Getting a scholarship to study in Canada – From Top universities and foundations

Canada is a first-world country with a developed economy, a very high standard of living, and one of the best education systems in the world. Although there are not many schools, there are many top-rated Universities, such as the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. With the continuous rise of the world rankings, more and more students choose Canada as their favorite place to study abroad. 

However, university education is not free in Canada. Depending on the province, sector, and subject, university fees can range from 4,500 to 30,000 CAD.

And as the world rankings of universities rise, so do the annual tuition fees for studying abroad in Canada, putting a lot of pressure on many international students.

For example, Toronto University recently announced an increase in tuition fees. The average tuition fee increase for undergraduate international students is 2.1%, and the average tuition fee for postgraduate international students is 3.8%. In this case, the only relief for students is getting a scholarship.

Today, we will tell you about getting a scholarship to study in Canada, the institutions that offer and how to apply for them, and much more.

Table of contents

  1. Getting a scholarship to study in Canada
  2. What types of scholarships are open for studying in Canada?
  3. How to get information on scholarship programs in Canada?
  4. Ready for a Canadian scholarship: what documents are required?
  5. When to apply for a scholarship in Canada?
  6. Basic Criteria for awarding scholarships
  7. What are the best scholarships in Canada?
  8. Top 100 Canadian universities (with scholarships) in 2023.

1. Getting a scholarship to study in Canada

Scholarships are a way to help both local and foreign students to finance their studies in Canada. The value of these scholarships ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, and all are non-refundable financial aid.

Selected Canadian universities and higher education institutions will have the opportunity to strengthen and diversify their international ties and promote academic and research excellence in new markets.

The new relationships developed through the program will serve to fuel and enrich Canada’s education engagements with a wide range of partners, strengthen bilateral relationships, and support the Government of Canada’s international trade diversification initiatives. Most awards are given to students who have excellent academic records, but some also reward work experience and volunteer work. Some scholarships require an application, but others are awarded automatically.

2. What types of scholarships are open for studying in Canada?

  • General Scholarships

    Disbursements are based on the student’s academic performance and financial ability. Students who receive scholarships can cover tuition fees and sometimes some living expenses. And generally do not have to work for the school.

    What you need to know is that scholarships are not awarded solely based on academic performance. In addition to academic performance, extracurricular competitions or other activities that can reflect the overall quality of students may be used as selection criteria.

  • Grants

    Mainly based on the applicant’s financial needs and non-academic evaluation criteria, it is set up for college students who need financial help to complete their studies.
    The review criteria for grants are similar to bursaries, depending on the student’s financial need and some non-academic criteria. But the difference is that grants are usually for some very specific projects, such as an exchange program to another country or a need for academic research.

  • Research assistant scholarship

    Awarded based on the student’s academic performance and research ability, and must work on campus. Schools pay students based on the hours they work, usually no more than 20 hours a week. Its main job is to assist professors in their research.

  • Teaching assistantship

    This award is based on the student’s performance and English proficiency, and the treatment is the same as that of a research assistant. But what needs to be done is to assist professors in teaching undergraduate students.

Freshman scholarships and University scholarships

Canadian institutions generally set up two types of Entrance Scholarships and Faculty Specific Scholarships for international students.

  • Freshman scholarships mainly consider the applicant’s academic performance, such as high school GPA, TOEFL scores, and competition awards. Schools with outstanding academic performance will generally award this scholarship automatically, without additional application, to attract and encourage outstanding students to choose the school.
  • University scholarships are awarded independently by each college, mostly in business and engineering universities, mainly to reward extracurricular activities and academic performance, and generally need to fill in a special application form. The application form will emphasize the applicant’s leadership experience and previous award-winning experience. For example, applicants will ask to describe a leadership experience in 300-500 words to demonstrate their leadership potential.

It should note that Canadian institutions generally do not provide scholarships for transfer students and preparatory students.

3. How to get information on scholarship programs in Canada?

Here are some resources to help you.

  • Search your home country first

First, check any scholarship and funding opportunities in your home country. Contact your country’s Ministry of Education to determine if you qualify for certain scholarships.

Communicate with the host university

Contact the financial aid office of the university where you wish to study for information on scholarships for international students, as well as guidelines.

  • Investigate other possibilities

Find out about scholarships administered by the Government of Canada, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

  • Global Affairs Canada’s International Scholarships Program

It allows foreign students to pursue studies in Canada by awarding them scholarships based on the course followed and the country of origin of the student. All scholarship information is made available directly on the  International Scholarships of Canada website

  • Visit the site
  • Create a student account
  • Fill in the requested fields
  • Choose your password and complete the registration
  • You will then receive a confirmation email. Click on the link provided to create a personal account.

