The cost of an education can be a very daunting factor for most students. Canadians are used to paying high tuition fees for their post-secondary education, with annual tuition fees often topping high. For some students, this can be especially difficult to afford, especially with rising tuition rates.

And, whilst some expenses are unavoidable, the rising costs of the tuition fees have led to a significant amount of controversy across Canada, with some provinces even banning some universities from charging some fees.

If you’re an international student looking to study abroad in Canada, you’re probably looking for a university that:

Offers courses in the fields you’re interested in. Has high-quality teaching staff. Doesn’t charge a lot.

Looking at these criteria, you could easily come up with a list of universities that offers you an affordable education.

Here, in this article, we have tried to gather a list of the top 10 affordable Universities in Canada for international students and locals.

Why Choose Canada for Higher Studies?

In Canada, universities educate and train students to be leaders in their chosen careers. Canada is a beautiful country with a diverse population that provides students with a unique educational experience.

There are many reasons why one should study in the world’s second-largest country, Canada. Canada is a country with a high standard of living. It has a low crime rate, and the cost of living is reasonable. Canada offers its citizens and permanent residents a free public health care system, and its cities are among the world’s most liveable.

The list of reasons for higher studies in Canada follows:

  • Canada is one of the most popular studies abroad destinations in the world.
  • Canada is a safe place to live and study. The country offers a safe and secure environment to study.
  • Some of the universities have the tuition fee in Canada is way lower than that of other countries.
  • The quality of education is good, and the teachers are well-trained.
  • There are plenty of scholarships and financial aids for international students.
  • You can get an internship or a part-time job to support your studies.
  • Canada is well known for its multicultural environment.
  • The weather (and thus the climate) is pleasant and conducive to studies and learning.
  • Canadians are known for being kind and helpful.
  • The food is healthy and fresh.
  • The country is well-connected with the rest of the world.
  • The cities are affordable, and you can enjoy a good living standard for a reasonable price.
  • The countries speak both English and French.
  • Public health care is affordable and easy to access.
  • Canada is a land of over 2,000,000 lakes reside.
  • It’s a paradise for outdoor activities. You can have the opportunity to travel around the country.

How can I study in Canada?

There are many ways to study in Canada. If you are interested in studying in Canada, you may want to look at the following:

  • There are many universities in Canada that offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Search for a university to find out specifics about its programs and course requirements.
  • You can do research on the Canadian Government’s official website or use search engines such as Google to find a list of universities and other educational institutions. Alternatively, check the list of universities below and visit their websites to get more pieces of information.
  • You can study in Canada by going through a licensed Canadian academic institution. There are several options to choose from based on your area of study and language of instruction.
  • You may contact Canadian embassies or consulates to learn more about studying in any specific province or territory.
  • To study in Canada, you need to enter a study permit application to study in Canada. You can apply for a study permit by following the instructions on the Government of Canada website.
  • You must be a citizen of a country other than Canada. You will also need to show you have enough money to support yourself while in Canada, and to return to your home country if you do not complete your program.

How to study with a scholarship in Canada?

There are a lot of scholarship programs in Canada you can apply for to help you study in Canada. You can contact universities directly.

If you’re a high school student in Canada, the best way to fund your higher education is by applying for a scholarship. You can apply for an education scholarship through your education authority. Or by visiting the university’s websites to see what’s available.

Which City is Most Affordable in Canada?

Saskatoon is the most affordable city in Canada to live in.  It has a median after-tax household income of $79,001. The median after-tax household income in Saskatoon is lower than that of Vancouver, the most expensive city in Canada.

What are the Best Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students?

In recent years, international education has been experiencing a boom in Canada. Canadian universities have been welcoming more international students than ever before. In 2020, there were 530,540 international students in Canada at year’s end

In fact, in 2020, a total of 530,540 international students in Canada studied at a Canadian university, up from the previous year. This makes Canada one of the most popular destinations for international students, second only to the United States.

