Resources for parents and families

University is a big step and most students -- whether they're 18, 28, 58, or 88 -- rely on support from their families to help them make a successful transition and reach their educational goals.

These pages are designed to give you the information you need to provide the support your family member may need as they experience UFV and all we have to offer here. We're pleased to welcome you as members of the UFV extended family.

Why UFV is a good choice
What does "accreditation" mean?
How to apply and register (and what's the difference anyway!)
Educational advising
Understanding university "lingo"
Come for a visit (in person or online) 
Parent Orientation program
Activities on campus
Cost of education at UFV
Housing for students
Parking for students
Support services for students
Student employment opportunities
International opportunities
Safety and security
Important dates
Convocation (a.k.a. Graduation)
Have you considered university lately? 
Are you UFV/UCFV or FVC alumni?


Why UFV is a good choice

Whether your family member is looking forward to life as a professional with a university degree or has their sights set on a certificate or degree that will lead to a rewarding career, UFV can get them started.

We offer more than 100 programs of study, including 14 bachelor degree programs, two master's degrees, and over 80 diploma and certificate programs. Chances are good we’ll have the program they want. Many of our programs “ladder” into one another, allowing them to keep their options open by earning a one-year certificate and/or a two-year diploma on the way to completing a full degree. They can also get started on professional careers like medicine, law, veterinary medicine, engineering, accounting, or physiotherapy here.

We believe that anyone who wants to go to university should be given a fair chance. Our admission policies are flexible, and we provide a number of college prep courses and high school completion for those who aren’t quite ready. UFV is large enough to offer variety and small enough to offer students personal attention. Our small class sizes and teaching focus mean that students get to know their instructors and learn in a hands-on environment. Our emphasis on applied research offers many opportunities for student researchers.

For people who live in the Fraser Valley, UFV is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to commuting into the larger universities in Vancouver. Compared to other BC institutions in the Globe and Mail’s University Report Card, UFV came out on top for overall quality of education received, quality of teaching, and overall student satisfaction. It also scored best for instructor-to-student ratio, faculty members’ subject knowledge, faculty availability to students, library quality, quality of career preparation, availability of up-to-date technology in classrooms, and the chance to gain work-related skills while studying. It's also a lot of fun!

What does "accreditation" mean?
The University of the Fraser Valley is a member (1998) of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)AUCC is a national association founded in 1911 that includes in its membership such universities as York, Queen’s, Dalhousie, Mount Allison, Memorial, McGill, and the Universities of Toronto, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Alberta, and Winnipeg.

AUCC members meet a set of criteria for institutional membership that considers academic freedom, depth of program offerings, and a commitment to scholarship and research. With no system of institutional accreditation in Canada, membership in AUCC, combined with the appropriate provincial legislation, is seen as a mark of quality higher education and stands in lieu of formal institutional accreditation.

Membership in AUCC ensures that the University of the Fraser Valley both meets these national criteria for Canadian universities, and provides for worldwide recognition of UFV degrees, allowing our students access to post-graduate programs in universities across Canada and around the world.

Other AUCC members in British Columbia include the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, the University of Northern British Columbia, Royal Roads University, Thompson Rivers University, Emily Carr University, and Trinity Western University.

How to apply and register (and what's the difference anyway!)
When someone is interested in attending UFV, they first have to apply to the institution to become a student. After they are admitted to UFV, then they are able select and register for the courses they want or need as part of their program of choice. Both of these processes are managed by the UFV Admissions & Records office. These links will show you how the process works, step by step:
How to apply
How to register

Educational advising
The majority of new students to UFV aren't 100% decided on what their course of study will be. It's actually not a bad idea for them to spend some time exploring options, given that the choice of subjects is so broad. To help them figure out a plan of action, UFV offers Educational Advising services. Advisors help students and prospective students (and their families!) in formulating educational plans, understanding institutional policies and procedures, and accessing services designed to increase their success. Make an appointment or access online advising here.

Understanding university "lingo"
There are quite a few words that may be new and confusing when approaching university for the first time. We've compiled a glossary for just that reason! Check it out and let us know if we've missed anything.

Come for a visit
Through our Student Recruiting office, UFV offers personalized group, or self-guided individual campus tours for our main campuses in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Whether your family member is still deciding whether or not to attend UFV or has already made the transition, come check us out! We'd love to have you visit campus. Download a map to your destination campus before you head out. If you can't make it here in person, check out UFV virtually by video.

Parent Orientation program
UFV's special Parent Orientation sessions are held in late spring/early summer and are designed to answer questions and address family concerns about the university experience. Having knowledge about campus departments, programs, and services will make it easier for you to discuss suitable resources for your family member, and help you encourage them to seek assistance when they require it.

Activities on campus
One of the challenges that university students can face is finding a sense of belonging. University House on the Abbotsford campus and University Centre on the Chilliwack campus have been designed to create a sense of place and belonging where they can feel safe, comfortable, and connected. Students go there to relax, study, have a snack, participate in planned activities, meet classmates, or get information about campus resources.

We also know that there’s more to life than studying, and that’s why we put a lot of energy into making sure students stay energized. Here are just some of the ways they can kick back, play, relax, and have fun at UFV. You may want to encourage your family member to investigate some of these opportunities.

