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Free Tuition Universities in Canada – Do they exist? All You Need to Know

As an international student, studying in Canada is an excellent way of exposing yourself to greatness. Canada is one of the most reputable countries in the world that offers international students opportunities to study with the smallest fee possible.

That being said, it is important to let you know that Canada does not offer free tuition. However, you can school in Canada with reduced tuition fees with the steps we outlined in this content.

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Below is a list of things you should be expecting in this content:

  • Why Study in Canada?
  • How to apply to a University in Canada
  • List of low tuition Universities in Canada
  • List of scholarships to study in Canada for International students

Why Study in Canada?

Studying in Canada is a great alternative for you seeking affordable degrees as an international student. Canada offers low tuition fees to both foreign and national students.

In addition, you will study in an English (or French) Environment in a very developed country. The education system in Canada is renowned and comparable to countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

Many international students choose to study in Canada because of the low cost of tuition, the ease and convenience of life and the high reputation of universities.

Here are other great reasons why you should consider Canada as the best country to study in..

Benefit from a World-class Education

Five Canadian universities ranked in the top 100 of 2018 World universities according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

Canadian universities and colleges are well recognised all over the world. Canada’s world-class colleges and universities offer more than 15,000 programs on hundreds of campuses. You will have the opportunity to study in some of the best post-secondary institutions in the world as well.

Canada’s education system promotes mainstream studies and development of transferable skills (e.g., criticism reflection, teamwork and communications) and uses advanced technologies and digital media.

Study and Work in Canada

Canada as one of the most reputable countries in the world, allows its students to study and work as well. So, you can make money while studying in Canada. But then, you might be considering if studying and working will affect your studies. Well, Canadian universities have arranged their programmes to favour those studying and working as well.

The Cost to Study and Live in Canada is Affordable

Canada is known for having some of the lowest university tuition fees among English-speaking countries. Whatever your budget may be, you’ll find something just right for you.

Possibility of Immigrating/Permanent Residency Options

Sometimes you enjoy being in a foreign country so much that you never want to leave. If you decide to love Canada enough to live in after your studies abroad, you may consider immigrating after graduating with at least one year of work experience.

Canadian immigration allows students to live in Canada up to three years after graduation, which is enough to search and find a job. Once you have a job, obtaining permanent resident status becomes easier if you are eligible.

Once you meet the minimum requirements, you can apply for a permanent residency visa. If your application is approved, you can live in Canada for the rest of your life, which will allow you to increase your wages and improve your lifestyle and facilities.

Beautiful and Lively Cities

Canada has beautiful and natural locations, much of which still remains untouched. This is where the country receives its nickname: The Great White North.

Much of Canada is, in fact, a vast expanse of desert and an exciting playground for outdoor enthusiasts. You can walk, climb mountains, ski or even visit a beach on the West or East Coast.

Although the north end can be quite cold, the southern provinces experience a milder climate that many find quite pleasant. If you prefer to mix with the population, you will probably enjoy the nightlife that the main cities of Canada offer to students.

Even campuses offer a multitude of activities, sports and clubs in which students can participate. In addition, you can discover the many culinary, musical and leisure activities that the cities offer.

A Safe Community

Canada is a safe, friendly country with a high standard of living. The low crime rate, the health benefits of students and universities focused on the safety of students make studying in Canada a good option for those who care about personal safety abroad. The Global Peace Index ranks Canada as one of the 10 safest countries in the world to visit.

How to apply to a University in Canada

Applying to any university in Canada can be competitive. This is because universities receive applications from more potential students than they can accept.

Also, programs may have quotas or limited enrolment and admissions committees use both objective and subjective elements of the application process to ascertain which students are most likely to succeed at the institution.

With the guide below, you can apply to any Canadian university successfully.

  • Step 1: Make a proper research about the universities you wish to apply for, you should make sure you have at least three options that you want to apply for just in case;
  • Step 2: Check their admission requirements for international students, this will cover:
    • Admission times;
    • Language requirements;
    • Credit scores for the degree or program you want to apply for;
    • Application letter format to the university; and
    • It may also be necessary to send personal profiles. This is part of your student profile and lasts approximately 30 minutes. The university asks you to answer three questions with a short essay and two short videos.
  • Step 3: You will be required to submit necessary documents like:
    • A certified copy of your diploma or certificate;
    • A complete application form for your course;
    • An updated CV (if needed);
    • Letter of Intent (This states your intention to enrol in the college or university and any education course you wish to apply for);
    • Language results that are no more than one year old for English or French:
      • English tests that are generally accepted: IELTS, TOEFL and C1 Advanced
      • French tests that are mainly accepted in Canada are: TEF, TCF, DALF and DELF
    • Proof of funds to show that you can support yourself and anyone who immigrates with you during your studies;
    • If you are applying for a PhD or Masters program, you will need to have two letters of Academic Reference, along with previous Letters of Employment; and
    • If you did not study in Canada, you will also need to have your education assessed with an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)

Please note: All the documents must be translated into either English or French by a certified translator and the original documents must also be included in your application.

