Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Scroll down to see answers to FAQs about:

  • Admissions
  • Course Planning and Registration
  • BC Transfer Guide
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Registrar Services
  • Student Success Services
  • Student Life
  • Academic Advising



What kind of documents do I need to submit with my application?

The following documents are required for admission:

Official high school transcript, in English, or with an official or notarized English translation, which shows the results for the last three years of high school. Students still in Grade 12 may apply before graduation, and once graduated are required to submit a final official transcript before course registration.

Official high school graduation certificate, in English, or with an official or notarized English translation.

English test results (TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent) if applicable.

All other official post secondary transcripts from other Canadian institutions, if applicable.

Admission with Unofficial Documents form, if applicable

           Additional Required Documents **All items below are photocopied to the student file.

Passport photo and info page

Study permit / student visa / PR card / Canadian citizenship

Medical insurance coverage

I do not have my original transcript, is that ok?

Yes. Alexander College allows for the Admissions process to be completed based on unofficial or

photocopied academic documentation (e.g. transcripts, test results, etc). Applications are not considered complete, however, until all official copies of necessary supporting documentation have been submitted.

If you are submitting unofficial or photocopied documents with your application, they must be accompanied by a completed Admission with Unofficial Documents form. The form can be found online, at

I do not have any proof of English proficiency, am I eligible to apply?

Yes. You can be admitted without proof of English proficiency, however you will be required to write an English Placement Test (EPT) to determine your English proficiency prior to course registration. EPT sittings are held Monday-Friday afternoons at alternating campus locations. If you need to sit for an EPT, please see your Education Advisor for a permission form.

The cost of one EPT is included with the application fee.

I did not graduate from high school. Can I study at Alexander College?

Yes. If you are over the age of 19, you can be admitted as a mature student. You will not be required to submit a graduation certificate, but you will still be expected to provide transcripts for your last 3 years of study.

I am an international student. Do I need to submit any special documents?

Yes. International students require a couple of additional documents.

  • A study permit is required prior to course registration.
  • A certified English translation is required for any application documents that are not in the English language.

I have already completed some post secondary courses at another institution. Should I submit a transcript for those courses?

Yes. Full academic disclosure is required during the admissions process. This means that you must give a complete record of your studies in the past 3 years and cannot choose to omit records for studies taken within the same time period.

When is the application deadline?

Admission remains open until the end of the second week of classes in a regular term, and the end of the first week of classes in the Spring and Summer Intensive term. This date is called the add/drop/change deadline. Some courses can fill quickly, and we encourage new students to submit applications as soon as possible in order to have the greatest course selection.

         Important dates can be viewed online at

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $150.00

How should I submit my application?

There are 3 methods for submitting your application:

In person or by mail:  Vancouver Campus: Registrar Services 100 – 602 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1P2  Tel. (604) 681 – 5815

Burnaby Campus: Office of the Registrar 101 – 4603 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, V5H 4M4

By email:

How will I know if my application is approved?

Once the Education Advisor submits your complete application for admission to the Admissions department, an admissions decision will be made quickly. If you submit your application in person, an admissions decision will be made within half a business day. If you submit your application by email or mail, an admissions decision will be sent to you within 2 business days.

If you are admitted to the College, your Education Advisor will provide you with a Welcome Package. The Welcome Package includes a letter to confirm your acceptance, as well as contact information and registration instructions.

I have been admitted, now what?

Congratulations! Follow the instructions in your Welcome Package to log onto and set up your new AC Online account. Within your AC Online account, you can view the Semester Registration page, billing, document ordering, and more. Once you have set up your AC Online account, it is time to register for courses.


Course Planning & Registration

When do classes start?

The academic year is divided into four terms: Fall (Sept-Dec), Winter (Jan-Apr), Spring (May-July) and Summer intensive (July-Aug).

To view the upcoming important dates, visit

Where should I go to get help with course planning?

Please contact our Academic Advisors, Chantelle Hug at, Kim Harbridge at

Our Student Success Services department includes Academic Advising. An Academic Advisor can provide you with information on course transferability, degree planning, and career applicability.

