Top 10 Cheap Universities in Ontario

Cheap Universities in Ontario

Cheap universities in Ontario are the best option for those who are looking for affordable higher education without compromising on quality.

The tuition fees for higher education are high everywhere, including Canada. Many students dream of getting a degree from a Canadian university. But, the increased tuition fees become a hindrance to their dreams. If you are one of those who want to pursue higher education in Canada, you can consider moving to the Canadian province of Ontario. Ontario has 22 public universities, 24 public colleges, and 17 private colleges.

In this article, we’ll explore the cheap universities in Ontario, shedding light on Ottawa’s offerings. Moreover, we’ll explore their tuition fees and specialized programs. If you’re interested in exploring more about budget-friendly options specifically in Ottawa, check out our article on Cheap Universities in Ottawa for further insights and a comprehensive guide.

Eligibility Requirements for Admission To Ontario University 

Admission requirements for Ontario universities may vary depending on the particular university and program you are applying to. However, there are some general requirements for admission into an Ontario university.

  • Academic Background: To be eligible for admission to an undergraduate degree at an Ontario university, you must usually have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or its equivalent.
  • English Language Proficiency: In most cases, you will need to provide documentation of your English language ability if it is not your first language. Typically, this takes the form of a test result on an English language competency assessment, such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Programs and universities will determine the minimum scores required.
  • Special Course Requirements: Some programs may have specific course requirements that you must complete in high school. These courses will relate to the program you are applying for. For example, you may need to complete a calculus course in high school to be eligible for a Computer Science program.
  • Minimum Grades Requirements: Generally, universities have a minimum grade requirement for admission. These requirements typically range from 65% to 80%, although they may vary depending on the university and program.

10 Cheap Universities in Ontario and Their Tuition Fees 

      Universities Domestic Tuition Fees International Tuition Fees 
1.Cambrian College of Applied Arts and TechnologyFrom CAD $2,000 (Per semester)From CAD $7,000 (Per semester)
2.Algoma UniversityCAD $3,000 (Per semester)From CAD $9,500 (Per semester)
3. Dominican University CollegeFrom CAD $2,200 (Per semester)From CAD $7,220 (Per semester)
4. University of WindsorFrom CAD $2,900 (Per semester)From CAD $15,000 (Per semester)
5. Ryerson UniversityFrom CAD $7,000 (Per year)From CAD $30,000 (Per year)
6.Centennial College of Applied Arts and TechnologyFrom CAD $2,900 (Per year)From CAD $15,000 (Per year)
7.Lakehead UniversityFrom CAD $6,000 (Per year)From CAD $26,500 (Per year) 
8. University of GuelphFrom CAD $6,091 (Per year)From CAD $14,442 (Per year)
9. Brock UniversityTuition fees depend on the program:
From CAD $19,938
From CAD $26,558 (Per year)
10. Laurentian UniversityFrom CAD $6,000From CAD $27,258 (Per year)

1. Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology

  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1967
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Accreditation: Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • Rank: 18th overall in Canada
  • Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

The largest institution in Northern Ontario, Cambrian College was founded in 1967. It is one of the cheapest universities in Ontario, with more than 4,100 full-time students enrolled in 80 programs. With programs ranging from Business and Engineering Technology to Community Services and the Creative Arts, Cambrian offers a combination of theoretical education and real-world experience on campuses in Sudbury, Espanola, and Little Current. 

A large percentage of Cambrian’s student body are international students, and they thrive there due to the school’s small class sizes and supportive faculty. The college awards more than $500,000 in scholarships and bursaries to support more than a thousand students each year.

2. Algoma University  

  • Type: Public university 
  • Established: 1965
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Accreditation: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities of Ontario
  • Rank: Ranked 1558th globally in the QS World Rankings 2022
  • Location: Ontario, Canada

Algoma University is a public university, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate programs in Liberal Arts, Sciences, and professional subjects. It was founded in 1965 and currently operates three campuses in Timmins, Brampton, and Sault Ste. Marie. Algoma University is another cheap university in Ontario that emphasizes teaching and learning, highlighting its unique purpose of promoting cross-cultural learning among indigenous communities and others. 

This small, undergraduate university has a total enrollment of approximately 1,400 students. The university has only a 1:14 faculty-to-student ratio. Students can choose from around 20 different programs at Algoma University. Its programs in Community Development, Computer Science, and Environmental Science are considered some of the best. For both Canadian and international students, the university offers various scholarships ranging from $500 to $16,000.

3. Dominican University College

Dominican University College
Dominican University College
  • Type: Public institution
  • Established: 1900
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Rank: 201-250 in QS US Universities Ranking 2021
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Located in the heart of Ottawa, Canada, Dominican University College is a bilingual institution. DUC, founded in 1900 by the Dominican Order of Preachers, offers a strong historical foundation in addition to an emphasis on ethical studies and critical thinking. The small class sizes and 1:7 faculty-to-student ratio of this cheap university in Ontario are renowned for encouraging close engagement and academic performance. This small university has about 250 full-time and part-time students. 

The DUC campus is located a short walk from both Parliament Hill and the Canadian Supreme Court. Since 2012, Dominican University College and Carleton University have been affiliated with each other. DUC presents itself as a world-class research institution focusing on theology and philosophy.

