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Financing Higher Education in Canada: Best Funding Options & Tips for Budgeting

Jun 18, 2024

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Financing your education in Canada is a crucial part of studying there and with the right guidance and resources, it becomes an achievable goal. Whether you're an international student or planning to study abroad, understanding the various funding options is crucial to turning your academic dreams into reality. 

In this article, we'll explore the diverse financial aid opportunities available in Canada, including Scholarships, Grants, and Loans, and provide practical tips to help you navigate the process smoothly. 

Let us guide you through the steps to secure the financial support you need for a successful educational journey in one of the world's most welcoming and high-quality education systems.

Table of Content

  1. Cost of Education for International Students
  2. Scholarships & Grants
  3. Overseas Education Loans & Financial Aids
  4. Crowdfunding & Sponsorships
  5. Work Opportunities During & After Education
  6. Effective Tips for Budgeting & Financial Planning

Cost of Education for International Students

Before delving into financing options, it’s essential to understand the costs associated with studying in Canada. Tuition fees to study in Canada for international students can vary widely depending on the Level of study, Program, and Institution.

On average, a Bachelor’s Degree can cost between CAD 15,000 to CAD 30,000 per year, while a Master’s Degree might range from CAD 20,000 to CAD 35,000 annually. 

Additionally, you need to consider living expenses, which can average around CAD 20,635 per year, including Accommodation, Food, Transportation, and Other Personal Expenses. 

Now, let’s get into the details of how you can finance your education in Canada.

Most Sought-After Funding Options for Higher Education in Canada 

Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships are one of the most sought-after means to finance education. They are awarded based on various criteria, including Academic Excellence, Extracurricular Involvement, and Financial Need. Most popular scholarships for international students in Canada are mentioned below. 

1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Scholarship Value – CAD 50,000 per year for three years

Level of Study – Doctoral (Ph.D.) studies

Description - These are awarded to doctoral students, demonstrating leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering, and Health.

2. Canada- Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) ASEAN

Scholarship Value – CAD 15,000- CAD 20,000 depending on the course and program

Level of Study – Bachelors and Masters 

Description - This program provides students from ASEAN countries with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canadian Post-secondary Institutions.

3. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship

Scholarship Value – This scholarship is fully-funded

Level of Study – Bachelors 

Description - Offered by the University of Toronto, this Scholarship Covers Tuition, Books, Incidental Fees, and Full Residence Support for four years.

4. University-specific Scholarships

Scholarship Value – This varies depending on the specific scholarship and the policies of the university offering it.

Level of Study – University-specific Scholarships can be available for Bachelors, Masters& Ph.D. Some Universities may offer scholarships for specific programs or fields of study, while others may have more general awards open to students across various disciplines.

Description - Many universities in Canada offer their own scholarships for international students. For instance, the University of British Columbia offers the International Leader of Tomorrow Award, which recognizes international students with Superior Academic Achievement, Leadership Skills, and Involvement in student affairs and Community Service.

Overseas Education Loans & Financial Aids

While scholarships are valuable, they might not cover all expenses. In such cases, International Students can explore financial aid and education loans. Some options include:

  • Education Loans by Banks & Financial Institutions: Students can apply for Education loans from Public Banks, Private Banks or NBFCs.
  • International Student Loans: Several organizations and private international lenders offer loans specifically designed for international students. 
  • University Financial Aid: Many top Universities in Canada provide emergency financial aid or bursaries to international students facing unexpected financial hardships. It’s important to check with the university’s financial aid office for available options.

Crowdfunding & Sponsorships

Some students explore crowdfunding platforms or seek sponsorships from companies, organizations, or individuals interested in supporting their educational pursuits. By leveraging your network, telling your story, and aligning with potential sponsors, you can secure the financial support needed to pursue your academic dreams. With creativity, persistence, and the right approach, crowdfunding and sponsorships can turn your educational aspirations into a reality, ensuring a successful and enriching experience in Canada.

Work Opportunities During & After Education

Working while studying is a practical way to manage the cost of education in Canada. The country provides several opportunities for International Students to work during their studies. 

  • Part-time On-Campus Work: International students enrolled full-time in a post-secondary institution can work on-campus without a work permit for up to 20 hours per week. 
  • Part-time Off-Campus Work: Students can work off-campus up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays. This requires a valid study permit and full-time enrolment in a designated learning institution (DLI).
  • Co-op and Internship Programs: Many programs include Co-op or paid Internship placements as part of the curriculum. These are excellent ways to gain practical experience and earn money simultaneously. To participate, students need a Co-op Work Permit.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): After completing studies, international students can apply for a PGWP, which will allow you to work in Canada for up to three years. This is not only a way to gain valuable work experience but also a stepping stone towards permanent residency.

Now that we have seen the popular funding options, let’s check some of the effective ways to manage money as an international student. 

Effective Tips for Budgeting & Financial Planning

Effective budgeting and financial planning is essential for managing your finances so, here are some tips for how to do it. 

  • Create a Budget: Create a list of your monthly income and expenses. Include Tuition Fees, Rent, Food, Transportation, Books, and Entertainment. Stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary spending.
  • Open a Canadian Bank Account: Having a Canadian Bank account can help you manage your finances better. It also makes it easier to pay bills and avoid foreign transaction fees.
  • Use Student Discounts: Many businesses in Canada offer discounts to students. Always carry your student ID and ask for discounts on Public Transportation, Entertainment, and Shopping.
  • Cook at Home: Dining out in Canada is an expensive affair. It is much healthier and more cost-effective to cook at home. Many universities provide kitchen facilities in student residences.
  • Get Second-Hand Books and Supplies: Buy used textbooks and supplies whenever possible. Many universities have bookstores or online platforms where students can buy and sell used books.
  • Utilize Public Transportation: Use public transportation instead of owning a car. Many cities in Canada offer affordable public transit passes for students.

Summing up this article, those were the important financial considerations that you must know as an international student. At KC Overseas Education, we understand the financial challenges that come with pursuing an education abroad. But Canadian education with its world-class institutions and diverse opportunities, offers a promising future for international students. 

Our mission is to guide you through every step of the study abroad planning process including the financial aspects, from identifying suitable scholarships for international students in Canada to securing overseas education loans. KC provides a one-stop solution for your study abroad needs. 

Connect with our team of Canada experts today & get access to our expertise and resources, so that you can confidently embark on your educational journey in Canada. We can help you achieve your dream of studying in Canada and turn it into a reality!

Need guidance? Let us help you.

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