It will allow you to see the different scholarships available according to your profile and to submit your request for the appropriate scholarship program.

4. Ready for a Canadian scholarship: what documents are required?

  • Fill in the application form

 If you want to get a scholarship here, you must meet the admission requirements. At first, you fill out an application form, which varies from university to university. Some of them are very simple, just fill in your name, education, and other information. But there are also more complicated ones, such as filling in more detailed information such as your height and weight.

  • English Language proficiency

English is an essential condition for everyone to study in Canada. To be eligible for a scholarship, you have a qualifying language score. The scores mentioned here usually refer to the scores of TOEFL and IELTS, but some institutions also require other types of scores. Moreover, the requirements for each university will also be different.

  • Average score

To be eligible for scholarships, graduate students must demonstrate good learning and research skills. At this time, everyone can use their usual test scores to prove their abilities. Moreover, for this score, the average score is required in Canada, and the school’s official stamp is also required.

  • Documents needed

 If your application essay is well written, it won’t only help you apply for studying abroad but also help you apply for scholarships. Colleges and universities in Canada often require students to provide several letters of recommendation, respectively by their professors, department heads, etc. After writing the letters of recommendation, they send them directly to the school.

  • Academic qualifications

 Universities in Canada are very strict about the academic qualifications of foreign students. Scholarships are generally granted to students with excellent grades. 

 When applying for a scholarship, some institutions even require students to provide proof of their degree. If students have already obtained a master’s degree, they can continue their degree-related certificates, which will help their application.

 In addition, the excellent writing of the paperwork will make the school consider the applicant to be a cleaver student, and will consider granting scholarships-so, resumes, letters of recommendation, proposals, and transcripts are all very important.

  • Recommendation letter

 Letters of recommendation are also required when applying. Usually, two or three are enough. And you can first ask your college professor, department head, or work supervisor to write these letters of recommendation for you. But these letters of recommendation need to send to the university.

Should be considered.

Generally, the application for Canadian Master’ Scholarships can only issue after receiving the admission notice. Canadian universities generally consider two areas. One is looking at the applicant’s comprehensive ability, and the other is the applicant’s social practice experience. For example, if you have good grades and a lot of social experience, the school will pay more attention to you, and your scholarship application will be relatively easy.

5. When to apply for a scholarship in Canada?

It is common for many students to wait until they are notified of admission to a specific Canadian institution/university to apply for scholarships or financial aid.

However, it is advisable to start looking for scholarships and financial aid between 10 and 12 months before the start date of the scholarship offer. So, you will have plenty of time to explore the possibilities available, select them and prepare your file.

6. Basic Criteria for awarding scholarships

Most of the scholarships and financial aid offered by Canada to international students under award criteria are primarily concerned with their educational qualifications. ie academic excellence in the subjects studied, Ph.D. or post-doctoral degrees, etc. There is also a concern for students from developing countries.

But don’t let this discourage you, because other criteria are also taken into account when checking the files: academic results (necessarily) financial resources, specific skills, and talents. (athletic, artistic, etc.), the quality of the academic project, the candidate’s motivation, potential, etc.

In addition, some private organizations or foundations that award scholarships and financial aid may establish criteria based on the candidate’s gender, personality, involvement in a cause, related activities, or interest in a particular field.

7. What are the best scholarships in Canada?

Global Affairs Canada is responsible for government participation in major international scholarship programs. This website helps to find scholarships offered by country of origin.

Going to study in Canada is an accessible dream but it necessarily represents a cost. Between the file application fees, tuition fees, health insurance, the plane ticket, and daily expenses on site, there is enough to depress your bank account!

But rest assured; there are opportunities to take advantage of advantageous tuition fees, apply for a scholarship or even get a financial boost.

 The Ontario Postgraduate Scholarship Program is a scholarship provided to outstanding students at the postgraduate and doctoral levels to support students in professional studies in various fields in Ontario institutions (institutions participating in the scholarship program). The fund of the scholarship is between CAD 10,000 and CAD 15,000. 

The Ontario government allocates nearly $30 million annually for this scholarship. The evaluation criteria for this scholarship include academic performance, scientific research ability, leadership ability, etc. 

Please note that applicants applying for this scholarship must hold a valid study permit and enroll in at least two full-time semesters of graduate or doctoral programs at participating institutions of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

 Open only to international students, CGS-M provides scholarship support for students’ scientific research in medicine, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities fields. Once the application is successful, students for 12 months can get a scholarship of 17,000 Canadian dollars.

 Nearly 2,000 graduate students in Canada apply successfully every year.

