20 Canadian universities offer scholarships to students
Canada does not offer free higher education to students, but there are plenty of scholarships for students. You will be surprised when you know the amount of scholarships that Canadian universities offer their students each year.
Have you ever thought about studying for free in Canada? It sounds impossible, but full scholarships are possible. Unlike some popular study abroad destinations, there are no tuition-free universities in Canada, instead, there are universities that offer full scholarships to students
Even with the high cost of study, Canada attracts a large number of students from all over the world each year for the following reasons:
Reasons to get a scholarship to study in Canada
The following reasons should convince you to apply for a scholarship to study in Canada:
1. Being a scholar adds value to you
Students who finance their studies with scholarships are highly respected because people know how competitive it is to get a scholarship.
Studying on a scholarship shows that you have excellent academic performance, as scholarships are usually awarded based on a student’s academic performance.
In addition to that, as a scholarship student, you can get a lot of high-paying jobs. It shows employers that you have worked hard to achieve all your academic achievements.
2. Study opportunities at top Canadian universities
Canada is home to some of the best universities in the world such as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University etc.
Scholarships give students in financial need the opportunity to study at top universities, which are often very expensive.
So, don’t give up on your dream of studying at any top university and apply for a scholarship, especially a full or full scholarship.
3. Cooperative Education
Most Canadian universities offer study programs with co-op or internship options. All students, including international students with study permits, can work as co-op students.
Co-op, short for Cooperative Education, is a program that gives students the opportunity to work in an industry related to their field of study.
It’s the perfect way to gain valuable work experience.
4. Affordable health insurance
Depending on the province, students in Canada do not have to purchase a health insurance plan from a private institution.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents have free access to Canadian health care. Likewise, international students with a valid study permit are also eligible for free health care, depending on the province. For example, students in British Columbia are eligible for free health care if they are enrolled in a Medical Services Plan (MSP).
5. Diverse student body
With over 600,000 international students, Canada has one of the most diverse student populations in the country. In fact, Canada is the third largest destination for international students in the world after the US and the 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 the Global Peace Index, Canada is the sixth safest country in the world and has maintained its position since 2019.
Compared to other top study abroad destinations, Canada has a low crime rate. This is definitely a good reason to choose Canada over another top study abroad destination.
7. Opportunities to live in Canada after study
International students have the opportunity to live and work in Canada after graduation. Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students graduating from an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to live and work in Canada for a minimum of 8 months and a maximum of 3 years.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) gives students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
Difference Between Scholarships and Grants
The terms “scholarship” and “bursary” are often used interchangeably, but the two words have different meanings.
Scholarships are financial awards awarded to students based on their academic performance and sometimes based on extracurricular activities. although
Bursaries are awarded to students based on financial need. This type of financial aid is awarded to students with financial need.
Both are non-repayable financial aid, which means you don’t have to pay it back.
Now that you know the difference between scholarships and bursaries, let’s move to universities in Canada that offer scholarships for students.
List of Universities in Canada with Scholarships
The 20 Canadian universities that offer student scholarships are ranked based on the amount spent on financial aid and the number of financial aid awards awarded each year.
Here is a list of the 20 best universities in Canada that offer scholarships:
- University of Toronto
- University of British Columbia
- University of Montreal (University of Montreal)
- McGill University
- University of Alberta
- 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
- Laval University (Laval University)
- McMaster University
- University of Guelph.
These universities with scholarships cater to both international and domestic students.
20 Canadian Universities Offer Scholarships
#1. University of Toronto (University of Toronto)
The University of Toronto is a world-leading public research university located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest university in Canada.
With more than 170 international students from more than 27,000 countries, the University of Toronto is one of the most international universities in Canada.
The University of Toronto offers several scholarships for domestic and international students. In fact, the University of Toronto has more than 5,000 undergraduate admission awards worth nearly $250,000.
The University of Toronto offers the following scholarships:
1. National Scholarship
Value: The National Scholarship covers tuition, fees and accommodation for up to four years of study
Eligibility: Canadian Citizen or Permanent Student
The National Scholarship is the University of Toronto’s most prestigious award for Canadian high school students entering the university and provides full scholarships for 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 Scholarship will cover four years of tuition, books, fees, and full housing support.
Eligibility: International student first-time entry, undergraduate program
Number of Scholarships: Each year, approximately 37 students will be named Lester B. Pearson Scholars.
