Elementary school, high school, CEGEP, university . . . In Quebec, public education is free up to a point. Students may have to pay tuition or fees depending on the type of training, the school and the student’s age.
Free Education From Kindergarten to High School
In Quebec, public school is free from kindergarten to high school. This means there are no tuition fees for going to kindergarten, elementary school or high school.
Education is free until the age of 18, or until 21 for someone with a disability.
Textbooks are free, but you have to pay for your school supplies, like pencils, paper, binders and copybooks.
Students must take good care of whatever the school lets them use. If they damage anything, their parents might have to pay for it.
Important! Education is free for Quebec residents. Some non-Quebec residents may also qualify for free education, for example foreign students whose parents or legal guardians reside ordinarily in Quebec.
After High School
Vocational training prepares you to do a particular type of work. When you finish the training, you get a Diploma of Vocational Studies or an Attestation of Vocational Specialization.
If this training is offered by a school board, your courses and textbooks are free until you turn 18 (or 21 if you have a disability).
After you turn 18 (or 21), you have to pay for your textbooks. The courses are free if
- you have 15 or more hours left to complete your program and you’re registered in at least 15 hours of courses per week, and
- you complete the program in the time allowed.
The school where you’re taking your courses is allowed to charge for
- photocopies and workbooks,
- safety equipment and uniforms, and
You also have to buy your own copybooks, paper and pencils.
Some adult education is free. Examples are
- courses to finish high school,
- French classes, and
- courses to prepare you for vocational training.
You must pay for your textbooks, photocopies of exercises, copybooks, paper and pencils.
After high school, you can go to CEGEP to earn a diploma of collegial studies (also known as a “DEC”).
If you’re studying full time, public CEGEPs are free. However, you still have to pay these fees:
- application fees
- registration fees to cover the cost of course transcripts, placement tests and course cancellations
- educational support fees, which cover the cost of student ID cards, orientation and academic advising
- other fees charged by some CEGEPs, including fees for social, cultural and sporting activities, health services and group insurance
Important! Some CEGEPs are private, so they charge additional fees.
University education can lead to a bachelor’s degree or a certificate in various fields. Some professions require university education.
Education is not free at the university level. You have to pay tuition fees and other costs:
- registration fees
- information technology charges
- student association fees
- athletic fees
Visit the Quebec government’s financial aid website to learn more.