Top 9 Cheapest Universities in Vancouver

Cheapest Universities in Vancouver

Those seeking affordable higher education in Canada should look for the cheapest universities in Vancouver that offer diverse educational opportunities to students at affordable tuition.

Canada is considered one of the best places to study in the world. Vancouver, located in British Columbia, is a popular tourist destination. It is a dynamic city with breathtaking landscapes that offer a special blend of natural beauty and urban energy. It is no surprise that Vancouver would attract students who are looking for top-notch education in Canada.

However, some students who wish to study in Vancouver may be concerned about the cost of higher education there. However, some universities in Vancouver offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs at affordable prices.

In this article, we’ll explore the 9 most affordable universities in Vancouver, offering you a comprehensive comparison of their tuition fees. 

Eligibility Requirements for Admission To Vancouver University 

Since there are many universities in Vancouver, there is only one set of admission requirements. However, we tell you about the general eligibility requirements for admission to a university in Vancouver.

  • Academic Transcript: Official transcripts from your high school education or its equivalent are required, as well as any previous post-secondary studies
  • English Language Proficiency: If English is not your first language, you will likely need to take an English proficiency test, such as the TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Minimum GPA: Depending on the program you are applying to, most universities have a minimum GPA requirement. But, this can vary.
  • Standardized Tests: Some programs may require scores from standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT.
  • Portfolio or Letters of Recommendation: Depending on the program, you may need to submit a portfolio of your work or obtain recommendations from employers or teachers.

List of 9 Cheapest Universities in Vancouver and Their Fees 

   Universities Domestic Tuition Fees International Tuition Fees 
  1.Capilano UniversityBetween  $10,000 CAD and $40,000 CAD (Per program)Between  $10,000 CAD and $40,000 CAD (Per program)
  2.Simon Fraser UniversityTuition fees depend on the program. Co-operative Education: $878.31 CAD (Per term)$11,452 CAD (Per year)
  3.University Canada West$17,500 CAD to $38,680 CAD (Per program) $40,600 CAD to $89,000 CAD (Per program)
  4.Vancouver Island UniversityGraduate programs: $20,000 – $30,000 (Per program)Graduate Programs: $25,000 – $40,000 (Per program) 
  5.Columbia CollegeUndergraduate Programs: $16,500 (Per year)$595 CAD (Per credit)
  6.Langara CollegeAround $1,614.30 (Per semester)From $601.80 CAD to $613.84 CAD (Per credit)
  7.University of British Columbia Full-time undergraduate programs: around $6,000 CAD (Per year)$6,000 CAD to $34,000 CAD (Per year)
  8.Vancouver Community College$12,200 CAD and $30,700 CAD (Per year)$12,200 CAD to $43,087 CAD (Per program)
    9.North Island College$315 to $336 (Per course)$14,045 CAD to $20,415 CAD (Per year)

1. Capilano University

  • Type: Public
  • Established: 1968
  • Acceptance Rate: 23%
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Rank: #1408 in the QS World University Rankings for 2024

Capilano University, located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a public university founded in 1968. It is one of the cheapest universities in Vancouver that serves more than 12,700 students per year with over 100 programs in professional studies, career fields, and the liberal arts. Beyond its main campus, Capilano University offers programs on the Sunshine Coast and serves the larger Sea-to-Sky Corridor region.

Additionally, the university has launched several programs to strengthen the welcoming and cheerful atmosphere on campus. Earthworks, Peers Helping Peers, and Positive Space were all created with these aims. International students at Capilano are required to pay a one-time deposit of $5,000 towards their international tuition fee, which often varies by program. International students are also eligible to take several programs for free.

2. Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1965
  • Acceptance Rate: 59%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: Ranked #318 in the QS World University Rankings for 2024

Canada’s highly-ranked public research university, Simon Fraser University (SFU) was founded in 1965. The cheap university in Vancouver has a strong academic reputation and is often ranked among the best institutions in Canada. Located in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, the university has over 30,000 students, SFU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. 

If you are looking for a holistic and prestigious Canadian university experience, Simon Fraser University will be a great choice for you. This cheap university in Vancouver attracts a diverse student body. One of the country’s first urban campuses, many of Simon Fraser University’s buildings are rich in history and make for great tourist attractions. Thousands of students visit the Harbour Centre campus each year; it was formerly a department store. It’s currently adjacent to a high-rise building.

3. University Canada West

  • Type: Private University
  • Established: 2004
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Accreditation: ACBSP
  • Rank: Ranked at 114 in the QS World University Rankings for the year 2024.

University Canada West (UCW) in Vancouver, Canada is a private university with a strong business program. UCW was founded in 2004 and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Communication, Management, and Business with an emphasis on preparing students for careers. This is another great option for a cheap university in Vancouver that prides itself on its high employability rating, which shows that a large portion of its alumni finds work soon after graduation. 

The university also offers customizable learning options for different levels of study. You can make the most of your study time and appreciate the ease of their learning style as a student here. Their classes are small relative to their structure. These classes enable students to engage in more focused and in-depth learning and interaction.

4. Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University
Vancouver Island University
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1969
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Accreditation: BCCIE, CBIE
  • Rank: 1001-1200 in QS World University Rankings 2024

Vancouver Island University, located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, is a public university serving Vancouver Island and the surrounding coastal region. Founded in 1969 as Malaspina College, it has grown to become a comprehensive university offering over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university has a beautiful campus environment and accepts a diverse student body.

VIU ensures an excellent college experience that appeals to those who want to be surrounded by tall mountains and lush trees. International students are also warmly welcomed and accommodated at VIU, which ensures that they have all the resources they need for success. The university also provides students with a convenient transportation service to a superstore called the “Grocery Shuttle”, which usually operates twice a week.

5. Columbia College

  • Type: Private university 
  • Established: 1936
  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Rank: In the QS World University Rankings for 2024, Columbia is positioned at #23, marking a slight decrease from its #22 ranking in 2023.

Columbia College, founded in 1936, is a prestigious non-profit college in Vancouver, Canada. This two-year university takes great pride in its international student body. This cheap university in Vancouver is home to students from over 60 different countries. If you are a prospective student and want to tour the campus more closely you are in luck. 

Students can benefit from special resources even if they have never set foot on campus. If you are looking for a strong academic foundation and admission to a prestigious university in a beautiful and safe city, Columbia College may be a great choice for you.

6. Langara College

  • Type: Public college
  • Established: 1994
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Accreditation: ACBSP

Langara College in Vancouver, Canada is a vibrant university known for its dedication to both community involvement and academic performance. With a wide choice of degree programs covering everything from Business and Technology to the Arts and Sciences, Langara offers students the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. 

Students are empowered to succeed academically and professionally at the institution thanks to its skilled faculty and supportive learning environment. This cheap university in Vancouver is renowned for its cutting-edge approach to education, which emphasizes experiential learning and empowers students to follow their passions.

7. University of British Columbia

University Of British Columbia
University Of British Columbia
  • Type: Public university
  • Established: 1908
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Rank: According to QS, the University of British Columbia is ranked 34th in the World University Ranking category for the year 2024.

The oldest university in British Columbia, Canada is the University of British Columbia (UBC), founded in 1908. UBC has over 72,500 students enrolled on two main campuses in Kelowna, which offers spectacular views of the Okanagan, and Vancouver, a thriving cultural hub. This cheap university in Vancouver is renowned for its research and is particularly strong in Anthropology, Medicine, and Biotechnology. 

With moderate admission rates and a solid academic reputation, this public university attracts students from both domestic and foreign countries with a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.

8. Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College
Vancouver Community College
  • Type: Public community college
  • Established: 1965
  • Acceptance Rate: 50% – 70%

The oldest public community college in British Columbia, Canada is Vancouver Community College (VCC), which opened in 1965. It offers over 150 different programs in various areas of study, including short courses, apprenticeships, bachelor’s degrees, certifications, and diplomas. With an emphasis on practical, career-oriented education, VCC places great value on graduate placement and preparing students for roles that are in high demand.

This cheap university in Vancouver is a fun place to study, and it is conveniently located near stunning mountains and water bodies for easy access to outdoor leisure. This university offers culinary arts programs for students who are interested in them. The college attracts students from all over the world due to its very welcoming atmosphere. You can choose this community college to fulfill your dream of studying in Canada.

9. North Island College

North Island College
North Island College
  • Type: Public community college
  • Established: 1975
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Rank: 116th in the Canadian nation 

North Island College (NIC) is a public community college located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It educates over 9,000 students each year. NIC prioritizes student success by offering over 1,000 programs and 80 credit programs, such as university transfer, trade and technical programs, indigenous studies, and health and human service studies. 

The cheap university in Vancouver is renowned for integrating indigenous perspectives into its curriculum and providing technology-driven opportunities for online learning. NIC offers online and community-based learning possibilities in addition to its four campuses and learning centers.


1. Is Vancouver expensive for students?

Vancouver in Canada is famous for being an expensive city. However, Vancouver is affordable when compared to other global cities. There are various types of accommodation available for you to choose from in Vancouver, including private accommodation, university residence halls, and student housing.

2. Why is university so cheap in Canada?

The Canadian government subsidizes universities, which means taxpayers have to bear a large portion of the cost. As a result, tuition fees for students in Canada are reduced.

The amount of subsidy varies from province to province so that location may have a slight impact on university fees. Government support makes Canadian universities far more affordable than those in many other countries.

3. What is the cheapest university in Vancouver for international students?

University Canada West, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, LaSalle College Vancouver, and Langara College are some of the cheap universities in Vancouver for international students 

4. Is Vancouver more costly than Toronto?

Vancouver is considered slightly less expensive than Toronto. According to estimates, you will need about 5% less to live a similar lifestyle in Vancouver. This is mainly due to the cost of housing, which is generally higher in Toronto than in other cities, although it is quite high in both. However, keep in mind that the cost of living can change depending on your preferred neighborhood and spending habits.


While there are many prestigious universities in Vancouver, there are also affordable options for students seeking a quality education without breaking the bank. The universities mentioned above offer higher education at affordable prices that make a college education accessible to all groups of people. 

Additionally, British Columbia’s public university system offers financial aid and scholarship opportunities to assist students in their academic pursuits. By considering these options, aspiring students can achieve their educational goals in Vancouver without incurring an excessive financial burden.

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