List of Best Free Colleges in Canada 2022


Canada has always been a welcoming country and with the addition of these provisions, it seems to be shaping up to be a haven of higher education in North America swiftly beating out the USA in the process. Canada has a relatively low cost of living and many opportunities to study there for free.

While people often confuse the idea of ‘free’ with tuition-free colleges, Canada does not have many tuition-free options. For tuition-free options, Scandinavian countries and some other European countries are your best bet.

Though Canada does not possess a tuition-free option, it has many gratuitous scholarship programs and many options to be able to study for a very low price or for free.

There are many institutions that offer full scholarships and need-based scholarships to students applying. Though sometimes these scholarships are on the basis of merit, there are many that are awarded on a need basis.

Since obtaining a scholarship can be a difficult process for new students, we’ve listed a number of universities within which there is a more or less streamlined process for obtaining a scholarship.

These may be scholarships awarded by the institution itself, governmental agencies, The Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarships (TPETFS), or the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (VCGS) which are awarded on the basis of the institution you wish to attend.

The opportunities listed may contain limited seats in some cases but they are great scholarship opportunities. Without further ado let us take a look at the list of free universities available for international students.

Free Colleges in Canada for International Students

Here goes…

St. Mary’s University


Saint Mary’s University (SMU) is a public, previously Catholic university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is located at the Cape Cod-Newcastle border and is the largest Catholic university in the province of Nova Scotia. Founded in 1802, the school was founded by Reverend Edmund Burke (yes! The philosopher Edmund Burke) as the second oldest English-speaking university in Canada, and was the first Roman Catholic-initiated university.

The campus on Roby Street is located on the South End, near Halifax, just up the street from Dalhousie University. Situated halfway between Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, SMUs 80-acre campus features a number of signature buildings and extensive greenspace.

Fully-funded scholarship options

Students may apply for scholarships and grants via the aids and awards page on the official University website and search available awards. Scholarship at St. Mary’s is awarded to those with outstanding academic records.

With more than 25% of international students from over a hundred countries and above $7.69 million in scholarships, St Mary’s is a ludicrous opportunity for those looking to study in Canada for free. Many of the scholarships awarded are renewable in nature and require a good academic record in order to be eligible for renewal. Finally, the total of the funds is not awarded solely as scholarships but also as fellowships and bursaries. Look through the options to conclude which scholarship, fellowship, or bursary would be ideal for your application.

University of Manitoba


Founded in 1877 as Western Canada’s first university, the University of Manitoba is located in Winnipeg, the capital of Canada’s Manitoba Province. Founded by Alexander Morris, the University of Manitoba was established as a provincial university on February 28, 1877, by the University of Manitoba Act, becoming the first institute of higher learning. And therefore, the first university was established throughout western Canada. The University of Manitoba also boasts one of Canada’s largest Indigenous student populations, enrolling more than 2,000 Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit students each year.

Fully-funded scholarship options

In addition, the University helps all international students through part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities in order to make basic wages in order to support the financial back-end of their lives. The University of Manitoba also attracts many doctoral candidates through the VGCS (Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships) grant mentioned above.

University of Calgary


The University of Calgary, founded in 1966, is located near the Rocky Mountains, a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Located within the city of Calgary and is home to 11 of its 14 faculties. The University of Calgary offers a broad array of residences across the campus, with a substantial portion of both undergraduate and graduate students living on-campus.

The main campus mixes new and older buildings, as well as green spaces and underground tunnels to help students avoid colder winters. The University of Alberta now houses its physical therapy master’s degree Calgary program in this building. The University of Calgary’s Work-Study Programme (WSP) is designed to provide students with opportunities to work on-campus and off-campus on and off for a portion of each academic year.

Fully-funded scholarship options

Through the Schulich Leadership Fellowship program, each year, the University awards a scholarship worth $80,000.00 to a student entering the Schulich School of Engineering, and a scholarship worth $60,000.00 to a student entering the science, and technology, or mathematics programs of the University of Calgary.

The University of Calgary also offers a Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Leadership to five undergraduate or postgraduate students who demonstrate an academic record, as well as extra-curricular contributions, to the University and the community.

Ranked in multiple popular ranking agencies, and offering exceptional employment opportunities after graduation, the University of Calgary is indeed one of Canada’s top institutions for studying abroad. The VCGS scholarship too applies to the graduate students of Calgary in the form of a renewable scholarship that goes on for three years of graduate studies.

Carleton University


Carleton University offers a wide range of programs in the fields of higher learning such as arts, languages, history, psychology, philosophy, engineering, design, law, business, journalism, science, business, and more. The university is home to more than 30,000 part-time and full-time students, as well as a staff of over 900 skilled and eminent faculty members.