How do I know what courses are offered?

Visit to view the full list of courses offered. Make a note of the courses you would like to choose, plus one or two backup selections in case your first choice(s) are full.

What will my schedule be?

 3-credit courses are typically scheduled two days per week, and 4-credit laboratory courses are typically scheduled three days per week. You can select the courses and sections that best fit your schedule. The earliest morning classes begin at 9:00am, and the latest evening classes start at 7:00pm. The majority of classes begin at 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, and 4:30pm.

How many classes do I have to take each term to be a full-time student?

Winter or Fall term:

3 or more university transfer level courses; or

UPRE 099 plus one university transfer level course

ENGL 098 plus one university transfer level course; or

ENGL 099 plus one university transfer level course; or       


Spring term 

3 or more university transfer level courses OR 9 class hours (e.g., for lab science courses)

UPRE 099 plus one university transfer level course

ENGL 098 plus one university transfer level course; or

ENGL 099 plus one university transfer level course; or


Summer term:

2 or more university transfer level courses

*UPRE and EAP are not offered during the summer term due to the shortened term length.

I took some courses at another post secondary institution in BC. Can I use these courses to meet prerequisites for higher level courses at Alexander College?

Yes, if the course is listed as equivalent to an Alexander College prerequisite according to the BC Transfer Guide. The BC Transfer Guide can be found online at:

I know which courses I want to take. How do I register?


If you would like help with course registration, you can drop in and meet with your Education Advisor. If you wish to register at home, follow these steps.

Log on to AC Online (

Open the Semester Registration tab, located at the top of the page.

Scroll through the courses available, select a course, and click add to course list.

When you have finished selecting all courses, click proceed with selected courses.

The system will check your schedule for time conflicts. You will be asked “are you sure you wish to enroll in these courses?”   Click Yes, register me for next semester.



Pay within 5 business days during the Regular Registration period or within 2 business days if you are registering during the Late Registration period.

The class I want is full. What is a waiting list and how does it work?

While you are on the waiting list for a course, you are responsible for watching your position on the list. If a seat becomes available, you will see an option to accept or reject the seat from your AC Online account. You have just 24 hours to accept the seat. If you accept the seat within 24 hours, the course will be added to your registered courses. If you do not accept the seat within 24 hours, or you reject it, your place on the waiting list will be removed and the seat will be offered to the next student.

If a course has a waiting list, the course is full. You cannot register for a course that is full, but you can add your name to the waiting list. This list allows interested students to line up and wait to see if any seats become available in the course. When you add your name to the waiting list for a course, you will see a number, for example 4/4. This means that you are the fourth person on a list of 4 people.

I tried to choose classes, but I am seeing an error message. What should I do?

The error message should explain the reason and provide instructions for how to get in touch with the correct department. In most cases, an error message shows because there is a hold on the student account. Within the registration system, the following are some common error messages:


Suspension hold – A Suspension hold is applied when a student has been suspended from the College for reasons of poor academic performance, academic or non-academic misconduct. Contact the Office of the Registrar:

Registrar hold – A Registrar hold is applied when there is an unresolved disciplinary case or if the Registrar wants to block a student from registering due to some kind of misconduct. Examples include: plagiarism and cheating, fraudulent documents, academic or non-academic misconduct. Contact the Office of the Registrar:

Time Conflict – If you receive a time conflict message, two or more of your courses have a time conflict. In the event that a student enrolls in two or more courses at different campuses, an allowance of 1 hour travel time between campuses is automatically calculated. Contact the Office of the Registrar:

Cheque hold – A Cheque hold is applied when a student has paid fees by personal cheque. Payments by personal cheque are subject to a 10-day clearing period. Contact the Student Financial Services Office:

Financial hold – A Financial hold is applied when a student has an outstanding fee balance that is past due. Examples include: library fines, tuition fees, NSF cheques, etc. Contact the Student Financial Services Office:

I have been accepted, but I am an international student and I haven’t received my study permit yet. Can I register for classes?

