Close
Finance

5 Canadian universities that you can apply to for free

application fee waiver
There are a few Canadian universities that offer application fee waivers. Source: Minas Panagiotakis/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

Canada offers world-class education and is home to many international students. If you plan it right,  studying in Canada can be cheaper than the UK, the US and Australia.

One of the key ways to do that is to beware of the small sums that add up, such as application fees. They can come up to a lot, especially if you’re applying to multiple universities — and you still have much to pay after, such as tuition fees, rent, food and more.

Thankfully, there are application fee waivers that students can apply for. Check out this guide to five universities in Canada that offer application fees waiver.

University of Calgary

application fee waiver

University of Calgary has a 95% undergraduate retention rate with more than two-thirds of over 202,500 graduates working in the Calgary area. Source: University of Calgary/Facebook

Ranked one of the top 10 universities in Canada, University of Calgary (UCalgary) has a 95% undergraduate retention rate. Over 26,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students pursue more than 250 programmes in its 14 faculties. 

UCalgary recognises that application fees may be a hurdle to some applicants. To help overcome this, domestic and international students can apply for a waiver consideration for their application fees. Students have to submit their application prior to submitting the waiver form. In case your request for a waiver is not accepted, you are to re-enter your application to pay the application fee with guided instructions. Submissions are currently closed but check out UCalgary’s website for updates.

University of British Columbia

application fee waiver

University of British Columbia (UBC Vancouver) is located in Vancouver and is ranked second among the “Best Universities in Canada. Source: University of British Columbia/Facebook

Located in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia (UBC Vancouver) is ranked second in the “Best Universities in Canada” list and is also ranked 35th among Best Global Universities

While there is an application fee for both Canadian and international students, students that meet the following criteria will be automatically eligible for the waiver: 

  • If you are an international student whose citizenship and correspondence address is located in one of the world’s 50 least developed countries, as declared by the United Nations. Here is a complete list of eligible countries.
  • If you are a domestic student applying to graduate programmes in the Department of Chemistry at UBC Vancouver. The application fee is absorbed by the department.
  • If you are a Canadian citizen and are a senior aged 65 years or over at the time of application. 

Find out more about applications at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver here

Quest University

application fee waiver

Quest University has a small student population of 600 students and seminar-style classes with a maximum of 20 people. Source: Quest University/Facebook

Quest University is situated in Squamish and is a relatively new university that opened its doors in 2007 with the vision of reinventing the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. Students here are given the flexibility to design their courses and to take on subjects they are passionate about. There are only 600 students on campus, learning in classes designed for a maximum of 20 people. There is only one degree: the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences.

There aren’t any application fees — but that doesn’t mean it’s totally free. Students who are admitted have to pay a fee of CA$500 deposit (CA$5,000 for non-Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or US citizens) to confirm their enrollment in the university. 

Read here to learn more about the application process at Quest University. 

Tyndale University

application fee waiver

A Christian university based in Toronto, Tyndale University is home to Canada’s largest graduate school of theology. Source: Tyndale University/Facebook

A Christian university based in Toronto, Tyndale University is home to Canada’s largest graduate school of theology. It offers an extensive range of programmes from undergraduate to master’s to seminary degrees and programmes. Other than that, Tyndale is approved as a Designated Learning Institution, allowing them to accept international students with study permits.

As for application fees, it is split into two categories: non-Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education. In both categories, international students are required to pay a CA$150 non-refundable application fee. However, applications are free for Canadian and American residents if you are taking a non-Bachelor of Education course. But if you are planning to take the latter category, there is an application fee of CA$75.

Click here to fill up your application.

University of New Brunswick

application fee waiver

University of New Brunswick (UNB) is the first English-language university and is among the oldest public universities in North America. Source: University of New Brunswick/Facebook

University of New Brunswick (UNB) is the first English-language university and is among the oldest public universities in North America. UNB is situated in Canada’s only officially bilingual province, with 70% of its population being Anglophones and 30% being Francophones. Boasting a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, here is where students will enjoy world-class programmes with a small-university experience. 

It’s common for Canadian universities to offer application fee waivers to domestic and international students through their recruitment events. These events may include school visits, one-on-one recruiter meetings, campus tours, in-person events, virtual events and any other recruitment event that requires pre-registration to attend. 

The application fee waiver at UNB is only applicable to Canadian high school students or international students already enrolled in a Canadian high school.  

If you are a domestic student in Canada or an international student studying in a Canadian high school, click here for a step-by-step guide.