However, there are many University scholarships in Canada to students who want to pursue higher education. If you knew how much money Canadian institutions that offer scholarships to students spend on scholarships each year, you might be astonished.
Have you ever thought of studying in Canada for free? This sounds impossible but it is possible with fully-funded scholarships.
Unlike some top study-abroad destinations, there are no tuition-free universities in Canada, instead, there are universities that offer fully-funded scholarships to students.
Even with the high cost of studying, each year, Canada attracts a large number of students from different parts of the world, because of the following reasons:
Reasons to Study in Canada with Scholarships
The following reasons should convince you to apply to study in Canada with scholarships:
1. Being a Scholar adds value to you
Students financing their studies with scholarships are highly respected because people know how competitive it is to get scholarships.
Studying with scholarships shows that you have outstanding academic performance because scholarships are usually granted based on a student’s academic performance.
Besides that, as a scholarship student, you can get a lot of high-paying jobs. It shows employers that you worked hard for all your academic achievements.
2. Opportunity to Study in Canada’s Top Universities
Canada is home to some of the world’s best universities like the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, McGill University e.t.c.
Scholarships give students with financial needs the chance to study in top-ranked universities, which are usually very expensive.
So, don’t write off your dream of studying at any top university yet, apply for scholarships, especially full-ride or fully-funded scholarships.
3. Co-op Education
Most Canadian universities offer study programs with co-op or intern options. All students, including international students with study permits, can work as co-op students.
Co-op, short for cooperation education is a program where students get the opportunity to work in an industry related to their field of study.
This is a perfect way to gain valuable work experience.
4. Affordable Health Insurance
Depending on the province, students in Canada don’t have to purchase health insurance plans from private institutions.
Canadian health care is free for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Similarly, international students with a valid study permit are also eligible for free health care, depending on the province. For instance, students in British Columbia are eligible for free healthcare if they registered for medical services plan (MSP).
5. Diverse Student Population
With more than 600,000 international students, Canada has one of the most diverse student populations. In fact, Canada is the world’s third-leading destination for international students, after USA and UK.
As a student in Canada, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and learn new languages.
6. Live in a Safe Country
Canada is considered one of the safest countries for students around the world.
According to Global Peace Index, Canada is the sixth safest country in the world, maintaining its position since 2019.
Canada has a low crime rate compared to other top study abroad destinations. This is definitely a good reason to choose Canada over another top study abroad destination.
7. Opportunity to live in Canada after studies
International students have the chance to live and work in Canada after graduation. Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from eligible designated learning institutions (DLIs) to live and work in Canada for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) gives students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
Difference Between Scholarship and Bursary
The words “Scholarship” and “Bursary” are usually used interchangeably but the words have different meanings.
A scholarship is a financial award granted to students on the basis of the student’s academic achievements and sometimes based on extracurricular activities. WHILE
A Bursary is granted to a student based on financial need. This type of financial aid is granted to students who demonstrate financial need.
Both are non-repayable financial aids which means you don’t have to pay back.
Now that you know the difference between scholarship and bursary, let’s move to the universities in Canada with scholarships for students.
List of Universities in Canada with Scholarships
The 20 Universities in Canada with Scholarships for Students were ranked based on the amount devoted to financial aid and the number of financial aid awards granted each year.
Below is a list of the 20 Best Universities in Canada with Scholarships:
- Universities of Toronto
- The University of British Columbia
- Université de Montreal (University of Montreal)
- McGill University
- University of Alberta
- The University of Calgary
- University of Ottawa
- Western University
- University of Waterloo
- University of Manitoba
- Queen’s University
- University of Saskatchewan
- Dalhousie University
- York University
- Simon Fraser University
- Carleton University
- Concordia University
- Université Laval (Laval University)
- McMaster University
- The University of Guelph.
These universities with scholarships are for both international and domestic students.
20 Universities in Canada with Scholarships
#1. Universities of Toronto (U of T)
The University of Toronto is a globally top-ranked public research university located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada’s largest university.
