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International Students Versus Tuition Fees

Coming to Canada and establishing oneself here is a dream for many people. Peaceful, diverse, beautiful – these are just some words that come to mind when thinking about Canada. This is also what makes Canada an attractive destination for potential international students – until they take a closer look at their tuition fees.

As attractive as Canada is, the majority of undergraduate (and some graduate) programs charge a different fee for international students: it is generally 2-3 times higher than tuition for domestic students. A yearly increase in fees is not making the situation any better, especially since this increase is also 2-3 times higher for international students than for Canadians. In fact, in the year 2015/2016, international students’ tuition fees rose 6.5% Canada-wide, compared to 3.2% for domestic students.

Why is there a difference in tuition fees?

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, one of the largest student organizations in Canada, international students have not always paid more for their education. The idea of differential tuition fees was first introduced in 1976 by the federal government as a way for the Canadian provinces to generate additional funding. Within the next 8 years, the majority of Canadian provinces accepted higher fees for international students.

The practice of charging differential tuition fees only grew after the late 1900s. Higher tuition fees are looked at as a justified burden, since they allow academic institutions to fund various academic and student initiatives. As Nevena Djuricic, RCIC and an instructor in Ashton College’s Immigration Consultant Diploma program, puts it, “Educational institutions are anxious to capitalize on the potential which foreign academic talent represents – of course, academically, but also financially.”

From the viewpoint of the institution, one can see how higher international student fees are justified. However, as an international student, you would hope that the government comes up with a funding initiative to avoid such a high discrepancy in tuition fees that can make many individuals think twice before choosing Canada for their studies.

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What’s the verdict?

Is avoiding studying in Canada the only solution? Not necessarily. For one, not every institution charges unreasonable tuition fees for international students. Some colleges, including Ashton College, only have a small difference in tuition fees (even no difference for some programs). For many institutions, the difference in fees also varies depending on the program and courses that you are taking. For example, it is easier to find graduate programs that charge the same fees for international and domestic students.

Canada is still a land of opportunities and there are different ways to get ahead, even when you are an international student. The key is to be very mindful about your studies in Canada. Here are a few tips on what you could do:

  • Do your research: Doing extensive research is the key to succeeding in Canada. Take a look at the program or course that you are thinking of taking, and do diligent research on it. For instance, look the financial aid offered to international students in Canada and find scholarships or bursaries you can take advantage of. It is also important to take some time to research different institutions and find those that offer the program at a better rate.
  • Plan it out: Look closely at your finances and come up with a budgeting strategy. Think long-term – this will help you come up with different strategies to help you here in Canada. For example, you may want to look into a university or college with a flexible study schedule, so you can also take on a part-time job.
  • Ask for advice: Take advantage of the help that is available for you. Talk to the advisers in the college you are planning to apply for, or reach out to student support groups. In other words, the more proactive you are, the better!
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  1. I want to get admission in your college. I have done my 2 smesters of business Administration and still studying in cyprus . I have 6 band score in IELTS. So Could i apply for you college??

  2. Maria Bychkova says:

    Hi Minash,

    Unfortunately, we do not offer any IELTS preparation courses. Please visit their official website to receive information about the study materials and sample tests.

    Thank you!

  3. Minash says:

    Hello!My name is Minash .I from Kyrgyzstan.I want to study ESL cours,but cannot find fees for it in sait. Ps, sent to me price of cours ELS to my e-mail . [email protected]
    Thanks

  4. Maria Bychkova says:

    Hi Catherine,

    The only program we currently offer in healthcare is the Medical Office Assistant Diploma. Please see more details about the program here: https://www.ashtoncollege.ca/programs/medical-office-assistant-course/

    The program’s duration is 494 hours (including the practicum hours). The application fee for international students is $300 and the tuition fee is $7,706.

    Please contact our Admissions Officer to learn more: [email protected]

    Thank you!

  5. Catherine Nyaguthii says:

    I am an Administrative Officer and I wish to change my career into health services. Kindly advise me as an international student what I require and fees structure and duration of the course

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