Carleton is committed to innovation in research, teaching, and learning, encouraging hands-on experiences in the classroom and offering outstanding student support. Carleton University offers over 100 bachelor’s and master’s programs, numerous certificates and diploma programs, generous scholarships, and many opportunities for invaluable hands-on experience through practicum, fieldwork, placements, and co-op programs.

Fully-funded scholarship options

At Carleton University, one can pursue an undergraduate degree at no cost. This can be achieved by applying for the Carleton University entrance awards for international students. This process is a merit-based scholarship program that depends on the student’s academic performance and is open to all students who are admitted. There are other scholarships available at Carleton too, such as the prestige scholarship. Prestige scholarships are on the list of top scholarship programs. Carleton has other additional entrance scholarships other than the ones mentioned before.

University of Waterloo


Waterloo is a public, research-funded university, a member of the Association of Canadian Universities and Colleges. Waterloo is a member of U15, the research-intensive university grouping of Canada. The University of Waterloo is best known for its cooperative education (co-op) programs, which enable students to combine their education with relevant work experience.

The program also provides business mentoring for its resident companies and for Waterloo students and partnerships with researchers on its new campus. The University offers academic programs, which are administered by six faculties and ten schools, which are all faculty-driven. The university was established in the year of 1957. The University is home to more than forty thousand students from over a hundred countries.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of Waterloo has multiple scholarships for international students. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarships (TPETFS) along with the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (VCGS) are both available at the University of waterloo. Both master’s and undergraduate students can avail of this scholarship. Both scholarships are valued at around fifty thousand dollars per year. The University of Waterloo is an excellent choice for students looking to get into research.

University of Toronto


The University of Toronto, a university coeducational institution, is a provincial university in Ontario, one of Canada’s oldest and largest universities. The University of Toronto, from its founding in 1827, has grown to become a leading educational institution in Canada, representing the landmark buildings for more than 100 years of discoveries and knowledge-building.

The University of Toronto has its roots in an Anglican-founded public university of Upper Canada, King’s College, York (now Toronto), that was chartered in 1827, but was not established until 1843. The University’s previous affiliated schools, Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became completely independent universities, becoming part of the University of Guelph in 1964 and York University in 1965, respectively.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of Toronto is a highly ranked university globally. The University mainly has an international scholarship program named the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship program. While other high-ranking universities in Canada offer this scholarship program as well, it is a fully-funded scholarship program that covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and even has full residence support. The Scholarship award is targeted mainly toward international students who have had amazing academic track records and can display leadership skills.

University of Winnipeg


Macleans Magazine and The Globe and Mail Newspaper both rank this university as ranked among the Top 15 Canadian universities with primary emphasis on post-secondary education based on student satisfaction.

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is among the top three most beautiful big Canadian cities according to MoneySense magazine, this 53-year-old chartered university is widely noted for its academic excellence, small class sizes, environmental commitment, and diversity on its campuses. This university offers master’s degrees in a variety of programs such as those in arts and cultural studies, arts in indigenous governance, and arts in criminal justice, among other noteworthy subjects.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders is awarded to international students applying to enter the program for the first time. Along with that, they also provide an international student health plan Bursary. Again this is for international students at the undergraduate level and aims to help support the students with an international student welfare plan.

McGill University


McGill University is a public university in Montreal. It is internationally known for work in the fields of chemistry, medicine, and biology. McGill University is a globally recognized institution of higher learning, with research activities that encompass two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study, and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 post-graduate students.

McGill University is listed by leading education publications as one of the top universities worldwide and has held Canada’s top spot for the last 16 years on Maclean’s annual ranking of Canadian universities. McGill is a member of the province’s network of universities but has significant freedom to pursue McGill’s traditions of excellence in education and research.

Fully-funded scholarship options

McGill University contains a student aid office that offers scholarships to first-generation university students who enter an undergraduate program. Thus McGill university is a free university for some students who are first-generation university students.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)


The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is the first publicly funded polytechnic in Canada, as well as Calgary’s oldest post-secondary institution. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary is a globally recognized institute, home to more than 15,000 students and 1,269 professors across nine colleges and associated schools.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is Canada’s premier post-secondary polytechnic and is the third-largest post-secondary education provider in the province of Alberta. SAIT is a polytechnic institute offering 100 vocational programs in the fields of technology, trades, and business that serve student needs. As the world’s leading provider of applied education, SAIT is the first choice of students worldwide.