With more than 27,000 international students representing more than 170 countries, the University of Toronto is one of the most international universities in Canada.
The University of Toronto offers several scholarships to both domestic and international students. In fact, there are over 5,000 undergraduate admission awards worth nearly $25m at the University of Toronto.
The University of Toronto offers the following scholarships:
1. The National Scholarship
Value: The National Scholarship covers tuition, incidental and residence fees for up to four years of study
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or permanent students
The National Scholarship is U of T’s most prestigious award for Canadian high school students entering the university and offers full-ride scholarships to National scholars.
This scholarship recognizes original and creative thinkers, community leaders, and high academic achievers.
2. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship
Value: The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships will cover tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support for four years.
Eligibility: International students enrolling in first-entry, undergraduate programs
Number of Scholarships: Each year, approximately 37 students will be named Lester B. Pearson Scholars.
Lester B. Pearson Scholarship is U of T’s most prestigious and competitive scholarship for international students.
The scholarship recognizes international students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievements.
#2. University of British Columbia (UBC)
The University of British Columbia is a public research university located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Established in 1808, UBC is one of the oldest universities in British Columbia.
The University of British Columbia provides financial support through financial advising, scholarships, bursaries, and other assistance programs.
UBC devotes more than CAD 10m annually to awards, scholarships, and other forms of financial support for international students.
The University of British Columbia provides the following scholarships:
1. International Major Entrance Scholarship (IMES)
The international Major entrance scholarships (IMES) are awarded to exceptional international students entering undergraduate programs. It is valid for 4 years.
2. Outstanding International Students Award
Outstanding International Students Award is a one-time, merit-based entrance scholarship awarded to qualified students when they are offered admission to UBC.
This scholarship recognizes international students that demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and strong extracurricular involvement.
3. International Scholars Program
Four prestigious need and merit-based awards are available through UBC’s international scholar’s program. UBC offers approximately 50 scholarships each year across all four awards.
4. Schulich Leader Scholarships
Value: Schulich Leader Scholarships in Engineering are valued at $100,000 ($25,000 per year over a period of four years) and Schulich Leader Scholarships in other STEM faculties are valued at $80,000 ($20,000 over four years).
The Schulich Leader Scholarships is for academically outstanding Canadian students who plan to enroll in an undergraduate degree in a STEM area.
#3. Université de Montreal (University of Montreal)
Université de Montreal is a french-language public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
UdeM hosts more than 10,000 foreign students, which makes it one of the most international universities in Canada.
The University of Montreal offers several scholarship programs, which include:
UdeM Exemption Scholarship
Value: maximum of CAD $12,465.60/year for undergraduate students, CAD $9,787.95/year for graduate programs, and a maximum of CAD $21,038.13/year for Ph.D. students.
Eligibility: International students with excellent academic records.
The UdeM exemption scholarship is designed to support international students. They could benefit from an exemption from the tuition fees normally charged to international students.
#4. McGill University
McGill University is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The University offers more than 300 undergraduate programs and over 400 graduate programs, as well as several continuing education programs and courses.
McGill University Scholarship Office offered over $7m in one-year and renewable entrance scholarships to over 2,200 students.
The following scholarships are offered at McGill University:
1. McGill’s Entrance Scholarships
Value: $3,000 to $10,000
Eligibility: Students enrolling in a full-time undergraduate degree program for the first time.
There are two types of entrance scholarships: the one-year whereby eligibility is based solely on academic achievement, and the renewable major based on outstanding academic achievement as well as leadership qualities in school and community activities.
2. McCall MacBain Scholarship
Value: The scholarship covers tuition and fees, a living stipend of $2,000 CAD per month, and a relocation grant for moving to Montreal.
Duration: The scholarship is valid for the full normal duration of the masters or professional program.
Eligibility: Students planning to apply for a full-time master’s or second-entry professional undergraduate program.
