Ancillary Fee FAQs & Descriptions


The University is required by law to abide by the new fee structure and definitions provided by the Government. As such, all ancillary fees were approved by the Ancillary Fees Committee (which has equal representation between student leaders and University administration) and ultimately by the Nipissing University Board of Governors.  The University is also required to submit their Ancillary Fee Protocol and breakdowns of Essential and Non-Essential services and fees to the Government and to maintain our adherence to the legislative directives of the Government. 

Why can I no longer opt out of some fees, as was the case last year with the Student Choice Initiative?

On November 21, 2019, the Ontario Divisional Court made the decision to suspend the provincial government’s Student Choice Initiative and opt-out process. As a result, students will be assessed both optional and compulsory ancillary fees effective Fall 2020 and there is no option to opt out of the fees that the government had previously deemed “non-essential.” The government has sought leave to appeal this court decision. Nipissing, along with other Ontario institutions, continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they are available. During the fee approval process for the 2020 / 2021 academic year, the University and the Nipissing University Student Union determined to maintain some fees as opt-out for students; however, this is separate and distinct from the Student Choice Initiative.

NUSU-specific fees:

[COVID-19 UPDATE] As a result of an asynchronous, online fall term, it is not possible for NUSU to operate traditionally on campus as expected. NUSU is dedicated to efficiently using funds collected by ancillary fees to provide students with the highest quality services via online delivery where possible. As the narrative of Covid-19 regulations, as dictated by the university and government continues to evolve, NUSU will continue to operate to full capacity as instructed. If fees cannot be utilized for traditional forms of services or programming due to Covid-19, NUSU will endeavour to ensure the effective and fiscally responsible use of funds to support the transition of the same or similar services to an online delivery, or support the sustainability of the student union. For any questions or concerns, please contact Ward Loveday at:

Essential Fees

Nipissing University remains committed to supporting all students during this time of uncertainty.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Nipissing University has moved to an essential services model. While it may seem that campus has shut down, ancillary fees continue to support some of Nipissing’s most essential services as they have moved to online/virtual delivery. On top of this, Nipissing University is ensuring that students have access to enhanced levels of financial and personal support while they cope with the transition to a more distant style of learning and living.

Service Continuation & Enhancement

Most services funded by essential ancillary fees will continue to be available for student use throughout the crisis. For students who have particularly acute academic, well-being, workplace or other needs, the continued availability of these services can be critical to success at Nipissing, and after graduation. 

Athletics Complex

This fee is levied in support of the general upkeep and maintenance of the Robert J Surtees Student Athletics Centre and the fitness facilities and equipment within the Centre.

NUSU Student Centre Fee

This fee is collected in agreement with the Nipissing University Board of Governors for the construction of the Student Centre, building maintenance, property maintenance, and operations. For progress and updates on the project, please see our Facebook, Instagram (@nusutalks) or visit the NUSU website

Athletics Fee

This fee gives Nipissing students access to the fitness facilities and equipment, recreational and intramural programs, covers the costs of student front desk staff and group fitness instructors.  Whether you want to take a fitness class – spin, Zumba, kickboxing, or yoga – use the cardio room, play squash, or pump some iron in the weight room, the Robert J. Surtees (RJS) Student Athletic Centre is the place to be.  

The RJS is home to 14 Lakers teams competing in seven varsity sports in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and is also the home of Nipissing University Club Sports, which currently consists of a handful of sports, but continues to grow.  The Athletics Fee is also levied in support of Nipissing’s Varsity Athletics, and helps support expenses such as staff salaries, scholarships, uniforms and equipment, marketing of games, travel for our student athletes to attend away games, community outreach programs, etc.

*While no physical access to the Robert J Surtees Student Athletics Centre is available at this time, support for varsity athletes and clubs continues remotely. A selection of fitness workshops and resources have been made available for student use in absence of gym access, and are available at Operations and capital costs for facilities will continue while physical distancing measures are in effect, and fees help support the staff that will ensure facilities are student-ready upon the reopening of campus. The Athletics team is currently developing a program for students to access intramural and rec opportunities through virtual challenges and enhanced programming.

Health Services

This fee is used to offset the cost of operating the shared health centre on the North Bay campus.

*Nipissing University’s Campus Health Centre is still operational for essential appointments only. They are only reachable by phone at 705-474-7600 x5261. If you wish to book an appointment or speak with a staff member please call.

Student Intervention Support

The Student Intervention Specialist (SIS) provides case management support to students with complex concerns – primarily mental health or minor conduct issues.  This support is offered to students who may be experiencing difficulty accessing the appropriate services, require a referral to services, require further collaboration within their current support services, or need assistance transitioning to or from the University (e.g. returning after being admitted to the hospital, registering again after withdrawing for mental health reasons, etc.). The relationship between the SIS and the student is collaborative, goal-oriented, supportive, and voluntary.

