Free Tuition Universities in Canada – Do they exist?

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About Tuition-Free Universities in Canada

Do tuition-free universities in Canada exist? As an international student, studying in Canada is an excellent way to expose yourself to greatness. Canada is one of the most reputable countries in the world that offers international students opportunities to study for the smallest fee possible.

Canadian universities offer quality education in different areas of academics. There are both colleges and universities in Canada, and with the quality and top facilities you can imagine, you can pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, postgraduate, or doctorate program at any Canadian higher institution.

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That being said, it is important to let you know that Canada does not offer free tuition. However, you can apply for fully-funded scholarships that will fund your education all through.

Why study in Canada?

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

In addition, you will study in an English (or French) environment 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-recognized 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 at some of the best post-secondary institutions in the world as well.

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

1. 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 whether studying and working will affect your studies. Well, Canadian universities have arranged their programs to favor those studying and working as well.

2. 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 there 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 for up to three years after graduation, which is enough to search for 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. This will allow you to increase your wages and improve your lifestyle and facilities.

3. 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. Additionally, 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.

4. 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 more applications from potential students than they can accept.

Also, programs may have quotas or limited enrollment, 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: Do proper research about the universities you wish to apply to, 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 enroll 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 Ph.D. or Master’s program, you will need to have two letters of Academic reference along with previous Letters of employment.

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 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 a 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 a 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.

List of Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students

1. Concordia University

Concordia University is a public, comprehensive research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The school was founded in 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.

Furthermore, 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 Center for Continuing Education.

Concordia University is an option for international students seeking tuition-free universities in Canada.

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 the table below;

University Entrance ScholarshipLevels
Award Average Scholarship Value Value 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

2. University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba is recognized as having one of the lowest tuition fees in Canada. The university was established in the year 1877.

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 offers 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 to this scholarship. Check detail

International Graduate Student Scholarship (IGSS)

Note that this scholarship provides funding in subsequent years when a full tuition fee is required. The deadline for applications is March 1 of each year.

3. 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 1965 and comprises 30,000 students and approximately 950 faculty members.

The Simon Fraser University tuition fee for domestic students is 2,770 CAD and 12,125 CAD 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 Scholarship

Each year, Simon Fraser University offers its students a scholarship opportunity to recognize outstanding academic achievement.

4. 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.

University of British Columbia Scholarships

The 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.

5. 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. The 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. Additionally, the study subjects offered at the university are biomedical engineering, business analytics, chemistry, chemical engineering, architecture, and anthropology.

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 Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Assistance in order to enroll in and attend university programs via scholarships at the university.

6. Saint Mary’s University

Saint Mary’s University is a Catholic, public university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The school is well known for leading programs in business and chemistry and is one of the best Canadian women’s basketball programs.

This generous university is home to more than 25% of international students from over 100 countries. This is to say that Saint Mary’s University is accepting more international students at all levels, provided you meet the school requirements. Learn more about Saint Mary’s University scholarship.

7. The Dominican University College

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

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

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 on how to access financial aid programs and scholarships so that all students can complete their studies.

8. York University International Student Scholarships in Canada

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)

9. 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.

10. 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.

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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Do you want to study abroad? Note that obtaining a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in this field helps to improve your chances in the labor market. Studying abroad is no joke for international students due to the cost. However, you can achieve your dreams without breaking the bank by applying for student loans, which you can pay for as long as 10 years. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. Reach out to us today, and let’s help you get started. 

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  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

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