School Fees and Expenses

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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.

You must take good care of whatever the school lets you use. If you damage anything, your parents might have to pay for it.

Important!  There are no tuition fees for public schools, but there are for private schools.

After High School

Vocational Training

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
  • agendas.

You also have to buy your own copybooks, paper and pencils. 

Adult Education

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.

CEGEP

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, entry into programs 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

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.

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.