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Friday, June 21, 2024

10 Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students

Are you an international student facing challenges in financing your studies in Canada? 

We’ve got the solution for you. Explore our list of the most affordable universities in Canada.

We know that studying abroad can be financially challenging for most international students. The costs of application fees, visa and flight bookings, among others, make it crucial for international students to consider applying to the cheapest universities in Canada.

The universities highlighted in this blog are not only the cheapest universities in Canada but also offer internationally recognized degrees. They boast vibrant and diverse international student populations, dedicated safety and support systems, and opportunities for part-time work on campus while studying.

Why study in Canada? 

Compared to the US and UK, Canadian universities offer more financial aid and scholarships to international students. Tuition fees and standard of living are more economical especially in smaller cities making it affordable for students. With globally recognized institutions, a stable environment, and high academic standards, Canada is an excellent choice. International students are drawn to Canadian universities as many are government-funded, helping to ease the financial burden for international students.

Documents Required For Admission In Canada

To apply to universities in Canada, you will need documents such as 

  • Academic transcripts

  • Academic or employer references

  • Statement of purpose

  • Degree certificates

  • Valid travel documents

  • Proof of funds

  • Passport photograph

  • Application fee (varies by institution)

10 Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students

Here are the Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students based on tuition fees, scholarship awards and location:

1. University of Calgary

One of the public and cheapest universities in Canada, with over 34,000 students, was established in 1966. It is renowned for offering graduate programs to both international and domestic students. The institution offers more than 250 undergraduate programs and over 170 graduate programs, along with 18 scholarship opportunities and an employability rate exceeding 94%.

According to QS ranking, the University of Calgary ranks 182nd place among the universities in the world. 

Tuition Fees: The undergraduate tuition fee is an average CA $27,000, while the graduate tuition fee ranges between CA $8,243 and $21,597.

Scholarships Awards: The University has scholarship awards for different levels such as the Calgary International Entrance Scholarship, valued at $20,000, is offered annually to international students in their first year of undergraduate study in any faculty. It is renewable for the second, third, and fourth years, provided students meet the minimum CGPA and the university’s English Language Proficiency requirements. The CIBC International Entrance Scholarship award worth $10,000 is also targeted at incoming students at the undergraduate level.

Location: Calgary, Alberta

2. University of Guelph

Established in 1964, this public research institution is ranked 486th in the QS rankings. It is one of the cheapest universities in Canada for international students, featuring 7 faculties and serving over 30,000 students.

The University of Guelph is renowned for its veterinary and agri-food research programs. However, it also offers over 100 graduate programs. Over the years, the university has awarded scholarships to numerous outstanding students, enhancing the affordability for international students to attend.

Tuition Fees: The average fees for undergraduate is around CA $35,000 while graduate fee ranges from CA $15,000 to CA $30,000.

Scholarship Awards: The International Entrance Scholarship, valued between $18,500 and $21,500 CAD, is awarded competitively to first-year students. Additionally, the Dr. Franco J. Vaccarino Presidential Scholarship, worth $42,500 CAD, is granted to students who have demonstrated distinction and made significant contributions to their school and community.

Location: Guelph, Ontario

3. University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba, located in Winnipeg and founded in 1877, is ranked 671-680 in the QS rankings. As Manitoba’s largest and most research-intensive institution, it is also one of the cheapest universities in Canada, offering comparatively lower tuition fees. The institution values excellence, respect, and employability. As a public research university offering over 100 programs, it provides entrance scholarships and receives funding from various sources to support international students.

Tuition Fees: Tuition ranges from CA $17,800 to CA $30,000 depending on the choice of programs.

Scholarship Awards: The University of Manitoba recognizes academic achievement and provides financial support to students in need through various scholarships and bursaries for international students. Among these are the International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarships, awarded based on high school grade averages, and the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship, which supports full-time master’s and PhD students in recognition of their academic excellence.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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4. University of Alberta

Ranked among the top 4 universities in Canada and the top 100 globally, this institution serves over 41,000 students across more than 200 undergraduate programs, over 500 graduate studies, 350 specializations, 300 research areas, and offers 200+ online courses.

Renowned internationally as one of Canada’s top teaching and world-class research universities, this institution provides millions of dollars in awards and scholarships to international students annually.

Tuition Fees: fees for international students range from $15,000 to $30,000.

Scholarship Awards: International students could start with Admission based Scholarships at the time of admission offer, such scholarships include the International Admission scholarship for all types of students and receive up to $5,000CAD and the Regional excellence Scholarship for students from certain regions with reward of $5,000. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are valued at $50,000/year for three years for qualified doctoral students.