Fully-funded scholarship options

SAIT sets aside five million dollars for scholarships annually across all programs of study. Almost 80% of all incoming students receive some kind of financial aid and students with good academic standing are eligible for renewal for up to four years. Hence it is often easy for dedicated/studious students to be able to study at SAIT for free for the duration of their study there.

Simon Fraser University


Simon Fraser University was established in 1965 on Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia. Today, they have campuses in two other locations in British Columbia as well – Vancouver and Surrey. The Vancouver campus was opened in 1989 and houses SFU’s graduate school of business.

The Surrey campus was opened in 2002 and hosts their Quantum Algorithm Institute, Sustainable Energy Engineering program, and SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Simon Fraser University is amongst the top research universities in Canada and is among the top 250 colleges in the world as well.

The University offers several educational and learning opportunities to its students and its deeply invested faculty is committed to driving research, innovation, and solutions to create a more inclusive, innovative, and sustainable economy in British Columbia and the rest of the world. They also encourage cross-discipline collaboration, and experiential learning through field exchanges.

Fully-funded scholarship options

SFU offers many scholarship programs for international students, including one that is fully funded. The SFU Distinction and Living Allowance Undergraduate Scholars Entrance International Scholarship applies to any course offered by the college and covers tuition and the mandatory supplementary fees for a first undergraduate degree. Depending on the program of study, a scholarship value is granted, along with a living allowance for every term. The scholarship is targeted at high school students with good academic performance.

Concordia University


Concordia University, located in Montreal is a bustling modern university. It markets itself as a next-generation university that is constantly rethinking the nature and purpose of higher education. The salient features of Concordia include its multidisciplinary approach to research. That is, Concordia is geared toward multifunctional research where the research problem leads the researcher through a number of fields. Moreover, Concordia is focused on experiential learning which is rare at a university level. The University is fairly young having been founded within the last 50 years and it registers over 51000 students.

Fully-funded scholarship options

Concordia supports international students with good academic records willing to pursue an undergraduate degree with their Presidential Scholarship. The Presidential scholarship is the foremost scholarship at Concordia. It covers tuition fees, books, and living costs. Furthermore, the scholarship is renewable up to four years. There is another scholarship program as well named Concordia international scholars which is meant solely for international students and works much the same way as The Presidential Scholarship.

The University of Ottawa


The University of Ottawa is a public research university located in Downtown Ottawa, Ontario. It was established in 1848 and is a bilingual university, offering learning in French and English. It offers courses in a variety of subjects like Law, Education, Health Sciences, Management, and Engineering. Their programs are customizable based on each individual’s interests. The University of Ottawa is also among the top 10 research universities.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of Ottawa also provides several scholarships for international students, one such being the President’s Scholarship for International Students. This is one of the most prestigious scholarships offered by the University and is granted to one full-time undergraduate international student committed to their academic and extracurricular activities.

The University of British Columbia


The University of British Columbia was started in 1915 and is amongst the top public universities in the world. Its two main campuses are located in Vancouver and Okanagan and host students from across the world. UBC offers specialized bachelor’s degree programs in fields such as arts and humanities, life sciences and medicine, business, and management. The University high values and works towards equity, inclusivity, and diversity. It is internationally recognized for its research and academic excellence.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of British Columbia provides several scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. Some of these include the Vanier CGS and the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarship. These scholarships can be renewed for up to three years. There are other scholarships funded by private individuals and organizations as well.

York University


York University is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario established in 1959 and is the fourth-largest university in Canada. The University now has multiple campuses, both locally in Keele and Glendon, as well as globally in Costa Rica and Hyderabad, India.

York University offers many programmes that are nationally and internationally recognized. Some of the bachelor’s degrees offered include fields of Science, Business, Law, Environmental Studies, Art, Media, Performance, and Design. The student population is diverse and York University is keen to drive positive change in the world.

Fully-funded scholarship options

York University has many scholarship opportunities for international students. The York University Automatic Entrance Scholarships and the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award are two available scholarships for students wishing to pursue an undergraduate program and can be renewed for three additional years.

Some other available scholarship programs are the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarship, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

The University of Alberta


The University of Alberta was founded in 1908 and is located in Edmonton, Alberta. It has 5 campuses at present. It is well known for public research and has 18 broad faculties that are further divided into smaller schools that teach courses in various fields of study. Apart from offering programs in undergraduate and postgraduate study, the University of Alberta also offers credential and exchange programs, and a professional development course for students.

Fully-funded scholarship options

The University of Alberta has many scholarship opportunities for undergraduates and graduates, including Living expenses. It also offers a full scholarship for international students wishing to study a Masters’s or Ph.D. program in Canada.

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