UVic paid for all my tuition: Here’s how I did it.

First of all, you might have read the title of this post and thought, “Well, isn’t she lucky? How could I ever get UVic to pay my tuition?”

The good news is, you too can get help paying for school. Yes, a lot of luck was involved, but I also worked very hard to make sure I got the help I needed. Here’s how I did it.


I got a phone call at school in Grade 12 from my mom. She was crying—I could hardly make out what she was saying between sobs. I was worried that something horrible had happened.

“You got accepted,” she choked out, “You’ve got a scholarship. You’ll be able to go to school Kaitlyn.”

My mom had opened my acceptance letter from UVic for me (I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to open other people’s mail btw, but that’s okay), and was crying because she knew I wouldn’t have been able to go to school if not for this money.

UVic offers millions of dollars in entrance scholarships every year, allowing students to step into the post-secondary world and continue their education. As a student who shies away from the math and sciences, I stuck to my strengths and only took classes in high school I knew I could excel at—socials, English, art, that sort of thing. Because I made these choices, I could attain a very high GPA, and therefore was eligible for UVic’s excellence scholarship.

This money paid for all my classes and even helped a little with books with the money left over. All that I was left to pay for was my living expenses. This is where I ran into a little trouble—I was totally freaked out I wouldn’t have enough money so I choose to take two jobs in my first semester. This is a mistake, and I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. (You can read my post about this two-job nightmare in a previous blog post.)

While I didn’t manage to achieve the GPA I needed to renew my scholarship (most entrance scholarships require a 7.5 GPA or between an A and an A-), I was able to write an appeal letter to explain my situation. Thankfully, the scholarship committee agreed to renew my scholarship so long as I managed to keep my GPA up in my second year.

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Flash Forward

This transition from work life to school life made me focus on my studies and make the most out of my scholarship. Without it, I would probably still be working at my hometown’s pizza place instead of pursuing the career of my dreams. Through this scholarship, I’m able to graduate with less debt than the average student! This is huge!

While I wouldn’t say it’s a walk in the park to maintain the average you need to keep the scholarship, all the effort put in ultimately made me focus on my education and make myself a better person. Having this scholarship has afforded me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had, and for that, I’m so thankful.

There are other scholarships out there for all kinds of students. All it takes is a few clicks and some time to fill out applications. You can find a list of scholarships that UVic has to offer for both students beginning their time at UVic and those continuing on this fun journey on the registrar’s website.

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