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Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students:- Tuition Fees, Cost of Living, & Scholarships

Arushi Anand Arushi Anand
Study Abroad Expert

Studying in Canada is considered inexpensive when compared to the other study destinations around the world. Choosing the cheapest universities in Canada is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable education as an international student.

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 96% of the total international students who went to study abroad recommend Canada as a study destination. In 2018, Canada welcomed around 572,000 international students at all levels of study. Out of this, 60% of students planned to apply for a permanent residence in Canada.

In this article, we will discuss the most affordable universities in Canada, their tuition fees, the cost of living in Canada and scholarships for international students.

Best Universities with Cheapest Tuition Fees

International students who are looking for the most affordable universities in Canada need to look no further. Given below is a table showcasing the best as well as cheapest universities in Canada for international students for undergraduate as well as postgraduate education.

Cheapest Universities in Canada for Undergraduate Degrees

UniversitiesLocationTuition Fees
Brandon UniversityBrandon, Manitoba$7,203
Universite de Saint-BonifaceWinnipeg, Manitoba$7,428
University of GuelphGuelph, Ontario$9,730
Canadian Mennonite UniversityWinnipeg, Manitoba$10,003
Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt.Johns, Newfoundland$11,460

Cheapest Universities in Canada for Postgraduate Degrees

UniversitiesLocation Tuition Fees
University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince George, British Columbia$3,297
Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt.Johns, Newfoundland$3,222
Simon Fraser UniversityBurnaby, British Columbia$3,743
University of CalgaryCalgary, Alberta$3,693
University of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, Saskatchewan$4,358

Cost of Living

Like most major countries, the cost of living in Canada varies dramatically across various parts of the country. The Canadian government requires an applicant to show proof of having 10,000 CAD apart from the tuition fees to study in Canada.

Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of living an applicant can expect while living in Canada:-

Cost of living

Accommodation Costs

There are three main options for housing facilities in Canada for students:-

  • Student Residences:- The price ranges between 250-625 CAD per month.
  • University-provided Homestay:- The price rates for this facility usually ranges from 400 to 800 per month.
  • Apartments:- Though the rent of an apartment depends on its location and amenities included, the initial price range starts from 300-700 CAD per month.

Other Related Expenses

  • Basic Utilities (electricity, water, heat, garbage etc): 150 CAD/month
  • Internet: 50-70 CAD per month


  • Shopping:- Students living in Canada do not need to spend much on food shopping. The approximate amount needed is 300 CAD every month.
  • Restaurants:- 10-25 CAD per meal

Transportation Costs

  • Transport Pass:- The total price of a travel pass is 90 CAD/month.
  • Taxis and cabs are also a common way of transportation in Canada and fare cost 2-6 CAD/km.

Why Study in Canada?

During 2010-2018, Canada witnessed an increase of 154% in the total number of international students studying in Canadian universities. There are innumerable reasons why international students decide to choose Canada for their further education. Some of the major reasons are:-

Top-Notch Education

Canada is widely recognized for its outstanding quality of education, from elementary to post-secondary studies. According to QS World University Ranking 2018, seven of the world’s top 150 universities are located in Canada. The most popular Canadian universities like the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University and the University of Alberta are regarded equally well in comparison to the Ivy Leagues and other prestigious universities around the world.

Good Quality of Living

As per the research conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an average household net-adjusted disposable income in Canada is $30,854 per year. In terms of employment, around 73% of people aged between 15-64 in Canada have a paid job, which is an essential feature to sustain a good quality of life. Also in terms of health, life expectancy at birth is 82 years, which is two years higher than the OECD average of 80 years.


One of the most attractive aspects of studying in Canada is that the country is known for providing a world-class education at some of the most affordable universities among English-speaking countries. The cost of tuition fees, as well as the cost of living in Canada is very affordable and with proper planning, students can make preparations for their studies in Canadian universities.

Recently, QS World University Rankings 2020 has released the list of top universities around the world which includes 26 Canadian universities. Given below is a list of top 10 highest-ranked universities located in Canada along with their global rankings. These universities are well-recognized around the globe for providing great quality education at much more affordable rates than their international counterparts like the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Global RankingUniversity 
29University of Toronto
35McGill University
51University of British Columbia
113University of Alberta
137Université de Montréal
140McMaster University
173University of Waterloo
211Western University
233University of Calgary
239Queen’s University


As one of the most sought-after destinations for international students, Canada offers a wide range of scholarships and other financial aid options at every stage of education such as foundation, bachelor, master’s and doctorate levels. These various types of financial aid are offered by the Canadian government, governments of respective countries, private organisations and individual Canadian universities. International students with excellent grades and overall performance can apply for these scholarships to secure admission at the affordable universities in Canada. To know more, check out Scholarships in Canada for International Students.

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