Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Fees

The University of Waterloo assesses these student fees on behalf of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) and transfers the funds to the WUSA for disbursement. Payment of mandatory fees is a requirement of registration. You can opt out of optional fees during the Quest fee payment period only. For the Studentcare-based fees, you must go to their website to request a refund. Refunds outside this window will not be issued, with the exception of extenuating circumstances as determined by your VP Operations & Finance.

Note of Warning: Students taking less than 1.5 credits pay only 30% of the full-time rate of the WUSA operating fees. These students are not automatically assessed the GRT U-Pass. Please reach out to recept@wusa.ca to see if you are eligible to register for the program. Students in 2nd year and above who are enrolled at the Stratford campus are also eligible to opt into the program.

Disclaimer: For more information on fees before the 2021-22 school year, you can visit the Student Financial Services website.

WUSA Membership Fees

These fees go toward enhancing your student experience or representing your voice in University and Governmental decision-making during your time at Waterloo. This includes fun events, clubs, equity and social services, advocacy efforts, and health and wellness initiatives that provide student supports when and where you need them. With these fees WUSA can also provide students with part-time jobs, cover regular maintenance of the Student Life Centre, and legally-required costs such as insurance for student spaces and an independent public audit.

This fee provides opportunities to make friends, have fun, and improve mental health. This fee supports events run by the undergraduate student association, including but not limited to:

  • Termly transition activities such as Welcome Week and game nights where you can win a number of different prizes
  • Cultural events like Cultural Caravan and International Trivia Night
  • WUSA’s student-run services and they many supports, events, and opportunities they provide;
  • WUSA clubs which provide a sense of community and belonging on campus; hundreds of opportunities to get involved; build relationships; develop athletic, professional, and leadership skills.

Fall 2021 – $35.00

Winter 2022 – $35.00

Spring 2022 – $35.00

This fee ensures the student association can continue to: provide support for students with academic grievances, discipline, petitions, and appeals; provide student representation on academic disciplinary bodies for co-op and regular academic matters; advocate and advise on student safety on campus; negotiate essential student transit pass programs.

  • Co-op Affairs Commissioner, Academic Affairs Commissioner, Centre for Academic Policy Support
  • Portions of the VP Education and Municipal Affairs Commissioner portfolios
  • Student voices to the University of Waterloo to support and enhance the undergraduate student experience
  • Advocacy topics include championing mental health, academic petitions, bursaries and scholarships, tuition, and student safety.
  • Student voice to local, provincial, and federal governments to ensure education is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality for all students.
  • Supports research-based recommendations to government on subjects from tuition and OSAP to transit and housing.

Fall 2021 – $15.39

Winter 2022 – $15.39

Spring 2022 – $15.39

This fee goes toward the operation and management of the Student Life Centre, the hub of student life activity on campus. Furthermore, the undergraduate student association is required, as a non-profit, to be in line with the Ontario Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990. This fee includes the costs for the items necessary for compliance and the overhead associated with their administration.
What’s included:

  • Audit, Legal, and Insurance costs relevant to ensuring the organization is accountable to its students
  • Board of Directors, Elections, General Meetings and other governance conducted
  • General costs of organization support like IT, accounting and marketing teams

Fall 2022 – $34.66

Winter 2022 – $34.66

Spring 2022 – $34.66

Unlike the other WUSA Membership Fees, the Undergraduate Student Capital Program Fee is a capital (rather than operating) fee. It supports the maintenance, deferred maintenance, renewal, capital improvement, and future expansions for the SLC and other student common areas across all campus. The fee supports these capital and strategic expansion costs within the SLC and beyond it, extending to student spaces/facilities from MathSoc’s MC Comfy to EngSoc’s POETS.

Fall 2021 – $15.11

Winter 2022 – $15.11

Spring 2022 – $15.11

Society Membership Fees

Societies are the bridge between your faculty and your student association, where you can meet new friends in your faculty, take part in fun, faculty-specific events and initiatives, and receive support. Societies are also your faculty-level student government, representing and advocating for you on issues specific to your faculty! These fees are optional but you may lose access to society events and privileges if you choose to opt out.

