Enrolling at a cheap university in Canada is an often overlooked option for many international students. In reality, it’s an excellent way for ambitious young people to study in Canada.
Canada is home to a number of cheap universities that offer affordable study programs. More importantly, they provide an equally high-quality educational experience as the more popular universities.
This guide outlines the cheapest tuition fee universities in Canada, as well as tips and tricks on how to find programs with affordable tuition.
Why Should You Consider Applying to a Cheap University in Canada?
International students face several obstacles long before starting their program, including English language certificates and visa requirements. Above all, the biggest obstacle that can get in the way of a prospective student is a high tuition fee.
Naturally, a lot of students gravitate towards hugely popular universities in bigger cities. However, this decision brings about a unique challenge. Big cities are expensive, and so are the universities located there. Also, they have greater competition, which means lower chances of acceptance.
Luckily, Canada holds great options for colleges and universities outside the big cities.
These lesser known institutions have a lot to offer. More importantly, going to a smaller university can cut the living costs and tuition fees by a wide margin. However, lower costs of tuition does not mean a lower quality of education.
That being said, not every small college in Canada will be a great choice per se. It’s important for the student to first check the validity of the university they want to attend. Not all universities qualify graduates for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, something that every student should check for when applying.
Therefore, you should only consider applying to a college or program if it’s on the list of DLI’s (Designated Learning Institutions), making them a trustworthy institution approved by the IRCC.
How to Find a Cheap University in Canada
Students looking to pursue an affordable degree abroad can find a list of some cheap universities in Canada below. Moreover, these universities are recognized by the IRCC, which is ideal for aspiring young adults who would like to settle in Canada after their studies.
Seneca College (Ontario)
- Average tuition cost for international students: $6,930
Seneca College is a publicly funded college, situated in Peterborough and Toronto, Ontario. It offers multiple levels of education in several fields, including arts, business, sciences, and engineering. Its ten campuses are spread around Toronto and house over 20,000 full-time students. In addition, around 75,000 part-time students also attend the college.
Due to its fairly low tuition fees, along with a myriad of career-oriented educational programs, Seneca remains one of the most popular choices for international students
Cape Breton University (Nova Scotia)
- Average tuition fee for international students: $8,529
Next is Cape Breton, a low-tuition fee university in Nova Scotia. The programs mainly encompass undergraduate studies, and this university stands as the only post-secondary degree-granting institution on Cape Breton. It was ranked 19th in MacLean’s 2022 primarily undergraduate rankings, almost coming to a tie with Brandon University, which we’ll take a look at next.
Brandon University (Manitoba)
- Tuition fee for international students: $4,013 – $18,151
Brandon University, situated in the Province of Manitoba, hosts various degree programs, graduate studies, certificate programs, and pre-professional programs. Despite a variety of educational programs, Brandon University is still a very affordable school to attend, and a good option for students looking to take their studies abroad.
University of Northern British Columbia
- Average tuition cost for international students: $8,323
The UNBC has several features that attract students. For some, it’s the environmental friendliness of the school. For others, it might be the scenery and ambiance – from a panoramic view of its learning center to cabins surrounding the Prince George Campus. International students looking into health sciences, environmental planning, and management information systems should check out this affordable university.
University of Calgary (Alberta)
- Average tuition fee for international students: $13,330.68
The University of Calgary had its breakthrough in 2021, ranking in the top five of Canada’s top research universities. With over 250 courses that run the gamut from architecture, law, and linguistics to mathematics and gender studies, this low-cost university provides students with an opportunity to specialize in virtually anything.
Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Average tuition fee for international students: $6,780
Ranked among Canada’s top 20 research universities, the Memorial University of Newfoundland maintains its place as a sought-after school. Every year, it hosts over 4,000 students and it retains fairly affordable tuition fees, especially for master’s degree programs. The three major fields of study here include data science, arts, and psychology.
Champlain Regional College (Quebec)
- Average cost for international students: $6,621
The Champlain Regional College offers technical and vocational certification programs along with pre-university courses. It has three constituent colleges that focus on pre-university, technical programs, with both on and off-campus educational services.
Champlain welcomes students of all areas of interest. For instance, anyone seeking education in law, digital arts, criminology, psychology, language, as well as applied science, would find Champlain a good place to enroll at.
How to Apply to a Cheap University in Canada
The Step-by-Step Guide to Applying to a Cheap University in Canada
- Find a Cheap Verified University in Canada
- Consider Possible Costs and Requirements
- Fill Out the University Application
- Submit the Required Documents
- Pay the Application Fee
- Find Scholarships to Cover Costs
- Arrange Accommodation Before Arrival
1. Find a Cheap Verified University in Canada
Firstly, make sure that the university you choose to apply to is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Essentially, DLI’s are officially recognized and trustworthy educational institutions.
2. Consider Possible Costs and Requirements
Both tuition fees and living expenses matter. Additionally, consider your grades and the institution’s requirements for applying, such as the minimum grade score that you should meet.
3. Fill Out the University Application
Next comes the application itself. Each course and university may have different ways to apply and the process can vary a lot. Whereas some universities require an IELTS or a TOEFL certificate for English, others will have students take an English test on campus.
4. Submit the Required Documents
Make sure to have a valid passport, along with any proof of finances, and a language certificate. International students have to apply for a visa, which can take some time. Have all the university papers with you during your travels, as you will need them to enter the country without difficulties.
5. Pay the Application Fee
University application fees are a common part of the application process. So make sure you pay the application fee before or immediately after submitting your application. Otherwise, your application may get rejected. There is no fixed price for university application fees, as each university sets the fee. However, Canada university application fees range from $45 to $100 per application, though it may exceed this amount. You should check the university websites to determine the exact fee.
6. Find Scholarships to Cover Costs
There are full and partial scholarships readily available to help cover tuition and other costs while studying in Canada. Visit Canada scholarship databases to find available scholarships and apply to any that meets your needs. Earning a scholarship can greatly improve your study experience and help you focus on your education.
7. Arrange Accommodation Before Arrival
Once you’ve taken care of all the paperwork, start packing your things. Afterwards, look into where you will be staying, such as potential student dorms or houses. You should also get in touch with the university’s international office to help you get acquainted with the surroundings.
How to Study at a Cheap University in Canada – Final Remarks
Undoubtedly, Canada offers a lot of options to international students – both in terms of education and the high probability of employment after graduating.
There is no shortage of good educational programs or fields of study that offer low tuition fees. Taking one’s academic journey abroad requires a lot of planning, and by researching the cheapest universities in Canada, you’ve already taken a big first step.