The top 10 best affordable universities in Canada for international students are as follows:

University of Alberta

University of Alberta
University of Alberta

When you think of Canada, Alberta may not be the first location that comes to mind. But you would be surprised to learn that the University of Alberta is one of the top universities in Canada. It is ranked #5 in Canada, and academic ranking 101-150 worldwide.

UAlberta, a public university is in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that was established by Alexander Cameron Rutherford in 1908.

If you are looking for a university in Canada, you can think about the University of Alberta. With more than 40,000 students at five separate campus locations, it is one of the largest colleges in the country. They have more than 700 undergraduate and graduate programs in 18 faculties.

  • Students: 40,061 students from 156 countries
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $158,000 for 4 years BSc in Computer Engineering
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $8,700
  • Faculty and staff: 2,764 faculty and 2,527 staff
  • Founded: 1908
  • Location: 116 St. and 85 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
  • Website

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University, or SFU, is a public university situated in three places in British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey campuses. It is a member of the Universities Canada, Association of Commonwealth Universities, and International Association of Universities.

In 2021, SFU was ranked as one of the top universities in Canada for student satisfaction, as well as being the top university in multiple other categories. It is one of the largest universities in Canada, with more than 37,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Students: 37,000+
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $31,460 (10 courses)
    • Graduate Programs: Regular Full-time Fee Tuition is CAD $1,946.94 per term.
  • Faculty and staff: 6,500
  • Founded: 1965
  • Location:
    • Vancouver: Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Burnaby: 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
    • Surrey: 250 – 13450 – 102nd Avenue, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Website

University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan (Credit: Kyla Duhamel/Flickr)

The University of Saskatchewan is a public university in Canada. Saskatoon is home to one of the largest campuses in North America, with an enrolment of nearly 25,700 students. It is also widely marketed as the “University of Saskatoon” to distinguish it from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatchewan.

The university’s comprehensive campuses and research facilities are located across the province in Saskatchewan, Canada. Saskatchewan University is very proud of its history, which is reflected in the large number of buildings on campus, most of which are heritage buildings, including the largest campus library in Canada.

Saskatchewan was founded on the promise of creating the best possible learning environment for its students, teaching them about the cultural diversity of Saskatchewan, and developing them into leaders of the future.

  • Students: 25,700+
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $1,989 per 3 credit units.
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $8,096.13
  • Faculty and staff: 7,000
  • Founded: 1907
  • Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Website

Carleton University

Carleton University
Carleton University/Facebook

Carleton University is the oldest continuously operating university in Canada, with roots that date back to 1942. It is Canada’s first bilingual, coeducational, research-intensive university.

Today, the University offers many programs of study in fields as diverse as business, engineering, liberal arts, science, and social sciences. Carleton University is a university of international reputation, where students are exposed to a wide range of academic disciplines. 

  • Students: 32,116
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $29,022.88 (Bachelor of Arts)
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $34,373.22 (Master of Business Administration)
  • Faculty and staff: 5,328
  • Founded: 1942
  • Location: 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Website

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University/Facebook

Dalhousie University is a Canadian university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The public university was established in 1818. It is one of the largest universities in Canada and offers 4,000 courses in over 200 programs of study.

It is one of the oldest universities in Canada. Dalhousie is particularly known for its architecture and engineering programs. The university has become the go-to university for many international students looking to further their education.

  • Students: Over 20,000
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $30,740 (computer science)
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $22,369 (computer science)
  • Faculty and staff: 1,967
  • Founded: 1818
  • Location: 6299 South St, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada
  • Website

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Memorial University of Newfoundland/Facebook

The Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is located in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. It is Canada’s affordable university, founded in September 1925. The university was known as Memorial University College (MUC).

Memorial offers a traditional education in Newfoundland and Labrador. It offers more than 100 programs. From 115 countries’ students are studying here.

Memorial University has 3 campuses, Main campus (279 acres), Grenfell campus (185 acres), and Harlow campus (25 acres).

