Today Megan and I visited the Welland Campus of Niagara College. It took about 90 minutes to drive there so Megan would live in residence if she attended. The campus has 5500 students.
We arrived about 1pm, checked in, got a parking pass and directions to the cafeteria. As we found at both Humber and Sheridan College fast food chains predominated the food options on campus.
There is a nice new light filled building where we first entered. All the buildings, other than the residence, are interconnected. The building where Megan’s classes would be held was older and the studio equipment did not seem to be as up-to-date as Sheridan’s or the equipment she is used to using at Rogers, where she volunteers. Of the colleges we have seen so far, this would be Megan’s third choice.
The landscaping around the buildings was nice and created by the college’s horticultural students.
Here is the campus bar.
A view from the second floor of the newest building.
A view of the residence which is a short walk from the teaching buildings.
The set-up of the residence rooms was similar to Sheridan’s, but not quite as nice or up-to-date. For example, the TV is an old CRT model on the dresser rather than a flat panel on the wall. Basic cable is provided. There is ethernet, but no wifi in the residence. There is wifi in the teaching buildings. Each pair of students shares a small kitchen and bathroom and has a private bedroom. There are shared kitchens with stoves. The cost is $6760 this year. We were told a dining plan is offered, however, when I read the pamphlet it appears to simply be a pre-paid debit card. If you put $1990 on the card apparently your purchases are tax exempt which saves 13% over just using your debit or credit card to purchase you meals. There is also a 5% discount on non-branded items but that doesn’t apply to Subway, Tim’s, Pizza Pizza or Extreme Pita – half of the restaurants on campus. However, as Megan said, it wouldn’t take long to put on weight eating at fast food restaurants every day. She would rather do her own cooking.
The woman giving us the tour is a student and lives just off campus in the private Residence on First which is marketed to students. She told us it is $5000 for eight months, a large savings, a newer building and nice kitchen/common areas. However, the students do have to provide their own bedroom furniture and desk/chair. The pictures on the website look quite nice, but I discovered when I went to the website that the monthly rate is much higher if you pay for eight months, not twelve. For eight months the price is within a few hundred dollars of the on campus residence.
The study commons.
Students receive free local public transit included in their tuition. The tour guide told us about the company Megabus which offers cheap long distance bus rides. There is a bus from Welland to Mississauga which is just $6 one way which Megan could use to get back and forth when she wants to come home.