Update on Student Choice Initiative: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Update on the Student Choice Initiative: Wednesday December 18, 2019

In response to the divisional court ruling related to the Student Choice Initiative, McMaster University will not have an opt-out period for Winter 2020.

For Winter 2020, McMaster University will require payment of all non-essential fees and essential fees. These fees will automatically be added to your student account and are due on January 25, 2020.

For more information, please continue to monitor the Daily News and the registrar.mcmaster.ca website.

Other communications on this issue, including background information, are below.

(From November 28, 2019)

Currently, the university is aware of the divisional court ruling related to the Student Choice Initiative. We are awaiting a government response and will provide additional information as soon as it is available.

Check the Office of the Registrar’s website for further updates as they become available.

Background information on the SCI

On Jan. 17, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced the Student Choice Initiative (SCI), which would require the university to provide students with the choice to opt-out of non-essential supplementary fees starting in fall 2019.

The university worked alongside the MSU, MAPS, GSA and the student societies to review their supplementary student fees to determine which fees are essential and non-essential as per the provincial government’s classification guidelines.

The guidelines required that fees supporting essential services were compulsory, and fees supporting non-essential services were optional. Only fees which support essential services, whether they are charged by the university, a student government and/or a student society could be charged on a compulsory basis.

Fees that support the services listed below were deemed essential:

  • 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, and;
  • Student transit passes

For any fee that does not support the essential services listed, the university provided students with an online option to opt-out process for paying those fees prior to collecting payment for fees.

Fees supporting services that have been deemed non-essential could impact student programming and supports provided on campus. A complete list of all supplementary fees (essential and non-essential) can be found on the Ontario government website.