The McCall MacBain Scholarship is a fully-funded scholarship for master’s or professional studies. This scholarship is awarded to up to 20 Canadians (citizens, permanent residents, and refugees) and 10 international students.
#5. University of Alberta (UAlberta)
The University of Alberta is one of the top universities in Canada, located in Edmonton, Alberta.
UAlberta offers more than 200 undergraduate programs and more than 500 graduate programs.
The University of Alberta administers over $34m in scholarships and financial support each year. UAlberta offers several admission-based and application-based scholarships:
1. President’s International Distinction Scholarship
Value: $120,000 CAD (payable over 4 years)
Eligibility: International students
The President’s International Distinction Scholarship is awarded to students with a superior admission average and demonstrated leadership qualities entering the first year of an undergraduate degree.
2. National Achievement Scholarship
The National Achievement Scholarships are awarded to top incoming out-of-province Canadian students. These students will receive $30,000, payable over four years.
3. International Admission Scholarship
The International Admission Scholarships are awarded to top students who could receive up to $5,000 CAD, depending on their admission average.
4. Gold Standard Scholarship
Gold Standard Scholarships are awarded to the top 5% of students in each faculty and could receive up to $6,000 depending on their admission average.
#6. University of Calgary (UCalgary)
The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. UCalgary offers 200+ programs across 14 faculties.
Each year, the University of Calgary devotes $17m in scholarships, bursaries, and awards. The University of Calgary offers several scholarships, which include:
1. University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship
Value: $15,000 per year (renewable)
Number of Awards: 2
Eligibility: International students planning to study an undergraduate program.
The International Entrance Scholarship is a prestigious award that recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of all international students beginning their undergraduate studies.
This scholarship is awarded to international students who demonstrate academic excellence and also accomplishments outside the classroom.
2. The Chancellor’s Scholarship
Value: $15,000 per year (renewable)
Eligibility: Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
The Chancellor Scholarship is one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards offered by the University of Calgary. Each year, this scholarship is offered to a high school student entering his/her first year in any faculty.
The criteria for this scholarship include academic merit and contribution to school and/or community life with demonstrated leadership.
3. President’s Admission Scholarship
Value: $5,000 (non-renewable)
Eligibility: Both International and Domestic Students planning to study an undergraduate program.
The President’s Admission Scholarship recognizes students with high academic achievement (final high school average of 95% or higher).
Each year, this scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students in any faculty entering the first year directly from high school.
#7. University of Ottawa (UOttawa)
The University of Ottawa is a bilingual public research university located in Ottawa, Ontario. It is the largest bilingual (English and French) university in the world.
Each year, the University of Ottawa devotes $60m in student scholarships and bursaries. The University of Ottawa offers several scholarships, which include:
1. UOttawa President’s Scholarship
Value: $30,000 ($7,500 per year) or $22,500 if you are in civil law.
Eligibility: Students with excellent academic records.
The UOttawa President’s Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship at the University of Ottawa. This scholarship is awarded to a full-time undergraduate student in each of the direct-entry faculties and one student in civil law.
Applicants must be bilingual (English and French), have an admission average of 92% or higher, and demonstrate leadership qualities, and a commitment to academic and extracurricular activities.
2. Differential Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship
Value: $11,000 to $21,000 for undergraduate programs and $4,000 to $11,000 for graduate programs
Eligibility: International students from francophone countries, enrolled in a study program offered in French at any degree level (undergraduate, master’s, and graduate diploma programs)
The University of Ottawa offers a Differential Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship to international francophone and francophile students in a bachelor’s or master’s program taught in French or in the French Immersion Stream.
#8. Western University
Western University is a public research university located in Ontario. Founded in 1878 as ‘The Western University of London Ontario’.
Western University offers several scholarships, which include:
1. International President’s Entrance Scholarships
Three International President’s Entrance Scholarships valued at $50,000 ($20,000 for year one, $10,000 annually for years two to four) are awarded to international students based on outstanding academic performance.
