Students in quad at VIU's Nanaimo campus

What happens if I don’t get into the program I wanted to get into?

June 19, 2021

Strategies to remove obstacles and reach your goals

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” – Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar was so right, and pursing your educational goals is no exception. While having a goal in mind for a particular program or credential you want to pursue is important, it is equally important to recognize that there are lot of ways to arrive at the same destination. Your path might have a few twists and turns, but if the journey has you crossing the stage at convocation to get your parchment as a new grad of VIU then the goal was achieved.

You might want to be a Dental Assistant, but you don’t have the high school courses you need to apply. That just means your journey might start with doing some high school upgrading. You might want to be a nurse or a teacher, but you weren’t accepted the first time you applied. That is okay too, they are popular programs. There is always a pathway for you and there are a number of supports at VIU available to help you determine your options.

I don’t meet the admission requirements for the program I am interested in.

If you don’t have the courses or grades you need to get into a program, upgrading is an option to explore. Upgrading high school courses is affordable and courses are taught in small classes by instructors trained at teaching adults.

For many students, the journey starts in adult basic education, where students gain the academic skills and pre-requisites to follow their passion.

Read Rebecca Stirling’s story

Rebecca Stirling at keyhole

I applied to a program, but I didn’t get in.

If you apply to a program and were not offered a seat, we encourage you to reach out to the Advising team at VIU so they can help you chart a new course. If you are thinking of applying to a highly competitive program, consider submitting an additional application to your second choice or Bachelor of Arts or Exploratory University Studies. Advisors can help you create a plan with courses that can move you toward your goal and strengthen your application for a future intake. 

Learn more about the services and supports available at VIU to help you build your road map to success in this video – You are Not Alone

I am not sure where to start.

Lots of people feel that way. VIU has lots of people and support to help you. You can connect with VIU Recruiters, who can tell you about the different programs we offer and help you navigate the process to apply. They can also highlight some of the amazing supports VIU offers to help our students be successful. The VIU Advising Team is available to support VIU students to discover, plan and work toward their educational goals.

Check out our video on deciding what to study to learn more. 

What is your first step? We are ready to support you.


Rolanda Murray is a Recruiter with VIU. She graduated from Malaspina University-College (now VIU) in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History. She worked in the banking industry and in the events field for a number of years before coming to work at VIU in 2010. Rolanda is passionate about VIU and the power of a post-secondary education to change lives.

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