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Students studying

There are over 700,000 foreign students currently studying in Canada, at a college or university level school. As one of the best ways to embark on a path toward Canadian citizenship, studying in Canada has become a popular choice for many. Canada has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to study in the world.

There is a wide range when it comes to studying in Canada. Annual tuition can range from CAD $7,000/year to CAD $30,000/year.  There are three factors that typically drive the annual cost of tuition:

  1. Location
  2. Institution
  • Program type


Canada is a really big and diverse country. As such, the cost of living varies between the major metro areas and smaller communities that are either in the suburbs or rural towns. Tuition in Canada’s major metro areas i.e. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal – will always be a little more expensive. However, the majority of Canada’s 1,500 universities and colleges are based outside these big cities. 

Institution: university vs. college 

One of the biggest drivers for the cost of education is whether to attend a college or university. With 92 public universities and another 200 private universities in Canada, the cost of university tuition will always be higher. A major reason for this is the prestige associated with Canadian universities. Canadian universities are well funded and can afford the best lecturers and can invest in their quality of programming. 

This does not mean a Canadian college is not a viable option for foreign students. In fact, there are over 700 colleges in Canada that offer foreign students diverse program options. Many of these programs are hands-on – with co-op programs, that prepare students for a career in Canada after graduation. The majority of foreign students are in a Canadian college.  


Program selection is by far the biggest factor when it comes to tuition affordability. In today’s modern-day education, world schools offer more than just a 4-year bachelor’s degree or Masters. Depending on one’s career path, a diploma program is just as valuable as a university degree when it comes to securing a job in Canada after school. Most colleges have extremely aggressive career services departments that help students find employment in various industries in Canada. 

Below is a tabulated breakdown of the various program offerings, the typical duration of the program as well as the range in tuition fees per program:



*Range ($CDN)


1 Year

$7,500 to $12,000


1 to 2 Years

$12,000 to $17,000 

Advance Diploma (provincial)

2 to 3 Years

$13,000 to $18,000

Post-Graduate Diploma

2 to 3 Years

$13,000 to $18,000

Bachelors Degree

3 Years

$17,000 to $20,000

Hon. Bachelors

4 Years

$20,000 to 25,000

Masters Degree

1 to 2 Years

$18,000 to $25,000


+5 Years

Depends on the program

*Note, these costs are for tuition only. Students must also factor in the cost of living; this is driven by primarily by the location of the school. As part of the study visa application process IRCC requests that students pay for the first term of their tuition in advance. 



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