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

5. McGill University

Founded in 1821, this public institution has grown into one of the largest universities globally, welcoming international students from over 150 countries. Renowned for its teaching and research programs, the university has produced 147 Rhodes Scholars, attracting some of the brightest students to study in Canada.

Offering over 700 programs, this university charges international students tuition fees of around $35,000. It has more than 300 undergraduate and 400 graduate and postdoctoral programs across 80+ departments, supplemented by numerous scholarships from various funding bodies.

Tuition Fees: international students paying $22,102.57–$41,815.92 per year.

Scholarship Awards: Newly admitted undergraduate students can apply to McGill’s Entrance Scholarship Program. The Scholarships and Student Aid office also manages an In-Course Financial Aid Program, offering modest loans and/or bursaries to currently enrolled graduate students who require additional financial assistance.

Location: Montreal, Quebec

6. University of North British Columbia

This public research-intensive university offers undergraduate and graduate programs for international students. It stands out as one of the cheapest universities in Canada, featuring 5 faculties that deliver high-quality programs.

With 32 graduate degree programs, the university is ranked between 801st and 1000th in global university rankings, yet stands as one of the top 50 research universities in Canada. It is esteemed as one of British Columbia’s premier employers, offering a plethora of benefits and professional development initiatives, including tuition waivers for the majority of its employees.

Scholarship Awards: The Global Citizen Scholarship for undergraduate students provides full funding up to $10,000 for all nationals except those from the USA. The Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme (ISP) supports master’s and PhD degrees for students from selected countries with partial funding.

Location: Prince George, British Columbia


7. University of Prince Edward Island

Established in 1969, this public institution hosts international students from 101 countries and offers over $11 million in scholarships and awards. It has two campuses, Charlottetown and St. Peter’s Bay. It also provides international exchange and experiential learning opportunities.

The university offers a wide range of courses at the diploma, certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, supported by scholarships and awards for high-achieving students.

Tuition Fees fees for international students range from $25,000 to $38,000.

Scholarship Awards: Entrance awards for international students, funded by the University of Prince Edward Island, are granted annually to international students who join UPEI from high schools in Canada or other countries. The award amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward

8. University of Sasketchawan

Ranked 473 in the QS World University Rankings, this institution offers high-quality education and boasts one of the cheapest universities in Canada standards. Established in 1907 and since then, it has provided hands-on experience throughout its programs.

Tuition Fees: fees for international students vary between CA $19,895 and $40,060 depending on the chosen course of study.

Scholarship Awards: The institution offers a range of scholarship opportunities and funding bodies for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, specifically targeting outstanding students. The University of Saskatchewan Graduate Scholarship is offering tuition waiver, competitive stipends, as well as internal and external funding to interested individuals from all origin.

Location: Saskatoon, Sasketchawan

9. Memorial University of Newfoundland

Ranked 641-650 in the QS World University Rankings, this public institution was established in 1925. It has been providing various undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma programs to more than 19,000 students, both through online and on-campus modalities. This Canadian public institution is renowned for its marine and ocean engineering programs, with its researchers ranked among the top 2% of scientists worldwide.

Tuition Fees: International students pay an average tuition fee of CA $21,000, making it one of the cheapest universities in Canada.

Scholarship Awards: The School of Graduate Studies offers fellowships valued between $4,000 and $12,000 per year, and graduate assistantships ranging from $3,000 to $6,000. The amount of funding a student receives will depend on the specific graduate program they are admitted to.

Location: St. John’s, NewfoundLand

10. Dalhousie University

Founded in 1818, this university is ranked 298th in the QS World Universities Ranking. It has a diverse student body of over 21,000 individuals from more than 115 countries. As a leading research-intensive institution, it offers an exceptional environment for students, professors, and staff to achieve academic excellence through outstanding teaching and unique opportunities.

Rated as one of the cheapest universities in Canada, this institution offers over 200 programs and receives $210 million in external research funding.

Tuition Fees: fees for international students range from $27,000 to $38,000.

Scholarship Awards: Two of the scholarship opportunities available at Dalhousie University include the Abdul Majid Bader Graduate Scholarship, valued at $40,000 for one 12-month academic year of full-time study. This scholarship is renewable, dependent on the annual progress review, and can be held for up to 24 months. Additionally, the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship program provides $10,000 per year for up to two years for thesis-based master’s degrees, available to both Canadian and international students.

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

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