The Lester B. Pearson Scholarship is U of T’s most prestigious and competitive scholarship for international students.
This scholarship recognizes international students who demonstrate academic excellence.
#2. University of British Columbia (UBC)
The University of British Columbia is a public research university located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Founded in 1808, UBC is one of the oldest universities in British Columbia.
The University of British Columbia provides financial support through financial counseling, scholarships, grants and other aid programs.
UBC provides international students with more than $100,000 in awards, scholarships and other forms of financial support each year.
The University of British Columbia offers the following scholarships:
1. International College Entrance Examination Scholarship (IMES)
The International Major Entrance Scholarship (IMES) is awarded to outstanding international students entering an undergraduate program. Valid for 4 years.
2. Outstanding International Student Award
The Outstanding International Student Award is a one-time, merit-based entry scholarship awarded to eligible students when they are admitted to UBC.
This scholarship recognizes international students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and active participation in extracurricular activities.
3. International Scholars Program
UBC’s International Scholars Program offers four prestigious need- and merit-based awards. UBC offers approximately 50 scholarships each year across all four awards.
4. Schulich Leadership Scholarship
Value: Schulich Leader Engineering Scholarships are worth $100,000 ($25,000 per year over four years), Schulich Leader Scholarships at other STEM schools are worth $80,000 ($20,000 over four years).
The Schulich Leadership Scholarship is for academically outstanding Canadian students planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in a STEM field.
#3. University of Montreal (University of Montreal)
The University of Montreal is a French-speaking public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
UdeM has over 10,000 foreign students, making it one of the most international universities in Canada.
Université de Montréal offers several scholarship programs, including:
UdeM Exempt Scholarship
Value: Up to $12,465.60/year for undergraduates, up to $9,787.95/year for graduate programs, and up to $21,038.13/year for Ph.D. student.
Eligibility: High-achieving international students.
The UdeM Waiver Scholarship is designed to support international students. They can benefit from 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 more than 400 graduate programs, as well as several continuing education programs and programs.
The McGill University Scholarships Office has awarded more than $22 million in one-year and renewable entry scholarships to more than 7 students.
McGill University offers the following scholarships:
1. McGill University Entrance Scholarship
Value: $3,000 USD 10,000
Eligibility: Students enrolling in a full-time undergraduate degree program for the first time.
There are two types of entry scholarships: one-year qualifications based solely on academic merit, and renewable majors based on outstanding academic performance and leadership qualities in school and community activities.
2. McCall McBain Scholarship
Value: The scholarship covers tuition and fees, a monthly living allowance of $2,000, and a relocation grant to move to Montreal.
Duration: The scholarship is valid for the entire normal duration of the Masters or Professional program.
Eligibility: Students planning to apply for a full-time master’s or second-year professional undergraduate program.
The McCall MacBain Scholarship is a fully funded Masters or Professional Studies scholarship. 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 Canada’s top universities and is located in Edmonton, Alberta.
UAlberta offers more than 200 undergraduate programs and more than 500 graduate programs.
The University of Alberta administers more than $340,000 in scholarships and financial support annually. UAlberta offers a variety of admission-based and application-based scholarships:
1. President’s International Distinguished Scholarship
Value: $120,000 (paid over 4 years)
Eligibility: International Students
The President’s International Distinguished Scholarship is awarded to students entering the first year of an undergraduate degree with an excellent grade point average and demonstrated leadership.
2. National Achievement Scholarship
The National Achievement Scholarship is awarded to outstanding students from outside Canada. These students will receive $30,000, payable over four years.
3. International Entrance Scholarship
International Entrance Scholarships are awarded to outstanding students up to $5,000, depending on their admissions average.
4. Gold Standard Scholarship
Gold Standard Scholarships are awarded to the top 5% of students in each college, up to $6,000, based on their admissions average.
#6. University of Calgary (UCalgary)
The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. UCalgary offers more than 14 programs across 200 colleges.
Each year, the University of Calgary invests $170,000 in scholarships, grants and awards. The University of Calgary offers several scholarships, including:
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 course.
The International Entrance Scholarship is a prestigious award that recognises the outstanding achievements of all international students commencing their undergraduate studies.
This scholarship is awarded to international students who demonstrate academic excellence and achievement outside the classroom.
