It’s time to get serious about studying. Whether you are looking for a university with a strong program in your desired field or a school you can afford, there are a lot of factors to consider.
The cost of education is on the rise and many students cannot afford it. To help offset the cost of education, many universities offer scholarships and grants. But, it is not just the cost of tuition that is rising, the cost of living is also on the rise.
To help you make the best decision, I have put together a list of the top 10 most affordable universities in Canada. Keep in mind that these schools are ranked by the quality of their education and not the cost, so be sure to check out each university’s program before you choose which one to attend.
Why Study in Canada
1. It’s affordable
Compared to top universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries, Canada offers degrees that are much easier on your wallet.
2. The reputation.
Canada has a reputation for one of the best education systems in the world, and its universities are no exception.
3. Ease of living.
Studying in another country can sound daunting, but making that happen in an English-speaking, first-world country makes it easier for international students to get along.
Tuition Fees in Canada for International Students
Tuition for international students studying in Canada will depend on the type of program and where you choose to study. Bachelor’s degrees will vary from $7,203 up to $49,800 per year in tuition, while yearly tuition fees for Master’s degrees will cost between $3,222 to $42,850.
Top Universities in Canada
U.S. News lists the top Canadian universities as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University and University of Montreal. These universities are all recognized internationally as excellent global schools and still offer much more affordable tuition rates than their international counterparts.
University of Montreal
- Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $13,048 – $16,990
- Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,372
- Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $16,815 – $45,263
- Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,816
- Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $20,808 – $27,978
- Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,761 – $17,096
University of British Columbia
- Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $25,978 – $36,588
- Master’s Degree Tuition: $8,605
University of Toronto
- Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $42,870 – $49,800
- Master’s Degree Tuition: $6,900 – $22,640
Affordable Universities in Canada
If you’re looking for the most affordable options Canada has to offer, look no further.
1. University of the People
- Location: Online
- Tuition: Tuition-Free
- Degree Programs: Associate, Bachelor, Master (Business Administration, Education, Computer Science and Health Science)
UoPeople is a US-accredited online university, meaning you can study anywhere and anytime! The application process is simple and the rewards of degree completion are definitely worthwhile.
2. Brandon University
- Location: Brandon, Manitoba
- Tuition: $7,203
- Degree Programs: BA, BBA, BEd, BFA, BM, BN, BSc
International students at Brandon U are invited to apply through the university’s international application process. Brandon University claims to have a long and positive relationship with international students and offers one-to-one professor interactions and research opportunities not available at larger universities.
3. Université de Saint-Boniface
- Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Tuition: $7,482
- Degree Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts, Social Work, Translation, Science, Nursing, Business and Education. Students may continue studies towards a Master’s degree at the University of Manitoba
International students at Saint-Boniface must expect to be able to speak a certain level of French as this is a French university. Some programs also require a level of English proficiency as well.
4. University of Guelph
- Location: Guelph, Ontario
- Tuition: $9,730
- Degree Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees from 5 Colleges (Arts, Biological Sciences, Business & Economics, Engineering & Physical Sciences, Social & Applied Human Sciences)
International students at Guelph will receive special assistance at the university with visa applications, English language study, housing, and have access to an advisor specifically for international students.
5. Canadian Mennonite University
- Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Tuition: $10,003
- Degree Programs: Three- and four-year BA, BSc, BBA, and Master’s Programs
International students at CMU are welcomed and encouraged to apply due to their undoubtedly wide variety of experiences and perspectives that they may bring. International students may choose from over 19 majors for bachelor’s studies.
6. Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland
- Tuition: $11,460
- Degree Programs: More than 100 programs for Bachelor’s, Master’s and Certificates
International students at MUN: Memorial University warmly welcomes and encourages international applications. The university offers specialized services for international students such as student advising, an internationalization office, and international student groups.
Cheap Master Degrees in Canada
1. Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland
- Tuition: $3,222
- Degree Programs: Large variety of Master’s and Doctorate programs both in person and online, in fields of Humanities & Social Sciences, Professional Programs, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Sciences
2. University of Northern British Columbia
- Location: Prince George, British Columbia
- Tuition: $3,297
- Degree Programs: MBA, MSc, MEd, MEng, MScN, MSW, Graduate Certificates, and Doctorate programs
3. University of Calgary
- Location: Calgary, Alberta
- Tuition: $3,693
- Degree Programs: Offers course-based and research-based Master’s and Doctorate degrees in a variety of subjects
4. Simon Fraser University
- Location: Burnaby, British Columbia
- Tuition: $3,743
- Degree Programs: Variety of graduate programs in Applied Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Communication, Art & Technology, Education, Environment, Health Sciences, and Science
5. University of Saskatchewan
- Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Tuition: $4,358
- Degree Programs: Over 80 Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Specializing in research and medical fields
Cost of Living in Canada for Students
As with most large countries, the cost of living varies drastically across the expansive nation of Canada. According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, many large metropolis areas are unaffordable, however there are still some areas left in which one can live on a student budget.
Here’s a breakdown on the average costs a student can expect to find in Canada (in $CAD):
- Basic lunch & drink: $18
- Monthly rent in 45 sq m furnished studio: $1,160
- Monthly utilities: $102
- Monthly internet: $54
- Monthly public transport: $109
- Monthly gym membership: $59
- Pair of jeans: $72
- Private doctor visit: $93
- Toothpaste: $2.62
- Cappuccino: $5.05
NOTE: The Canadian government requires that an applicant show proof of having CAD 10,000 on top of tuition for a student visa, however, you will likely need more.
Funding and Support for International Students
While studying in Canada may save you on tuition fees, you may still want to consider applying for funding and scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships and grants available to international students, and even scholarships exclusively for students from specific countries. Check out these top tips to apply for scholarships for international students.
How to Apply to Canadian Universities
As an international student, your application to a Canadian university will have special requirements. In addition to the typical student application including letters of recommendation, resume and educational history, you may also be asked to provide the following:
- Proof of finances
- English proficiency
- International application
- Passport information
- A translated copy of your transcript
Remember that you will also need a student visa to study for longer than six months in Canada. The application can be done online and costs $150 CAD. The government of Canada will ask for proof of finances, proof of health and general well-being, proof of no criminal record, and your university acceptance letter. It is recommended that you begin your student visa application as soon as you receive acceptance into the Canadian university.
All in all, studying in Canada as an international student will gain you a reputable internationally recognized degree and you may save money as well!
Business Administration Student, US