Top 10 Cheap Universities in Canada for International Students

Higher education is cheaper in Canada than most people believe. Canada boasts of having the cheapest schools for international students in the whole of North America. There are various options available including both online and physical classes. Here are the top 10 cheap universities in Canada.

Studying in Canada is a very good option for those looking for an affordable degree as an international student. This is why it is one of the most liked destinations among the international student population. Canada offers low schooling rates for both international and domestic students. They offer a tuition fee ranging from 3 million naira to 30 million naira per annum, Canada is one of the most pocket-friendly destinations that provides excellent education.

Another plus is that they offer courses in both English and French languages. So if you are thinking of where to get cheap and affordable higher education, you are in the right place. The educational system in Canada is well respected and comparable to countries such as the U.K and the U.S. Keep reading to get informed about some of the cheapest universities for international students in Canada and the most popular Canadian locations including Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Toronto.

Many international students pick Canada as their choice for schooling for the low tuition prices, ease and comfort of living, and great reputation of the universities

The University of Saskatchewan

Top 10 Inexpensive Universities in Canada

Compared to top colleges in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries, Canada offers degrees that are much easier on your wallet. As an international undergraduate and graduate, it is really crucial for you to look for universities imparting education that is exemplary and that is not heavy on the pocket.

Canada has a name for being one of the best education systems in the world, and its universities are no exception. Studying in another nation can sound daunting, but making that happen in an English- speaking first- world country makes it easier for international students to get along. Tuition for international students in Canada will depend on the type of program and where you choose to study. To help you with it, we have a comprehensive list of the top 10 affordable universities in Canada where you can study the course of your choice.

1.University of Saskatchewan: This is located in Saskatoon, one of the largest cities in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It is best known for its contribution to the world`s environmental, social, and governance challenges. The university is one of the top research-intensive, medical doctoral universities in Canada. It was established in 1907 and has had a long history of excellence.

Tuition fee: It is estimated to be $4,358(3,237,994 naira)

Population: They have an estimated population of 26,155 international students from various countries all over the world.

Degree: They have over 80 Master’s and Doctorate programs available.

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 328th.

Popular programs: Aboriginal Business Administration(Certificate)

Accounting (Bachelor’s degree)

Agribusiness (Bachelor`s degree)

Website: https://www.usask.ca

The logo for University of the People

2.University of the people: This is a 100% online tuition-free degree program. This means that there are no school fees or payment for course materials. This is wonderful especially for workers as they can now balance work and education better.

Degree: They have Master’s degree programs, Bachelor’s degree programs, Associate`s Degree programs, and Certificate Programs.

Location: The courses can be taken anywhere and at any time.

Tuition fee: Associate degree: $2460(1,827,780)

Bachelor’s degree: $4860(3,610,980)

MBA: $3660(2,719,380)

M.ED: $3960(2,942,280)

MSIT: $3660(2,719,380)

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked at 5348th.

Popular programs: Certificate Accounting

Business Administration

Associate Degree Business Administration

Certificate Entrepreneurship

Certificate Finance

Certificate Marketing

Certificate Strategy

Website: https://www.uopeople.edu

A male student of Brandon University

3.Brandon University: This is a small university located in Manitoba which is known for its more than 80 provincial parks where hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, and fishing are popular.

Degrees: They offer first-degree programs, BU&ACC programs, pre-professional programs and certificate programs.

Tuition fee: This is dependent on the program and course of study. For undergraduate studies it ranges from $5423.85-$19572. (4,029,920.55- 14,541,996 naira

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked at 2158th.

Popular programs: M.sc Education

M.sc Music

M.sc Psychiatric Nursing

M.sc Environmental and Life sciences

M.sc Rural Development

Website: https://www.brandonu.ca

4.Acadia University: This is a public university located in Wolfville and is ranked as one of the top undergraduate universities in Nova Scotia with over 200+ degree options.

Features: It has a 15: 1 student-to-teacher ratio, an average class of 28, and 5 minutes’ walk to class from any residence.

Tuition fee: This ranges from $16,380 – $16,975 (12,121,200-12,561,500 naira).

Degrees: They offer various first degrees, master’s degree programs, and certificate programs as well.

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 1941st.

Popular programs: B.Sc./ M.sc Biology

B.Sc./ M.sc Marketing

B.Sc/M.sc English

B.Sc. / M.sc Psychology

B.Sc. /M.sc Environmental studies

B.sc /M.sc Kinesiology

Website: https://www2.acadiau.ca

5.Athabasca University: This is Canada`s Open University. This means that it operated mostly online and was created for distance education.

Tuition fee: It is estimated to be $15,258.75(11,291,475 Naira)

Degree: They have 850 courses covering a wide range of faculties and offer both first-degree programs and Master’s degree programs.

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 1424th.

Popular Programs: Master Counselling

M.A. Adult Education

M.A. Community Studies

M.A Educational Studies

M.A Equity Studies

M.A Global Change

Website: https://www.athabascau.ca

6.Brock University: This is a public university located in Ontario and is the only university in Canada that has UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Degree: They offer both first-degree and master’s degree programs in various disciplines.

Tuition fee: It is estimated to be $31,622.25 (23,400,465 naira)

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 1394th.

Popular programs: B.sc Accounting

B.sc Adult Education

B.sc Applied Computing

B.sc Applied linguistics

B.sc Biochemistry

B.sc Biological Sciences

B.sc Biomedical Sciences

Website: https://brocku.ca

7.University of Toronto: This is a public university located in Toronto and is the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada.