The SIS is a resource for faculty and staff through education awareness and training on how to recognize, respond, and refer students in distress, and provides an important conduit between the University and the community.

* While no physical appointments are being held at this time, Nipissing’s Student Intervention Specialist continues to meet with students, faculty, and staff remotely. If you require the services of the Student Intervention Specialist, please email

Counselling Support and Outreach

Student Counselling Services supports students in achieving positive mental and emotional wellness. This fee enables the operation of short-term individual therapy, group therapy, and a variety of outreach and educational programming. Specialized supports with an Indigenous lens are also available through Dibaadan supports.

* While no in-person appointments are being held at this time, Nipissing University’s Counselling Services team continues to meet with students through a secure virtual platform. If you require the services of a member of the Counselling team, please email

NUSU General Health and Wellness

This fee is collected to promote services such as “Good2Talk”, 2-1-1, and Virtual Doctors. This fee also funds the various wellness initiatives from NUSU such as Wellness Week. Information for counselling services and mental health supports available on campus and in the community are available and promoted at NUSU. To stay up to date on initiatives and programs available to you, follow @nusutalks on Facebook and Instagram.

Student ID Card

Students are required to have a valid Student ID card.  The ID card is the identification piece used for Nipissing students.  The ID card is used to gain access to the different services the university provides, such as, but not limited to, printing and library resources, writing tests/exams, and access open computer labs. The ID Card will be used to gain entry to the Robert J Surtees Centre.

* Nipissing University’s Technology Services department is developing a process to ensure students have access to their Student Card. Further details will be supplied once this process is in place.

Student Learning and Transition Support

The Student Learning and Transitions department enhances the student experience through learning and development opportunities that support students’ academic and personal success. Students benefit from academic support in the areas of statistics, writing skills, time management, study strategies, peer tutoring and peer mentorship. These services are intended to address the development of specific skills and have been proven to reduce learning anxiety and increase confidence among students. Services are provided through in-person and online consultations (via Blackboard Collaborate, access through your My Nipissing portal), workshops, peer-to-peer education and tutorials. SLT provides a personalized, student-focused educational experience with an awareness of diverse needs and backgrounds.

The NU Promise is a multi-year program designed to enrich your experience at Nipissing University.  With the aid of a Student Success Coordinator, you will be provided with the opportunity to explore your own self-development through academics, campus and community engagement and career preparedness opportunities.

* While no physical appointments are being held at this time, Nipissing’s Student Learning and Transitions team continues to meet with students via phone or online. The Student Learning and Transitions team is also working diligently to provide programming through virtual platforms.  If you require the services of a member of the Student Learning and Transitions team, please email If you require the services of the Student Success Coordinator, please email

NUSU Academic Peer Support

NUSU as an organization works to support students while at school, as students ourselves. Grade appeals, concerns in the classroom and on campus are all topics that we provide guidance and support to students. We provide peer support to our fellow students in addition to providing service coordination, and advocacy. If you find yourself in need of support please contact

Career Resources and Services

For students needing assistance in gaining employment, Nipissing provides assistance formatting resumes and cover letters, information on new jobs in North Bay, and information for skills development.

*Nipissing’s Career and Development Services has moved to online service delivery, and is offering online career mentoring as well as virtual workshops and networking events for students looking to make the transition into the workforce or pursue further studies. For more information regarding Career Resources and Services, please email

NUSU Society Fee

This fee is used to fund program-specific organizations. All fees are broken down based on the major that a student is currently working toward and the fees are then distributed to current societies/associations/communities. A "society" must work toward bettering an entire program and cannot focus on certain groups within a program. For example, honours societies and societies built around a program stream will not be eligible. For a list of current societies and their contact information, please visit

Record of Student Development

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University’s way of recognizing that learning happens everywhere on campus.  It is a formal record otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript, where students can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, on-campus employment and activities they have participated in throughout their time at Nipissing University.

*The Record of Student Development is organized through Student Learning and Transitions. During this time, Student Learning and Transitions will remain operational, with supports available to students online or by phone. For more information regarding the Record of Student Development, you can visit our website at or email

Sexual Violence Education and Outreach

Nipissing University is committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for all students through University-wide initiatives and administration focusing on sexual violence education and outreach.  Support for survivors and allies is available through SDS.  This fee gives student survivors access to services that can help them connect with resources, explain support options, assist with academic and/or living accommodations, and safety planning.  Distance students are also eligible to reach out to the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator for support in their home community or placement community.