2. Principal’s Scholarship
Value: $15,000 per year (renewable)
Eligibility: Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
The Chancellor’s Scholarship is one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards offered by the University of Calgary. Each year, this scholarship is offered to first-year high school students entering any college.
Criteria for this scholarship include academic achievement and contribution to school and/or community life and demonstrated leadership.
3. Presidential Entrance Scholarship
Value: $5,000 (non-renewable)
Eligibility: International and domestic students planning to study an undergraduate course.
The Presidential Entrance Scholarship recognizes students with high academic achievement (final high school grade point average of 95% or higher).
Each year, this scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students from any college entering their 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.
The University of Ottawa invests $600,000 annually in student scholarships and grants. The University of Ottawa offers several scholarships, including:
1. Ottawa Presidential Scholarship
Value: $30,000 ($7,500 per year) or $22,500 (if you’re in civil law).
Eligibility: High-achieving students.
The University of Ottawa Chancellor’s Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship at the University of Ottawa. This scholarship is awarded to a full-time undergraduate student and one civil law student at each direct-entry college.
Applicants must be bilingual (English and French), have an average acceptance rate of 92% or higher, and demonstrate leadership skills, as well as a commitment to academics and extracurricular activities.
2. Tuition Waiver Scholarship
Value: $11,000 to $21,000 for undergraduate programs, $4,000 to $11,000 for graduate programs
Eligibility: International students from French-speaking countries enrolled in French language studies at any degree level (undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate diploma)
The University of Ottawa offers Differential Tuition Waiver Scholarships for international French and French students in bachelor’s or master’s programs taught in French or French immersion.
#8. Western University
Western University is a public research university located in Ontario. Founded in 1878, it was formerly known as “Western University of London Ontario”.
Western University offers a number of scholarships, including:
1. International Presidential Entrance Scholarship
Three International Principal’s Entrance Scholarships worth $50,000 ($20,000 in the first year, $10,000 per year in the second through fourth years) are awarded to international students based on academic excellence.
2. Presidential Entrance Scholarship
Some Presidential Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students based on academic excellence.
The scholarship is worth between $50,000 and $70,000 and is paid over four years.
#9. University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a public research university located in Waterloo, Ontario (main campus).
The University of Waterloo offers a variety of scholarships, including:
1. International Student Entrance Scholarship
Eligibility: International students with outstanding academic performance
The International Student Entrance Scholarship is available to international students admitted to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree program.
Approximately 20 International Student Entrance Scholarships are awarded each year.
2. Principal’s Special Scholarship
The Presidential Distinguished Scholarship is awarded to students with an average acceptance rate of 95% or higher. The scholarship is worth $2,000.
3. University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarships
Value: Minimum $1,000 per semester, up to three semesters
Eligibility: Full-time domestic/international graduate students
The University of Waterloo Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded to full-time postgraduate students in a masters or doctoral programme with a minimum cumulative grade point average (80%).
#10. University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba is a public research university located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Founded in 1877, the University of Manitoba was the first university in Western Canada.
Each year, the University of Manitoba awards more than $200,000 in scholarships and grants to students. The University of Manitoba offers the following scholarships:
1. University of Manitoba General Entrance Scholarship
Value: $1,000 USD 3,000
Eligibility: Canadian high school students
Entrance scholarships are awarded to students graduating from a Canadian high school with a high academic average (ranging from 88% to 95%).
2. President’s Award Winner Scholarship
Value: $5,000 (renewable)
Eligibility: Students enrolled on a full-time programme
The President’s Laureate Scholarship is awarded to the student with the highest grade point average at the end of the 12th grade.
#11. Queen’s University
Queen’s University is a research university located in Kingston, Canada.
It is one of the most international universities in Canada. Over 95% of students come from outside Kingston.
Queen’s University offers a number of scholarships, including:
1. Queen’s University International Entrance Scholarship
International Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students entering the first year of any first-time entry undergraduate program.
Each year, approximately 10 International Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students. This scholarship is awarded automatically and does not require an application.
2. Senator Frank Carrell Merit Scholarship
Value: $20,000 ($5,000 per year)
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are residents of Quebec.
The Senator Frank Carrell Merit Scholarship is awarded to students with outstanding academic performance. Approximately eight scholarships are awarded each year.
