Is College Cheaper than University in Canada?

Tuition fees for studying at Canada's top universities range from 7,000 CAD to 20,000 CAD per year. College tends to cost more cheaply than university, as university programs tend to be shorter and universities are more revered. However, college education can lead to a wide variety of well-paying careers.

University vs College in Canada: Which is Best for You?

Many students ask if a university is better than a college.

If a student wants to attend a school with a variety of programs and classes, then a university may be the best option. On the other hand, if a student values small class sizes and a closer relationship with professors, then a college might be the better choice. College is usually more difficult than college, so it's important to keep that in mind before investing time and money.

Know What You're Getting Into

Studying in Canada is much more affordable than in many other countries.

International students often choose to study in Canada due to the low tuition prices, the ease and convenience of life, and the high reputation of universities. There are no tuition-free universities, even for Canadian students. However, you can study tuition-free by getting a full tuition scholarship or even fully funded scholarships. There are very affordable universities in Canada, even for international students.

After successfully finishing high school at age 17 or 18, students can go to college. Commonly called a “college degree”, the bachelor's degree usually takes four years to complete and is comprised of 120 to 128 semester credit hours (60 of which can be transferred from an associate's degree at a community college). A “college” is a group of schools for studying after high school. At least one of these schools is a university where students receive a bachelor's degree.

A university's other schools are graduate schools (also known as “graduate”) where students receive advanced degrees. The first semester of the first year of college is the most critical; many studies show that this is when students are likely to drop out of college, if not permanently then temporarily. International students in Canada have the right to change their program or institution as long as their study permit is valid.

Comparing Canada and the US

While studying in Canada offers better immigration costs and policies, education in the US offers more varied employment opportunities and educational options.

Both colleges and universities in Canada are subsidized by provincial governments, so residents pay less for an education. However, the grant awarded per student varies by province, so the cost of a university in one province may be different from the costs in another. If you want to study in Canada, the good news is that tuition fees are generally cheaper than in other major English-speaking destinations (US, UK and Australia), although they are still quite high compared to other countries. As an international student, studying in Canada is more valuable for your money, as the average cost of education is significantly lower than in the US.

At the same time, the quality of higher education is almost the same in both countries; Canadian titles are often recognized as the equivalent of US titles by institutions in the United States and Commonwealth countries.

Affordable Education

College is much more expensive in the United States than in Canada. It's no secret that college education tends to cost less in Canada; this is because Canada has a much better system for funding university education which comes from both federal and provincial levels. Contrary to popular opinion, it is much easier to immigrate to Canada than to the United States; immigration from the US is employment-based which means that applicants must first obtain a visa or study permit before they can adjust their status for permanent residence.

The University of Montreal is often touted as the “Harvard of Canada” but it has fallen in world rankings in recent years. If you want to study in Canada for free, you can opt for a university with low tuition rates and get a part-time job; another way to reduce your expenses is to get a scholarship from one of several organizations or institutes that offer different types of scholarships to international students. Quebec City ranks as one of the cheapest places to live in Canada with an estimated cost of living around 1,600 Canadian dollars per month.

Quality Education

Canada is recognized around the world for its excellent quality of education from primary school through post-secondary studies; our educators are highly trained and bring diverse perspectives to the classroom.

At the university level two out of five academics hold at least one international degree while pre-university Diploma of University Studies is roughly equivalent in North America to grade twelve plus first year associate's degree and three-year vocational training often equals that of an associate's degree.

Simon Gooch
Simon Gooch

"Simon Gooch is a seasoned professional with a passion for transforming the landscape of international education. With over two decades of experience in the education industry, he has excelled in roles that encompass student recruitment, market development, and educational consulting. Currently serving as the Global Sales Director for ELS Educational Services, Inc., Simon's commitment to expanding educational access is evident in his work overseeing agent sales worldwide, with a particular focus on ELS centers across the USA. His career journey also includes founding Seed Educational Consulting Ltd, a B2B and B2C agency dedicated to helping students from Africa pursue higher education opportunities in various countries. Simon's strong leadership, exceptional agent relationship management, and proficiency in opening new and emerging markets have played pivotal roles in his successful career.Simon's academic background further strengthens his expertise, a fluent French speaker holding a First-Class degree in French and Modern European Studies from the University of East Anglia. His specialties lie in customer relationship management with a clear focus on agents, parents/students, and university partners. Simon's remarkable track record in developing emerging markets, particularly in Russia, the Middle East, and Africa, showcases his ability to drive consistent and long-term growth in these regions. With a deep commitment to educational access and international collaboration, Simon Gooch continues to make a significant impact in the field of international education."