2. President’s Entrance Scholarships
Several President’s Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of outstanding academic performance.
The value of this scholarship ranges between $50,000 and $70,000, payable over four years.
#9. University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a public research university located in Waterloo, Ontario (main campus).
UWaterloo offers various scholarships, which include:
1. International Student Entrance Scholarship
Eligibility: International students with excellent academic performance
The International Student Entrance Scholarships are available to international students admitted to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree program.
About 20 International Student Entrance Scholarships are awarded annually.
2. President’s Scholarship of Distinction
The President’s Scholarship of Distinction is awarded to students with an admission average of 95% or higher. This scholarship is valued at $2,000.
3. University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship
Value: a minimum of $1,000 per term for up to three terms
Eligibility: Full-time Domestic/International Graduate Students
The University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship is awarded to full-time graduate students in a master’s or doctoral program, with a minimum first-class (80%) cumulative average.
#10. University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba is a public research university located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Founded in 1877, the University of Manitoba is the first university in Western Canada.
Each year, the University of Manitoba offers more than $20m to students in the form of scholarships and bursaries. The University of Manitoba offers the following scholarships:
1. University of Manitoba General Entrance Scholarships
Value: $1,000 to $3,000
Eligibility: Canadian High School Students
Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students graduating from a Canadian high school with outstanding academic averages (from 88% to 95%).
2. The President’s Laureate Scholarship
Value: $5,000 (renewable)
Eligibility: Students enrolled in full-time programs
The President’s Laureate Scholarship is awarded to students with the highest average from their grade 12 final marks.
#11. Queen’s University
Queen’s University is a research-intensive university located in Kingston, Canada.
It is one of the most international universities in Canada. More than 95% of its student population comes from outside of Kingston.
Queen’s University offers several scholarships, which include:
1. Queen’s University International Admission Scholarship
The International Admission Scholarship is awarded to students entering their first year of any first-entry undergraduate program.
Each year, about 10 International Admission Scholarships are awarded to students. This scholarship is awarded automatically, application is not required.
2. Senator Frank Carrel Merit Scholarship
Value: $20,000 ($5,000 per year)
Eligibility: Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada who are residents of the province of Quebec.
The Senator Frank Carrel Merit Scholarships are awarded to students with academic excellence. Each year, about eight scholarships are awarded.
3. Arts and Science International Admission Award
Value: $15,000 to $25,000
Eligibility: International students in the Faculty of Arts and Science
The Arts and Science International Admission Award is available to international students entering the first year of any first-entry undergraduate degree program in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
International students must have several academic achievements to be considered for this scholarship.
4. Engineering International Admission Award
Value: $10,000 to $20,000
Eligibility: International students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
The Engineering International Admission Award is available to international students entering the first year of any first-entry undergraduate degree program in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
#12. University of Saskatchewan (USask)
The University of Saskatchewan is a top research-intensive university in Canada, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
USask offers a variety of scholarships, which include:
1. University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Awards
Value: $10,000 CDN
Eligibility: International Students
International Students wi be considered automatically for the international excellence awards, which are based on academic achievement.
About 4 University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Awards are offered annually.
2. International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards are available to international students completing the IB Diploma programs. These students will be automatically considered upon admission.
About 4 International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards are offered each year.
#13. Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University is a research-intensive university located in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The University offers 200+ degree programs across 13 academic faculties.
Each year, millions of dollars in scholarships, awards, bursaries, and prizes are distributed to promising Dalhousie students.
Dalhousie University General Entrance Award is offered to students entering undergraduate studies.
Entrance awards range in value from $5000 to $48,000 over four years.
#14. York University
York University is a public research university located in Toronto, Ontario. The University has more than 54,500 students enrolled in 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs.
York University offers the following scholarships:
1. York University Automatic Entrance Scholarships
Value: $4,000 to $16,000
The York University Automatic Entrance Scholarships are awarded to high school students with an admission average of 80% or higher.
