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No Increase for Co-op Fee Next Year

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Connor Plante
Co-op Affairs Commissioner
Wed, 11/21/2018 - 10:00

Guest blog from Co-op Affairs Commissioner Connor Plante.

The 2019 co-op fee will see no increase from the current fee of $729, it was announced at the Co-op Education Council (CEC) meeting on November 21, 2018. This was the culmination of a detailed fee setting process that the Federation of Students was pleased to be a part of.

So how has Feds been advocating on the Co-op fee file?

With the announcement of the new co-op fee last year, students started asking some important questions, such as: “What is my fee paying for?” “What is the process that determines the fee?” “How is the fee being communicated to us as students?” Feds heard these questions loud and clear and we have been hard at work in partnership with the Co-operative Education (CE) Department to get you these answers and bring more transparency and communication to the fee setting process.

Through the work of the Co-op Fee Comprehensive Review [external link] (aka: the co-op fee deep dive), a cost breakdown is now provided to students to show what your fee is being spent on. If you have not already done so, I would urge you to check out the co-op fee webpage for this cost breakdown and the answers to many more FAQs.

Phase 1 of the deep dive also generated some ideas that allowed for a more detailed financial analysis to be conducted this year. This analysis helped ensure the fee was set at an appropriate level based on projected costs. Myself and Feds Vice President Education Matthew Gerrits were pleased to be a part of a new ‘special review group’ that was formed to do an in-depth review of the financial analysis and provide feedback. This group gets students in the room at the right time to provide key stakeholder input into the fee-setting decision.

During this process, we discussed with CE what was reasonable and attainable to ensure student affordability was being considered without compromising the current level of service at CE. Based on the analysis that was presented, there was consensus among the review group that a 0% increase was the most appropriate decision for everyone to support. We are pleased to see that this option has been adopted.

It is important to know that the 0% fee increase still allows for CE to maintain existing levels of service and is made possible based on the current financial circumstances. A similar financial analysis will be completed next year to determine what the appropriate co-op fee will be for the 2021 fiscal year.

Not having an increase this year was made possible by CE receiving external grant money, staffing vacancies and outperforming their own expectations in controlling costs.

We will be continuing to work with the Co-operative Education Department in the coming months to ensure this co-op fee decision is communicated to students. We also look forward to continue to partner with CE as we continue onto Phase 2 of the Co-op Fee Deep Dive.

If you would like further information on the co-op fee, I would encourage you to visit the Your Co-op Fee Webpage [external link]. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!

Connor Plante
Co-op Affairs Commissioner