Financial Aid For Americans in Canada?

I gotta be honest, I’m a huge fan of Canada. Canada has always reminded me of a giant version of America with a lot more breathing room and a lot less anger. Personally, I’ve been dying to visit Toronto for 10 years and still haven’t.

Not to mention wonderful exports like Rachel McAdams, Will Arnett and the old lady from “Sex and the City” (although you guys can take back Justin Bieber and Nickelback whenever you’re ready).

financial aid americans canada
I think loonies are better than toonies, but I'm too lazy to look it up (we're out of coffee so I lack motivation). That's also why today's post is so short.

So I’m totally on board with Hilary, who really wants to ditch the States for a bit and head north.

Alrighty, so I’m desperate to attend Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Man, what is it with all the American students who write in, desperate to go to Wilfrid Laurier up in Ontario?

Just kidding, of course. First time I’ve heard of it. But now I’m curious: what is it about that school that makes you desperate to go there?

However, I am an American and I need assistance in finding scholarship money for International Students. It’s difficult for me to know what is reputable and what isn’t. Also, is there financial aid for those wanting to get a degree internationally?

Any help would be beautiful.

You got it.

First of all, you’ll be happy to know that you’re eligible for good old U.S. federal financial aid even though you’re going to a Canadian university. Just fill out the FAFSA as you normally would, and when you get to the part where you put in the six-digit school codes, you’ll find you can also search for Canadian schools as well as American ones (and also ones in Federated Micronesia!).

The code for Wilfrid Laurier is G08582.

And just in case you didn’t know, you also need a Canadian Study Permit to go to college in Canada. You can learn everything you need to know about those and actually fill out an interactive version of the application for one here on the Canadian government website.

As for college scholarships, other than our own here at Outlaw Student which are open to all students (international and otherwise), some safe bets for finding international scholarships are, and

There are tons of scholarships out there with their own independent sites, but if you stick with those three, you should avoid the scammers and also find a lot of what’s available.

There you have it, Canucks — we’re sending Hilary your way. And she’s bringing Nickelback and Justin Bieber along, too.

— What about you? Any students out there temporarily transplanted into Canada with advice for Hilary? Let us know in the comments below.

17 thoughts on “Financial Aid For Americans in Canada?”

  1. Hi Hilary,

    Just wanted to say GREAT choice of school! I am a Canadian citizen currently going to school in Vermont, but many of my friends are studying at Laurier and they cannot sing its praises enough! Excellent school spirit, stellar business program, and great campus life – wish you the best of luck with financial aid and maybe see you around Canada sometime! 😉


  2. Hi!

    I’m a Canadian citizen studying at the University of Waterloo (just a few blocks away from Laurier). All I’ve got to say is: Why Laurier? =P

    I’m kidding of course. Laurier is a great choice. But UW and Laurier are rivals, so of course I must insist that UW is better!

  3. Random bit of Nickleback trivia for you Josh – their home province doesn’t want them either 🙂 The closest major city to their hometown has at least one radio statio that declares itself to have a “no nickleback guarantee” in most of their ads. I know a guy who went to high school with the lead singer – apparently the guy was an (insert explicit) even then.

    Anyways, back on topic, eh? One thing you’ll want to consider is international student rates – you’ll be paying roughly double (give or take) the tuition costs compared to your Canadian fellow students. You might want to look into how this will affect your student loan coverage and if you willl be able to get enough to cover your entire education if need be. Also, apply early for your student visa – I don’t know the current processing times (though the Canadian government website Josh mentioned should be able to give you a rough estimate) but you don’t want to have the beginning of the semester arrive with no visa.

    Random helpful tip – Canadians hate it when people wear shoes in their houses – its a big cultural no-no that some Americans do, that really ticks off their host (who may or may not be too polite to actually say anything).

  4. Im an American Citizen and I currently by Hamilton at Redeemer University. I normally get a $5,000 grant, but for some reason, I did not get any grants and they only offered me a loan. I was told by the school that once you cross the boarder, they (fafsa) don’t hand out grants? Is this true? Or was it something else that determined my grant eligibility?

  5. First of all, thanks to Josh for posting all of the great advice and helpful links! It’s scary when everyone around you has the help they need because (apparently) the majority of my country believes American schools are the only option. No one seems to think “outside the box” – much less, across the border.

    Why Laurier? Well, I visited the area just this past Summer while staying with my best friend. My parents had given international studying the “no go”, so I didn’t plan on it happening … but, once my mother and I saw the campus and the surrounding areas, she quickly changed her mind. (So I quickly embraced the fact.) Plus, the kindness and consideration up there is phenomenal. I loved everything about Canada.

    Lindsay – thanks for the uplifting thoughts, and maybe you will!

    Erin – I saw UW, too! But, it probably didn’t help that I had a Golden Hawk student blabbing in my ear about the never ending attributes of Laurier at the time. Personal bias .. friend bias .. it’s a magical thing.

