Sophia’s Declassified School Survival Guide

The practical side of CapU

Sophia Kara (she/her) // Columnist

As new students navigate the twists and turns of campus, read alerts of bears on campus, and wait in line at the Birch Tim Hortons, they often overlook the smaller but still fundamental elements of joining the CapU community. In the interest of making your transition to university life as painless as possible, this survival guide aims to help you navigate the beginning of your journey through your new favorite educational institution. Up first are the administrative matters that could help you save money on tuition, textbooks, or your daily snack runs in the Birch cafeteria. MyCap Accounts, eLearn, financial aid, CapCards – the fun stuff.

CapU Emails + eLearn

All mail from your professors, faculty, students’ union, and other services will go directly to your CapU Outlook account. Check this email regularly to make sure that you’re up to date, and also to keep an eye on exciting events and opportunities on campus.

ELearn is your virtual classroom. Your hub for online materials, and often where you submit your assignments. ELearn is also where instructors may make class announcements. Your login should be the same password as your email and I recommend setting this up within the first week to ensure that you begin your classes promptly –especially if they’re online.

Contact with any questions or concerns if you are having trouble accessing anything on your CapU Outlook or eLearn.


CapCards are your access cards to university events, exams, registrars/cashiers offices, and to the copiers/printers on campus. You may also have the unfortunate necessity to produce it as proof of payment (with your U-Pass*) to Translink. The lines to get your CapCard Photo taken are notoriously long, and I recommend going in October to avoid them.

If you’re a student who drives, don’t dismiss the perks of the Upass – for those nights you’re unable to drive home, take advantage of the 3 Zone monthly pass that’s included in your tuition. This is a $185 value, and comes in handy more times than expected. Make sure to link your monthly pass to your card each month! 

Financial Aid & Awards

Tuition is expensive. Textbooks are expensive. Everything in Vancouver is expensive. CapU financial aid includes scholarships, bursaries, and awards that are available to all CapU students. Check the CapU website for a list of all financial awards, then apply through your CapU MyAccount. You can also filter the list of awards by program or award type to see exactly which ones you are eligible for. There are specialty awards for leadership, minorities, academic achievements, and community involvement.

If you’re up to date on your fees, you’ll receive your award as a cheque, mailed to the address on your school profile. This is an easy way to make some extra disposable income throughout the semester for reimbursement on tuition, books, and other expenses. Surprisingly, a lot of times the bursaries and awards sit untouched because no one applies – so don’t feel unqualified and just apply for everything!

Safety at CapU

Do you have a class that ends after it gets dark? Do you have a fear of getting eaten by a bear? The Security on campus is a safe and reliable way to curb your fears and have someone escort you to your car or around campus when you are uncomfortable. You can reach them by calling (604) 984-1763 ext. 1763, or by using the CapU Safe App available on Apple and Android.

Textbooks and the Bookstore

For almost every class at CapU, there will be a textbook that will help you understand the material being presented. In some instances, these textbooks are the home of mandatory readings that you will be quizzed on, that ultimately dictate your mark in the course. The CapU Bookstore is the hub where you can get all of your textbooks. Located on the first floor of the Birch building, the Bookstore is full of mandated books, as well as back to school essentials such as stationary, folders, and water bottles. You can also order your books online with the convenience of either picking them up or having them delivered to you. Additionally, they have a curated selection of CapU merchandise. Hoodies, t-shirts, sweatpants – many options to show your CapU spirit on and off campus.

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