Revealed: Canadian Provinces with the Highest and Lowest University Tuition Fees

In Canada, there is a wide scatter of tuition fees for university programs: in the most expensive province, the cost can be three times higher than in the cheapest one. Fees can also vary depending on the field of study.

A new report by Statistics Canada showed that tuition fees have changed significantly in the 2019/2020 academic year.

In Canada, the average tuition fees at universities for the 2019/2020 academic year have decreased by 5.3% for undergraduate students and by 4.5% for graduate students. However, Ontario is the only province where tuition fees have been reduced: they have decreased by 9.9% and 9.1%, respectively. It does not mean, though, that studying in this province has become the cheapest.

The undergraduate tuition fees have not changed only in Alberta. In other provinces and territories, they have increased by 2% or more. The regions where tuition fees have grown the most are Yukon and New Brunswick. Fees for undergraduate students there have increased by 8.5% and 7.3%, respectively.

The annual change in the cost of studying at universities,% (for the 2019/2020 academic year)

Source: Statistics Canada

Regions Undergraduate Graduate
Alberta 0.0 3.3
British Columbia 2.0 1.3
Manitoba 5.3 3.6
New Brunswick 7.3 3.5
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.3 0.0
Nova Scotia 3.5 2.9
Ontario -9.9 -9.1
Prince Edward Island 2.0 2.0
Quebec 3.7 3.8
Saskatchewan 3.3 3.3
Yukon 8.5 ..
Canada -5.3 -4.5

The report by Statistics Canada has also shown that university students in some provinces pay significantly more than in others.

The humanities are most expensive to study in New Brunswick (an average of C$7,409 per year for undergraduate students), social sciences in Nova Scotia (C$7,420), business and management programs in Ontario (C$9,503), and physical and life sciences in Nova Scotia (C$8,074).

The lowest tuition fees for all academic programs are offered in Newfoundland and Labrador: in this province, undergraduate students pay an average of C$2,700 — three times cheaper than in the most expensive regions.

Tuition for undergraduate students, CAD (for the 2019/2020 academic year)

Source: Statistics Canada

Regions Humanities Social and behavioural sciences, and legal studies Business, management and public administration Physical and life sciences and technologies
Alberta 5,018 5,252 5,800 5,318
British Columbia 5,178 5,381 5,695 5,313
Manitoba 3,932 3,993 4,594 4,266
New Brunswick 7,409 7,338 7,805 7,606
Newfoundland and Labrador 2,680 2,709 2,759 2,714
Nova Scotia 7,312 7,420 8,037 8,074
Ontario 6,080 6,134 9,503 6,814
Prince Edward Island 6,270 6,270 6,270 6,270
Quebec 4,099 3,132 3,032 3,359
Saskatchewan 6,580 6,571 7,549 6,847
Yukon .. .. 3 810 ..
Canada 5,542 5,544 6,827 6,056