  • Step 4: You will get then your Offer of Admission which is also called an Acceptance letter from the university after your application is processed.
  • Step 5: Apply for your study permit and show that you:
    • Have enough funds to support yourself;
    • Have a medical certificate from an approved doctor from the Canadian panel of physicians (if you plan to study in Canada for longer than six months);
    • Have the intent to come to Canada for the sole purpose of studying;
    • Inform the Canadian Immigration Office that you intend to leave after your studies are complete; and
    • Provide Police Clearance also known as a police certificate to show that you are a law abiding person with no criminal record (this includes DUIs)

A useful tip to know is that you must have health coverage while you study in Canada because you cannot qualify for public health care unless you are either a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Canada Visas

If you are an international student, you will need to apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. This acts instead of a visa and can be requested through the website of the Government of Canada or the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

A study permit will allow you to stay in Canada for the duration of your course plus 90 days. Within 90 days, you must request an extension of your stay or plan to leave the country.

If for some reason you cannot complete your studies before the date indicated on your license, you must request an extension of your stay as a student. If you finish your studies before, your license will cease to be valid 90 days after the end of your studies, which may be different from the original expiration date.

Low Tuition Universities in Canada

In this section, we will be taking you through a list of cheapest colleges in Canada. Canada, well known as “home for international students” has different schools that offer low tuition fees for international schools. 

Carefully read through so you can make a proper choice for school. Cheers!!!

Concordia University

Concordia University is a public comprehensive research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The school was founded in the year 1974 following the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, Concordia is one of the three universities in Quebec where English is the major language of instruction.

This university accepts between $2,000 and $4,000 per student as tuition fees and not only for its low cost, you can also pay in instalments. This school ranked among the top 10 Canadian universities with the lowest tuition fees in Canada for international students due to its system of acceptance of tuition fees and its keen sense of accommodation for international students.

The University comprises four Faculties (Arts and Science, Fine Arts, the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science and the John Molson School of Business), a School of Graduate Studies and a Centre for Continuing Education.

The Concordia University is an option for international students seeking low tuition universities in Canada.

Concordia University Acceptance rate

The university has an acceptance of approximately 75% annually. This is a good rate considering its affordability.

Concordia University Entrance Scholarship

The Concordia University Entrance Scholarship Program offers guaranteed renewal scholarships to high school students with a minimum average scholarship of 75%. The value of the scholarships varies according to the average of the candidate’s scholarships. Check table below;

University Entrance ScholarshipLevels
Award AverageScholarship ValueValue over 4 years
95% or higher $5,000 $20,000
90% – 94.9% $3,750 $15,000
85% – 89.9% $2,000 $8,000
80% – 84.9% $1,500 $6,000

Get detailed information about Concordia University Scholarships from the link

University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba is recognised as one of the low tuition fees in Canada. The university was established in the year 1877.

The university offers lots of study programs in the fields of Engineering, Sciences humanities at bachelors, masters and doctorate levels. The tuition fee ranges from $4000 to $13,600 per year.

Note: The fee stated above is just for tuition fee, it does not include your books and supplies, medical insurance, sport and recreational fee, parking pass (optional) and residence (optional).

University of Manitoba Scholarships

The university offers lots of scholarship opportunities to international students all over the world. Despite it being ranked amongst the low tuition universities in Canada, the university still offer its students these wonderful opportunities. Check the lists below

International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship (IGSES)

International students entering their first year of full-time graduate studies in pursuit of a Master’s, PhD or Graduate Diploma may be entitled for this scholarship. Check detail

International Graduate Student Scholarship (IGSS)

This scholarship provides funding in subsequent years when full tuition fee is required. Deadline for applications is March 1 of each year. Check detail here

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in British Columbia, Canada, with three campuses: Burnaby (main campus), Surrey, and Vancouver. The University was established in the year 1965 and comprises of 30,000 students and approximately 950 faculty member.

The Simon Fraser University Tuition fee for domestic students is 2,770 CAD and 12,125CAD for international students. In most programs at Simon Fraser University, international students pay the same fees as domestic students for graduate programs.

Simon Fraser University Acceptance Rate

The university has an acceptance of approximately 59% annually. This is a good rate considering its affordability.

