Cheapest Universities in Canada

Between the actual costs of tuition, in addition to books, food, and finally accommodation, going to university can leave you with significant amount of debt.

As such, some people may want to minimize their expenses on education by going to some of the cheapest universities in Canada. To be clear, by “cheap”, we mean inexpensive, as this does not reflect level of education at all.

Please note, it is imperative you take into account not just the cost of tuition, but also the cost of living in the city that the university is in. This article examines the cost of everything from a BA to a bottle of wine at our picks for cheapest universities in Canada.

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Brandon University

Brandon, Manitoba

TUITION COSTS

Brandon offers some very reasonable tuition cost, making the education here the second most inexpensive on the list.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,159
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,159
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year:  $3,432

LIVING COSTS

Cost of living in Brandon isn’t cheap though, even though rent is fairly moderate. Given the affordable off campus housing costs, we’d recommend living off campus if possible since residence is pretty expensive.

  • On campus per year: $6974 (accommodation) plus $3920 for meal plan.
  • Off campus: about $400 a month (3 bedroom)  or $500 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $3200 and $4000, respectively, for an 8 month school year.
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $15
  • 1 litre of Milk: $2.92
  • Bottle of Wine: $22

SELLING POINT

The tuition, and to a lesser extent off campus housing. Combine those two factors, and you’ve got a pretty inexpensive university experience. The tuition is ridiculously cheap and off campus housing offsets the fairly high cost of living.

University of Fraser Valley

Abbotsford, British Columbia

TUITION COSTS

The tuition costs at the University of Fraser Valley are pretty moderate but are still 3rd most expensive on this list.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $4,335
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $4,335
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year:  $4,335

LIVING COSTS

Similar to its tuition, the on campus options for residence and food aren’t the cheapest, but are pretty moderate. Off campus living however is pretty cheap, with rent being very affordable.

  • On campus per year: $5,276 (accommodation) plus at least to $2000 in food
  • Off campus: about $350 a month (3 bedroom)  or $550 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $2800 and $4400, respectively, for an 8 month school year
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $12.99
  • 1 litre of Milk: $1.54
  • Bottle of Wine: $15

Selling point

Combo. Everything at this university and city is moderately priced making this definitely one of the cheapest university in Canada and definitely the most well balanced  universities in Canada in terms of cost.

University of Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Manitoba

TUITION COSTS

Tuition is low…almost as low as it gets.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $3225
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $3225
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year: $3710

LIVING COSTS

Cost of living is pretty low, and off campus housing is low compared to other major cities. Residence and meal plan options are pretty moderate.

  • On campus per year: on average $5,000 (accommodation) and $3400 in food.
  • Off campus: about $500 a month (3 bedroom)  or $550 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $4000 and $4400, respectively, for an 8 month school year.
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $13
  • 1 litre of Milk: $1.40
  • Bottle of Wine: $12

SELLING POINT

What makes the University of Winnipeg one of the cheapest universities in Canada is the cheap cost of living and ridiculously low tuition. Rent is among the lowest for a large city in Canada, and the cost of most items is quite low. Tuition is pretty much as low as it can get which makes this possibly the third most inexpensive university in Canada.

University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba

TUITION COSTS

University of Manitoba is more of a research university that University of Winnipeg so the tuitions for research intensive programs are a bit higher than that of its city counterpart. That being said, a BA is very cheap and even with the higher tuition for business and science, its still pretty moderate.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,600
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $5,300
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year: $4,500

LIVING COSTS

Winnipeg is pretty inexpensive, but on campus residence and food is fairly expensive so we’d suggest living off campus when possible.

  • On campus per year: on average $6755 (accommodation) and $3000 in food.
  • Off campus: about $500 a month (3 bedroom)  or $550 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $4000 and $4400, respectively, for an 8 month school year.
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $13
  • 1 litre of Milk: $1.40
  • Bottle of Wine: $12

SELLING POINT

Moderate tuition with decent cost of living, although not quite as attractive as University of Winnipeg.

Bishop’s University 

Lennoxville, Quebec

bishops2

TUITION COSTS

For those living in Quebec, tuition really doesn’t vary much, but it is still cheaper than McGill since the costs below are with all fees in, making the tuition very inexpensive, even for Quebec standards.

  • Arts, Business, and Science Undergraduate Degree per year:
    • $3,373.40 for Quebec students
    • $7,390.40 for other Canadian students

LIVING COSTS

Living costs in the Lennoxville area are very cheap, and as such, living costs for students at Bishops are pretty low. Off and on campus options are equally inexpensive.

  • On campus per year: on average $3600 (accommodation) and $3930 in food
  • Off campus: about $350 a month (3 bedroom)  or $500 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $2800 and $4000, respectively, for an 8 month school year
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $13
  • 1 litre of Milk: $1.71
  • Bottle of Wine: $15

SELLING POINT

Low cost of living, and for those in Quebec, the even cheaper than normal tuition. For those in Quebec, this isn’t only one of the cheapest universities in Canada, but one of the best values.

Memorial University

St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador

TUITION IN CANADA

Cheapest in Canada…enough said.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $2,550
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $2,550
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year: $2,550

LIVING COSTS

Living off campus can be expensive since rent is not that low and cost of living is pretty high. With that said, on campus living is so cheap we had to make sure we got our numbers right.

  • On campus per year: on average $1628 (accommodation) and $2300 in food.
  • Off campus: about $500 a month (3 bedroom)  or $600 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $4,000 and $4,800, respectively, for an 8 month school year.
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $15
  • 1 litre of Milk: $3.19
  • Bottle of Wine: $19

SELLING POINT

Cheapest university in Canada and on campus living prices can’t be beat, however, off campus and cost of living expenses are fairly high. Overall, most definitely one of the cheapest universities in Canada.

Thompson Rivers University

Kamloops, British Columbia

TUITION COSTS

Tuition at this university is very inexpensive but still the third most expensive on our list.

  • Arts Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,830.40
  • Business Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,830.40
  • Science Undergraduate Degree per year: $3,830.40

LIVING COSTS

The living costs here are pretty moderate, but oncampus accommodation is a bit high, especially given rent in the area.

  • On campus per year: on average $6370 (accommodation) and $2,050 in food
  • Off campus: about $450 a month (3 bedroom)  or $550 per month (1 bedroom) which is  $3,600 and $4,400, respectively, for an 8 month school year
  • Average inexpensive restaurant meal: $15
  • 1 litre of Milk: $2.92
  • Bottle of Wine: $14

SELLING POINT

Low tuition and moderate living expenses make this a pretty attractive university for those on a budget.

Alex Dorward

Alex Dorward

Alex is the co-founder of UniversityHub (now CampusRankings) and current Technical Director for CampusRankings. Alex grew up in Ottawa before attending St FX in Antigonish, NS. After graduating, he joined Accenture and is currently a Manager in Accenture Digital.