3. Arts and Sciences International Entrance Award
Value: $15,000 USD 25,000
Eligibility: International students in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The Arts and Sciences International Entrance Award is available to international students entering the first year of any first-time entry undergraduate degree programme in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
International students must have multiple academic achievements to be eligible for this scholarship.
4. Engineering International Entrance Award
Value: $10,000 USD 20,000
Eligibility: International students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences
The Engineering International Entrance Award is available to international students entering the first year of any first-time entry undergraduate degree programme in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
#12. University of Saskatchewan (USask)
The University of Saskatchewan is Canada’s top research university located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
USask offers a variety of scholarships, including:
1. University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Awards
Value: $10,000 CDN
Eligibility: International Students
International students will be automatically considered for the International Excellence Award based on academic achievement.
The University of Saskatchewan awards approximately 4 International Awards of Excellence each year.
2. International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Award
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Award is for international students who have completed the IB Diploma program. These students will be automatically considered for admission.
Approximately 4 International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards are offered each year.
#13. Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University is a research university located in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The university offers more than 13 degree programs in 200 faculties.
Each year, millions of dollars in scholarships, awards, grants and prizes are distributed to promising Dalhousie students.
The Dalhousie University General Admission Award is offered to students entering undergraduate study.
Entrance awards range in value from $5,000 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 more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs.
York University offers the following scholarships:
1. York University Automatic Entry Scholarship
Value: $4,000 USD 16,000
York University Automatic Entrance Scholarships are awarded to high school students with an average acceptance rate of 80% or higher.
2. International Entrance Merit Scholarship
Value: $35,000 per year
Eligibility: International students planning to study an undergraduate program
The International Entrance Merit Scholarship is awarded to high-achieving international applicants for direct entry undergraduate programs with a minimum admissions average.
3. Presidential Scholarship for International Excellence
Value: $180,000 ($45,000 per year)
Eligibility: International Students
The President’s International Excellence Scholarship is awarded to international high school applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, commitment to volunteer work and extracurricular activities, and leadership.
#15. Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Simon Fraser University is a public research university located in British Columbia, Canada. SFU has campuses in the three largest cities in British Columbia: Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver.
Simon Fraser University offers the following scholarships:
1. Frans Mary Beatles Undergraduate Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded on the basis of outstanding academic standing and will be awarded to undergraduate students in any college.
2. Duke Motor Group President Scholarship
Two scholarships worth at least $3.50,will be awarded annually during the ant semester to undergraduate students with a CGPA of at least $1,500 in any college.
3. James Dean Scholarships for International Students
Eligibility: International students studying for a bachelor’s degree (full-time) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and of outstanding academic standing.
One or more scholarships will be awarded annually to international undergraduate students in any semester.
#16. Carleton University
Carleton University is a public research university located in Ottawa, Ontario. Founded in 1942, it was formerly known as Carleton College.
Carleton University has one of the most generous scholarship and grant programs in Canada. Some of the scholarships offered by Carleton University are:
1. Carleton University Entrance Scholarship
Value: $16,000 ($4,000 per year)
Students admitted to Carleton with an average acceptance rate of 80% or higher will automatically receive a renewable Entrance Scholarship upon admission.
2. Principal’s Scholarship
Value: $30,000 ($7,500 per year)
The Chancellor’s Scholarship is one of Carleton’s prestigious scholarships. You will be considered for this scholarship if you entered Carleton directly from high school or CEGEP.
Students with an average acceptance rate of 90% or higher are eligible for this scholarship.
3. University of Calgary International Student Awards
International students will automatically receive the International Excellence Award ($5,000) or the International Excellence Award ($3,500).
These are one-time, merit-based awards, based on grades at the time of admission, to students entering Carleton directly from high school.
#17. Concordia University
Concordia University is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Some of the scholarships offered by Concordia University include:
1. Concordia Presidential Scholarship
Value: This award covers all tuition and fees, books, housing and meal plan costs.
Eligibility: International students applying to college for the first time, in their first undergraduate degree program (without prior college credit)
The Concordia Presidential Scholarship is the university’s most prestigious undergraduate admission scholarship for international students.
The award recognizes international students who demonstrate academic excellence, community leadership, and a drive to make a difference in a global community.
Each year, up to two Presidential Scholarships are available to freshmen in any full-time undergraduate degree program.
2. Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence
The Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence reduces tuition to Quebec rates. International PhD students will receive the Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence upon entry into the PhD programme.
