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Accessible Education in Canada: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Accessible Education in Canada: Scholarships and Financial Aid

What financial aid can international students expect, and which universities offer the best conditions?

Higher education in Canada offers numerous advantages that make it one of the best in the world: high quality, affordable costs compared to other English-speaking countries, comfortable and safe living conditions, and the opportunity to obtain a work permit after graduation and stay in Canada.

Cost of Education in Canada

Although the cost of studying in Canada seems low compared to the prices of educational programs in other English-speaking countries such as the USA, the UK, or Australia, it can't exactly be called cheap.

The cost of a year of study at a good college starts at approximately $15,000 CAD. In addition to this amount, there are expenses for housing, food, clothing, and school supplies, which can double the total cost.

Of course, investing in a good education is a contribution to the future, as the skills and knowledge gained will pay off once the graduate finds a well-paying job. However, the financial aspect can be a significant hurdle, especially for international students.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the financial burden and help students take a step towards obtaining a sought-after education in Canada.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Higher education institutions offer three common types of financial aid or incentives for students: bursaries, scholarships, and awards.


Bursaries are usually awarded to students who face financial difficulties and might not have enough funds to cover educational expenses. They may depend on financial need and consider individual  factors such as income, family circumstances, unforeseen and emergency situations, difficult social or political conditions in the country, and other circumstances. Their goal is to help students overcome financial challenges and continue their education. Bursaries can cover tuition fees, textbooks, living costs, or other educational expenses.


Scholarships in Canada are typically awarded based on merit. They recognize and reward students for their outstanding academic achievements, talents, skills, or other exceptional qualities. Scholarships can be awarded for academic success both before and during university, sports achievements, artistic abilities, community service, leadership, or other exceptional qualities.

Unlike bursaries, scholarships are not based on financial need and are often highly competitive. They can provide financial support for tuition, books, or other educational expenses.


Awards encompass a broader category that can include both merit-based scholarships and payments for situational needs. This broad category can serve as an additional classification if it doesn't fully fit into the Scholarship or Bursary categories.

It's important to note that the specific criteria for scholarships and awards can vary depending on the college or university. Therefore, it's recommended to review the specific rules and policies of the institution you're interested in to understand the differences and requirements for each type of aid or reward.

How to Get a Scholarship

Students get Scholarship in Canada

Generally, to qualify for scholarships, you should focus on three main points:

  • good academic performance (both in high school and in higher education);
  • understanding what sets you apart from others;
  • knowing which scholarships you can apply for.

Academic performance can play a significant role both when applying to a university and during your studies. Especially for scholarships and awards, educational institutions often consider your GPA. However, good grades are not always the key to earning a scholarship; some scholarships may be based on other criteria. So, if you don't have stellar grades, it doesn't mean you shouldn't apply for scholarships. It's important to find one that matches your strengths.

This leads to the second point — understanding what sets you apart from other potential scholarship candidates. This could be various achievements and characteristics: sports activities, leadership qualities, club involvement, new initiatives or business ideas, volunteering. Reflect on all your experiences, as any achievement can be valuable. This will be helpful when writing essays and applications for scholarships.

Finally, find out which financial aid you can qualify for. You can start researching this even before enrolling and should continue checking available scholarships throughout your studies. First, visit the official website of the college or university you're interested in. Each institution's website has a section for "Scholarships" or "Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards," where you can learn about the available scholarships and other financial awards, as well as the conditions for obtaining them. Some schools even have a separate page for scholarships for international students.

Explore scholarship databases on Scholar Tree and Scholarships Canada. These websites provide information about numerous scholarships and grants offered by educational institutions across Canada, as well as various funds and organizations. Scholarships Canada has a dedicated section for scholarships for international students.

Colleges and Universities Offering Scholarships

Colleges and Universities Offering Scholarships

We collaborate with many Canadian higher education institutions. Many of them offer generous scholarships and financial support to students.

Douglas College

Douglas College is one of the best colleges in Canada, located in British Columbia. It is one of the largest educational institutions in the province and the largest college in British Columbia where you can earn a bachelor's degree.

Every year, Douglas College allocates over $100,000 CAD in scholarships for first-year international students. Students from the CIS who have high grades in their high school diplomas and an IELTS score of at least 7.0 can receive an entrance grant of $1,000-2,000 CAD. This grant is awarded automatically, meaning students do not need to apply for it.

Another grant, the "Dr. Guangwei Ouyang Scholarship," worth $2,500 CAD, can be won by a student from any country who has academic success in high school and has actively participated in school and community life or has personal achievements.

Georgian College

Georgian College is a public college of applied arts and technology in Ontario. This institution is known as one of the best colleges in Canada, focusing on practical training and paid internships for students.

Georgian College is one of the most generous colleges, spending over $6 million CAD annually on financial support for students. An international student who has just enrolled and has high grades in their high school diploma (above 4 on the GPA scale) can win an entrance grant of $2,000 CAD.

Additionally, international students can receive the "International Student Leadership Award," worth $1,000 CAD. It is available to a full-time international student who has demonstrated leadership qualities, earned a good academic reputation, and studied for at least one semester.

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is one of the most prestigious colleges in Canada, with its main campus located in London, Ontario.

Fanshawe College annually spends about $220,000 CAD on scholarships and grants for students, including international ones. New students from the CIS with high scores on language tests can win an entrance scholarship ranging from $1,000 CAD to $2,000 CAD. Those who choose to study for a bachelor's degree and complete the first level with high grades can also win a scholarship. The total fund for this scholarship is $30,000 CAD. Fanshawe also has scholarships for specific fields of study.

University Canada West

University Canada West is a young and rapidly developing private university in Vancouver, specializing in business and management. UCW is known for one of the best MBA programs in Canada.

In 2024, University Canada West offers unprecedented discounts for students from the CIS. Enrolling in the "Master of Business Administration" program can grant you $9,720 CAD, in the "Associate of Arts Degree" program — $9,450 CAD, and in the "Bachelor of Commerce" and "Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications" programs — $18,900 CAD.

Centennial College

Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology is the oldest public college in Ontario. It is located in Toronto and offers over 250 programs.

Centennial College offers dozens of scholarships, grants, and awards for all students, including international ones. Their amounts range from $500 CAD to $45,000 CAD.

To have a chance to win a grant or scholarship, students must complete a special questionnaire on the college's official website.

Work and Paid Internships

Improving your financial situation in Canada is possible not only through scholarships. It's important to remember that students can also work while studying.

Currently, international students can work more than 20 hours per week, but new 24-hour limitations will take effect this fall to help maintain a balance between study and work. Students can work both on and off-campus.

Additionally, many Canadian educational institutions offer programs that include paid internships. In such programs, students work in real-world conditions for one or more semesters and receive a salary corresponding to the rate of the specific Canadian province. Examples of institutions offering a wide range of programs with paid internships include Georgian College and Seneca College.

We Are Here to Help

We can't guarantee that you will win a scholarship. However, if you wish to study in Canada, we are ready to assist you with the application process. We collaborate with dozens of Canadian institutions, so we can help you find a university that meets all your requirements and find a suitable program. We will also assist with gathering the necessary documents for admission, handle all communications with the university, and ensure free enrollment. Additionally, we can help with the student visa application process. To secure our support, book an initial consultation with a Canadian education specialist.

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