Society Fees

Paying the MathSoc fee empowers and allows you to use operational services such as: the exam bank, the MathSoc office (printing, photocopying, other stationery needs, board games, and more), MC Lockers, and community events like Movie Nights, Pi Day, Party with Profs, Destress with Puppies, etc. It also funds and allows you to join MathSoc Clubs like ActSci Club, Data Science Club, and others. Further, 16% of the fee goes to our Capital Improvement Fund which makes lasting improvements to student space such as additions and maintenance for our Coffee & Donuts Shop and the Comfy Lounge.

Fall 2021 – $14.79

Winter 2022 – $14.79

Spring 2022 – $14.79

The Engineering Society exists to promote a positive undergraduate experience among its members through representation of student opinion as well as support of academic, professional and social needs. This fee provides students with access to services such as the exam bank, resume critiques, academic workshops and mental health resources. It also helps operate the Engineering Society office and Coffee and Donut shops. Engineering Society also sponsors student design teams and runs many social events, as well as support for first year students through events and mentorship.

Fall 2021 – $17.84

Winter 2022 – $17.84

Spring 2022 – $17.84

The St. Jerome’s Students’ Union fee enables Students’ Union to advocate on behalf of students and represent the needs of the community on various St. Jerome’s’ and University of Waterloo committees. The fee gives students access to resources and events organized by Students’ Union, allows students to pay a decreased price for events such as the annual Green and Gold Gala, and enables the Union to work to improve the student experience at St. Jerome’s, which includes organizing initiatives relating to student mental health and wellness, sustainability, food services, academics, and more.

Fall 2022 – $10.00

Winter 2022 – $10.00

Spring 2022 – $10.00

The Environment Student Society (ESS) promotes the interest and well-being of all undergraduate students within the environment faculty. ESS provides a source of communication between the students and the administration as well as continuously promoting opportunities for students to grow and develop their skills as well as interests. ESS works with the administration to initiate an encouraging and supportive atmosphere with academic and social events in order to build a strong and welcoming community within the faculty.

Fall 2021 – $12.50

Winter 2022 – $12.50

Spring 2022 – $12.50

By opting out of this fee, you will not be able to participate in Science Society (SciSoc) events and activities, participate in SciSoc elections, or apply to be a SciSoc coordinator. SciSoc is the Faculty of Science student government that supports you at UWaterloo. SciSoc members enjoy events and services for professional and personal development, as well as academic and social events like: Career Workshops, Midterm Giveaways, Wellness Days, and Dog Therapy. SciSoc members also benefit from discounted prices at: Wonderland, Christmas Market, Halloween Haunt, Sciball, Scichella, and Gradball.

Fall 2021 – $15.00

Winter 2022 – $15.00

Spring 2022 – $15.00

The Accounting and Finance Student Association (AFSA) is a student-run organization dedicated to enriching the experiences of Accounting and Finance students. AFSA organizes numerous social events, professional development seminars, and academic review sessions. AFSA offers up to 80% in subsidies for conference fees and travel expenses through its Goes for Gold program. Opting out of the AFSA fee revokes the student’s admittance for all AFSA events and services (including eligibility for subsidies such as all conference subsidies and the Grad Ball discount).

Fall 2021 – $30.00

Winter 2022 – $30.00

Spring 2022 – $30.00

The Society of Pharmacy Students (SOPhS) is a student-led organization committed to enriching the experience of its members during their time in Pharmacy School. SOPhS provides students with social, athletic and educational events aimed at enriching the students’ non-academic lives. SOPhS oversees all student clubs in Pharmacy School, and also acts as the liaison between the student body and faculty. This fee will go directly to supporting SOPhS and other SOPhS related clubs at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy.

Fall 2021 – $35.00

Winter 2022 – $35.00

Spring 2022 – $35.00

Contributing a small part to the Applied Health Sciences Society (AHSUM) allows others and yourself to take part in governance and become a stronger knit family through events and services. AHSUM offers multiple events including Pints and Pops with Profs, Shantz Farm, Therapy Dogs, Semi-Formal and many more while providing services such as exam banks, snacks, and swag in our newly furnished lounge and fishbowl. With your support, we will continue to have a shared open space for all Applied Health Sciences undergraduate members to be welcomed in and feel accepted and to communicate with others.