 To attract foreign elite talents to study for doctoral students in Ontario, the Ontario government launched the OTS Scholarship in 2010. The scholarship amount is as high as 40,000 Canadian dollars (31,000 US dollars), and it will renew every four years.

 The Vanier Scholarship is the strongest in Canada, available to local and foreign doctoral students studying at Canadian universities. The annual scholarship for a three-year student is as high as 50,000 CAD, and the program early offers 167 scholarships. The condition is excellent academic performance, good research leadership ability, and recommended by the institution.

 Whether local or foreign, many universities in Canada award President’s Scholarships to high-grade students at the end of the academic year. To be eligible for this scholarship, your GPA must be among the highest among all students. According to experts, this scholarship is usually awarded automatically.

The Government of Quebec offers grants and scholarships for doctoral studies, post-doctoral internships, and short research or professional development stays within the framework of three components of the Quebec Research Fund (FRQ): Nature and technologies (FRQNT), Health (FRQS), and Society and Culture (FRQSC).

Each year, the Trudeau Foundation awards up to 15 scholarships to outstanding students enrolled or in the process of enrolling in a doctoral program in the humanities. Scholarships can reach $60,000 per year for four years.

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship is a great opportunity for international students to study in Canada. It provides financial assistance to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other related expenses for a full academic year at the University of Toronto. The scholarship is awarded based on academic excellence, leadership skills, and community involvement. It is open to all students from all over the world seeking a top-notch education at one of the world’s best universities.

Did you know?

The University of Toronto awards approximately 30 foreign undergraduate students each year, with the coveted Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship.

It finances and covers tuition fees, books, incidental costs also (university) residence assistance for four years.

These two ways also help you – Getting a scholarship to study in Canada.

a.) As part of an exchange program

It is a cheaper option for foreign students than directly enrolling in a Canadian university.

You can also go to Canada as part of an exchange program between your home university and a Canadian university. Then, you don’t need to pay the fees to Canadian University as you have already paid the university fees in your home country. But that doesn’t exempt you from other expenses (campus fees, health insurance, accommodation.)!

Ask the authorities of your university for more information about exchange programs with foreign universities.

b.) Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

Apply for a scholarship directly from the institution that interests you

Have you been admitted to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), or do you have your sights set on a particular Canadian university? Inquire directly with this institution to search their criteria for awarding scholarships and financial aid for international students.

You will generally find the information on their site under the headings Finances, Scholarship, and Grant.

8. Top 100 Canadian universities (with scholarships) in 2023.

Let’s find out the list of all the universities that are available for Getting a scholarship to study in Canada. Here are the leading Scholarships to fund your studies.

McMaster University Canada 2023

McMaster University is one of the leading universities in Canada, offering a wide range of courses and degrees. It has a rich history of excellence in teaching and research since 1887, with notable alumni from all around the world. With over 30,000 students, McMaster offers a wide range of academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

University of Winnipeg Scholarships 2023

The University of Winnipeg is a vibrant and welcoming institution that provides an excellent education to its students. It is a dynamic, urban institution with a commitment to social justice and a strong sense of community. 

It is known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education. It offers a wide range of programs in the arts, sciences, business, and education, and is home to the Centre for Aboriginal Education and Research. 

The University of Winnipeg offers many scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence.

Brock University Scholarships 2023

Located in the heart of the Niagara Region, Brock University is one of the leading universities in Canada. It offers a wide range of programs and courses to its students, from undergraduate to graduate level. 

Brock University offers a variety of scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence and/or financial need. Scholarships are awarded based on several factors, including academic achievement, leadership, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

University of British Colombia (UBC) Scholarships 2023 

University of British Colombia (UBC) Scholarships 2023

Are you looking for a world-class education with a unique West Coast experience, University of British Colombia or UBC is the best place for undergraduate and graduate students to get a scholarship to study in Canada.

UBC’s campus is located in Vancouver. It is the second-best University in Canada (according to its official web) and is consistently ranked among the top 20 institutions in the world. With over 60,000 students, UBC has a diverse and vibrant community that is home to students from all over the world.

UBC is also home to several world-renowned research centers and institutes, which makes it a top choice for students looking for a research-intensive education.

University of Saskatchewan Canada Scholarships 2023

University of Saskatchewan Scholarships in Canada 2023

The university is well-known as a research institution located in the Prairie province of Canada, and a member of U15, a group of leading research-intensive universities in Canada.

The University of Saskatchewan also offers a wide variety of academic programs and is home to world-renowned research facilities and institutions, including the Canadian Light Source, the Global Institute for Water Conservation, and the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization.

They offer scholarships to international students who demonstrate academic excellence and are awarded based on the student’s academic record, letters of recommendation, and essay responses.