  • Students: Over 19,000 students
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $11,460 (10 courses)
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $9,666 (Master’s 2 years programs)
  • Faculty and staff: 3,804 (1,330 faculty and 2,474 staff)
  • Founded: September 1925
  • Location: 230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
  • Website

University of Manitoba

University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba/Facebook

The University of Manitoba (U of M) is a university located in Manitoba, Canada. The university was established in 1877. The university has an enrollment of approximately 31,000 students and over 148,000 alumni living in 140 countries.

Its campus consists of many buildings, including the Anthropology Laboratory Museum, the Fort Garry campus, and the Bannatyne campus.

The main Fort Garry campus has over 690 acres of land. In this land, there are over 60 major buildings. And Bannatyne campus has a complex of ten buildings.

  • Students: 31,020
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $21,350
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $6,095 per term
  • Faculty and staff: 9,808 (5,730 academic staff and 4,078 administrative staff)
  • Founded: 1877
  • Location: 66 Chancellors Cir, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
  • Website
University of Manitoba

University of Regina

The University of Regina is a public university in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was founded in 1974 and is considered one of the largest and oldest universities in the province. It was founded in 1911 as a Regina College by the Methodist church and was a junior college in 1925.

The university offers programs in a wide range of disciplines and is home to the social sciences, languages, and humanities. It is also home to more than 400 active researchers.

Regina university has over 16,664 students; 10 faculties; 25 academic departments; 18 research centers; and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College).

University of Regina
University of Regina/Facebook
  • Students: 16,664
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $11,644 for science
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $10,084
  • Faculty and staff: 488 faculty, 529 academic and 1,283 administrative staff
  • Founded: 1974
  • Location: 3737 Wascana Pkwy, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
  • Website

University of Winnipeg

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg/Facebook

The University of Winnipeg is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was founded in 1967 as an affiliated with the University of Manitoba. It is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

The University of Winnipeg is a beautiful campus made up of 23 beautiful buildings. The university offers over 800 courses, a wide variety of programs, from engineering to arts, to humanities to healthcare.

  • Students: 9,691 students
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $18,360 for science 30 credits
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $13,999.86 per year for Computer Science
  • Faculty and staff: 340 faculty, 323 academic and 489 administration staff
  • Founded: 1871 as a Manitoba College
  • Location: 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 2E9
  • Website

University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa/Facebook

The University of Ottawa, known as uOttawa is Canada’s oldest university, established in 1848 as a College of Bytown. The university has 30 main buildings, 257 classrooms, 301 teaching laboratories, and 806 research laboratories. There are nearly 7,000 international students from 150 different countries.

  • Students: 42,000
  • Annual Tuition Fee (Estimated):
    • Undergraduate Programs: CAD $27,178 Computer science
    • Graduate Programs: CAD $10,033 Computer science
  • Employees: 2,911 academic and 2,839 administrative staff
  • Founded: 1848 as a College of Bytown
  • Location: 75 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
  • Website

Top 10 Affordable Universities in Canada for Local Students

If you aren’t from Canada, then you probably aware of what a ridiculous amount of money international students in Canada have to pay to go to university. The tuition fees are a huge difference between Canadian local students and international students. Local student pays a tiny amount of tuition fee than international students.

Here is a highlight list of 10 affordable universities in Canada for local students:

  1. University of Prince Edward Island
  2. University of Northern British Columbia
  3. Memorial University of Newfoundland
  4. Simon Fraser University
  5. University of Regina
  6. University of Manitoba
  7. University of Saskatchewan
  8. Dalhousie University
  9. University of Alberta
  10. Carleton University
Affordable universities in Canada for local students

In essence, as you can see from our list above, Canada is a great study abroad destination with a wide range of choices to suit your needs.

I know it’s not easy to choose a university. The best way is to first decide your major. Then, know whether the university provides good programs for your major. Also, do not forget to look at the cost of living. It’s not just the tuition fees that you have to spend. It also includes your expenses for accommodation, food, entertainment, books, insurance, etc. And if you want to increase your chances of getting a scholarship, you have to work hard.