Ancillary fees are mandatory fees that the University of Toronto collects to run various services at the University. Also called “incidental” fees, these fees are paid with but are not the same as your tuition fees. The government mandates that these fees must fall under the following categories:
• Health and insurance
• Student activity fees that exclude academic services
• Athletic fees
• Transportation and parking
• Housing placement
• Field trips (if they cover the direct cost of the trip)
• Fees for learning material and clothing retained by students
• Fees for material you produce which becomes your property
• Fees for materials or services where the university acts as a broker for the student (e.g. student society fees, UHIP fees)
The government is very specific about what can be deemed an ancillary fee. The university is not allowed to increase ancillary fees to supplement educational services. In other words, these fees cannot be a backdoor tuition fee increase.
Additionally, students must approve certain kinds of ancillary fee increases before they can be implemented. At the University of Toronto, the Council on Student Services (CoSS) is a body made up of representatives from each of the central students’ unions from all three campuses and representatives from student services offered by the administration. Unlike most governing bodies of the University of Toronto, CoSS this is the only governance body where students have a majority of seats. This council allows students to vote in favour of, against or to call for a referenda on any increase or introduction of compulsory ancillary fees. This council cannot approve backdoor tuition fee increases.
There are some ancillary fees that fall outside the jurisdiction of the Council on Student Services. Here are the rules that govern them:
• You cannot be charged a compulsory fee for an out-of-province field trip in a compulsory course.
• You cannot be charged a compulsory fee for equipment or materials that you must return (e.g. lab coats, goggles).
• You cannot be charged a compulsory fee for an item you produce unless it becomes your property
Here are some fees that are expressly not permitted:
• Information technology fees
• Lab fees
• Library costs
• Mandatory lease of laptops
The University of Toronto Students’ Union has been successful in overturning the collection of illegal ancillary fees before. If you suspect you are being charged an illegal fee, please fill out the form below to report it to us.