Population: They have over 560,000 students from various countries all over the world.

Tuition fee: It is estimated to be $42,000(31,080,000 Naira)

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 21st.

Popular Programs: B.sc/ M.sc Psychology

B.sc/M.sc Material Science

B.sc /M.sc Human Biology

B.sc /M.sc Statistical Sciences

B.sc/ M.sc Immunology

B.sc /M.sc Actuarial Science

B.sc /M.sc Sociology

B.sc /M.sc Management

Website: https://www.utoronto.ca

8.Algoma University: This is a public university located in Ontario.

Tuition fee: This ranges from $9,143-$20,997(6,7655,820- 15,537,780 naira)

Fun fact: you can be refunded your tuition and ancillary fees prior to or during your first term of study if your visa is refused.

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 4316th.

Popular Programs: B.sc Law and Justice

B.sc Psychology

B.sc Visual Arts

Website: https://algomau.ca

9.Ambrose University: This is a private Christian liberal arts university located in Calgary, Alberta, it provides undergraduate and graduate level education for pastoral ministry, as well as undergraduate-level education in select liberal arts and science.

Tuition fee: This is estimated to be around $12,500 (9,250,000 naira)

Degree: They offer just first-degree programs.

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 5554th.

Popular Programs: B.sc Acting

B.sc Christian Studies

B.sc Behavioral Science

B.sc Science

B.sc Biology

B.sc Business Administration

Website: https://ambrose.edu

10.University Canada West: This is a private university in Columbia known for its business courses.

Degree: They offer both first-degree and master’s degree programs covering various disciplines.

Fun fact: It was rated as a five-star institution by QS Stars higher education rating system.

Tuition fee: This is estimated at $36,540(27,039,600 naira).

QS World University Ranking 2023: The university is ranked 5034th.

Popular Programs: B.Sc. Commerce

B.sc Business Communication

M.sc Business Administration

Website: https://www.ucanwest.ca

Cost of living in Canada for Undergraduate

As with most large countries, the cost of living varies drastically across the expansive nation of Canada. Also, it’s better to choose states with the lowest tax e.g. Edmonton, Alberta, etc. This is one of the basis why so many young people choose to live there. According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, numerous large metropolis areas are unaffordable, however, there are still some areas left in which one can live on a student budget.

Students should budget for about 10000 to 12000 Canadian dollars per year to cover the price of living expenses such as residence or rent, meal plans or groceries, cell phone plans, and spending money. You will see a large difference in the cost of living from city to city in Canada.

Here is breakdown on the average costs a student can expect to find in Canada:

  • Accommodation: 400-600 CAD (234,000 naira -351,000 naira)
  • Basic Lunch and drink: 18 CAD (10,530 naira)
  • Food: 200 CAD- 300 CAD (117,000 naira- 175,000 naira)
  • Monthly Utilities: 102 CAD (59,670 naira)
  • Transportation: 100- 250 CAD (58,500 naira- 146,250 naira)
  • Monthly Internet: 54 CAD (31,590 naira)
  • Miscellaneous: 600-700 CAD (351,000 naira- 409,500 naira)
  • Monthly public transport: 109 CAD (63,765 naira)
  • Student fees: 400 CAD (234,000 naira)
  • Monthly gym membership: 59 CAD (34,515 naira)
  • Health Insurance: 70 CAD (40,950 naira)
  • Pair of jeans: 72 CAD (42,120 naira)
  • Textbooks: 600 CAD (351,000 naira)
  • Toothpaste: 2.62 CAD (1,532.7 naira)
  • Mobile phone: 30 CAD (17,550 naira)
  • Cappuccino: 5.05 CAD (2,954.25 naira)



As an international student, your supplication to a Canadian university will have special requirements. You can apply virtually or submit a paper application to the Canadian visa office responsible for your country, although most applications to universities in Canada are done through an online application system. In addition to the classic student application including letters of recommendation, resume and educational history, you may be asked to provide the following:

Required admission documents:

  1. High school transcripts
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  3. Passport and visa
  4. SOP
  5. Entrance tests (if applicable)

Remember that you will also require a student visa to study for longer than six months in Canada. You must apply for the permit Prior to you coming to Canada. The government of Canada will ask for evidence of finances, proof of health and general wellbeing, verification of criminal record, and your university acceptance letter. Details about study licenses for international students can be found on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

It is recommended that you start processing your student visa application as soon as you receive acceptance into the Canadian university. Also you need to show beyond doubt to the visa officer that your primary reason for coming to Canada is to attend university, and that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies. All in all, studying in Canada as an international student will get you a reputable internationally recognized degree and you may save money as well!

Funding and support for international students

While studying in Canada can save you on tuition fees, you may still want to consider applying for funding and scholarship. There are plenty of scholarships and grants obtainable to international students, and even scholarships exclusively for students from specific countries. Through the government of Canada international scholarships website, you will be able to survey awards that are currently being offered for study abroad programs and individual students. The Canada Student loan scheme offers loans with the same terms (including interest rate) as permanent Canadian residents.

Working while in Canada

Since 2014, newly arrived continuous international students with valid study permits have been allowed to work in Canada without a work permit. In other words, you might be eligible to work in Canada while studying, if your study permit includes a condition that says you can work on or off campus. International students can work on campus for an unlimited number of hours and, if their program lasts at least six months, they can work off campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in progress, and full time during study breaks.