Advantages of Being a Student in Canada: Grants, Tax Credits, and Discounts

Being a student in Canada has many advantages. Students can deduct expenses from the amount of income tax and receive discounts on the purchase of goods and tickets. Moreover, students with permanent resident status can also apply for grants.

About 250 thousand international students study in Canada. Many people prefer this country to other popular destinations such as the USA, UK, Australia, and France. Canada has world-class universities, but tuition is lower than in many other countries. Moreover, international students can work up to 20 hours a week, get a work permit after graduation and apply for a permanent residence permit.

Students in Canada also benefit from tax credits and discounts offered by various companies, and students with permanent residency status can also apply for grants.


The Canadian government offers student grants to those who study in the country full-time or part-time. This applies only to those with permanent residency status. The amount depends on several factors:

  • Province or territory of residence
  • Family income
  • Dependent family members
  • Tuition and living expenses
  • Disability

Full-time students can apply for a grant of up to C$3,000 for an 8-month academic year (up to Canadian C$375 per month of study), and part-time students receive up to C$1,800 for one academic year. Full-time students with children receive an additional C$200 per month.

Financial assistance is provided for a maximum period of 340 weeks for full-time students, 400 weeks for doctoral students, and 520 weeks for students with disabilities.

Tax Credits and Deductions

Students in Canada can deduct the following expenses from income tax:

  • Tuition can be deducted unless it is reimbursed by the employer or unless the training is paid by a federal, provincial or territorial program. Tuition fees of up to C$5,000 can also be transferred to a spouse, civil partner, parents or grandparents as a tax credit. You can also summarize all tax credits and use them after graduation.
  • Interest paid on student loans for the taxable year or for the previous 5 years of study.
  • Moving expenses, if the student has moved to at least 40 km from home. These costs include airfare, the cost of hiring movers and connection and reconnection charges. These expenses can only be deducted from the taxable part of research grants, scholarships, and prizes.
  • Child care expenses: nannies, kindergartens, sports schools (which provide child care services), summer camps.

To deduct these expenses, you must file an annual tax return in Canada.


Many institutions and companies in Canada offer student discounts. To use a discount, you have to show a student ID. Below is a list of discounts valid as of fall 2019.

Transport companies:

  • Air Canada: discounts on flights within Canada and between Canada and the United States.
  • Greyhound: 10–25% discounts on travel by bus.
  • StateFarm: car insurance discounts.
  • VIA Rail: unlimited semester pass from C$499 for traveling by rail between major Canadian cities.
  • Zipcar: car sharing discounts; sign-up for students costs C$20.

Cultural institutions:

  • Canadian Opera Company: people under 30 can buy tickets at a reduced price (C$22).
  • Royal Botanical Gardens: students have discounts on admission tickets and annual memberships.
  • Royal Ontario Museum: admission is free for students on Tuesdays and costs C$14.50 on the other days.
  • Ontario Science Centre: students pay C$16 for admission. 
  • National Ballet of Canada: there is a discount program for people aged between 16 and 29 years of age.
  • Ripley’s Aquarium: 20–30% discounts are offered in February and April.
  • Art Gallery of Alberta: admission is free for students over 17 years of age who study at universities in Alberta.
  • Art Gallery of Ontario: admission is free for students aged 25 and under.

Restaurants and bars:

  • Arby’s — 10%.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings — 10%.
  • Bulk Barn — 10% on Wednesdays.
  • Burger King — 10%.
  • Dairy Queen — 10%.
  • Hard Rock Cafe — 10%.
  • Metro — 10–15% in selected locations.
  • Spring Rolls — 15%.

In addition, 10–40% discounts are available in many offline and online stores, including Adidas, Apple, ASOS, Banana Republic, Microsoft, Nike, Puma, Urban Outfitters, and others.