housing

Off-campus housing

There are many off-campus housing options to be found in Greater Vancouver, and depending on which SFU campus the majority of your student’s classes will be held, Burnaby, Surrey, and Downtown Vancouver are good places to start looking for accommodation. Please note that the closer the accommodation is to campus, the less likely there will be availability closer to September each year, due to their proximity and popularity among students studying from out of town.

Learn more about off-campus housing

After your student submits their application

Once they’ve been assigned a student number and at any time during the admission process, students can sign in to the Student Centre to check on their application status. Before an offer of admission can be made however, students must ensure they submit the required documents. These documents depend on students’ various pathways, and they must be submitted by their respective deadlines to complete their application.

During this time, remind your student that there are several things they can do while waiting for the results of their application:

Receiving an offer of admission from SFU

Accepting the offer

Once your student receives an offer of admission from SFU, there are many things they can do to start preparing themselves and instill confidence in accepting their offer. We’ll invite them (and you!) to many events where you can engage with members of the SFU community, including members of their faculty, to and get to really know SFU and find their place in it.

Visit the new undergraduates page

Getting ready for their first term at SFU

We’ve developed different initiatives to encourage and ease students’ transition to university, as a way to help set them up for success in their first term—and first year—at SFU, even before classes start.

  • The HIVE (Home for Interactive and Virtual Engagement) virtual community is a space where students can start making lasting connections with the SFU community. Students are assigned to small HIVE groups made up of other new students from the same faculty and are led by a HIVE leader, who will share their personal experiences and tips for incoming students.
  • Online courses like University Prep introduce degree requirements and strategies to plan their degrees and enrol in courses, services and resources that help support students, and more, while SFU 101 briefs new students about SFU culture and student life, welcome events and programs, and more.
  • Welcome Day (pictured) is a day filled with orientation activities to welcome all new undergraduates to their HIVE groups, faculties, and the greater SFU community.
  • Month of Welcome is a campus-wide celebration of fun and interactive activities and events to welcome new and returning students back to SFU.
SFU Welcome Day with HIVE leaders

Supporting your student's success

Your active involvement can make a lasting impact on your student's journey to SFU. They'll likely run into questions at some point in the admission process and may look to you for guidance and encouragement when making these big decisions. Help your student manage their academic, social, and personal expectations in university by exploring the resources on this page together. You can also ask them to sign up for our emails to receive the most relevant information about SFU.

Resources for success

SFU makes resources and services easily accessible to support students throughout their undergraduate studies, not just at the start of it. University life can ebb and flow with certain pressures and life circumstances, but that doesn’t mean they ever have to feel like they’re on their own. Explore and discuss with your student the network of supports in place for them, should they ever need it.

Academic planning

Students can bookmark this resource and information page to help them plan their course loads mindfully each term and find advising aid, to stay on track towards successful degree completion. 

Visit Academic Planning

Centre for Accessible Learning

Students with documented or suspected disabilities can work with the Centre for Accessible Learning to arrange disability-related services and accommodations to meet their accessibility needs, as well as information and educational opportunities.

Visit Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)

Financial planning

Students can refer to the strategies found on this page, to help them offset the costs of their education. Financial aid and supports, income opportunities, and advising resources are available, as well as a cost calculator.

Visit Financial Planning

Health & counselling

Students can seek support by accessing a wide range of resources that promote physical and mental health and well-being. On-campus medical and counselling services are also available to members of the SFU community.

Visit Health & Counselling

Indigenous Student Centre

A safe and supportive community space for students who identify as Indigenous, where they can access academic support, cultural connections, peer cousins mentorship, wellness programs, counselling, and seek guidance from Elders.

Visit Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)

International Services for Students

Students can join social activities throughout the term, sign up for peer-support programs, and make use of dedicated advising services and other resources that will help them adjust to life in Canada while studying in university.

Visit International Services for Students (ISS)

Safety on campus

We try to ensure safe and secure campuses for all members of the SFU community, especially students. They'll be able to seek public safety services and programs like Safe Walk, which will give them access to a Campus Security escort 24/7. 

Visit Safety and Risk Services

Student Services

The collective network of services and supports for all undergraduate students, which includes enrolment services, student finances and financial aid, career and volunteer services, advising, and more.

Visit Student Services

Download our 2024 viewbook

Flip through our viewbook together to find even more information about SFU and our programs, and how the university can be a good fit for your student!

Download now