When it comes to higher education, Canada is a superb choice as it has some of the best universities and colleges in the world. But, the cost of studying abroad can be a deterrent for many.

It is not easy to secure scholarships recently especially to study in Canada so students can only hope to find schools that will fit their budget or schools were they can easily scale through financially. A lot of people are looking for affordable universities and this is where this article comes in.

Studying in Canada is an excellent alternative for those looking for an affordable degree as an international student. Canada offers low tuition rates for international and domestic students. Plus, you’ll be studying in an English (or French!) environment in a highly developed country. The education system in Canada is reputable and comparable to countries such as the U.K. and the U.S.

1 University of Calgary located at Calgary, Alberta.
The University of Calgary is a place that cannot be described absolutely as “cheap”. Then why is it on this list?

Because, of the list of top universities in Canada, University of Calgary is one of the cheapest. It also goes without saying that it is one of the best, considering it is in the top ten. Compared to the University of Toronto, where the average tuition fee is between CA $41,540 – $61,350 or the University of British Columbia which costs between CA $34,276 – $41,156, University of Calgary is far cheaper at CA $24,408.

University of Calgary, located in the province of Alberta, has 14 faculties and 85 research institutes and centers. Every year, about 33,000 students study here. It is also the alma mater of James Gosling (lead designer of the Java programming language), Garrett Camp (co-founder of Uber), Robert Thirsk (astronaut) and Chip Wilson (founder of Lululemon Inc).

University of Calgary stands in 182nd place among all the universities in the world, according to QS rankings, and in the top-ten list in Canada. It is known for its quality education, work-integrated learning and has a 94% employment rate after graduation. Be it their School of Arts or the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary has a high student satisfaction rate. With a number of student support activities and a diverse student community, this university is a great place to upgrade your higher education experience.

The fees depends on your course of study and level of study. The average undergraduate tuition fee is around CA $27,000, while the graduate average tuition fee ranges between CA $8,243 and $21,597. The university also has scholarship options for international students. Examples of the scholarship opportunities are;

• University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship: Two awards of CA $20,000 given to international students entering their first year
• CIBC International Entrance Scholarship: One award of CA $10,000 to an incoming student
• The University of Calgary Award for International Student Athletes
Courses offered & admission process

B.A., B.Sc., M.A., M.Sc., MBA, M. Eng., and Ph.D. programs are offered at the University of Calgary. The university offers 250 programs that can be combined with your choice, starting from Accounting, all the way to Zoology.

You can visit the University’s website for more details.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY: The Taylor Family Digital Librbay located in the University of Calgary is the most technologically advanced library in North America.

2​University of Guelph located at Guelph, Ontario​

Ranked 486 worldwide in QS Rankings, the University of Guelph finds its place in the top 50 research universities in Canada. They are particularly known for their veterinary and agricultural sciences programs. University of Guelph ranks number 5 worldwide when it comes to veterinary sciences. Moreover, they offer over 100 different graduate programs and create a personalized learning atmosphere. A public research university located in Guelph, Ontario, the University of Guelph was established in 1964. It consists of seven main faculties under which the courses are offered.

The average total fees (winter and fall semesters) of a BSc or a BA program is around CA $35,000. The graduate fee ranges from CA $15,000 (typical MA/MSc programs) to CA $30,000 (for a Master’s in Data Science or Cybersecurity).

Despite the fees, the number of scholarships is what makes the University of Guelph one of the cheapest colleges for international students. In 2021-22, over 8,100 students received funding, totalling about CA $27.2 million. Examples of scholarship opportunities;

• The Dr. Franco J. Vaccarino President’s Scholarship
• Academic Leadership Entrance Scholarships
• International Entrance Scholarships
• Quinn Memorial Scholarships
• Hardy International Student Scholarship.
If you are applying for a bachelor’s degree, You must have completed class 12 from any of the recognized boards with an average score of 80%. Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no band under 6/ TOEFL iBT score of 89/ CAEL score of 70/ PTE score 60/ Cambridge English score of 176 with no band less than 160/ DuoLingo English score of 100.

If you are applying for a master’s degree; Successful completion of an undergraduate degree/ baccalaureate, in an honors program or the equivalent, from a recognized university with a minimum B- average (last two years of full-time equivalent study) Proof of English language proficiency is the same as the undergraduate degree, however, DuoLingo is not accepted at the Master’s level. It is always better to check the department or the specific program website to ensure there are no other specific requirements for admission.

This university offers 94 undergraduate degrees, 48 graduate and doctoral programs, and 6 associate degrees in many different disciplines. Their veterinary science and agriculture programs are world-renowned. You can visit the University’s website for more information.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH: This Univerisity is known as Canada’s food university!

3​University of Manitoba​located at Winnipeg, Manitoba​

Yearly tuition fee for an undergraduate student ranges from CA $17,800 to CA $30,000, making it one of the more affordable universities in Canada.

University of Manitoba was founded in 1877, making it the first university in Western Canada. Known for its research, some of the university’s contributions are the discovery of a treatment for and control of Rh hemolytic disease and the genetic research that produced canola, the world’s third-largest edible oil crop.

