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Financial Aid in Canada

Study Canada - Financial Aid

Generally, higher education in Canada tends to be less expensive than in the United States. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that earning a degree as an international student in Canada is easily affordable for all. In order to pay for tuition, fees and the cost of living, you will likely need to access various financial aid options. We're going to take you through the options you have for financial aid in Canada. But first, let’s look at the minimum financial requirements for obtaining a Canada study permit.

*Canada Study Permit Eligibility Requirements

Before you can obtain your Canada study permit, you must be able to show proof of finances. These are the minimum requirements in every province except for Quebec:

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

In Quebec, you must show that you have the following funds in addition to tuition fees:

  • 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

Along with having to show proof of finances, we also recommend ensuring you're familiar with how much your education in Canada will cost, and plan accordingly through a budget. How do students afford to study in Canada? Having a budget is a great place to start!

Scholarships and Bursaries in Canada

Before exploring options in Canada, we strongly recommend looking for scholarships and bursaries in your home country. Whereas scholarships are typically awarded based on academic merit or a specific ability, bursaries are available for students who meet specific financial criteria.

Chances are you'll be able to find organizations and companies that are offering awards for students, especially those who will be international students. There’s no need to wait for an acceptance letter to start looking for scholarships or bursaries in your home country. Although some may require you to report that you've been accepted into a higher education institution, many don't have this requirement.

If you have been admitted to a higher education institution, then you’ll also want to visit your school's website to see what kind of entrance scholarships are offered. Many schools offer scholarships for outstanding academic achievement and many offer aid purely for being an international student. You may also want to consider exploring scholarship and bursary options though Canadian organizations such as the International Council for Canadian Studies.

Another excellent option for finding scholarships is our free College Scholarship Search tool. With this tool, you'll be able to find contact information for more than 1,600 awards and then easily apply through the scholarship sponsor's website. To gain access to scholarship contact information, simply register for a free account, or get started in our scholarship search tool.

Canadian Government Aid

Many students ask "can I get financial aid to study in Canada?" and the answer is yes in many cases. The Canadian government offers a few financial aid options for international students including Government of Canada International Scholarships and the Canada Student Loan program. Through the Government of Canada International Scholarships website, you'll be able to explore awards that are currently being offered for study abroad programs and individual students.

The Canada Student Loan program offers loans with the same terms (including interest rate) as permanent Canadian residents. However, there is a chance that international students may not be eligible for these loans depending on provincial law.

Student Loans for Studying in Canada

A lender is an organization or individual that allows you to borrow money with the expectation of eventual repayment of the amount borrowed plus interest. In terms of student loans, there are two main types of lenders and loans: federal and private. A federal student loan is one provided by the government such as through the Canada Student Loan program. A private student loan is one provided by a privately funded organization. If you are unable to obtain enough funding to pay for your education, student loans can be a primary or supplementary option. However, we advise you to only borrow what you absolutely need as you don’t want to end up owing more than you can repay. You should only take out the amount in loans needed to pay for tuition, fees and cost of living. Student loans are not meant to be spent on luxury items.

If you're curious whether you can get a loan to study in Canada, start with our unique loan comparison tool. With this tool, you can see which loans you may be eligible to apply for, and compare lenders in one place. Not all lenders are able to provide student loans for international students in Canada, through our tool it's easy to see which ones are available to you. Once you’re provided with your lender options you can apply through the lender directly.

*Canada Study Permit Eligibility Requirements source

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