Canvas LMS Pricing: Features and Costs

For a pricing comparison of popular vendors, check out our LMS Pricing Guide.

Canvas is a cloud-based, open-source learning management solution created by Instructure for educational institutions. Developed in 2011, Canvas is designed to better engage teachers and students in the learning process. Versions of Canvas are available for grades K-12 and for higher education institutions.

With Canvas, teachers also have access to Canvas Studio, an interactive video platform for online teaching and student participation. Canvas Studio serves as a video-as-a-learning tool within Canvas, where users can upload and share videos to a digital classroom, create conversations to comment on these videos and collaborate easily online.

We reviewed Canvas LMS in the past, but this post will focus on its pricing plans and prices of alternatives.

How Much Is Canvas?

Instructure doesn’t release pricing for Canvas. However, the cost to implement Canvas varies based on size, training, support and other factors.

Canvas charges a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on an institution’s total number of users. Canvas offers a free account for teachers, as well as a two-week, free trial with full-feature functionality. The free teacher account doesn’t contain all the options available to paid Canvas users. Canvas also offers an open-source option for those who want to install it on their own servers instead of using Canvas’ cloud.

Organizations are asked to call Instructure for price quotes. But according to user-reported pricing data, reviewers have ranked Canvas in the 65th percentile for cost in the learning management system category.

Both the paid and the free-for-teacher versions have various features for courses, including:

  • Outcomes – Also known as standards or competencies, Outcomes describe what a learner should be able to do and are used to measure knowledge and ability.
  • Web conferencing – This tool sets a meeting time for the whole class or one-on-one synchronous online discussions.
  • Canvas on mobile – Native iOS and Android apps allow students to take an entire course from their mobile device.
  • Canvas Parent – This tool allows parents to engage with their child’s education by reviewing upcoming or past assignments, checking grades and receiving course announcements.


In the LMS market, Canvas gives teachers a platform they can use to produce the learning environment they want for their students. With Canvas, teachers can track their students’ progress as well as offer feedback. Canvas also offers an app that enables parents to be more engaged in their child’s education.

Canvas offers two free options for users. A two-week trial account includes built-in course content. An unlimited free account to which individual teachers can subscribe is also available. Schools with multiple teachers who want to use Canvas, however, must pay for the solution.

These schools will pay an implementation fee based on various factors, such as school size and any training or support that’s needed, along with a subscription fee that’s based on the number of users.

If you need more information on LMS solutions in general, our buyer’s guide can help. In it, we detail the benefits, features and what to look for when purchasing a solution. 

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