No. You need to be authorized to study in Canada before course registration. If you do not receive your study permit by the add/drop/change deadline, contact your Education Advisor or the Admissions office to defer you start date to the next term.

I have chosen the classes I want. What next?

Print your class schedule and tuition and fees invoice. Pay the tuition and fees before the deadline.


BC Transfer Guide

One of the courses I want to take says it ‘precludes additional credit’ for another course I’m interested in. What does that mean?

Two courses that have very similar or overlapping material cannot both count as credit toward your degree.   Precluded courses are not necessarily equivalent.  Never assume that one course can substitute for another simply because it precludes.  Always check with your academic advisor.

A course I want to take at Alexander College transfers to UBC as “UBC 1st”. Does this mean it is not transferable?

No –this means that you will receive credit for this course but UBC does not have the exact equivalent course. This is called “Unassigned Credit”. For example, if you take ECON 210 at Alexander College and see how it transfers to UBC, you will see this:

ALEX ECON 210 (3) = UBC ECON 2nd (3).

UBC will give you 3 credits for this course but it is not the exact equivalent course.

I want to take a course at Alexander College and transfer it to another University but when I check with BCCAT, it transfers but a specific end date is listed under “effective dates”. Does this mean I can’t use it to transfer?

Always pay attention to the dates under “effective dates” in the far right hand column. Some courses may have been equivalent at one time but may no longer be equivalent due to changes in curriculum, course content, etc. For example, let’s say you want to take MATH 232 AT Alexander College and transfer it to UVIC. You will see the following:

ALEX MATH 232 (3) UVIC UVIC MATH 233A (1.5) Jan/07 to Aug/09

This means that between January 2007 and August 2009, this course was equal to UVIC MATH 233A. Now however, it is no longer equivalent to that course. You will see in the line above that MATH 232 at Alexander College is still transferable to UVIC but as UVIC MATH 211 from September 2009 – present day:

ALEX MATH 232 (3)=UVIC MATH 211(1.5) Sep/09 to-

For a list of more commonly asked questions, please go to


Tuition and Fees

I am an overseas international student, and I need to apply for a study permit to come to Canada. How much money do I need to pay as a tuition deposit?

The tuition deposit is equivalent to fees for 15 credits (1 term/5 courses). This amount is $7,200.00

When do I need to pay tuition? Is there a tuition deadline?

Pay within 5 business days during the Regular Registration period or within 2 business days if you are registering during the Late Registration period.

How can I pay my tuition and fees?

You can pay tuition and fees by cash, debit, or credit card at the Student Financial Services Office at either the Burnaby or Vancouver campus.

What does the Student Association & Activities fee include?

The Student Association and Activities fee funds the Student Association, which all Alexander College students are a member of, and also sponsors student activities and clubs.

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Educational student loans are available for domestic students of Alexander College from the national government of Canada, as well as from the province of British Columbia. Apply online at

If there is an emergency in my family, or I change my plans, will I be able to get a refund?

Refunds will be granted only for courses officially dropped prior to the published deadline. Eligibility for a refund will be determined by the date the course is dropped.

International students who have been issued an Official Letter of Acceptance from Alexander College are not eligible for a refund, unless the student is required to withdraw from their program of study due to denial of Study Permit authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

How can I defer my start date?

Let your education advisor know if you need to defer your start date. A Letter of Acceptance can be issued for the next semester if you are unable to make it in time for the current semester due to visa refusal.

I have registered for classes and paid my tuition and fees. What next?

Now you can print your course schedule from your AC Online account, explore the campuses to get familiar with your surroundings, buy your textbooks from the Student Financial Services Office, receive your AC Student ID from the library and attend the new student orientation in the third week of classes. .


Registrar Services

I took some courses at another post secondary institution in BC. Can I transfer these courses to Alexander College? What is the process?

