15 Cheapest Universities in Canada for International Students

In Canada, there are a lot of affordable universities that you can find. Enrolling in these schools will help you fulfill your dream of studying in Canada without paying a lot. These institutions also provide well-rounded academic programs and curriculums, allowing students to earn a degree with less burden on their pockets.

Now, if you’re planning to study in Canada, you’ll have a lot of school options, as they are home to 104 universities. But if you’re looking for cheap universities in Canada, make sure to read more!

How do I get admission to affordable universities in Canada?

Canada is home to 291,300 international students, and a lot of them enjoy quality education without paying high costs!

Applying to cheap universities in Canada requires you to complete different requirements depending on your degree and chosen university. These usually include admission forms, language proficiency scores, and a visa. Check out our full guide to studying in Canada for a more comprehensive guide!

What can I study at Best affordable universities in Canada?

International students can study a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Canada. For example, one of the best affordable schools in Canada is the Athabasca University, which offers Indigenous Business, English, and Humanities to students seeking a bachelor’s degree. At the master’s level, the Ambrose University offers Divinity, Intercultural Ministries, and Theological Studies.

Cheap Bachelor's Colleges and Universities in Canada for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in Canada ordered by their tuition fee for international bachelor's students.

University Annual Bachelor’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Saskatchewan Polytechnic 4,932 CAD - 21,400 CAD 78%
College of the North Atlantic 7,590 CAD 66%
Canadian Mennonite University 9,536 CAD - 12,000 CAD 57%
Université Sainte-Anne 10,200 CAD 54%
Booth University College 11,200 CAD - 12,400 CAD 50%
Holland College 11,900 CAD 47%
Université de Saint-Boniface 11,900 CAD - 13,600 CAD 47%
Canadore College 13,200 CAD - 15,700 CAD 41%
MacEwan University 13,700 CAD 39%
Athabasca University 13,700 CAD - 19,800 CAD 38%
University of Prince Edward Island 14,000 CAD - 24,200 CAD 37%
Cambrian College 14,100 CAD - 16,400 CAD 37%
Mohawk College 14,100 CAD - 18,900 CAD 37%
Loyalist College 14,400 CAD 35%
Emily Carr University of Art and Design 14,800 CAD - 21,900 CAD 33%

* Average Bachelor’s International Tuition is 22,100 CAD for universities in canada.

1. Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic, often called Sask Polytech, is a post-secondary institution in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is the primary polytechnic in the province and is dedicated to providing career-focused education and applied learning opportunities. The institution has multiple campuses across the province, including Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert. Each campus has modern facilities, specialized laboratories, industry-standard equipment, and resources supporting hands-on learning experiences.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is the most affordable educational institution in Canada for undergraduate studies. Incoming international bachelor’s students are required to pay as low as 4,932 CAD.

2. College of the North Atlantic

The next university on our list of cheap universities in Canada is College of the North Atlantic.

The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) is a post-secondary institution in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is the largest public college in the province and offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of diverse student interests and career aspirations. CNA provides over 100 full-time programs and more than 300 part-time courses across various fields of study. The college strives to deliver high-quality, hands-on education that prepares students for employment or further education.

International students planning to study for a bachelor's degree at College of the North Atlantic must prepare a tuition fee of 7,590 CAD.

3. Canadian Mennonite University

Canadian Mennonite University is a young Christian university in Manitoba offering university education across the arts and sciences, established as a result of three colleges merging. Supported by the Mennonite Church of Canada and the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba, the university is rooted in Mennonite Christian communities and their traditions but is open to all students, irrespective of their background. The university provides vocation-centered education, encouraging students to work in careers that are personally meaningful, socially relevant, and environmentally helpful. All programs are informed by a commitment to peace and justice, helping to heal a fragmented world and nurture hope.

This private university has a tuition fee range of 9,536 CAD to 11,920 CAD for international students studying a bachelor’s program.

4. Université Sainte-Anne

Another cheap university to consider in Canada is the Université Sainte-Anne.

Université Sainte-Anne is the only French-language university in Nova Scotia. Founded in 1890 by Gustave Blanche, a Eudist Father, to provide higher education for French-speaking Canadians, the university has grown into a bastion of education for French speakers all over Canada. It was named to honour Saint Anne, who is believed to be the mother of the Virgin Mary. The university aims to become the best Francophone university in North America by utilizing engaging learning methods and investing heavily in impactful research.

