Admission process for Canadian colleges
Higher education in Canada can be obtained at an applied college. College programs last from several months to four years. Upon completion, students receive a certificate or diploma. There are also programs that pave the way towards a bachelor's degree — you can go straight into the 2nd or 3rd year, and the credits received while studying in college are counted towards the degree.
The admission process for Canadian colleges is similar to that of bachelor’s programs at universities. You will need a high school diploma with a transcript and a certificate confirming English or French proficiency.
GPA requirements and minimum language exam scores for colleges are generally lower than for universities. For example, 6.0 on the IELTS and 70 points on the TOEFL exam are deemed sufficient. Check the exact requirements on the official website of the selected college.
Applying to a CÉGEP in Quebec
If you are planning to pursue higher education in Quebec, you cannot do without a preparatory college. Here, they are called Collèges D'enseignement Général et Professionnel or CÉGEP. High school graduates must study at a CÉGEP for 2 years before entering a university in the province. They also offer career programs that last 3 years and allow graduates to immediately enter the labor market. Upon graduation from a CÉGEP, students receive a Diploma of College Studies.
A list of available CÉGEPs can be found here.
For admission to a CÉGEP, students must complete 11 years of high school. Some programs have specific requirements, such as having high grades in core high school subjects.
In Quebec, there are three centralized services for applying to a CÉGEP: SPAM (metropolitan Montreal), SRASL (administrative region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean), and SRACQ (the rest of Quebec). Depending on the college location, students apply to one of these services.
The admission period takes place twice a year — for the fall and winter semesters. The application deadlines are February 1 and May 15, respectively. Clarify the exact dates on the official website of the selected college.
Documents for admission:
- High school diploma with a grade transcript
- IELTS 6.0 / TOEFL 175 / Duolingo Test 95-100 or DELF / DALF for French-language programs
- Birth certificate copy
- Certificate of document legalization
- Registration fee payment receipt
Scholarships in Canada
Talented students of all educational levels can receive material support in the form of scholarships and grants for academic performance, sports, or professional achievements. They are called merit-based scholarships. Many Canadian universities award them automatically at the stage of enrollment. View a selection of available scholarships here.
As a rule, scholarships can cover up to 50% of tuition costs. But there are also more generous grants that fully cover tuition, along with accommodation, food, and other expenses. The number of scholarship holders is always limited, and the competition is unusually high. Therefore, it is important to apply as early as possible.
Scholarships are also offered by provincial governments and private organizations. For example, the government of Quebec offers French-speaking students from other countries a discount on tuition at public universities and colleges in the province.
Canadian student visa
To study in Canada for more than 6 months, potential students need to obtain a Canadian study permit. The visa fee is 111 USD. Applications must be submitted before leaving for Canada. A study permit covers the entire period of study in a particular program plus 90 days to decide on further actions. The permit must be renewed if the student plans to move on to the next level of education. This can be done within the country.
A study permit is not a visa. To cross the border, the student will additionally need a tourist visa (visitor visa) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). One of these documents will be issued along with the study permit.
- Valid passport
- 2 3х4 photographs (the full name and date of birth of the applicant must be indicated on the back)
- Invitation letter from a Canadian university
- Proof of financial solvency of at least 9,748 USD/year for Quebec, 7,422 USD/year — for other Canadian provinces
- Certificate of good conduct
- Health certificate
To study in Quebec, you need to obtain additional permission from the provincial government — a Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ — Québec Acceptance Certificate).
Besides this, each Canadian province has its own age of majority. A student who has not reached it at the time of admission is considered a minor, and therefore must either arrive in the country with a parent, or have a guardian in Canada. The guardianship process may delay the visa application for an additional two months.
Age of majority by province and/or region
|Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan||18|
|British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nanavut, Yukon||19|
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