Yes, students who wish to transfer credit from another BCCAT member institution are required to submit a completed Transfer Request Form and an official transcript from the transferring institution to the Office of the Registrar. Transferability of courses with the BC Post-Secondary Transfer System is determined by articulation agreements between member institutions. Course transferability is viewable online using the BC Transfer Guide. The student will be notified by telephone or email of the outcome within 2-4 weeks.

I took some courses at another post secondary institution outside of BC or in a different country. Can I transfer these courses to Alexander College? What is the process?

Alexander College does not generally accept courses taken outside of the BC Transfer System for credit. In exceptional circumstances, students may request to have such courses evaluated by the Dean.

Students who wish to make this request should be advised that they are required to complete a Transfer Request form and also to provide an official transcript, detailed course outlines, and official English translations, if applicable. Course outlines are made available on the websites of some larger institutions, and/or from the Registrar office of the institution by request. Once provided, the course outline and official transcript will be submitted to the Dean for review. The Dean may also refer evaluation to the SASC member responsible for the subject area. The student will be notified by telephone or email of the outcome within 6-8 weeks.


Student Success Services

Is medical coverage mandatory?

Yes. Proof of medical insurance coverage is mandatory for all students prior to course registration. All students are expected to maintain valid medical insurance for the duration of their studies.

How can I purchase or renew medical insurance?

The College provides information and assistance by helping students to secure access to provincial healthcare or by connecting students with a suitable insurance provider. Medical insurance information, assistance, and application forms are available to be picked up in the Student Services office at both campuses.

How much does medical insurance cost? Are there any options?

Effective January 1, 2014, monthly rates are $69.25 for one person for the Medical Services Plan of BC. The cost of private medical insurance can be viewed online at

I am an international student with questions about my study permit. Who can help me?

Detailed instructions for obtaining an initial study permit can be found online at

Detailed instructions for renewing an existing study permit can be found online at

Is the New Student Orientation mandatory? Where can I find the details about this event?

Alexander College Student Orientation is mandatory for all new students to Alexander College. Student Orientation will help you with your transition and getting used to a different lifestyle. You will be sent an email with details and you can also find more details at:

I am having difficulty in my classes. Is there someone that can help me?

Alexander College is pleased to offer a variety of resources, services and support to help students succeed during their time here. For more information, please visit the Writing and Learning Centre.

Sometimes I feel sad, lonely, or have trouble dealing with stress. Is there someone that I can talk to?

Yes, Alexander College students are eligible for up to 10 free, on-site, Health and Wellness Counseling sessions each academic year. These sessions are designed to provide students with a safe, supportive, and confidential space in which to discuss issues that may be causing distress and personal struggle. Some examples of common issues that are discussed with a Health and Wellness Counselor include anxiety, depression, relationships, stress, loneliness, substance misuse, or adjustment to new surroundings. To make an appointment please email Kerry Anne Holloway at


Student Life

I am having trouble settling in to College life. Is there someone I can talk to?

  • Alexander College is pleased to offer a variety of activities, events and clubs to students during their time here. For more information, please visit Rebecca Spruston at the Vancouver Campus or by email at

What kind of clubs does Alexander College have?

Alexander College offers a variety of clubs; please see the list below of current clubs available to all students:

  • Film and Drama Club
  • Explorers Club
  • Conversation Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Korean Club
  • Ski and Snowboard Club
  • Basketball Club
  • Billiards Club

How do I join a club?

Clubs are organized and run by students, with new clubs developing according to student interests. Please meet with Rebecca Spruston, Student Life Officer, at the Vancouver Campus or email her at if you would like to start a student club or find out about activities.

How do I get involved in the Student Association?

The executive council of the Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) are elected at the beginning of each semester by student vote. Candidates organize their speeches to gain the support of fellow students, and the voting stations at each campus open for approximately three days. Each Alexander College student is entitled to one ballot, and a student ID card is required at the voting station. Finally, the vote is closed, the ballots are tallied, and the elected council is announced. The ACSA is responsible for ensuring that the current fee of $20 per student per semester is appropriately budgeted and wisely spent for the benefit of Alexander College students. Please contact Rebecca Spruston, Student Life Officer, at for more information.

