Cost of University in Canada


For new students, applications and enrollment for 2018/2019 school year starts now. Here is a few stats to help navigate thru the financial side of the cost of university in Canada.


Cost of Tuition

Source:   Statistic Canada

Tuition for undergraduate programs for Canadian full-time students was, on average, $6,571 in 2017/2018, up 3.1% from the previous academic year. The average cost for graduate programs was $6,907, a 1.8% increase over 2016/2017.

Across Canada, the increase in undergraduate average tuition fees for 2017/2018 ranged from 0.1% in Alberta to 5.5% in Nova Scotia.
Tuition fees for Canadian graduate students were unchanged in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, and rose in the remaining provinces, with increases ranging from 0.8% in British Columbia to 2.8% in Nova Scotia.

Compulsory Fees

Additional compulsory fees vary by institution, typically they include fees for athletics, student health services and student associations. On average, additional compulsory fees were $880 in 2017/2018. With an additional $773 on books.


Canadian University Survey Consortium surveyed more than 18,000 graduating university students from 36 Canadian universities for its 2016 annual report. The average student owed $26,819.

By knowing the fees and tuition of the university you are attending beforehand will help plan the cost of university education. Also check for eligible scholarships and bursaries as each province and university is different.


Here is the link to MoneySense : They asked 6 questions: average cost of school, books, groceries, where they received their money, how much debt etc.(They have cool infographs.)


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty, anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
– Henry Ford


  1. Hi Steve, my oldest paid $8,000 for her last year.
    The first year was much cheaper because she had a scholarship, but she wasn’t able to keep it the other years.
    Ontario has a great grant program but it depends on how much your parents make!!! Not always fair when the kids are paying the tuition themselves.

    • Hi Caroline,

      It’s similar in BC as well for the student loans and grants and some are based off the parents income. I don’t think it is fair either as they are adults and have no legal ties to the parents. They should have other criteria to decide for grants and loans.

    • Hi Tom,

      I had an employee that was from Vermont that went to university in Canada as a foreign student to save over half his tuition. Same as your friends son, it was going to cost him $50,000 a year in the US. Crazy ! Expensive!

    • Ouch, that’s a lot! I better start saving up if my kid decides to go to the US for school.

      Great post Steve! I love this quote you have:
      “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty, anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
      – Henry Ford

      Tuition has gone up a lot since I went to University, but visiting my old campus, they’ve done well with the tuition money- very new buildings everywhere.

  2. Steve, very good information. I also like the quote of Henry Ford, “anyone who keeps learning stays young”.

    As Tom mentioned above, the colleges in US are getting very expensive, even for in-state students. It’s quite a burden for the parents and students.

    • Hi Helen,

      These kids are starting there working life with huge debt if they don’t get scholarships or help from mom & dad. If the cost where that much in Canada I would suggest to my kids to look at other options like the trades or starting there own business.

  3. We are still a long way from having our kids go to college, but the potential costs do burden my mind every now and then. If kids attend a university close to home and can avoid having to pay for school accommodation, it can significantly lower the overall costs. That said, if my kids are anything like me, then they would want to go to a university as far away from home as possible. 😉

    • Hi Enoch,

      I am lucky (or there lucky) and both my kids are going to post secondary in Victoria. Living at home makes things much more affordable for them.

    • Hi DG,
      Canada is reasonable, $6-7k per year compared to $50k in the US. I would find it hard to fork out that kind of money with no guarantee of a high paying job when I finished.

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