Fall 2021 – $5.00

Winter 2022 – $5.00

Spring 2022 – $5.00

The Arts Student Union (ASU) is the representative for Arts undergraduate students, overseeing 20+ departmental societies within the Faculty of Arts. We host a variety of events, such as Midterm De-stress with the AUO, breakfast giveaways, and our annual trip to Halloween Haunt. Each departmental society hosts events geared toward their students, enhancing their studies and overall university experience. The ASU fee allows the Arts Student Union and the departmental societies to organize events for students to come together, fostering a sense of community at the university.

Fall 2021 – $10.00

Winter 2022 – $10.00

Spring 2022 – $10.00

The Global Business Digital Arts Society student fee is used to help the student society in creating student-centred experiences that support the growth of the GBDA community. It is applied by financing various events around both Waterloo and Stratford with a focus on increasing student involvement. It also plays a large role in supporting student initiatives that start in Stratford and aim to better the overall student experience at a satellite campus.

Fall 2021 – Part of ASU fee, but directed to GBDA

Winter 2022 – Part of ASU fee, but directed to GBDA

Spring 2022 – Part of ASU fee, but directed to GBDA

The University of Waterloo Optometry Student Society (UWOSS) is a student-run organization that represents the opinion and interests of the Optometry student body. UWOSS serves as a liaison between the Optometry students and main campus organizations and faculty members within the school. UWOSS also sponsors a number of social events, including: a Slo-pitch tournament, the “EyeScream” Halloween Party, the “EyeBall” Optometry Formal, the legendary Optometry “Corneal Cup” hockey tournament, and Optometry’s Skit Night.

Fall 2021 – $15.00

Winter 2022 – $15.00

Spring 2022 – $15.00

The Waterloo Architecture Student Association (WASA) fee supports the work of student government at the Architecture Campus in Cambridge. WASA works to advocate for the needs of students on issues like tuition policy and campus safety, and enhance academic and social experience while at university. WASA hosts many exciting events for students every term, as well as run a number of small and student–focused services.

Fall 2021 – $17.84

Winter 2022 – $17.84

Spring 2022 – $17.84

Note: Fees are subject to HST, where applicable.

Note: If you’d like to opt back in to a Society fee, reach out to your society executives then go to member.wusa.ca make the payment; a surcharge will be added.

WUSA Administered Funds

The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Administered Funds are a suite of fees some of which are compulsory upon registration. Refunds are available for some dependent on proof of equivalent coverage. These fees are the following:

Optional Fees

This fee sponsors eligible students from refugee camps abroad to continue their studies and improve their lives at the University of Waterloo. The fee levy covers all of the student’s academic and living expenses for two years. With the support of UWaterloo and its affiliated colleges, the students are able to live on residence, receive meal plans and other services. This program is provided through the undergraduate student association.

Fall 2021 – $5.01

Winter 2022 – $5.01

Spring 2022 – $5.01

Assessed by the university, on behalf of Imprint
Assessed to all full-time and part-time students

Fall 2021 – $5.79

Winter 2022 – $5.79

Spring 2022 – $5.79

Mandatory Fees

This fee provides students with access to legal representation for housing, employment, and academic discipline disputes, in addition to a legal hotline that can be used to seek legal information pertaining to any area of the law by an accredited law firm. This service is provided by the undergraduate student association. This group discount program is not comparable to other market products, as it far exceeds coverage and support, but saves students hundreds to thousands of dollars annual depending on legal support required.

If you choose to opt out of this fee:

You will lose access to the Legal Protection Program, which includes a toll-free legal assistance hotline on any legal questions or area students might have questions about, and access to a lawyer that will represent you on proceedings related to the following areas of law: housing/tenancy, employment/contract law/labour law, and academic rights.

Fall 2021
Regular $9.61
Co-op $18.03

Winter 2022
Regular $19.24
Co-op $18.03

Spring 2022
Regular N/A
Co-op $18.03

The Health Plan fee provides health coverage for undergraduate students with the assistance of StudentCare networks. Students can opt out or enroll spouse/dependents at www.studentcare.ca during the Change-of-Coverage Period. Inquiries about the coverage can also be directed to the Health and Dental office in the Health Services, Room 1006. During the winter term, regular students pay twice the rate for Health and Dental coverage to ensure continuous coverage from May through August. Considered together with the Dental Plan, this group discount program saves students approximately $367 per year on average for equivalent insurance coverage.

