First Generation Students - Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a First Generation Student?

We've put together some of our most frequently asked questions for you to look through.

1. How do I know if I’m a First Generation Student?

The Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) defines First Generation Students as those who are the first in their families to attend a college, university or apprenticeship program

2. Why should I apply to post-secondary?

Education affects your future earnings and prospects. The labour market rewards education. If you have post-secondary education, you can expect your earnings to be $10,000 to $15,000 more per year than they would be without it, right from the start.

3. Will going to post-secondary help me get a job?

Post-secondary education gives you the knowledge and skills that employers need, and at least 70% of future jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. In a typical year, College grads have an 87% employment rate six months after graduating.

4. What’s the difference between college and university?

College programs are primarily career and occupation focused and are offered in almost 600 subject areas! College programs range from technology, health sciences, business, and creative arts, to hospitality and tourism or horticulture and forestry.

University undergraduate programs tend to be academically focused, with programs ranging from fine art and media studies to biology, commerce and religion. Graduate programs include medicine, law and dentistry.

5. What about apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is an industry-based learning system that combines job experience, technical training and classroom theory. Employers provide 90% of apprenticeship training in the workplace – the other 10% is spent in the classroom. There are over a 100 apprentice trades, from assistant cook and carpenter to hairstylist and welder.

6. How do I choose the right program?

Whether you choose to go to college or university depends on what you want to study, what your career goals are, what your interests and skills are, among many other factors. Choosing the right program requires research into all your options and lots of discussion – with your teachers, guidance counsellors, or youth workers, your parents and siblings, and your friends. There are also many websites with helpful information.

7. How do I apply to post-secondary?

Applications to post-secondary in Ontario are centralized. You apply to university through the Ontario Universities' Application Centre. You apply to college through Ontario College Application Services. You’ll find apprenticeship applications at Skilled Trades.

8. What does it cost?

Average college tuition per year is:

  • $1900 for a diploma program
  • $2,500 for a post-graduate program
  • $4,200 for an applied bachelor degree

Average university tuition per year is:

  • $4,500 for a degree program

These costs do not include books or living expenses.

9. Can I get financial assistance?

The Step-by-Step Guide To Paying for College tells you how to plan for how much you need and outlines the different ways you can finance your post-secondary education. It includes tips and advice and a list of all the awards, scholarships and bursaries available at George Brown College.

10. What kind of help can I expect at George Brown?

George Brown College has programs and services to help students in many ways – from counselling and career advice, to tutoring and mentoring, to how to find a place to live. If you have questions, you can Ask George Brown 24/7!