Simon Fraser University Scholarship

Each year, Simon Fraser University offer its students scholarship opportunity to recognize outstanding academic achievement. You can find detailed information from the link below.

Mount Royal University

The Mount Royal University at Calgary, Alberta, Canada is considered as one of the low tuition universities in Canada. The Mount Royal University was established in the year 1910 following a charter by the Alberta provincial government. 

The university was granted university status in the year 2009 by the provincial government. The Mount Royal university currently offers 12 degrees and 32 majors with an average size of 29 students per class.

At Mount Royal University, Canadian domestic students pay 5,900 CAD while international students tuition fees are within 12, 200 CAD. 

Universite de Montreal

The University of Montreal is a French public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main campus of the university is located on the north side of Mount Royal, in the districts of Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges. The institution is made up of thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools. The University was founded in the year 1878.

The table below shows the tuition fees for the University of Montreal;

World Ranking   108    
Country Canada
City Montreal
Bachelor (foreigners) 9,175 USD/year.
Master (foreigners) 12,500 USD/year.
Bachelor (citizens) 2,500 USD/year.
Master (citizens) 2,500 USD/year.
Cost of living $650-1,143 USD/Month.
Acceptance Rate 50%
Official Website

Universite de Montreal Acceptance Rate

The university has an acceptance of approximately 40%-50% annually. This is a good rate considering its affordability.

University Of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is an open research university. It was established in the year 1908. Recently, the University of British Columbia was recognized as the most international university in North America. It has a motto that says, “It is Yours”.

The university is made up of two campuses, one in Vancouver and the other in Okanagan. The main Campus is located in Vancouver and is spread across 400 acres of land.

The university offers undergraduate programs, postgraduate programs, joint university programs, exchange programs and distance education programs. An extensive list of subjects incorporated into these programs allows students to choose between different subjects according to their area of interest. The list includes Applied Science, Architecture, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Philosophy, Anthropology and Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity.

The tuition fee for University of British Columbia varies, you can get more detailed information from the link below.

University of British Columbia Acceptance Rate

The admission rate at University of British Columbia is estimated to be 46% which is considered to be very competitive.

University of British Columbia Scholarships

University of British Columbia recognizes the academic achievement of outstanding students from around the world by devoting more than $20 million annually to awards, scholarships, and other forms of financial support for international undergraduate students.

You can get more information about the University of British Columbia scholarships from the link below.

McGill University

 McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university was established in the year 1821 by royal charter, granted by King George IV. 

McGill University offers degrees and diplomas in over 300 fields of study. It has the highest average admission requirements of any Canadian university. Majority of the students are enrolled in the five largest faculties, namely Arts, Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Management.

Notably, McGill University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in different fields of study. And, the study subjects offered at the university are biomedical engineering, business analytics, chemistry, chemical engineering, architecture, and anthropology.

The tuition fees for McGill Universities varies, we have provided links for you to check the various tuition fees available for undergraduate here >> and for Graduate here >>

McGill University Acceptance Rate

Admission to graduate programs at McGill is very comprehensive, meaning that many factors are taken into consideration in the admission decision, including academic credentials and grades.

McGill University Scholarship

The MasterCard Foundation McGill University Scholarships for African students are open now. Want an undergraduate scholarship? Apply now. You can find eligibility details here. McGill University has other types of scholarships for international students. You may contact the The Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Assistance in order to enrol and attend university programs via scholarships at the University.

University of Prince Edward Island

The University of Prince Edward Island is a public liberal arts and science university committed to encouraging and fostering critical, creative, and independent thinking and research.

Overtime, University of Prince Edward Island has risen to become one of the Cheapest Tuition Fee University in Canada for International Students. They make sure tuition fees are affordable for its prospective International Students.

The tuition fees for the universities varies depending on the course one is offering. You can track the different tuition fees using the link provided below.

The Dominican University College

Dominican University College (DUC) is a bilingual university that offers certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees in Philosophy and Theology. The school was founded in the year 1900 and was modelled on the houses of studies of the Order of Preachers as the centre of graduate studies for Canadian Dominicans. The university is open to any student interested in philosophy and theology.

The Dominican University College is suited at 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The university is recognised as one of the cheapest schools in Canada.

The tuition fees for the Dominican University College ranges from 5325USD to 6750USD for both domestic and international students.

Dominican University College Acceptance Rate

The university has a very good acceptance rate of 63.7% annually.

Dominican University College Scholarship

The Dominican University College is committed to helping students succeed in their studies. To this end, the university aspires to provide students in need with assistance and advice to access financial aid programs and scholarships so that all students can complete their studies.

