Funding Your Canadian Studies: Scholarships and More!

First off, yes! International students are eligible for many awards!

Beautiful, autumn colours in Canada, courtesy of a financed education at Carleton University.


How will I afford to study in Canada? This is definitely one of the top questions we get!

It's necessary to research the tuition for your chosen schools, but also the cost of living in the city where you're thinking of studying.

For example, Carleton University provides an estimate of costs for one year of university as an international student in Ottawa. We also have a handy budget calculator. Understanding your overall investment is a key first step to paying for school.

Carleton has also put together some easy money-saving tips to make your money last, and we organize workshops on how to manage your money throughout the year.

What about financial aid?

In Canada, rather than the term "financial aid," you'll often see references to scholarships or bursaries. Scholarships for international students vary by institution, so research the Student Awards websites of each of your school choices to find out what's available, and try ScholarshipsCanada as well.

Some scholarships require applications, while others are automatic. Some are based purely on your previous academic performance ("academic merit"), while others may focus on extra-curriculars or financial need.

We can tell you what Carleton University offers:

  • Automatic, merit-based entrance scholarships. It pays to get good grades! If you have an average of 80 per cent or over, you will be considered for one of our entrance scholarships — the higher the average, the more funding you have access to. Some highlights about Carleton's entrance scholarships: you don't have to apply for the scholarship — you will be considered automatically when you apply. The entrance scholarships are also unlimited — meaning that every student who meets a certain standard will receive the award! Caveats: The entrance scholarships are for students coming straight out of high school, and for those who want to start during the September intake.
  • Prestige Scholarships. International students can apply to one of Carleton's 24 Prestige Scholarships — our highest awards. Students must have at least a 90 per cent average, and applications are also assessed on extracurricular activities. You need to apply for the Prestige Scholarships. (See some of our tips for a great application.)

Once you are a student, you may also be considered for in-course scholarships.

Can I work to help pay for the cost of university?

Yes! Most international students can:

  • Apply for a job on-campus
  • Apply for a job off-campus (20 hours per week maximum during the school year)
  • Apply for full-time work during holidays (fall break, winter break and summer)
  • Apply for a work permit after you graduate (for up to three years) to gain international work experience

Consider Co-op!

You can also apply for degree programs with a co-op option (a work-study opportunity). Not only do you get experience related to your academic program as part of your degree studies, you get paid for your work! (See salary averages per field of study.)

We know international tuition can be daunting, but scholarships, co-op, and the ability to work can help. And students think it's worth it (video)!

Modified on November 06, 2019

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