Fall 2021
Regular $66.02
Co-op $123.94

Winter 2022
Regular $132.03
Co-op $123.94

Spring 2022
Regular N/A
Co-op $123.94

The Dental Plan fee provides dental coverage for undergraduate students with the assistance of StudentCare networks. Students can opt out or enroll spouse/dependents at www.studentcare.ca during the Change-of-Coverage Period. Inquiries about the coverage can also be directed to the Health and Dental office in the Health Services, Room 1006. During the winter term, regular students pay twice the rate for Health and Dental coverage to ensure continuous coverage from May through August. Considered together with the Health Plan, this group discount program saves students approximately $367 per year on average for equivalent insurance coverage.

Fall 2021
Regular $63.29
Co-op $118.65

Winter 2022
Regular $126.56
Co-op $118.65

Spring 2022
Regular N/A
Co-op $118.65

This fee provides students with access to Empower Me, a mental health and wellness service that seeks to contribute to a resilient student community. This service is provided by the undergraduate student association. This new program provides a full suite of mental health services and resources that are customized for students and complement current offerings by UW Campus Wellness. Students can access support online, by phone, or in-person in over 20 countries.

Fall 2021
Regular $1.63
Co-op $3.50

Winter 2022
Regular $3.27
Co-op $3.50

Spring 2022
Regular N/A
Co-op $3.50

The UPass fee is a non-refundable fee collected on behalf of Grand River Transit. The GRT’s fee is 105.50 and a 3% administration fee and a 2% Transit Disruption Reserve are added The fee is paid by full-time undergraduate students with at least three (3) courses on academic term; students can also use the pass during an academic co-op, or off term. This group discount saves students approximately $850 per year.

Fall 2021
Regular $1.63
Co-op $3.50

Winter 2022
Regular $3.27
Co-op $3.50

Spring 2022
Regular N/A
Co-op $3.50

Note: Fees are subject to HST, where applicable.
* You can choose to opt out of these optional and voluntary fees charged to your student account by the opt out deadline for each term.
** You may opt out annually at www.studentcare.ca during the change of coverage period in September (or your first academic term in the year, if that is not Fall term)
*** If you are living outside the Region of Waterloo during the fall term but were charged for the U-Pass on Quest, you will be able to opt-out of the service before September 28th. Click here for more information.

WUSA Administered Endowment Funds – Voluntary Fees

The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Administered Endowment Funds are a suite of fees that support student-run endowment funds administered by WUSA to provide lasting benefit to students. All endowment fund fees are voluntary and are considered charitable contributions, meaning that tax receipts will be issued by the University of Waterloo for the donation. You can choose to opt out of these voluntary fees charged to your student account by the opt out deadline for each term. Please note that opting not to pay these voluntary fees will not limit your eligibility to apply to the Endowment Funds individually or as part of a student group.

These fees are the following:

Voluntary Fees

The Equity, Opportunity and Innovation Endowment Fund assists with the costs of student projects, student-led entrepreneurship and start-up ventures, to facilitate attendance at conferences, professional or academic development opportunities, and also with costs of unique one-time projects that provide lasting benefit to students across all Waterloo campuses.

In an effort to provide more funding (available to students upfront while growing the principal balance), the Students’ Council approved the introduction of a new voluntary fee for the endowment fund to be disbursed in the following method:

  • Initially, 75% of voluntary student contributions will be directed to the endowment principal and 25% to the expendable account
  • Once the principal balance reaches $2.5M, 100% of the contributions will be directed to the endowment principal, at which point the interest on the fund each year is anticipated to support $75k in grants annually.

EOI is subdivided into three components:

  • Enterprise (25%) – used to remove the financial barrier of start-up costs that may prevent the development of new initiatives, student business ventures, and similar
  • Opportunity (25%) – supports students who wish to engage in conferences, academic and professional development, or development projects abroad
  • Innovation (50%) – granted to short-term projects that will provide a long-term benefit to campus
Fall 2021 – $5.00
Winter 2022 – $5.00
Spring 2022 – $5.00

The Student Life Endowment Fund (SLEF) exists to help students fund projects that benefit their experience at the University of Waterloo. Since the spring of 1992, undergrads contributed to the fund through a compulsory fee, which was initiated as part of the “Coordinated Plan to Improve the Quality of Student Life at UW.” Each year, the interest on the fund is used to support various projects on campus.