Use the link below to access the university scholarships and financial aids.

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a public research university which is located at Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The school was founded in the year 1908 and started in the year 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta.

The university is made up of 85 research institutes, 14 faculties and 55 departments. The faculties comprise of Cumming School of Medicine, Schulich School of Engineering, Arts, Environmental Design, Graduate Studies, Kinesiology, Law, Nursing, Science, Social Work, Haskayne School of Business, Veterinary Medicine and Werklund School of Education.

The university has a tuition fee of $3,693.

List of scholarships to study in Canada for International students

There are various scholarships available for any students studying in Canada. On this very section, we will walk you through on the Requirements to get a scholarship in Canada as well as various scholarships in Canada for international and domestic students.

The Requirements to Get a Scholarship in Canada

If you are applying for Canadian scholarships as an international student, there are several things you need to know.

  1. Plan ahead

The importance of seeking and looking for scholarship early cannot be overemphasized. It has been recorded that students who get scholarship most of the time are students who started applying even while in high school.

 If you want to increase your chances of gaining a scholarship in Canada you have to plan ahead of time.


Learn about scholarships administered by the Canadian government, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.




Now let’s get to various lists of scholarships in Canada.

Humber International Entrance Scholarships Canada

The scholarship is available for international student at Humber College taught in Canada. Undergraduate studying at any of the approved field of study at the school can apply for this scholarship.

You might be wondering the value and benefit of this award, the benefit varies ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per year.

President’s Scholarship at University of Winnipeg in Canada

The scholarship allows Bachelor, Masters level programm(s) in any field of All Subjects taught at University of Winnipeg. The program can be applied by international students as well as domestic students.

The scholarship worth is in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 annually.

Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a minimum 80% admission average or equivalent
  2. Be an international student
  3. Entering first year of any program
  4. Demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities
  5. Submit a complete admission application by the scholarship deadline date.

York University International Student Scholarships in Canada 2020

The University of York offers tomorrow’s World Leader scholarships and international entry scholarships to international students seeking a full-time university degree at the University of York.

Scholarship Benefits:

Global Leader of Tomorrow Award: $80,000 ($20,000 x 4 years)

International Entrance Scholarships: $140,000 ($35,000 x 4 years)

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) were created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global center of excellence in research and higher education. The scholarships are intended to obtain a doctorate (or a combination of a master’s / doctorate or a doctorate in medicine / doctorate) from the participating Canadian universities. The scholarship is worth $50,000 a year for three years.

University of Waterloo Master’s Awards of Excellence

The International Master’s Award of Excellence (IMAE) will be awarded to qualified international master’s students normally entering a research-based graduate program at the University of Waterloo. The award will be valued at $2,500 per term for a maximum of five terms.

Use the link for detailed information about the scholarship

Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships

The University of Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program aims to recognize international students who demonstrate exceptional creativity and academic achievement and who are recognized as leaders in their school. The scholarship will cover tuition, books, unforeseen expenses and full board for four years.

Carleton University Entrance Scholarships for International Students

Carleton offers partial scholarships worth $4,000 – $16,000 to exemplary students who meet the admission average criteria of 80% and above. The scholarship is available to international students as well as Canadian citizens.

African students are also offered the Richard J. Van Loon Scholarship for masters study.

Use the link for detailed information about the scholarship

Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships

The Trudeau scholarships are open to foreign citizens (preferably for applicants from developing countries) who apply for a doctoral program in social sciences and humanities or who are enrolled full-time in a first or second year of said program in a Canadian university. Its annual value can reach $60,000 per academic for up to three years.

University of Calgary Graduate Awards

University of Calgary offers a wide range of full and partial scholarships for international students. Scholarship value range from $1,000 to $40,000 and covers different fields of study.

Use the link for detailed information about the scholarship.

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF) are merit-based awards that are open to students of any nationality who will be registered as full-time graduate students (Masters or Ph.D.) at the University of Manitoba. The fellowships are valued at $18,000 for PhD students, or $14,000 for Master’s students for a 12-month period.


Having read through the information provided in this article, I believe your questions have been answered. If you still have a few unanswered questions, quickly notify us in the comment section below.

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1 Comment
  1. osas says

    hello thank you so much for the huge info right here on this site just a few question first
    1. is it possible for me to apply for these scholarships mentioned right in this site right from nigeria
    2. if yes where do i start from, am an HND holder in electrical electronic , here in nigeria.
    3. it is possible to study in schools listed here without any form of english test like ESTS exams

    thanks awaiting your reply
    osas from nigeria

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