Costs of Studying in Canada and Scholarships

Canada is among the most affordable of the leading destinations for international students; it offers lower tuition than the US, the UK, and Australia. Given the excellent reputation and high quality of Canadian diplomas, degrees, and other credentials, this affordability is exceptional and offers incredible value for money. Canada student visa consultants are many scholarships and opportunities for financial assistance available for international students (especially students of top academic standing). Most of these are available at the graduate level, but there are some independent/private secondary school and undergraduate entrance scholarships available, particularly through individual institutions. Students should inquire at the institutions under consideration as well as at the Canadian diplomatic mission in their country about scholarships and other financial assistance. International students should apply early to ensure they are considered for scholarships.

Costs of Study

The following tables provide different ways for the students how Canada compares to other leading study abroad countries in terms of affordability and other tables explain the costs of studying at various levels of schooling in Canada. Canada student visa consultants can provide you with information on the fees structure for obtaining a student visa, as well as any additional costs that may be involved such as health insurance, transportation, and living expenses.

Of course tuition is not the only cost international students will need to budget for when studying in Canada; they must also factor in the cost of living. Figure 1 looks at the average cost of an undergraduate degree, including the cost of living, across leading study abroad destinations including Canada:

In addition to having relatively low tuition fees, international students attending post-secondary institutions in Canada can often offset the costs of studying by working on- or off-campus, or by completing co-op placements during their studies. 

Above Image shows average full-time costs—including tuition and student fees, accommodation and food, personal and health insurance, and books—by level of study in Canada

Approximate yearly cost of full-time tuition in Canada for international students (CAD):

K-12 (public): $9,500 to $17,000

K-12 (independent/private): $45,000 – $75,000

Language: $15,400 (based on 44 weeks per year, $350/week average)

College: $7,000 to $30,000 depending on institution and field of study

University: depending on level and field of study (Statistics Canada)

Undergraduate – $10,703 to $60,150 (Statistics Canada 2020/21)

Graduate – $3,222 to $42,710 (Statistics Canada 2020/21)

The cost of studying in Canada will depend heavily on the program, institution, and level of study. Living costs, insurance, and textbooks should be considered as separate expenses, and are rarely included in tuition.

Undergraduate Tuition Fees

Weighted average tuition fees for full-time international undergraduate students, by field of study (in Canadian dollars)

Education: $19,461

Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies: $22,950

Humanities: $26,175

Social and behavioural sciences: $24,808

Law, legal professions and studies: $29,756

Business, management, and public administration: $26,395

Physical and life sciences and technologies: $29,067

Mathematics and computer and information sciences: $30,187

Engineering: $30,742

Architecture and related technologies: $24,654

Agriculture, natural resources, and conservation: $24,101

Dentistry: $55,802

Medicine: $29,905

Nursing: $20,354

Pharmacy: $34,726

Veterinary medicine: $60,458

Other health, parks, recreation, and fitness: $23,192

When budgeting for their stay in Canada, it is important that international students take into consideration the costs of the essential items that may need to be purchased.

The following table, shows typical costs for common items in Canada.



There are many programs and funding options for international students interested in studying in Canada: particularly international students of high academic standing. The first place to look for scholarship opportunities is the Government of Canada’s International Scholarships page on This online resource allows students and agents to search for available scholarships by country of origin. Agents and students should also visit websites of provincial/territorial ministries of education to explore bursary options. 

Beyond these general search sites, most post-secondary institutions have some sort of funding assistance available to international students, and some secondary schools will as well. Certain institutions and provincial governments may also have in place a reduced tuition rate for students studying in a particular language or in a particular field. It really will be the task of  the student to determine if there is a scholarship or funding assistance opportunity available for the program or school under consideration.

There are two main ways of conducting a search to see if the international student may be eligible for a scholarship or other funding: 

By institution: In this case, the student narrows down a list of program and institution options, then the student searches the school’s website (or contacts the school directly) for suitable funding opportunities.

By available government funding: In this case, the student goes to the EduCanada international scholarships search tool, , selects their country of origin, then reviews the list of scholarships for which they are eligible to apply.

Home Country Scholarships

The student should be aware of scholarships offered by their home country government for studies undertaken at recognized institutions abroad. 

In addition to conducting their own research, students can find out which scholarship programs are relevant to them by checking with the Canadian diplomatic mission in the home country or again, by conducting a search by country using the EduCanada international scholarships search tool.

Graduate Scholarships

There is significant funding/financial assistance available for international students of high academic standing at the Canadian graduate level (e.g., master’s, PhD, post-doctoral). This assistance may be in the form of:

  • Teaching/departmental assistantships;
  • Research funds;
  • University graduate scholarships;
  • External scholarships (i.e., scholarships provided by a third party);
  • Bursaries (awards based on financial need that are intended to supplement a student’s other funding sources).

The value of these awards will vary significantly by academic department as well as institution. For more information, students should contact the institutions under consideration by the international student. Two notable Government of Canada scholarships in this area are the Vanier (Graduate) and Banting (Postdoctoral) scholarships.

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