Higher education

New web app aims to help students with post-secondary applications

MyNSFuture launches with goal to help students navigate transition from high school to post-secondary studies

Student, Zachary Ford, at launch of MyNSFuture at the Halifax Central Library.
Zachary Ford, a university student, at the launch of MyNSFuture at the Halifax Central Library.   Brandon Young

First-year university student Zachary Ford wishes initiatives like MyNSFuture existed when he was making plans for his post-secondary education.

“High school students don’t really know what they are doing yet, especially if they don’t have an older sibling who has gone to university or college before. MyNSFuture makes the process a lot easier and quicker for them,” said Ford, speaking at the initiative’s launch on Tuesday.

The web application, proposed by Nova Scotia’s 11 universities and colleges, was made public  at the Halifax Central Library. Its goal is to keep more students in the province, by making post-secondary information easily accessible.

Universities collectively worked on the proposal for the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and received funding from the province’s Excellence and Innovation Fund.

Mairead Barry, a faculty member of Dalhousie University’s registrar’s office, believes the web application will provide students with important information about transfer credits and post-secondary preparation. It will also facilitate the delivery of high school transcripts for post-secondary admissions next year, as well as online schedules for summer courses.  

“We have unique opportunities in Nova Scotia. Students can take advantage of the number of post-secondary institutions we have. We also want to students to try courses at other universities or colleges here and use those credits towards their degree,” said Barry, who is also chair of the committee overseeing operations of MyNSFuture.

Advanced education minister, Kelly Regan, speaking at the launch event.
Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan speaks at the launch event.   Brandon Young, Dina Lobo

Also speaking at the launch was Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan, as well as the chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, Allister Surette.

“Our post secondary education is not immune to Nova Scotia’s rapidly aging population which is resulting in fewer high school graduates in communities across the province,” said Surette. He added that positive initiatives like MyNSFuture “encourage young Nova Scotians to participate in post secondary institutions.”

Michaela Sam, chairperson for the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, also attended the event. Although she understands that initiatives like MyNSFuture will make institutions more accessible, she said there are bigger barriers that the government should be concerned about.

Allister Surette, chair of the council of Nova Scotia university president, also speaking at the launch event.
Allister Surette, chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, also speaks at the launch event.   Brandon Young

“The greatest barriers in attaining a post-secondary degree are financial reasons and students in Nova Scotia pay more to get less,” said Sam.

Despite Sam’s concerns, Regan believes the web application will be an important resource to address questions that up until now have been a source of stress and confusion for many young students.

“Anything that makes it easier for young people to make good decisions is a good thing,” said Regan.