4. University of Windsor

University of Windsor
University of Windsor
  • Type: Public research university
  • Established: 1962
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: 601-800 in THE University Ranking 2023 
  • Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

With over 17,500 students, the University of Windsor is a public research institution founded in 1962. Located in southern Canada, the university offers a dynamic environment with over 150 undergraduate and graduate programs spanning multiple fields, such as Business, Engineering, Law, Nursing, and Social Sciences. 

The university is located on 125 acres just east of the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international border crossing in North America. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 26:1. This cheap university in Ontario distributes over $10 million to its students in the form of scholarships, awards, and bursaries.

5. Ryerson University

  • Type: Public research university
  • Established: 1948
  • Acceptance Rate: 25 – 30%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: Ranks 801-1000 in the world
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), formerly called Ryerson University, is a public research institution located in Toronto, Canada. It is renowned for its cutting-edge, career-focused teaching methods. When it comes to available spaces, Ryerson University, founded in 1948, is the university with the most applications in the entire province. More than 46,500 students study at Ryerson University, where they attend more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. 

The percentage of international students at this cheap university in Ontario is about 5% of the total student population. The best programs offered by the TMU are in the fields of Biomedical Sciences, Aerospace Engineering, and Creative Industries. The university distributes more than $4 million annually to support its students with entrance scholarships.

6. Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology

Centennial College
Centennial College
  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1966
  • Acceptance Rate: 65%
  • Rank: 77th in Country Rankings 
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The oldest public college in Ontario is Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology, located in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1966, it offers more than 400 diploma, degree, and certificate programs aimed at preparing students for careers. Its full-time program includes bachelor’s degrees in Public Relations Management, Nursing, and Information Technology.

The college has five campuses spread across Toronto, with the major one located in the administrative district of Scarborough. In total, the college enrolls more than 44,300 students. About 11,000 of them are exchange and international students, who come from 137 different countries. The institution awards more than $3.5 million in scholarships and bursaries to its local and international students every year.

7. Lakehead University

  • Type: Public research university
  • Established: 1965 
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Rank: 801-1000 in the world in THE University Ranking 2023
  • Location: Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Across its two campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Lakehead University, a public research university in Ontario, Canada, provides a vibrant environment for over 8,300 students. The university is renowned for its excellent teaching and student-centric approach. It offers over 85 undergraduate and graduate programs. The Computer Science and Engineering programs are more respected than others. 

Every year, this cheap university in Ontario gives its students over $11 million in scholarships, bursaries, and awards.

8. University of Guelph

University of Guelph
University of Guelph
  • Type: Public research university
  • Established: 1964
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: 486th in the QS World University Rankings 2024
  • Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the University of Guelph (U of G) is a public research university with an emphasis on Agriculture and Food Science. With over 29,500 students spread across its main campus, agricultural research center, and satellite school in Toronto, it was founded in 1964. U of G is renowned for its programs in Agricultural Science, Food Science, and Life Sciences. 

This cheap university in Ontario also offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in Arts, Science, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, and Business. 

9. Brock University

Brock University
Brock University
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1964
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: 1394 in Best Global Universities
  • Location: St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Brock University is a public research university that offers more than 70 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs to its 19,000 students. The programs offered by this cheap university in Ontario include Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Business, Education, and Health Sciences. The university fosters a strong sense of community among its students by emphasizing career preparation through co-ops and practical learning opportunities.

10. Laurentian University

Laurentian University
Laurentian University
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1960
  • Acceptance Rate: 70% – 80%
  • Rank: 1416 globally in the QS World Rankings 2022
  • Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

With over 175 undergraduate and graduate programs, Laurentian University is a bilingual public university located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1960, the university offers a dynamic academic environment and is renowned for its small classes and emphasis on providing individual student support. 

The institution’s stunning 765-acre campus is surrounded by nature. A leader in multilingual education in Canada, this cheap university in Ontario offers programs in Commerce, Mining, Engineering, and Health. Laurentian University may be a great choice for you to study due to its excellent graduate employment success rate and diverse learning community.


1. How much is the rent in Toronto for international students?

International students in Toronto may have to pay between CAD 1,100 and CAD 2,700 in rent per month. Monthly food and grocery expenses are over CAD 340. Additionally, internet, electricity, phone, clothing, transportation, etc. are other important areas.

2. Which diploma is the cheapest in Canada?

– Interior Decoration, Digital Marketing,
– Health Management, Cybersecurity, and 
– Event Management are some of the cheapest diplomas in Canada.

3. Is it cheaper to go to a university in Northern Ontario?

Tuition at Northern Ontario universities is often lower than at Southern Ontario universities. However, keep in mind the cost of living, which varies depending on the specific location.

4. Are there any scholarships or financial aid available for students in Ontario?

Yes, there are many scholarships and financial aid programs available for students in Ontario. However, this financial aid can be determined by the student’s academic standing, financial need, or specific programs of study.


Cheap universities in Ontario are great ways to access higher education for students who face challenges in paying the increased tuition fees of higher education. These universities open the doors of higher education to all. 

By providing affordable tuition fees, scholarships, and financial aid, these institutions allow students to receive high-quality education without incurring significant debt. Additionally, they support innovation, recruit talent from abroad, and produce a competent labor force, all of which boost the province’s economy.

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