As a first-year international student here, you will be required to pay a tuition fee of 10,149 CAD. This is really affordable compared to other schools in Canada.

5. Booth University College

Joining the cheapest universities in Canada is Booth University College.

The Salvation Army initially established Booth University College as the Catherine Booth Bible College, a center for biblical studies. As the needs of the founding organization and society evolved, the institute was recast as a “growing Christian university college of choice.” It underwent a tremendous transformation by adding new programs of study and redesigning old programs and saw a significant increase in enrolment. “Education for a better world” is the idea that underlies the college’s main mission and commitment. It aims to train students to not only understand the state of the world but actively try to make it better. Integrating academic excellence with Christian faith, the college offers undergraduate degrees, associate degrees, and certificate programs across multiple disciplines.

With its affordable rates, you can have world-class education without breaking your wallet. To give you an idea, international undergraduate students pay 11,190 CAD to 12,360 CAD for bachelor's studies at Booth University College.

6. Holland College

Holland College is a post-secondary institution located in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Established in 1969, it offers a range of career-oriented programs designed to prepare students for the workforce. Holland College offers over 65 diploma, certificate, and apprenticeship programs in business, information technology, health sciences, culinary arts, tourism and hospitality, trades, and more. The programs are developed in consultation with industry professionals to ensure they meet current job market demands and provide students with the practical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen fields.

7. Université de Saint-Boniface

The Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) is among the few universities outside of Quebec offering higher education to French speakers. It is the oldest French-language public institution in Manitoba, Canada, serving as a centre of higher learning and research for over two centuries. Located in Winnipeg, the former trading hub of Canada’s indigenous peoples, the university’s campus is surrounded by serene forests and picturesque landscapes.

8. Canadore College

Canadore College, also known as Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology, is a post-secondary institution in Ontario, Canada. Canadore College’s mission is to provide outstanding education and training, as well as applied research and service innovation, to individuals for social, economic, and cultural development. Moreover, Canadore College aims to be a leader in applied education and training, recognized for excellence in program delivery, industry partnerships, and student success.

9. MacEwan University

Established as Grant MacEwan Community College in Alberta, the institute has a rich history of growth and expansion from a community college to a university. It aims to provide a transformative education, facilitating a unique educational experience for students to help them on the path towards growth and accomplishment. Located in the heart of the city of Edmonton, MacEwan University offers undergraduate and diploma programs in a range of disciplines.

10. Athabasca University

Athabasca University is one of the country’s biggest open universities, offering education opportunities to students from all walks of life regardless of their background, age, and current life circumstances. The only admission requirement to enroll is that students must be above 16 years old. Being an online university, students can learn from anywhere as it does not operate any physical campus. It is Canada’s only fully digital university, with all courses designed specifically for online dissemination.

11. University of Prince Edward Island

The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) is a public university located in Charlottetown, the biggest city and capital of Prince Edward Island. It was established by the merging of two educational institutes, Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University. UPEI honors the rich legacy of its founding institutes, whose history goes as far back as 1834 while embracing a dynamic and modern outlook. This harmonious mix of old and new is reflected in its campus, where the old structures of Saint Dunstan’s University have been tastefully renovated, and new buildings have been added.

12. Cambrian College

Established in 1967, Cambrian College has a long history of delivering quality education and training. Cambrian College is committed to providing students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. It boasts modern facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and specialized labs that simulate real-world work environments. The college takes pride in its strong partnerships with industry and community organizations. These partnerships help shape the curriculum, ensuring that programs are aligned with industry needs and current trends.

13. Mohawk College

Mohawk College, established in 1966, is a post-secondary institution in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It offers various programs and courses to equip students with the skills and knowledge required for successful careers. By establishing strong partnerships with industry and employers, Mohawk College ensures its programs align with current industry needs. Collaborating closely with businesses and community organizations, the college incorporates work-integrated learning, cooperative education, internships, and industry placements into many programs.

14. Loyalist College

Loyalist College, established in 1967, is a post-secondary institution in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Loyalist College operates a picturesque campus situated on 200 acres of land. The campus features modern facilities, specialized labs, industry-standard equipment, and resources that support immersive learning experiences and applied research projects. The college also offers state-of-the-art simulation labs, where students can gain practical skills and experience in realistic environments. Moreover, Loyalist College values diversity and inclusivity, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for students from various backgrounds.

15. Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Emily Carr University (ECU) is a global leader in art, media, and design. It is one of the few universities in North America that focuses solely on art and design. The university merges practice, research, and theory, ensuring students receive a comprehensive art education that enables them to thrive in a competitive environment. Furthermore, the faculty of ECU comprises award-winning creators and industry experts with tons of experience in the art and design field.

Cheap Master's Colleges and Universities in Canada for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in Canada ordered by their tuition fee for international master's students.

University Annual Master’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Thompson Rivers University 1,150 CAD - 15,100 CAD 94%
Mount Allison University 3,340 CAD 81%
Simon Fraser University 3,971 CAD - 38,700 CAD 77%
Memorial University of Newfoundland 4,833 CAD - 7,800 CAD 72%
University of Lethbridge 4,902 CAD - 11,500 CAD 71%
University of Victoria 5,176 CAD - 22,000 CAD 70%
Canadian Mennonite University 6,169 CAD 64%
University of Saskatchewan 6,543 CAD - 18,100 CAD 61%
University of Regina 6,980 CAD - 12,600 CAD 59%
Ambrose University 7,320 CAD 57%
University of Northern British Columbia 7,494 CAD - 25,500 CAD 56%
University of Manitoba 7,618 CAD - 34,300 CAD 55%
Brandon University 8,021 CAD - 8,407 CAD 53%
Trinity Western University 8,025 CAD - 15,000 CAD 53%
Vancouver Island University 8,224 CAD - 12,000 CAD 51%

* Average Master’s International Tuition is 16,800 CAD for universities in canada.

1. Thompson Rivers University

Initially founded as Cariboo College in 1970, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has developed into a comprehensive and influential institution of higher learning in British Columbia. It is named after the convergence of two rivers in Kamloops, a renowned Canadian sporting city that also houses the university’s main campus. The university aims to become a learner-centred, sustainable university serving indigenous, local, and international students through flexible study programs and outstanding research.

If you're looking to save the most on your graduate studies abroad, Thompson Rivers University should be at the top of your list. International students here pay only 1,150 CAD to 15,090 CAD annually for their master's degree.

2. Mount Allison University

One of the universities you should definitely check out for practical reasons is Mount Allison University. Here, you can finish your master's degree with minimal stress on your finances. After all, the tuition rate for graduate studies at Mount Allison University is 3,340 CAD.

Mount Allison University is a public university in Sackville, New Brunswick, known for supporting free and critical thinking. It is the first university in Canada to award a bachelor’s degree to a woman. Deeply woven into the university’s core is a love for freedom and liberty as it consistently strives to promote diversity and inclusivity in all its initiatives and programs. While the university is among the oldest universities in Canada, it primarily focuses on undergraduate programs to ensure it delivers outstanding education.

3. Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in Burnaby City, Canada. The university places great emphasis on research, especially in sustainability. It styles itself as one of the world leaders in research, knowledge development, and sustainability. Due to its focus on research, SFU offers one of Canada’s best graduate and postgraduate programs. Discoveries made by some of its students have been vital to solving global challenges.

The tuition fee at Simon Fraser University for incoming international master’s students is 3,971 CAD to 38,605 CAD. With its cheap rates, you can guarantee you’ll get a quality education without breaking the bank!

4. Memorial University of Newfoundland

Another affordable university to consider in Canada is Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is a public university founded to honour the memory of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died in the First World War. The university is renowned for its research in ocean-related fields. It is a partner with the Ocean Frontier Institute and commits most of its research funding to the sustainable utilization of the Ocean’s resources. MUN offers one of the best marine courses available in Canada and has gained a strong reputation in oceanography and related fields.

The tuition fee in Memorial University of Newfoundland for master’s program for foreign students starts from 4,833 CAD.

5. University of Lethbridge

Aside from its outstanding quality of education, University of Lethbridge has some of the lowest tuition fee prices for foreign students who are planning to take a master's degree here. International master's students only pay as low as 4,902 CAD yearly.

The University of Lethbridge is a public research university in Lethbridge, a fast-evolving city in Southern Alberta. While the university is renowned for its dedication to research, it is also building a reputation as a hub for open discourse and critical thinking. The university promotes equity and inclusion and even creates special initiatives for minorities and disadvantaged members of society. Noticing the need for flexible education, the University of Lethbridge also created a second campus in Calgary. This Calgary campus provides online courses, blended learning programs, and evening/weekend programs to working individuals. The university hopes these programs will enable working professionals to advance their careers or join a new field.

