July, 2020

The Cost of Education: British Columbia’s most expensive universities

Compared to our neighbours down south who are paying over $40,000 a year for a university degree, the average yearly tuition for an undergraduate degree in Canada is $5,581 according to Statistics Canada.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most expensive universities in BC, and what they are charging per year in tuition, required fees and residency.

Trinity Western University

Edn - 2Tuition and Fees: $22,260
On-campus housing: $4150

Just 45 minutes from Vancouver, residents of Langley enjoy cost of housing prices up to 57% less than B.C.’s most populous city. And chances are, if you’re forking over nearly $23,000 for tuition each year, you’re going to need every one of those percentage points. Students at Trinity Western do get some bang for their buck: They enjoy lectures from some of North America’s best scholars and the school is road trip-ready, located right off the Trans-Canada Highway. But that tuition fee, when you add textbooks and room and board (around $8,000), could easily jump to a startling $30,000 per year.

Royal Roads University

Edn - 1Tuition and Fees: $7475
Off-campus housing: $6000

Royal Roads, described by the school as “located on a magnificent 227-hectare oceanfront setting 20 minutes from downtown Victoria,” is no doubt exquisite. But Victoria is also one of the more pricey cities for living costs — and that’s without factoring in the second-highest tuition fee in British Columbia. Lodging is also tricky here, as Royal Roads only has dorm capacity for far less than half of its student population. What’s the big deal, you ask? Victoria, of all the Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada, has among the lowest rental vacancy rates at 1.5 per cent.

Simon Fraser University

Edn - 3Tuition and Fees: $5013
On-campus housing: $5100

Located on the scenic west coast of British Columbia, SFU has pioneered an open, inclusive approach to higher education that fuels an enduring interplay between learning, discovery and community outreach. SFU is also the first non-US member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)—the world’s largest college sports association. Among the university’s most famous athletes are the late Terry Fox, whose foundation has raised millions for cancer research; Olympic wrestlers Daniel Igali and Carol Huynh; and National Basketball Association coach Jay Triano.

University of Victoria

Edn - 4Tuition and Fees: $4959
On-campus housing: $8123

The University of Victoria (UVic), one of Canada’s leading universities, is a rich and supportive learning community. Widely recognized for excellence in research and creativity, inspired teaching and civic engagement, UVic provides innovative programs and real-life learning experiences in a diverse and welcoming West Coast environment. UVic is consistently ranked one of Canada’s top research universities by Research InfoSource and is ranked in the Times Higher Education global list of top universities, and as #11 in the world and #1 in Canada among universities under 50 years of age.

University of Northern British Columbia

Edn - 5Tuition and Fees: $4722
On-campus housing: $6100

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is one of Canada’s best small universities, located in the spectacular landscape of Northern BC. UNBC provides undergraduate and graduate learning opportunities that explore cultures, health, economies, and the environment. Offerings include a full range of programs in the arts and sciences, professional degrees, medicine, and engineering. As one of BC’s research-intensive universities, UNBC also involves students in research and discovery.

University of British Columbia

Edn - 6Tuition and Fees: $4700
On-campus housing: $4800

Established in 1908, The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, UBC embraces bold new ways of thinking that attract exceptional students and faculty. All first, second and third-year undergraduate students on UBC’s Vancouver campus are assigned an Enrolment Services Professional who provides personalized support. UBC also uses broad-based admissions, making UBC the largest Canadian university to include non-academic criteria in its application process.

Vancouver Island University

Edn - 7Tuition and Fees: $3936
On-campus housing: $5900

Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, learning, and applied research, Vancouver Island University (VIU) is producing quality graduates that are in demand by employers across the country and around the world. VIU values a diverse range of training and education and offers programs from basic literacy to vocational programs, trades, undergraduate and graduate degrees. VIU encourages all students to explore their potential, discover more about their world and excel in both life and learning. Based on a long history of vocational and college training, VIU has evolved into a thriving university that plays an important role in the educational, cultural and economic life of the region. The main campus is located in Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island and there are regional campuses in Duncan and Powell River, as well as a campus centre in Parksville/Qualicum.

University of the Fraser Valley

Edn - 8Tuition and Fees: $3864
On-campus housing: $5276

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is the major adult educational resource for the communities of the Fraser Valley in south-western British Columbia. Founded in 1974 as Fraser Valley College, it became the University College of the Fraser Valley in 1991, and gained university status in 2008. UFV has campuses in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission, with a regional centre in Hope, and a growing presence in Chandigarh, India. In fall 2007, UFV began the relocation of its Chilliwack campus to an 80-acre site in that city’s Canada Education Park. The first facility to open was a two-acre, state-of-the-art Trades and Technology Centre. A new 150,000-square-foot building opened in May 2012. Home to health sciences and many other programs and courses, it also features an Aboriginal Gathering Place.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Edn - 9Tuition and Fees: $3780
Off-campus housing: $6000

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is one of British Columbia’s newest and most innovative undergraduate universities. As a teaching-focused polytechnic university, Kwantlen is committed to providing an exceptional learning environment featuring small classes, engaged faculty and hands-on learning opportunities for all of its students. A teaching-led, student-centred polytechnic university, Kwantlen features small classes, flexible career-focused programs, and exceptional faculty. Kwantlen programs blend academic theory with hands-on practical learning to ensure its students are ready to start new careers, or further their education, right after graduation. Kwantlen also offers a full range of student services to provide the support its students need to succeed.

Thompson Rivers University

Edn - 10Tuition and Fees: $3755
On-campus housing: $5100

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas and certificates on the main campus in Kamloops, certificate and diploma programs from its regional campus in Williams Lake and smaller communities, offers distance programs through Open Learning, and has a strong presence internationally through TRU World. In September 2011, TRU launched Canada’s first new law school in 30 years. Upon completion of the program, graduates will earn a TRU Juris Doctor (JD) degree that recognizes the curriculum collaboration with the University of Calgary.
In a side box

Annual undergraduate tuition fees for full time Canadian students


Dentistry $16,910
Medicine $11,891
Pharmacy $10,297
Law $9,949
Engineering $6,552


Education $4,006
Visual and Performing Arts & Comm. Technologies $4,793
Social and Behavioural Sciences $4,862
Nursing $4.909
Humanities $4,942

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