For many years, Canada has been considered one of the best places to live in the entire world. In beautiful British Columbia, the city of Vancouver is a popular tourist destination.

Lush, preserved forests and crystal blue rivers also make the city an attractive film location, and while it is probably one of the most expensive cities to live in Canada, affordable tuition can help alleviate the financial burden of studying abroad in the “Hollywood North.” Check out six of the most affordable universities in Vancouver below!

Which University is the Cheapest in Vancouver?

The cheapest universities in Vancouver are Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, and Vancouver Island University. The tuition fees in these universities range from CAD 10,963 to CAD 31,460 (USD 8,643 TO USD 24,804).

However, aside from tuition fees, other fees like accommodation, insurance, food, and others should also be considered when choosing a university to enter. Usually, the admission pages of these universities have a cost calculator to give you an estimate of your fees depending on your program, nationality, and year.

Cheap Universities in Vancouver

1. Simon Fraser University

All three of Simon Fraser University’s campuses are situated in the greater Vancouver area meaning that students are only a short distance from a number of fun activities. For example, students and visitors might fancy a visit to SFU’s Museum of Archeology & Ethnology or a stroll through Burnaby Mountain Park.

As one of Canada’s first urban campuses, many of the buildings at this cheap university in Vancouver have unique histories and prove to be interesting destinations. The Harbour Centre campus, which hosts thousands of students every year, was originally a department store. It is now adjacent to a skyscraper.

Finally, book lovers will be excited to know that Simon Fraser’s largest library, W.A.C. Bennett, has over 2 million books as well as an extensive collection of journals and e-books. One unique financial feature of Simon Fraser University is that domestic and international students pay the same tuition fees.

2. Capilano University

Capilano University is located in Northern Vancouver and is only a 20-minute drive away from the city. Students will be glad to know that Capilano supports and encourages fitness and athletics at all levels.

The campus features both a Centre for Sport and Wellness and Fitness Room as well as “Drop-In” fitness activities that range from basketball to ping pong to badminton. These activities are available to students throughout the week with their student CapCard.

This cheap university in Vancouver has also created several initiatives aimed at reinforcing a positive and inclusive environment on campus. Positive Space, Peers Helping Peers, and EarthWorks were all designed with these goals in mind.

At Capilano, international students are asked to make a one-time $5,000 deposit, which applies to international tuition fees, usually vary by course. Some courses are actually offered for free to international students.

3. Vancouver Island University

Next on our list of cheap universities in Vancouver is Vancouver Island University (VIU), which is actually located on an island! Vancouver Island is relatively large and is located just off of Canada’s Pacific coast. Students who are interested in a college experience among evergreen forests, uniquely turquoise waters, and towering mountains might find that VIU has exactly what they are looking for.

Of course, the location greatly influences the University’s emphasis on outdoor recreation, and students can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, caving, snow-shoeing, and even surfing with their peers.

VIU is also extremely receptive and welcoming to international students, making sure they have the resources they need to succeed. The university provides a campus “grocery shuttle” that often runs twice a week to help conveniently transport students to a superstore. The university also emphasizes volunteering and community engagement, so prospective students should expect to give back to a cause they are passionate about.

4. University Canada West

The University Canada West is another educational institution you can consider in Vancouver. This university takes pride in its high employability rating, indicating that they have a high percentage of easily employed graduates. Additionally, they have flexible learning methods for various degrees. As a student here, you’ll enjoy the convenience in their learning modes, and you can maximize your time as you study here.

For their class structure and size, they have small class sizes. By having these kinds of classes, they have more in-depth and focused interaction and learning. Since they have a diverse student population, international students here enjoy a multicultural environment as they finish their studies.

5. Columbia College

Columbia College is actually a two-year university in Vancouver and also is exceptionally proud of its international students. In fact, the student body represents over 60 different countries worldwide! Prospective students interested in a closer look at the campus are in luck.

Without even setting foot on the campus, students can take advantage of unique resources. By visiting the Columbia College website, students can click a route around campus for a 3D virtual tour of the different buildings, quads, chapels, study areas, and more!

Students can get involved on campus with any of several clubs, honor societies, organizations, sports, and recreational activities.

6. Langara College

Our last one on our list of cheap universities in Vancouver is Langara College, which is yet another university that emphasizes its international students. In fact, the student body represents over 90 different countries.

Students have access to a Co-op and Career Development Center that helps students engage in future planning and offers to advise on career decisions. The university’s intercultural initiatives foster awareness and understanding of difference.

Langara is also vocal about its commitment to sustainability. The campus abides by an Environmental Responsibility Policy as well as a second Sustainability Policy. Students interested in the different sustainable initiatives taking place on campus can actually download a map and take a self-guided tour around campus to checkpoints to learn more.

Most students who attend Langara are part of the University Transfer Program while a good number of students are part of Continuing Studies. This means that most students who attend Langara do so with the intent of eventually transferring to another school and applying their credits to a more specific program. This is part of why Langara is so affordable.

7. Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College is the largest and oldest community college in British Columbia and has retained an outstanding reputation since its founding in 1965.

International students say that VCC is an enjoyable university to study at and is in close proximity to beautiful mountains and water that make outdoor recreation easy and accessible. The natural and urban landscapes make sightseeing a must.

Students can venture to nearby Whistler, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, to get even closer to nature. What students also like about VCC is that the university takes a hands-on learning approach in many of its programs, for example, their culinary arts program.

Students who do not desire office work might find that this learning style suits them well. Students also emphasize that the college has a uniquely friendly atmosphere and that making friends at VCC comes easily and naturally.


I hope that this article on cheap universities in Vancouver was helpful. If you’re interested in studying in Canada, make sure to check out the Available Programs in Canada for International Students!