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Financial Aid for International Students in Canada

Welcome to yet another episode of Financial Aid for International Students in Canada from your favorite education channel.

In this article, I am going to show you an amazing Financial Aid for International Students in Canada.

Financial Aid for International Students in Canada

Financial Aid for International Students in Canada

The liberal immigration policies are an ensemble of world-class universities and colleges that have made Canada one of the most sought-after countries to pursue an undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctorate program.

The country attracts international students from all over the globe like bees are attracted to honey. World-renowned universities such as the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary.

However, it is no secret that staying and studying in Canada can be quite expensive in some cases.

If you are an international student thinking of studying in the country, you might be wondering what kind of Financial aid for international students in Canada is available. Let us find out more about the topic.

Understanding financial aid in Canada for international students

First and foremost we have to understand that for the US and Canada the fee structures of most universities are designed in such a way that international students have to pay more than domestic students.

This means that as an international student, you will be paying more for the same program than a domestic student.

The next thing we have to keep in mind is the type of expenses being covered under a specific financial aid.

As a student living and studying in Canada, you have more than just your bare-bones tuition fees to worry about. We have food, rent, electricity, and other expenses to worry about.

One of the biggest expenses apart from your tuition fees is the airfare. You might want to travel to your home country maybe once or twice a year.

Different types of financial aid cover different types of expenses. Most scholarships for example only cover the tuition fee part, whereas some university grants might also cover the airfare.

The third and last thing you must understand is that financial aid available in Canada can be divided into two broad categories. We have pre-admission financial aid such as scholarships.

Then we have post-admission options such as on-campus jobs that you apply to after getting successfully selected. We will be discussing both in this piece.

Pre-admission financial aid options for international students in Canada

These are the financial aid options that you can pursue before or at the time of your admission. These provide better financial security since you have financial support right from the beginning.

International Presidential Scholarship

Exactly as it sounds, the presidential scholarship is funded by the office of president of Canada. Almost all universities in Canada provide seats that are covered under this scholarship.

The scholarship covers most of the expenses of a student such as tuition fees and other expenses related to the university.

Apart from tuition fees, the cost of books and living costs (upto an extent) are covered under this scholarship. Annually, the scholarship is offered to 100 new students each year.

The scholarship supports you throughout your academic program. Speaking of academic programs, the scholarship is available for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even Ph.D. programs.

As far as applying for the scholarship is concerned, for most universities, you do not even have to apply.

If you have a good enough score on your SATs, you will automatically be offered the scholarship if you happen to be eligible. However some universities require explicit application so make sure to check.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship Programme

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship Programme was started in 1975. Since then, the program has funded the undergraduate studies of thousands of students.

This particular scholarship however can feel a bit restrictive. This is because it is only offered for universities in the Ontario province in Canada. Note that only public assisted universities in Ontario fall under the programme.

Even after so many filters, the scholarship programme is available in many excellent universities such as the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa.

The OGS programme mainly funds higher studies such as Master’s programmes and doctoral programmes.

While the specific amount you get covered will differ depending on the grades you have, the university you are applying to, and the available seats, on average the programme funds your studies in the range of $5000 to $15000 a year (in CAD)

University and Department specific financial aid

Other than national level scholarship programmes we mentioned above, universities and departments also offer scholarships. We must not forget that many universities have their own scholarship programmes.

Moreover, specific departments within the universities such as the Mathematics department or the Commerce department of different universities also offer their own scholarship programmes.

It is always worth checking out what scholarships and bursarships are being offered by universities of your interest. General scholarships, there are many different scholarships that are based on different criteria.

For example, there might be scholarships for female students or for students with an extensive co-curricular background.

Post-admission financial aid options for international students in Canada

Let’s say you applied to your dream university with an epic statement of purpose and top tier marks, and you get an offer letter from them. Turns out they have a hefty tuition fee.

You might find yourself in a spot. Do you accept the offer and struggle with loans and debts for years to come?

Or do you let go of the offer and forget about your dream university? Financial help can help you out here.

On campus jobs

On-campus jobs are the most common preference for students who are looking for financial help during their academic program.

It does not matter if you are pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate program. There are tons and tons of on-campus jobs available.

Note that at the end of the day, they are jobs. They have hourly pay and that means you can earn as little or as much as you want depending on how many hours of work they are able to put in.

The best part is that even international students are also eligible to work on-campus jobs. Coming to the pay, most jobs will pay in the range of $10 to $15 an hour.

Many students report that on-campus jobs provide them with the much needed break from constant studying. They are definitely worth trying.

Research assistantships

Most universities offer research assistantships. Distribution of research assistantships are controlled by the specific departments.

What you have to do is reach out to the professor or the lab in-charge of a lab of your field of study. You need to ask them if they have vacancies for research assistantships.

Research assistants are required to help the main researchers in academic or clerical work.

This also leads to an incredible amount of knowledge exposure and the formation of relationships with higher-ups in your academic field.

Coming to the pay, it is much better than on-campus jobs, you can rack up to $25k annually with an RA.

Break based Co-Ops

Pretty much all universities in Canada allow students to take a 6-month break during their academic program.

If you take this break after your second or third year, you can turn it into an earning opportunity.

Because you will have learned enough theory by the second year of your programme, you will be eligible to work at an industry-based organization.

You have to make sure that the organization is related to your field of study. Once you get selected, you can work throughout the break, getting paid as a full-time employee.

The pay can be highly competitive so depending on your grades and academic background, you stand the chance to collect quite a bit of money.

On the academic front, you get to learn from industry experts and get on the job experience. It adds a lot of boost to your ultimate resume or CV.


Canada is one of the top countries to study. International students are always eyeing to get a placement in one of the Canadian universities.

Money and academic background oftentimes turn out to be the biggest barriers. While working on your grades is only possible with hard work and discipline, we can definitely help the financial situation.

As you saw it becomes easy to think about financial aid in Canada if we divide the options into two broad segments.

Frequent-Asked Questions (FAQS)

Can international students get financial aid in Canada?

The great news is yes! International students can and do get financial aid in Canada. Every year, thousands of students apply to Canadian universities and complete their academic programs successfully with the help of various forms of financial aid.

How do international students get funding in Canada?

For most students, getting funding at the time of admissions forms the largest part of their financial aid. This usually comes in the form of government or university-funded scholarships.

Other forms of financial aid such as on-campus jobs and research or teaching assistantships can be applied to later.

Do international students qualify for financial aid?

Yes, international students do qualify for financial aid. However, whether you actually get the financial aid or not will depend largely on your grades and academic performance.


On that note, we’ve come to the end of this guide. Don’t forget to like, share and comment.

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