University of Alberta Scholarships

The University of Alberta has over 40,000 students from around the world and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. With its strong commitment to research and innovation, the University of Alberta has become an important center for knowledge creation and discovery. From groundbreaking scientific discoveries to innovative business solutions, the University of Alberta is committed to improving the lives of people everywhere.

The university offers various scholarships to international students to pursue Master’s programs and Ph.D. You can choose from over 200 undergraduate programs and 300 areas of research according to your needs.

University of Ottawa Scholarships 2023

Located in the capital of Canada, the University of Ottawa is one of the top 300 universities in the world. With a long and proud history dating back to 1848, the university has a rich tradition of excellence in teaching and research. From its beautiful campus to its vibrant student life, there are many reasons why students choose to study at the University of Ottawa. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate degree or a graduate program, UOttawa has something for everyone. With world-class faculty and facilities, Universityof Ottawa is an ideal place for students who want to make their mark in today’s competitive world.

There are many scholarships available in the university, such as Scholarships degrees, master’s, doctorates, short programs, and graduate diplomas.

Should be noticed: The above is just some of the information we have found about Getting a scholarship to study in Canada. If you want to know what scholarships are available for the university of your choice, it is good to go to the official website.

Here is the list of the 100 best public universities in Canada in 2023. You can contact the university authorities directly for more information about scholarships and registration procedures.

The university list below is not exhaustive. New institutions are regularly added or removed from the list.

  1. Athabasca University
  2. Concordia University of Edmonton
  3. University of Lethbridge
  4. Mount Royal University
  5. University of Alberta
  6. University of Calgary
  7. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  8. SAIT Polytechnic – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  9. Ambrose University
  10. Burman University
  11. Emily Carr University of Art and Design
  12. Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  13. Royal Roads University
  14. Simon Fraser University
  15. The University of British Columbia
  16. Thompson Rivers University
  17. Trinity Western University
  18. University of Northern British Columbia
  19. University of the Fraser Valley
  20. MacEwan University
  21. University of Victoria
  22. Vancouver Island University
  23. University of Prince Edward Island
  24. Capilano University
  25. British Columbia Institute of Technology
  26. Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  27. Brandon University
  28. Canadian Mennonite University
  29. The University of Winnipeg
  30. University of Saint Boniface
  31. University of Manitoba
  32. Mount Allison University
  33. St. Thomas University
  34. University of Moncton
  35. University of New Brunswick
  36. Acadia University
  37. Cape Breton University
  38. Mount Saint Vincent University
  39. University of Toronto
  40. University of Trinity College
  41. NSCAD University
  42. Saint Mary’s University
  43. St. Francis Xavier University
  44. St. Anne’s University
  45. University of King’s College
  46. Algoma University
  47. Brescia University College
  48. Brock University
  49. Carleton University
  50. Dominican University College
  51. The University of Quebec at Chicoutimi
  52. The University of Quebec in Montreal
  53. Royal Military College of Canada
  54. Huron University
  55. Lakehead University
  56. McMaster University
  57. Nipissing University
  58. OCAD University
  59. The University of Quebec in Rimouski
  60. University of Quebec, Trois-Rivieres
  61. Queen’s University
  62. Redeemer University College
  63. Ryerson University
  64. St. Jerome’s University
  65. Trent University
  66. University of Ottawa
  67. University of Sudbury
  68. King’s University College
  69. Laurentian University
  70. Saint Paul University
  71. Dalhousie University (Ex: Nova Scotia Agricultural College)
  72. University of Guelph
  73. Ontario Tech University
  74. University of St. Michael’s College
  75. University of Waterloo
  76. Wilfrid Laurier University
  77. University of Windsor
  78. York University
  79. University of Hearst
  80. Bishop’s University
  81. Superior Technology School
  82. National School of Public Administration
  83. University of Quebec
  84. Polytechnic School of Montreal
  85. HEC Montreal
  86. National Institute of Scientific Research
  87. Concordia University
  88. Montreal university
  89. TELUQ University
  90. Laval University
  91. University of Sherbrooke
  92. College of the North Atlantic
  93. University of Quebec, Abitibi-Temiscamingue
  94. The University of Quebec in Outaouais
  95. McGill University
  96. First Nation University of Canada
  97. St. Thomas More College
  98. University of Regina
  99. University of Saskatchewan
  100. Memorial University of Newfoundland


From the review criteria of the scholarship, we can find that Getting a scholarship to study in Canada is not only based on the “academic ability” of the student. But also some non-academic abilities are highly valued, such as research ability, leadership ability, etc.

Excellent academic performance is not only beneficial to the application of dream schools but also helps you win scholarships.