2. International Entrance Scholarship of Distinction
Value: $35,000 per year
Eligibility: International students planning to enroll in an undergraduate program
The International Entrance Scholarship of Distinction is awarded to outstanding international applicants from secondary school, with a minimum admission average, who are applying to a direct-entry undergraduate program.
3. President’s International Scholarship of Excellence
Value: $180,000 ($45,000 per year)
Eligibility: International Students
The President’s International Scholarship of Excellence will be awarded to international high school applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, commitment to volunteer work and extracurricular activities, and leadership skills.
#15. Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Simon Fraser University is a public research university located in British Columbia, Canada. SFU has campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities: Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver.
Simon Fraser University offers the following scholarships:
1. Franes Mary Beattle Undergraduate Scholarship
The scholarship is awarded based on excellent academic standing and will be awarded to an undergraduate student in any faculty.
2. Dueck Auto Group President’s Scholarship
Two scholarships valued at a minimum of $1,500 each will be awarded annually in ant term to undergraduate students with a minimum 3.50 CGPA in any faculty.
3. The James Dean Scholarship for International Students
Eligibility: International students pursuing a bachelor’s degree (full-time) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and are in excellent academic standing.
One or more scholarships will be granted annually in any term to international undergraduate students.
#16. Carleton University
Carleton University is a public research university located in Ottawa, Ontario. Founded in 1942 as Carleton College.
Carleton University has one of the most generous scholarships and bursary programs in Canada. Some of the scholarships offered by Carleton University are:
1. Carleton University Entrance Scholarships
Value: $16,000 ($4,000 per year)
Students admitted to Carleton with an admissions average of 80% or higher will be automatically considered for a renewable entrance scholarship at the time of admission.
2. Chancellor’s Scholarships
Value: $30,000 ($7,500 per year)
The Chancellor’s Scholarship is one of Carleton’s prestige scholarships. You will be considered for this scholarship if you are entering Carleton directly from high school or CEGEP.
Students with an admission average of 90% or higher are eligible for this scholarship.
3. Calgary University International Students Awards
International students will automatically be considered for either the International Award of Excellence ($5,000) or the International Award of Merit ($3,500).
These are one-time, merit-based awards offered to students entering Carleton directly from high school, based on grades at the time of admission.
#17. Concordia University
Concordia University is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Some of the scholarships offered by Concordia University are:
1. Concordia Presidential Scholarship
Value: The award covers all tuition and fees, books, residence, and meal plan fees.
Eligibility: International students applying to university for the first time, in their first undergraduate degree program (have no prior university credits)
The Concordia Presidential Scholarship is the university’s most prestigious undergraduate entrance scholarship for international students.
This award recognizes international students who demonstrate academic excellence, community leadership, and are motivated to make a difference in the global community.
Each year, there are up to two presidential scholarships available for incoming students in any full-time undergraduate degree program.
2. Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence
The Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence reduces tuition to the Quebec rate. International doctoral students will be awarded a Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence upon admission to the doctoral program.
3. Concordia University Doctoral Graduate Fellowships, valued at $14,000 per year for four years.
#18. Université Laval (Laval University)
Université Laval is the oldest French-language university in North America, located in Quebec City, Canada.
Laval University offers the following scholarships:
1. Citizens of the World Excellence Scholarship
Value: $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the program level
Eligibility: International Students
This program aims to attract the world’s top talent with international student scholarships and to support students with mobility scholarships to help them become the leaders of tomorrow.
2. Commitment Scholarships
Value: $20,000 for master’s program and $30,000 for PhD programs
Eligibility: International students planning to enroll in master’s or Ph.D. programs
The Citizens of the World Commitment Scholarship is intended for International students who have submitted a new application in a regular masters or Ph.D. program.
This scholarship aims to support talented university students who demonstrate outstanding commitment and leadership in various fields and who inspire their community.