3. Concordia University Doctoral Fellowship, valued at $14,000 for four years.
#18. Laval University (Laval University)
Laval University is the oldest French-speaking university in North America, located in Quebec City, Canada.
Laval University offers the following scholarships:
1. World Citizenship Scholarship
Value: $10,000 to $30,000 depending on project level
Eligibility: International Students
The programme aims to attract the world’s top talent through international student scholarships and support students through mobility scholarships to help them become future leaders.
2. Promise Scholarship
Value: $20,000 for master’s programs, $30,000 for doctoral programs
Eligibility: International students planning to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. program
The World Citizenship Promise Scholarship is available to international students submitting new applications in the regular Masters or Ph.D. program.
This scholarship is designed to support talented college students who demonstrate outstanding commitment and leadership in a variety of fields and inspire their communities.
#19. McMaster University
McMaster University is one of Canada’s most research-intensive universities, founded in Toronto in 1887 and relocated from Toronto to Hamilton in 1930.
The University employs a problem-based, student-centred approach to learning that has been adopted globally.
McMaster University offers the following scholarships:
1. McMaster University Excellence Award
Eligibility: Incoming high school students entering level 1 of their first bachelor’s program (open to domestic and international students)
The McMaster University Award for Excellence is an automatic entry scholarship established in 2020 to celebrate the academic achievement of students entering Level 1 courses in the top 10% of their faculty.
2. Provost Entrance Scholarship for International Students
Eligibility: Must be a Tier 1 international visa student currently studying in high school and entering their first bachelor’s degree program
The Dean’s Entrance Scholarship for International Students was established in 2018 to recognize the academic achievement 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 innovative and comprehensive higher education institutions located in Guelph, Ontario.
The University of Guelph has a very generous scholarship programme that recognises academic achievement and supports students in their continued studies. In 2021, more than $427,000 in scholarships were awarded to students.
The University of Guelph offers the following scholarships:
1. Presidential Scholarship
Value: $42,500 ($8,250 per year) and a $9,500 summer research stipend.
Eligibility: Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents
Based on merit, approximately 9 Presidential Scholarships are awarded to domestic students each year.
2. International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship
Value: $17,500 USD 20,500
Eligibility: International students entering tertiary studies for the first time
A limited number of renewable international scholarships are available to students not in post-secondary education.
Other ways to fund research in Canada
In addition to scholarships, students in Canada are eligible for other financial support, including:
1. Student Loans
There are two types of student loans: federal student loans and private student loans
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and some international students with protected status (refugees) are eligible for loans from the Canadian federal government through the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP).
Private banks such as Axis Bank are the main source of loans for international students in Canada.
2. Work-study program
Work-Study is a financial aid program that provides part-time on-campus jobs to students with financial need.
Unlike other student jobs, work-study programs provide students with jobs related to their field of study. Students will be able to gain valuable work experience and skills relevant to their field of study.
Most of the time, only Canadian citizens/permanent residents are eligible for the work-study program. However, some schools offer international work-study programs. Like the University of Waterloo.
3. Part-time job
As a study permit holder, you can work on or off campus during limited working hours.
Full-time international students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays.
Which university in Canada offers full scholarships for international students?
Some universities in Canada offer scholarships that cover full tuition, housing, books, and more, such as the University of Toronto and Concordia University.
Are PhD students eligible for full scholarships?
Yes, PhD students are eligible for several fully funded scholarships such as Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Trudeau Scholarships, Banting Postdoctoral Scholarships, McCall McBain Scholarships, etc.
Are International Students Eligible for Canadian Scholarships?
International students are eligible for a number of scholarships funded by universities, the Canadian government or organizations. The universities mentioned in this article offer several scholarships for international students.
What is a full scholarship?
A full scholarship is an award that covers all costs associated with college, including tuition, books, miscellaneous fees, room and board, and even living expenses. For example, the University of Toronto Lester B. Person International Scholarship.
Do I need excellent academic performance to be eligible for a scholarship?
Most scholarships in Canada are awarded based on academic achievement. So yes, you need to have excellent academic performance and demonstrate good leadership skills.
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Education in Canada may not be free, but you can finance your studies in many ways, from scholarships to work-study, part-time jobs, grants and more
We have now come to the end of this article about 20 Canadian universities offering scholarships for students. If you have any questions, it’s best to put them in the comments section.
We wish you success in your application for these scholarships.