International students in Canada may have access to a wide range of financial aid options to assist them with the costs of studying in Canada.

Broadly, these options fall into three categories:

In order to be eligible for a Canadian study permit, a prospective international student is required to show proof of sufficient finances to support him or herself, plus any accompanying family members, while in Canada. Written confirmation of scholarships, bursaries, or loans may be submitted as proof of financial support.

Number of people All provinces except Quebec
Single student Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month)
For one accompanying family member add: $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month)
For each additional family member, add: $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month)

In Quebec, the financial requirements for prospective students are different. In addition to tuition fees, a prospective international student is required to show that he or she has the following funds, dependent on his or her situation.

Number of people Total amount required
One person under age 18 $6,171
One person age 18 or older $12,341
Two persons age 18 or older $18,098
One person over age 18 and one under age 18 $16,584
Two persons over age 18 and one under age 18 $20,274
Two persons over age 18 and two under age 18 $21,881

Scholarships

Financial aid granted for academic or extracurricular achievement is known as a scholarship, or sometimes a grant. Students who receive scholarships do not have to pay the money back. Scholarships may be offered by institutions, organizations, governments, or individuals.

Many scholarships entail an application process. Due to the wide range of scholarships available in Canada or in a prospective international student’s home country, it is important to research scholarships individually. Eligibility criteria and application process may differ widely — for example, some scholarships may require an essay or references from teachers or employers. Other scholarships may be based solely on grades, sporting achievements, or other extracurricular activities.

Prospective international students are encouraged to refer to institutions directly to find out more about available options.

Bursaries

Financial aid granted on the basis of economic need is known as a bursary. As with a scholarship, students who receive bursaries do not have to pay the money back. Universities and colleges may offer bursaries to students who meet certain requirements. Students who apply for bursaries are usually required to undergo a needs assessment, and may have to provide information about their income, or their parents’ income. Applications may also be reviewed by a committee.

Loans

International students in Canada have access to student loans on the same terms as Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Consequently, international students in Canada pay the same interest rates and have the same repayment schedule as Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

However, international students may not be eligible for loans from provincial or federal governments, and may need to investigate private loans with banks. Several banks offer separate loans, credit lines, and interest rates for students.

Further Options

Individual institutions may offer further financial advice and resources for international students. Prospective international students are encouraged to contact universities and colleges directly to find out more about available options.

Most international students with a valid study permit may also work up to 20 hours off-campus per week during the semester, and full-time during scheduled breaks. Find out more about working in Canada while studying.

Tools and Resources

Latest News

  • Ontario Opens Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream for new Applications, NOIs to Follow

    Ontario is welcoming new applications under its Express Entry-aligned Human Capital Priorities stream, part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The province also expects to begin issuing Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool before the end of 2017.

  • British Columbia Draws Invite 353 Workers, International Graduates, and Entrepreneurs

    The government of British Columbia continues to invite workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs at low points thresholds in the most recent draws conducted on October 25 and November 1.