Toronto – the capital of Ontario – is Canada’s most populous city. As the center of arts, culture, and finance, it offers a cosmopolitan flair comparable to other ‘famous’ cities.

Toronto is also an assortment of ethnicities, thus making it an ideal location for students who wish to study abroad. To date, there are about 170,000 foreign students in Ontario – with most of them studying in Toronto. A lot of international students choose this city as it is home to exceptional Canadian universities.

But living in Ontario can be quite expensive. The cost of living, tuition fees, and other expenses are much higher compared to other cities in Canada. As an aspiring international student, you must prepare for it, but if you are low on budget, consider applying to an affordable Canadian university. Cheap tuition does not entail low-quality education, in fact, the universities we’ve listed below not only offer affordable costs but also deliver top-quality learning.

What Are the General Requirements to Study in Toronto?

The basic requirement for undergraduate applicants is a high school leaving certificate or equivalent while those seeking postgraduate studies require a bachelor’s degree.

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to provide an English language proficiency result to prove that they are capable of understanding and communicating in English. Additional documents such as recommendation letters, creative portfolios, ACT, GMAT, etc. may be asked but this will highly depend on the program, degree level, and university.

What Is the Most Affordable University in Toronto?

Tyndale University is the cheapest university in Toronto for international students. The undergraduate tuition fee is approximately  CA$15,000 for one academic year while graduate studies cost roughly around CA$11,500.

However, this is only a fraction of the total annual academic costs. Students need to pay for miscellaneous fees as well such as student activity fees, resource fees, and international student fees. These additional fees vary per program and year level. Also note, that the institution may decide to increase or not increase their tuition fees.

Check Also: Canada Programs for International Students

Affordable Universities in Toronto for International Students

1. Tyndale University

Tyndale University is a private, evangelical Christian institution located in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1894 as the Toronto Bible School, it serves as the second home of more than 1,300 students from over 40 Christian denominations.

Given its history, the school is well-known for undergraduate programs such as Christian ministry, biblical studies and theology programs, music (Worship Arts or Performance), and intercultural studies (Missions). On the other hand, it also offers ‘conventional’ courses such as biology, business administration, English, French, and human services.

Tyndale is a leading provider of theological graduate programs, some of the courses it offers include biblical language, biblical studies, pastoral ministry, and spiritual formation.

2. Toronto Metropolitan University

Toronto Metropolitan University formerly named Ryerson University is one of Toronto’s renowned public and affordable institutions. Evident to its previous names, the university was named after the former Canadian Minister Egerton Ryerson. It was established in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology.

Presently, the university has eight faculties including one graduate school. It has a student population of over 48,000 students. But despite the large number, the university has a low international admissions rate. However, figures are expected to grow as the university has been constantly developing new programs and approaches to cater to wider and more diverse students.

3. OCAD University

Ontario College of Arts & Design, one of the cheapest universities in Toronto, is Canada’s biggest and oldest school for art and design. Based in Grange Park, the former Ontario School of Art has come a long way since it was established in 1876.

OCAD U has three faculties – the Faculty of Art, the Faculty of Design, and the Faculty of Arts and Science. These departments oversee the university’s unique specializations of undergraduate programs including advertising, creative writing, digital futures, and more. As for graduate studies, the university offers design for health, inclusive design, and criticism and curatorial practice.

4. York University

Founded in 1959, York University serves as Canada’s third-largest university. After all, it has more than 49,500+ students – a quarter of which are international students.

This cheap university in Toronto has multiple campuses, including the main Keele Campus which houses the faculties of fine arts, law, liberal arts, business, environmental studies, health, education, and science and engineering. The other is the Glendon Campus, which houses Glendon College and the Leslie Frost Library.

Apart from the up-and-coming Markham Center Campus, York University also has branches at the Toronto-Dominion and Toronto-Eaton centers. Both of these serve as satellite campuses for the Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.


We hope you make use of this article once you plan to apply to one of Toronto’s affordable universities. For more information about studying in this country, check out the Ultimate Guide to Studying in Canada article!


Unsure of what study program to take? Here’s a list of Available Programs in Canada for International Students! Check them out for more study options!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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