OUSA releases policy paper titled “Ancillary and Incidental Fees”


February 28, 2023


OUSA releases policy paper titled “Ancillary and Incidental Fees”

TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the second policy paper approved by OUSA’s Fall 2022 General Assembly, Ancillary and Incidental Fees. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of bringing attention to student concerns and recommendations regarding the various fees they pay towards their education outside of tuition. 


“Alongside tuition fee, ancillary and incidental fees make up a sizeable portion of students’ fee statements.” said Stephanie Ye-Mowe, President of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association and OUSA’s Vice-President of Finance. “Their role in funding key services and initiatives that support the student experience cannot be understated, though it is crucial that institutions use their funds in ways that are accountable to students.”

Ancillary and incidental fees support many of the services students access on their post-secondary campuses, however, there are several issues that impede the transparency and distribution of these funds. Specifically, students are concerned about the threat to their autonomy in levying fees, the clarity of fee guidelines, and gaps within the different types of fees they pay. In addition, they are worried about the affordability of fees that support their learning materials, the lack of accountability in how their fees are being used, and unbalanced cost sharing towards operations and capital projects.

To address these concerns, students have collaborated to provide recommendations that would secure student autonomy over fees, strengthen ancillary fee guidelines, and enhance policies surrounding different types of fees. Furthermore, they offer recommendations to improve affordability of their learning materials fees, increase transparency, and better balance funding models.

The high costs associated with attending post-secondary education creates a financial barrier to academic entry.” said Alyssa Hall, Policy Writer at the Brock University Students’ Union. “As a public good, I believe that every willing and qualified person should have access to an affordable post-secondary education, a goal that can start to be achieved through changing the current ancillary and incidental fee structure of the Ontario post-secondary education system."

This policy paper and its recommendations were developed by students at OUSA’s member schools. It was passed on October 30, 2022 at OUSA’s Fall General Assembly, held at Laurentian University. 


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OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.

Irum Chorghay 

Operations & Communications Coordinator

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

[email protected]