6. University of Victoria

The University of Victoria (UVic) is one of Canada’s top research-intensive educational institutes, with a history that can be traced back to the establishment of Victoria College in 1903. Granting degrees since 1963, the university has more than 20,000 students studying at its campus in Victoria. UVic is committed to engaging with the local community, fostering diverse perspectives from indigenous and international communities, and driving sustainability initiatives. It aims to positively affect society through its research, particularly in the areas of environment and sustainability, health and wellness, and technology’s impact on the human experience. UVic is also committed to encouraging scholarship led by the indigenous population across different disciplines and research highlighting social justice and equity.

7. Canadian Mennonite University

Canadian Mennonite University is a young Christian university in Manitoba offering university education across the arts and sciences, established as a result of three colleges merging. Supported by the Mennonite Church of Canada and the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba, the university is rooted in Mennonite Christian communities and their traditions but is open to all students, irrespective of their background. The university provides vocation-centered education, encouraging students to work in careers that are personally meaningful, socially relevant, and environmentally helpful. All programs are informed by a commitment to peace and justice, helping to heal a fragmented world and nurture hope.

8. University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is a Canadian university located in the province of Saskatchewan. Its main campus is situated in the lively city of Saskatoon and houses spaces that support USask’s intercultural and interdisciplinary emphasis. The university seeks to bring people across disciplines and communities together to address the region and the world’s biggest challenges with creative and innovative solutions.

9. University of Regina

The University of Regina (U of R) is a leading public university in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Established as Regina College by the Methodist church, the institute has grown and expanded in the past century. It has campuses in Regina and Saskatoon, with its main College Avenue campus situated in the internationally recognized Wascana Park. The university has a history of emphasizing hands-on training and prepares its students to be work-ready by providing opportunities to gain valuable practical experience.

10. Ambrose University

Ambrose University is a Christian educational institute established with the merging of two colleges with a rich history, Alliance University College and Nazarene University College. It is the official post-secondary educational institute of these two denominations: the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and the Church of Nazarene Canada. The education at Ambrose integrates faith and advanced learning — students are encouraged to explore their academic and professional interests while also staying rooted in and exploring their faith. At its campus in southwest Calgary, the university offers undergraduate programs across several disciplines and postgraduate programs through its Seminary.

11. University of Northern British Columbia

University of Northern British Columbia is a small private university in Prince George, a serene city in British Columbia filled with spectacular landscapes and lush greenery. The university has a reputation for spearheading sustainable initiatives and is colloquially known as Canada’s Green University. In addition to its focus on sustainability, the university is research-intensive in its approach, hoping to bring new knowledge to its students and help solve pressing global and local issues.

12. University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba (UM) is a research-intensive university and a member of U15. It is the premier institution of higher learning in the Manitoba province, with several achievements in education, science, and technology. The university has produced numerous high-profile individuals, including Nobel Prize recipients, Academy Award winners, Olympic medalists, and high-ranking government officials. UM continues to pave the way for research and learning in high-impact topics like human rights, global health, and climate change.

13. Brandon University

Brandon University was established as a Baptist college in Manitoba, as the region’s missionaries and settlers felt the need for a denominational college for the youth to study. Brandon College began primarily as a liberal arts college with theology courses and a high school department. The school of music was opened in 1906 and gained nationwide recognition for its courses. Even today, Brandon University has one of Canada’s best conservatory departments. The university stopped being a denominational college in 1938, but the local community helped to keep the college open. The institute expanded its degree offerings over the next few decades, becoming Brandon University in 1967.

14. Trinity Western University

Trinity Western University (TWU) is a private Christian university. It has two campuses in Langley and Richmond, British Columbia. TWU is Canada’s largest privately funded Christian university and offers programs at all levels of study in diverse areas. The university has an active sports culture and supports athletics at the varsity, club, and intramural levels for both women and men.

15. Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University is a public university located on Canada’s west coast. Established as a youth training center providing trade and vocational training, it has grown its offerings and expanded to become Vancouver Island University, a full-fledged university offering degree programs across various disciplines. About 12,000 students study at its three campuses, including a diverse population comprising about 12 percent indigenous and 12 percent international students.

It's important to take a look at all your options when selecting where to attend post-secondary school. With so many different types of schools, degrees, and universities in Canada, it can be tough to know where to start looking.

So, make sure to explore the best public universities in Canada as well if you're looking for affordable education!

We hope that this article on affordable institutions in Canada for international students was helpful!