    Diane – I learned of the “no shoe” rule, and I actually didn’t mind it. As a creature of habit, after a week of staying in Ontario, I removed my shoes when I entered my home in Texas. I also think Nickelback and Bieber can suspend in mid-air or stay in America, because I certainly won’t bring them along. 🙂

    Thanks everyone! You’ve been a lot of help. It’s going to be a long road, but I’m hoping my dream of Canadian education comes to light.

  6. Hello Judge Josh, Just thought to mention that a ‘toonie’ is worth two ‘loonies’, as in $2 vs $1 (or today in American funds $1.93 for a toonie and $0.96 for a loonie)

  7. Hey Hilary! Laurier is definitely a great choice, and very well known in Canada, even if the crazy Americans haven’t heard of it. 🙂

    As a Canadian student looking at American schools, I can tell you that even when you’re paying twice as much as a Canadian student (thank you, Government Subsidy), you will still pay so much less than you would at an American school. Enjoy the smaller loans! 🙂

    I have a question for Josh/anyone else who might know. I’m looking at some grad schools in the US, and I was wondering if I would be eligible for a Canadian student loan.

    Thank you!

  8. Hi Hilary, Judge Josh and everyone else,

    I’m a Canadian, and attending University across the country from where I was born and raised… I used to live just outside Calgary, Alberta (think north of Montana) and now I’m in Prince Edward Island (east coast 😀 )

    Hilary: You will have a great time…. Laurier is a very nice school, and it will be cheaper than most US schools (from what I’ve seen)

    Judge Josh: Why do you think we shipped Justin Bieber and Nickelback to you? Calgary (my home town) is the one with the no Nickelback guarantee…. and if you are going to come visit Canada don’t go to Toronto (at least not just to Toronto) visit some of the Maritime province (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (my currant home)) or go to Quebec City (over 400 years old) in a mostly French speaking province, or go out to British Columbia (west coast, mountains, great for skiing/snowboarding in the winter) or go to my favourite (slight bias) for the prairies and Rocky Mountains (check out the Calgary Stampede!!!) Now I feel like I’m rambling about Canada, though if anyone wants to know more, I am a wealth of knowledge 😀

    Everyone Else: If anyone else wants to go to a smaller Canadian University (think under 10,000 students) check out the University of Lethbridge (in Alberta) or University of Prince Edward Island (in Prince Edward Island, just over 4000 students) I have attended both, and I can say that they are both really great schools…
    And now that I have rambled far longer than I meant too, I will sign off.
    Good Luck Hilary!

  9. I am a Canadian citizen and I live in Ontario so I know a little bit about Financial Aid and such. First, I would have you visit the Study In Ontario Website ( because it lets you know what you have to do in order to, well, “study in Ontario”. As for scholarships, I know of two helpful websites:

    See next post for rest (the spam filter thinks I’m spamming you)

  10. Continued…

    You should be able to find scholarships, bursaries, and other financial aid information there. You do have to fill out a profile or two, but in the end its worth it. I do not believe you are eligible for our loan system called OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program), but you should check and make sure because it can certainly help you out. You might also want to contact the Federal government because sometimes they provide assistance above and beyond Provincial aid (I found the specific link for you: Also, check Wilfrid Laurier’s website, they probably offer at least one international student award/bursary/scholarship.

    I hope I helped you out at least a little bit.

    Good Luck!


  11. Hi Josh! What a convenient post… yes, this is the Sandra from Serbia, and I am actually going to be applying to the University of Toronto (where I have spent two of my winter vacations , and you will not be disappointed when you do visit for the first time!). I would like to know the code for that one as well. My first cousin is a Canadian citizen. She just graduated from Laurier. Small world!

  12. I’m planning on going to school in canada and I’m glad to to hear this! I doubt I’ll actually get any financial aid from the government, but in case I can, this is a great thing to know! thanks!

  13. Yeah , Jaklyn is right. I don’t know about Wilfrid Laurier, but where I’m going next year, the tuition fees for first year are only
    around 3,700$. Oh yeah , 2 more things:
    1. There are several differences between Canada and the U. S.
    2. Toronto is the city that the rest of the country loves to hate.

  14. Hey everybody,

    I’d just like to put in my two cents about Canadian education. Even with international fees, a lot of students will be saving a lot of money by coming up here as opposed to a private school (about $25G). If you qualify for dual citizenship, then you can pay domestic fees ($7G). These numbers are for my school, University of Toronto, which is world class. It’s a public school, but it has the 4th largest library system in North America after Harvard, Yale and Illinois. THE-WUR ranks it 12th in the world for Arts and Humanities. Life is just generally better here. Socially liberal, and the school is in the middle of the city instead of being in a hick town. It also operates on a collegiate system modelled after Cambridge and Oxford. I love it here. Think about it, you Yanks!


  15. Dear judge,
    Good evening.I want to know which uncle want to help me to go to school/college?Is this true?Its possible by net?

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