I saw a poster about an event that looked really fun. Where do I sign up?

The Student Life Officer organizes events and experiences for groups of students. You can see Rebecca Spruston at the Vancouver Campus or contact her at for more information.


Academic Advising

Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes. Although drop-ins are welcome based on availability, it is best to make an appointment. By making an appointment, the Academic Advisor can prepare any information/material required to assist you and you can also set aside the appropriate amount of time that may be needed. Making an appointment also allows you to choose the day, time and location (Burnaby or Vancouver) for the appointment.

How do I make an appointment?

The best way is to make an appointment by e-mail. Chantelle Hug –, Kim Harbridge

You can also make an appointment by phone (Burnaby: 604-435-5815, Vancouver: 604-681-5815), or by dropping by (depending on availability; Burnaby: office 110A, Vancouver: office 216). Please note that the Academic Advisor is not available on statutory holidays.

What should I bring to my appointment?

You should bring anything that the Academic Advisor has asked you to bring and/or any relevant document/information that you would like the Academic Advisor to assist you with. One thing to always remember is your student number.

I want to transfer to a BC University for a 4 year Degree – what do I need?

Your requirements will depend on the University of your choice, the program of your choice and your current level of education. Typically, in order to be considered a transfer student you will need a MINIMUM of 24 transferable credits (some programs require more) and you must satisfy the English Language requirements. This is a good time to see an Academic Advisor.

I want to transfer to a College/University in Canada but outside of British Columbia. How does this work?

The BC Transfer guide only lists courses that transfer between Colleges/Universities within the province of BC (including Athabasca and Yukon College). If you want to apply to another College/University outside of BC, you need to first apply to that University and submit your official transcripts. If you are accepted, then you can apply for transfer credit and the University will look over your transcript and let you know what and how many credits they accept.

Some Universities, like McGill University, have a course equivalency database and you can check to see if courses from some Colleges and Universities in BC transfer. You can access this database here:

For more information on transferring across provinces, please visit:

I want to transfer to UBC to major in Psychology but I do not see that under the University Transfer programs. Does this mean I cannot do a transfer into Psychology?

You can absolutely start off your BA (or BSc) in psychology at Alexander College. In fact, Alexander College has almost all the 1st and 2nd year requirements to transfer into 3rd year for a BA in Psychology! There are many programs you can transfer to that are not listed under the University Transfer programs. Please see an Academic Advisor to find out more!

What does a “W” mean on my transcript?

A “W” indicates that you have chosen to withdraw from that particular course. This means that for some reason (academic difficulty, personal life situation, etc.) you chose to stop taking this course and therefore did not complete it. As long as you do this before the Withdraw deadline, you will see a “W” on your transcript. A “W” is better than an “F” as it will not affect your GPA; however, having too many “W”s on your transcript can still affect your chances of being admitted into a competitive program.

How do I know if I should drop a course or not?

This is often a difficult decision. If it is passed the add/drop date and you are struggling with a course or worried that it will negatively affect your GPA, you have the option of withdrawing from the course provided it is BEFORE THE WITHDRAW DEADLINE. The deadline for withdraw each semester will be posted all around campus and on our website, and you can always check in with Advising to ensure you have the appropriate date. Choosing to withdraw is a very personal choice and it is highly recommended that you see an Advisor and/or speak with your instructor prior to making the decision. Once you choose to withdraw, you cannot go back. Some reasons that students withdraw include, but are not limited to: academic difficulty, family/personal issues, or it was the wrong course to take.

How many courses should I take per semester?

There are many things to consider when deciding how many courses you take each semester. Some things to consider to help you with the decision include: your study status in Canada, how long the semester is, the time frame in which you want to transfer or graduate, your current level of Math and/or English, prerequisites needed, availability of courses, your learning style, extracurricular activities and other non-school related commitments. No one knows you better than yourself; so don’t bite off more than you can chew! If you would like assistance in making this decision, an Academic Advisor can assist you in your decision making process.