SLEF supports projects in the following areas:

  • The improvement of health, wellness, and safety on all campuses
  • The improvement of accessibility on all campuses
  • The renovation to student operated or managed spaces
  • Connecting students to available university resources
  • The improvement of current lounge and study spaces
  • Activities promoting or furthering the academic goals of WUSA
  • Joint projects with Municipal or Regional governments that improve student well-being

Any projects outside the sphere of these priorities are eligible for funding, but as funds are limited, such projects will receive slow and careful consideration before awards are granted.

Fall 2021 – $25.00

Winter 2022 – $25.00

Spring 2022 – $25.00

Orientation Fee: First Year Students

This fee is optional at point of payment (on Quest), and non-refundable. The fee may be opted back into for students who have registered for Orientation but mistakenly opted out.

Optional Fees

First-Year Orientation is your official welcome to campus and a vital part of your student experience. You’ll meet students from your program and across campus who are experiencing university for the first time, just like you! This fee supports a full week of exciting activities like Warrior Welcome, Waterloo Fest, and Black and Gold Day. Orientation is where to learn about faculty traditions, what it means to be a Waterloo Warrior, and how to make the most of your time here. Events are organized by the Student Success Office, your faculty, and your Waterloo undergraduate student association.

Fall  2022 – $121.15

Winter 2023 – N/A

Spring 2023 – N/A

Note: Fees are subject to HST, where applicable.

Changes to Fees for 2021/22 Year

Some fees were mandated by the Ontario Government to be optional starting in September 2019. This policy was struck down by the courts before the end of 2019. WUSA council decided to keep an optional model and try it out for another year to test the concept. Ultimately the fee review report was presented in spring 2021 presenting the findings that membership fees could be lowered for all students if they were assessed on a compulsory basis and this would also ensure fairness and stability when it came to service delivery and budgets.

Further Changes
Furthermore, Council passed an increase of $5.08 to the Operations Fee to support the growth of services related to the SLC/PAC expansion and the growth and development of new student supports.

Lastly, these fees had normal increases of 0.7% represented by the Consumer Price Index.

FAQs about these structural fee changes

Though WUSA tries to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, there were problems with the optional fees structure. Most of the optional fees were impossible to regulate access for; and those that were, had additional administrative costs, thereby increasing operating costs and decreasing efficiency. In addition, departments supported by optional fees had difficulty in accurately estimating fee revenue and therefore budgeting accordingly became a challenging task.

A survey of other Ontario student unions shows that most of all other associations defaulted back to the compulsory model immediately. WUSA executives and council decided to continue the concept of optional fees to further study the feasibility of the model.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee was tasked with understanding if the optional fees model was sustainable and efficient. Their conclusion was that it was not and the committee recommended moving back to mandatory fees.

This government legislation was struck down by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice; citing that since student associations are separate legal entities from universities and colleges, there is “no statutory authority authorizing Cabinet or the Minister to interfere in the internal affairs of these student associations.” In short, the legislation was undemocratic.

It is important to note that WUSA operates as a nonprofit organization outside of the University of Waterloo. We are truly student-driven, our council and board are made up of current UW students. While we do work with the University of Waterloo, they don’t technically have authority over what we do; student decisions on council and board drive the organization.

WUSA executives and council tasked the Budget and Appropriations Committee with understanding if the optional fees model was sustainable and efficient. The Budget and Appropriations Committee’s conclusion was that the optional model was not an efficient model and the committee recommended moving back to mandatory fees. This move allowed fees to be reduced by about $10 and the overall plan was approved by WUSA’s Board of Directors and Student Council.

Moving the 9 fees (5 optional and 4 mandatory) into 3 understandable groups helps ensure that there is increased affordability and transparency going forward. With no more optional “exclusive” fees, students now do not need to worry about opting out of a service they may ultimately need or want to contribute to.

To brace for the impact of opt outs, fees were increased. This happened because while students chose to opt out of some things, there was still a mandate to keep up with service levels for all students. What used to total just over $63 in 2019, rose to over $87 not including tax or the capital fee. The reason behind some of this increase was student-approved expansions of WUSA supports and services but not all of it.

There is currently no plan to go back to optional fees but this whole legal ordeal highlights how a change like this must be made collectively by the students in WUSA and not an external entity.

For further information regarding your fees or if you are not paying for an Administered fee and intended to use the service(s), please contact the Vice President Operations & Finance