#19. McMaster University
McMaster University is one of Canada’s most research-intensive universities founded in 1887 in Toronto and relocated from Toronto to Hamilton in 1930.
The University adopts a problem-based, student-centered approach to learning that has been adopted worldwide.
McMaster University offers the following scholarships:
1. The McMaster University Award of Excellence
Eligibility: Incoming high school students entering level 1 of their first baccalaureate degree program (open to domestic and international students)
The McMaster University Award of Excellence is an automatic entrance scholarship established in 2020 to celebrate the academic achievements of students entering a Level 1 program in the top 10% of their faculty.
2. Provost Entrance Scholarship for International Students
Eligibility: Must be an international visa student currently studying at a high school and entering level 1 of their first baccalaureate degree program
The Provost Entrance Scholarship for International Students was established in 2018 to recognize the academic achievements of international students.
Each year, up to 10 awards are offered to international students.
#20. University of Guelph (U of G)
The University of Guelph is one of Canada’s leading innovation and comprehensive postsecondary institutions, located in Guelph, Ontario.
The University of Guelph has an extremely generous scholarship program that recognizes academic achievements and supports students in their continuation not study. In 2021, more than $42.7m in scholarships was awarded to students.
The University of Guelph offers the following scholarships:
1. President’s Scholarship
Value: $42,500 ($8,250 per year) and $9,500 stipend for summer research assistantship.
Eligibility: Canada Citizens and Permanent Resident
About 9 President’s Scholarship awards are available each year for domestic students, based on merit achievement.
2. International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships
Value: $17,500 to $20,500
Eligibility: International students entering post-secondary studies for the first time
A limited number of renewable international scholarships are available to students who have not attended post-secondary studies.
Other Ways to Fund Studies in Canada
Apart from scholarships, students in Canada are eligible for other financial support, which includes:
1. Student Loans
There are two types of students loans: Federal student loans and private student loans
Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and some international students with protected status (Refugees) are eligible for loans provided by the Canadian federal government, through the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP).
Private banks (like Axis banks) are the primary loan source for International students in Canada.
2. Work-Study Program
Work-study Program is a financial aid program that offers part-time, on-campus employment for students with financial needs.
Unlike other student jobs, the work-study program provides students with jobs related to their field of study. Students will be able to gain valuable work experience and skills related to their field of study.
Most times, only Canada Citizens/Permanent Residents are eligible for work-study programs. However, some schools offer international work-study programs. For instance, the University of Waterloo.
3. Part-time Jobs
As a study permit holder, you may be able to work on-campus or off-campus for limited working hours.
Full-time international students can work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and full-time during holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which University in Canada provides full scholarships for International Students?
Some universities in Canada provide scholarships that cover full tuition, residence fees, books fees e.t.c. For instance, the University of Toronto and Concordia University.
Are Doctoral Students eligible for fully-funded scholarships?
Yes, doctoral students are eligible for several fully-funded scholarships like Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Trudeau Scholarships, Banting Postdoctoral Scholarships, McCall McBain Scholarships e.t.c.
Are International Students eligible for Scholarship in Canada?
International students are eligible for several scholarships funded by either university, Canadian government, or organizations. The universities mentioned in this article provide international students with several scholarships.
What are Full Ride Scholarships?
A full-ride scholarship is an award that covers all expenses related to college, which includes tuition, books, incidental fees, room and board, and even living costs. For instance, the University of Toronto Lester B. Person International Scholarship.
Do I need an Excellent Academic Performance to be eligible for scholarships?
Most Scholarships in Canada are awarded on the basis of academic achievements. So, yes you will need excellent academic performance and also demonstrate good leadership skills.
Although there are a number of methods to pay for your education in Canada—from scholarships to work-study programs, part-time employment, bursaries, etc.—it may not be free.
The list of 20 Canadian colleges offering student scholarships has already reached its conclusion. You would be best served to leave any questions in the comment section.
Hope you find this article helpful.