Ranked 651-700 worldwide by QS Rankings, this school provides top-notch teaching, learning, and research opportunities in Manitoba. The university emphasizes values such as academic freedom, accountability, collegiality, equity and inclusion, excellence, innovation, integrity, respect, and sustainability. Updated curricula, innovative pedagogies, and high employment rates are just some of the reasons to consider this university.

The university has entrance scholarships, other funding, and bursaries for international students. They are instituted to reward academic excellence. The funding amount is dynamic and is calculated based on your performance in high school or within the university.

For an undergraduate application, you must have completed Class 12 (higher secondary certificate). Score a minimum of 6.5 in TOEFL with no band less than 6.0/ 85 in TOEFL iBT/ 180 in Cambridge English Assessment / 58 in Pearson Test

For a master’s program; Completed a bachelor’s program from a recognized university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. English language proficiency, as stipulated by the respective departments.

Offering over 100 academic programs, the University of Manitoba is a full-fledged public research university.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE UNIVERISTY IF MANITOBA:$ 35 million student awards are given annually from this university!

4​University of Saskatchewan located at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan​

University of Saskatchewan is another public research university that has been in existence since 1907. A member of the U15 group of Canadian research universities, it began as an agricultural college and grew to be one of the more renowned yet low-fee universities in Canada. University of Saskatchewan is the home to the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, one of the largest and most innovative investments in Canadian science.

Ranked 473rd in the world by QS Rankings, the university provides practical hands-on experience through internships and co-op programs during the course of the study. As a relatively smaller university, it provides high student support. It is also the alma mater of John Diefenbaker, the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, Henry Taube, winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and William McIntyre, former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

For international students, the average tuition fee ranges from CA $19,895 to $40,060 (School of business administration). Courses like Law or Nursing are priced higher, between CA $40,000 to $55,000.

The following are the scholarship options for international students;

• University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Awards
• International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards
• University of Saskatchewan Bridging Scholarship Awards
• Canadian Curriculum Schools Awards
• Council of International School Awards
• Maple Leaf International School Awards
The university offers over 200 programs across disciplines, ranging from accounting, aboriginal studies, biochemistry and computer science all the way to women’s studies at the bachelor’s master’s, and doctoral levels. You can access the entire list here. You can apply for any of them, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, with an application fee of CA $90.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN: This university is ranked no 1 in water resources research in Canada.

5​Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning also known as Humber College located in Toronto, Ontario​

It has two main campuses: the Humber North campus and the Lakeshore campus.

The college is popular among international students for the opportunities it provides. This college has over 150 programs – bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificate courses, postgraduate certificate courses, and apprenticeship programs in over 40 fields of study. Their pathway programs are particularly popular. These programs guide you into a specialized degree with a definitive career path. The skill development opportunities here are practically endless.

The annual fees for international students range from CA $12,000 to $22,000, depending on the course. Numerous scholarship options are available. Examples are;

• Humber Entrance Scholarships
• Bachelor’s degree Scholarships
• Awards for EAP Graduates (English for Academic Purposes)
• Flywire Charitable Foundation Scholarships
As one of the top colleges providing diplomas, Humber usually gets more applications than the seats available. So, you first need to pick your program and see the availability. Then, you submit the completed application form with the necessary transcripts. International applicants may be asked to submit an ICAS or WES evaluation to check eligibility. Depending on the program, you might also be asked to submit a statement of purpose, a portfolio, letters of reference and so on.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE HUMBER COLLEGE: Humber receives more than 127, 000 applications, more than any other Ontarioncollege.

Canada is a great option for studying abroad. You should do your research before applying to make sure its the right fit for you. It’s a good idea to compare it to other destinations to understand the differences. If you want to know more, you should look at our Canada versus the US piece, or if you’re thinking of closer home, you can read our piece on UK and Canada comparison to know more.

Many international students choose to study in Canada for the low tuition prices, ease and comfort of living, and great reputation of the universities. For those looking for affordable degrees, here are 10 cheap universities in Canada for international students—plus a bonus free one!


A student visa is a document that allows you to pursue a study program in a foreign country. Student visas are usually issued for short-term purposes, and you must have already been accepted to a university or educational institution to qualify for the visa.

Student Visa Requirements;

• Passport (with six-month validity). Your passport must be valid for at least six months when you apply for your visa. You cannot use a travek document that is about to expire.
• Student visa application form. You need to fill out the student visa application form with your details— you can get the form at the Canadian embassy.
• You are expected to submit passport pictures taken recently.
• Proof of admission. Submit your admission letter or enrollment records to show that you have been accepted to a study program in your destination country because you cannot apply without getting admission.
• Evidence of financial means. You must prove that you can financially support yourself during your study program. If your family supports you, provide financial statements from your family members. If you have a scholarship, you need to attach proof that you are a financial aid recipient.
• Civil documents. You must submit your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if you are married), and your CV.
• International student health insurance. You should purchase a health insurance plan that covers the entire period of your studies.
• If you attended a university prior to applying for your foreign study program, you must submit your university records for the student visa application.