If you are someone hoping to pursue higher education in Canada, doing so somewhere in the province of Ontario would definitely be a good move. The Conference Board of Canada’s Education and Skills report card suggests that Ontario is one of the top three performers among all Canadian provinces.

The province is home to 22 public universities, 24 public colleges, as well as 17 private colleges. However, tuition fees at a number of these institutions can be well beyond your affordability range. So, here we have listed for you seven cheap universities and colleges in Ontario for both Canadian and international students.

Affordable Universities in Ontario for International Students

1. Algoma University

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: CAD $3,000/sem (Domestic Students) | CAD $9,500/sem (International Students)

Beginning its journey in 1965 as a university college, Algoma University earned its university status and its current name in 2008. This cheap university in Ontario is a small, undergraduate-only university. Its total student enrolment stands at just around 1,400. But interestingly, approximately 20 percent of first-year students come from outside Canada.

The public university’s faculty-to-student ratio is only 1:14. It has three campuses situated in the Ontario cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Brampton. At Algoma, students can enroll in 20-odd programs. Its Environmental Science, Computer Science, and Community Development programs are considered to be the standouts.

It is also known for being the only university in the country to offer a three-year undergraduate program in the indigenous North American language of Anishinaabemowin. The university has a number of scholarships and awards in store for both Canadian and international students, ranging from $500 to $16,000.

2. Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $2,000/sem (Domestic Students) | from CAD $7,000/sem (Graduate Students)

Just like the name suggests, Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public college that specializes in applied arts and technology. It was established in 1967.

With over 11,000 full-time and part-time students, it is recognized as the largest college in Northern Ontario. Students from more than 20 countries are currently studying at the college. Its three campuses are located in Sudbury, Espanola, and Little Current.

Cambrian offers over 80 full-time programs and nearly 900 part-time courses and programs. Around 85 percent of its graduates find themselves employed within six months of graduation. The college spends over $500,000 each year in scholarships and bursaries, assisting more than 1000 students.

3. University of Windsor

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $2,900/sem (Domestic Students) | from CAD $15,000/sem (International Students)

The University of Windsor (UWindsor) is the southernmost university in the Great White North. It occupies 125 acres of land in the east of Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international border crossing in North America.

This cheap university in Ontario came into being in the year 1963. It has a student population of over 16,000, including around 3,600 international students hailing from nearly a hundred countries.

The public university’s student-to-faculty ratio is 26:1. Multiple global university rankings recognize it as one of the top 30 universities in the country.

UWindsor facilitates 190 programs at the undergraduate level and 65 programs at the graduate level. Its Kinesiology and Aeronautics Leadership programs are a cut above the rest.

Annually, the university disburses north of $10 million in scholarships, bursaries, and awards to its students.

4. Dominican University College

  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $2,200/sem (Domestic Students) | CAD $7,220/sem (International Students)

In 1900, the Dominican University College (DUC) began its journey as one of the first university colleges in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. It is a really small university with just around 250 full-time and part-time students.

Its campus is positioned a few blocks distance from Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada. The public Christian university has been affiliated with Carleton University since 2012.

DUC claims to be a first-class research university in the fields of Philosophy and Theology. And those two are the only fields in which it offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The programs are taught in both English and French. The university has several financial aid programs and scholarship opportunities to assist students in financial need.

5. Ryerson University

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $7,000/year (Domestic Students) | from CAD $30,000/year (International Students)

Founded in 1948, Ryerson University is the province’s most applied-to university in terms of available space. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, it is one of the top 30 universities in Canada and one of the top 800 in the world. Its main campus is located near Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

Ryerson is home to over 38,500 students, who are enrolled in more than a hundred undergraduate and graduate programs. Nearly five percent of the total student population comes from outside the country. The university’s Creative Industries, Aerospace Engineering, and Biomedical Sciences programs are considered its best. Each year, it allocates over $4 million for entrance scholarship support for its students.

6. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $2,720/year (Domestic Students) | from CAD $15,000/year (International Students)

Next on our list of cheap universities in Ontario is Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology, which began its journey in 1966 as Ontario’s first publicly funded college. It has five campuses across Toronto, with the main ones located in the administrative division of Scarborough.

The college also has a campus in Suzhou, a Chinese city at a distance of 60-odd miles from Shanghai. The college’s total enrolment stands at over 44,300. Of them, around 11,000 are international and exchange students representing 137 nationalities.

Through its seven schools, Centennial offers nearly a couple of hundred full-time programs, including Bachelor’s degrees in Information Technology, Nursing, and Public Relations Management. It also offers about 150 part-time programs. The college annually offers over $3.5 million in scholarships and bursaries to its students, both domestic and international.

7. Lakehead University

  • Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Tuition Fees: from CAD $6,000/year (Domestic Students) | from CAD $26,500/year (International Students)

Lakehead University came into being in 1965 through a merger between Lakehead Technical Institute and Lakehead College of Arts, Science, and Technology. It currently has two campuses located in the Ontario cities of Thunder Bay and Orillia.

Out of its 8,500-plus students, the lion’s share is studying at the Thunder Bay campus, while only 1450 are enrolled at the Orillia campus. Nearly 10 percent of the first-year students hail from outside Canada.

Lakehead offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 57 fields of study. The programs in Engineering and Computer Science are more reputable than the other ones.

The public university provides its students with more than $11 million in scholarships, bursaries, and awards every year.

FAQs about Studying in Ontario

Which College Offers the Lowest Tuition Fee in Canada?

One of the cheapest universities in Canada is Memorial University of Newfoundland. Having annual tuition of CAD $11,000 (USD $8,640), this institution offers high-quality education at an affordable cost. Not only that but this university is located in a region where the living expenses are cheap, which makes the deal even better for international applicants.

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

What Is the Cheapest School in Ontario?

For international students, one of the cheapest schools in Ontario is the Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology with tuition fees of CAD $7,000 per semester. Coming in a close second, the next competitor on our list would be Dominican University College with tuition fees of CAD $7,220 per semester.

For domestic students and Canadian residents, the cheapest school for you would also be the Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology with semester tuition fees of CAD $2,000. For specific details, take a peek at our list of cheap universities in Ontario down below.


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Ontario was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Canada!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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