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Cheapest University in Canada 2024: Fees, Ranking

Updated on 13 December, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Students looking for a cheap alternative to higher education abroad will find Canada a pocket-friendly destination among other countries. Even the cheapest universities in Canada have the outstanding educational infrastructure to ensure students receive a well-rounded education. 

Compared to other Anglophone educational destinations such as Australia, the US, and the UK, tuition fees in Canada are less expensive. The Canadian Government is also very supportive. The CMEC or Council of Ministers for Education (Canada) has provided an easy online tool using which international students can calculate the total cost of attendance for different Canadian universities. 

This is not to forget that the tuition fees will vary vastly, depending upon numerous factors such as the program chosen by the applicant, the course level (undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate), and whether the student belongs to the home country or is international. 

On average, tuition fees may range from CAD 13,754 to CAD 83,614, depending solely on the abovementioned factors. Besides tuition fees, most Canadian universities also offer on-campus housing residences for international students. The only thing is that students must apply for housing separately, or they may not be allotted a residence. 

Even if students wish to live off-campus, their university can assist them in finding a reasonable and affordable apartment in a good neighborhood.

Top Cheap Universities in Canada 

Listed below are the top cheapest colleges for international students in 2022. These universities are mentioned alongside their QS World Ranking 2023, location, and tuition fees. 

Name of the University


QS World Ranking 2023

Tuition Fees 

University of Guelph


591 - 600

CAD 8,500 – CAD 83,614

University of Montreal



CAD 10,252 – CAD 13,341

McGill University



CAD 26,430 – CAD 63,693

CAD 2,701 – CAD 15,324 

McMaster University



CAD 4,229 - CAD 61,724 

University of Toronto



CAD 13,650 – CAD 63,768 annually, depending upon the course and part-time or full-time education

University of Ottawa



CAD 2,336 - CAD 19,346 

University of Alberta



CAD 31,895 - CAD 51,156  

Concordia University


551 - 560

CAD 22,899 – CAD 32,120 

Studying in one of the cheap universities in Canada for international students in 2022 is just the beginning of affordable living. Other expenses will also come attached, such as housing and accommodation, food, books, other school supplies, utilities, entertainment, etc. 

As such, the cost of living may vary among international students depending upon their lifestyle. Let’s take the example of the University of Toronto, which offers residential housing at CAD 6,935 – CAD 11,697, whereas books and supplies cost varies between CAD 1000 and CAD 2000. 

This university also charges an incidental or ancillary fee of CAD 1,979 and a University Health Insurance (UHI) fee of CAD 756. Then there might be additional fees as well. Such costs also need to be accounted for, even in the cheapest colleges in Canada. 

Here’s another example from the University of Montreal. The living expenses (including food, rent, utilities, etc.) may amount to CAD 1,300 per month. Some universities, like McMaster University, even offer an online cost estimator to calculate living expenses.  


The cheapest colleges in Canada for international students in 2022 attracted large crowds worldwide. Even the admission eligibility criteria are simple. 

Undergraduate applicants need to complete their Higher Secondary education from a recognized Board. Those applying for a Graduate course need to hold a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, and students applying for Doctoral programs need to have a graduate degree in any field. 

Besides these, language proficiency requirements in IELTS and TOEFL may be needed. Post-education, students can find good job roles within the country or in other parts of the world. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other reasons (besides affordability) to study in Canada?

Besides the affordable education, the cheapest colleges in Canada for international students also offer a highly flexible education campus, an inclusive study environment that encourages diversity, and numerous bright career prospects. These are other compelling reasons for international students to choose Canada as their educational destination. 

What are some of the cheapest cities to live in Canada?

Some of the cheapest cities to live in Canada include Quebec, Toronto, Halifax, and Edmonton. 

Is IELTS a requirement for studying in Canada?

In the case of immigration, there is no minimum IELTS requirement. However, admission into a top Canadian university may require showing language proficiency proof. Students can take up tests like the IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum score requirements may differ among universities. 

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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