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Ontario government releases tuition and ancillary fee guidelines

By Sherina Harris

The Ontario government has released their guidelines for tuition and ancillary fees.

In January, the minister of training, colleges and universities announced changes to post-secondary tuition. These included the Student Choice Initiative, which will give students the option to opt out of certain ancillary fees when they pay their tuition.

The full guidelines are available online here.

The guidelines mean Ryerson University’s RU-Pass will not be mandatory for students.

The Eye previously reported that the university has not signed an agreement with the TTC for the RU-Pass, which passed in a referendum at the end of November.

The guidelines state that any fee not included in this list must be optional for students to pay. This includes students’ unions and campus media.

Mandatory fees that students cannot opt out of paying will include:

  • Athletics and recreation
  • Career services
  • Student buildings
  • Health and counselling
  • Academic support
  • Student ID cards
  • Student achievement and records
  • Financial aid offices
  • Campus safety programs
  • Health and dental plans (students must be allowed to opt out if they have proof of pre-existing coverage)
  • Transit passes established prior to Jan. 17, 2019

Universities must ensure students can opt out of non-essential fees online prior to collecting fees from students, according to the guidelines.

Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi previously told The Eye although he can lobby the government to prioritize student engagement, at the end of the day the fees that are mandatory are the government’s decision.

“We will work with them and we are working in good faith with this government,” he said.

A spokesperson from Ryerson’s public affairs office said the university had not received the guidelines as of March 28, but did not respond to request for comment March 29.

The guidelines also confirm university students will have a 10 per cent tuition cut in 2019, with this amount frozen in 2020.

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