  • Our Student Activity Centre offers a fully equipped fitness room, as well as drop-in sports, including basketball, badminton, volleyball, and indoor soccer.
  • UFV Student Life organizes special events for students such as barbeques, live music concerts, movie nights, theatre events, leadership training, etc.
  • Recreational programs include running and walking clubs, swing and salsa dancing, yoga, tai chi, karate, a variety of fitness classes, and intramural sports programs. SOLAR, the Student Outdoor Life and Recreation club, organizes weekend and day trips that range from backpacking, camping, and kayaking to cross-country skiing.
  • There are more than 80 interest clubs and organizations on campus, from Amnesty International and animé, campus newspaper and CIVL radio, EnviroClub and the Pride Network, we've probably got it! 
  • UFV Cascades athletics teams have won provincial and national medals in the college division. Our basketball and soccer teams now compete against other university teams in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) league.
  • S’olh Shxwlèlí is UFV's Aboriginal Resource Centre. Its cultural activities are open to all students and have included circle meetings, Elder visits/gatherings, workshops, and more.
  • UFV's Student Union Society (SUS) acts as the representative voice of the student body. Any student is welcome to get involved. The SUS also operates Casey's, our on-campus pub -- stop by for lunch one day. More information at www.ufvsus.ca

Cost of education at UFV

In a recent Fraser Valley survey, high school students overestimated the cost of tuition for one year by almost $5,000, guessing, on average, that tuition would be around $8,500. In fact, average tuition at UFV is only $4,080* (full-time, two semesters). * Average annual UFV tuition as of 2010/11.

We recommend that students -- whether they are applying for the first time or are already studying with us -- check out our Financial Aid site for information on scholarships and awards that can help pay for their education. It's amazing how much money goes unclaimed each year simply because students don't apply. There are awards that recognize academic achievement but also financial need and special situations. Visit UFV’s “Surfing for dollars!” site at www.ufv.ca/fineaid/surf for more information.  

Parental contribution is one of the many financial factors taken into account in the student loan assessment process. CanLearn’s Parental Contribution Calculator can help you figure out your parental contribution amount so that you may better understand the way in which student loans are calculated.
Parental Contribution Calculator

One key benefit for Fraser Valley students attending UFV is the ability to study close to home and save money. Local students who live at home can cut the cost of their post-secondary education by almost 50 percent.

Housing for students
UFV students have a variety of options for housing in the vicinity of our campuses. 

Parking for students

Most UFV campuses have pay parking ($2 for 4 hours) in order to cover the cost of frequent security patrols, lighting, and other security measures. We also offer semester parking passes as well as special carpool parking permits. Of course, we encourage the use of transit and foot- or pedal-power as an alternative to vehicular transportation. Learn more about parking.

Support services for students

Successful learning involves more than quality programs and instruction. From educational advising to career counselling, from wireless networks to peer tutoring, from orientation programs to disability services, UFV offers a wide variety of support services to help students get the most out of their education. Download this handy guide to see what's available to your family member.

Student employment opportunities
UFV's work-study programs and cooperative education placements allow students to gain paid work experience off-campus as they earn their credential. More information at www.ufv.ca/jobs

International opportunities
There are many benefits to going overseas, whether it is to volunteer, study or work. UFV provides opportunities in all of these areas, in addition to supporting an internationally diverse study body right here in the Fraser Valley.

Safety and security
The UFV Safety and Security department is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for all those who enter UFV premises. Campus Security provides numerous services to the UFV community, including SafeWalk, which is offered from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday each semester. Students may stop a patrol team at any time to request assistance, ask for information, or ask for a SafeWalk. We also have dedicated after-dark parking areas for women.

Important dates
You may want to know when your family member will need some extra support (e.g. during final exams!) or has a holiday coming up (e.g. February reading break). Check out our list of important dates online.

Convocation (a.k.a. Graduation)
At Convocation, UFV officially confers credentials (Master's and Bachelor's degrees, diplomas, associate degrees and certificates) to students who have successfully met all program and university requirements. Graduates wear caps and gowns and cross the stage to receive their credential from university leaders. There are usually four Convocation ceremonies annually, traditionally held on successive days during the second week of June. UFV posts all Convocation-related information (including dates) online for easy access by families.

Have you considered university lately? 
UFV offers all kinds of education opportunities for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. Want to pick up a new skill or take a course for fun? Consider our Continuing Studies programming -- course booklets are published in the fall (for September class starts) and winter (for January class starts). Want to explore our academic offerings? Apply to become a student and search our calendar for courses in any of our three semesters (summer, fall, winter) that interest you (note: many courses are tuition-free for seniors). Add to your existing degree, investigate our Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, upgrade your trade to add a fast-tracked Business degree, or get your Adult Dogwood diploma. There's a lot of choice -- why not check it out for yourself?

Are you UFV/UCFV or FVC alumni?
At UFV, “alumni” means students who have graduated with a masters degree, post-graduate certificate, bachelors degree, diploma, certificate or citation from Fraser Valley College or from University College of the Fraser Valley or who, prior to January 1, 2004, have earned 30 or more credits with us. As an alumnus of UFV/UCFV, you are entitled to benefits exclusively offered through the UFV Alumni Association. You can also receive our twice-yearly magazine, called Aluminations (we may even ask to profile you!). Check out the UFV Alumni Association and update your profile.


Something else you'd like to know about?
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