Additionally, awareness activities are promoted through “Consent Belongs Here” – Nipissing University’s Student Development and Services campaign to end sexual violence through education, prevention and outreach.  Throughout the year, Consent Belongs Here will be organizing events and initiatives on campus focused on sexual violence prevention and education that are open to all Nipissing students.  This ancillary fee also helps bring events such as public speakers, theatre performances, and free workshops on consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention to Nipissing University.

*Resources available through Nipissing University’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Education team have moved to remote working models and continue to be available for students. The Sexual Violence Prevention and Education team is working diligently to offer speakers and initiatives in a virtual format. If you wish to connect with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education team, please send an email to

NUSU – Canadian Federation of Students Membership Fee

This fee goes to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) as a membership fee. Each student pays this fee in order to be a part of NUSU's membership in CFS. This group is Canada's largest post-secondary student organization and provides access to the ISIC Discount Card free of charge, as well as skill-building workshops and training for student leaders on topics ranging from effective advocacy to non-profit financial management. They also advocate nationally and provincially on issues impacting students, including funding for post-secondary, tuition fees, student debt, fairness for international students, consent and anti-sexual violence initiatives, and student mental health services, among others. They also provide support for the Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students representing Indigenous post-secondary students. For more information please visit

NUSU Central Administrative Support

This fee provides the infrastructure, supplies and qualified staff required to run NUSU’s day-to-day operations and support students to the best of our ability. Operations include, but are not limited to; bookkeeping, correspondence, organization, yearly audit coordination, and general office planning.

NUSU World University Service of Canada

The World University Services of Canada fee is dedicated to sponsoring refugee students to pursue an undergraduate degree at Nipissing University for an academic year.  This fee is responsible for covering the tuition cost for sponsored students.

NUSU Government Advocacy Fee

This fee is used to ensure student voices are heard at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. This includes, but is not limited to; working with local representatives of parliament to ensure the well-being of Nipissing students is represented within city policy and program development.

NUSU Awareness Campaigns & Initiatives

This fee is used to increase awareness about student needs, issues, and supports that are available to Nipissing students online, on campus and within the community. Initiatives and awareness campaigns aim to educate students on the issues impacting them and the society they live in. NUSU looks to be the microphone for the student voice, so if you are a student interested in a specific campaign or initiative, please contact with your ideas, concerns, or thoughts.

NUSU Programming and Services

This fee funds a variety of student related services and events run on and off campus, as well as online. Fees collected will go towards running major events, as well as small student activities open to all Nipissing University students. This fee additionally funds the resources necessary in providing those services and events. To stay up to date on initiatives and programs available to you, follow @nusutalks on Facebook and Instagram.

Student Initiatives Fund

Student projects help build a vibrant student life on campus but often cost more than an individual student can afford. Nipissing University is committed to supporting student initiatives to bring academic, cultural, and recreational projects to life.

The funds created by this fee are used to provide funding for student groups and activities through the Student Initiatives Fund (SIF) and for special projects/programs through various units in Student Development and Services and the Nipissing University Student Union.

The committee helps individuals and student groups achieve success by funding their amazing student led initiatives.  So, if you are an undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education student with a great idea, please submit a SIF application - available on the Student Development and Services website.

* We know that Nipissing’s student group and individual initiatives funded through ancillary fees will continue to offer opportunities for students to engage with campus life throughout this difficult time. While we certainly understand that some students may interpret reduced value-for-money in services that have moved to an online format, it is vital that these initiatives continue to be supported. Individual students and student groups can continue to apply for funds through the Student Initiatives Fund and Nipissing University will continue to support the creation of new student led opportunities to engage and enhance the student experience.

World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

WUSC is a leading Canadian non-profit organization in international development, committed to building a sustainable world.  Together, with post-secondary institutions across Canada, private-sector partners and volunteers they provide education, employment and empowerment opportunities to millions of disadvantaged youth around the world. 

Through the Student Refugee Program within WUSC, Nipissing University is able to help a refugee student achieve their dreams of obtaining a post-secondary education here at Nipissing University.  This fee provides sponsorship to assist with living costs while attending Nipissing (residence/housing, food, books, etc.) For more information visit

* Given the uncertain times that the COVID pandemic has created, more then ever Nipissing University is committed to the continued financial support of our sponsored student with the Student Refugee Program currently completing their degree with us.




Non-Essential Fees

Equity Centre

The Equity Centre is a student run group that helps promote diversity and inclusion by the creation of safer spaces on campus (all gender washrooms, formal training, facilitated educational discussions, games nights, etc.).  Funds from these fees go to support the Equity Centre in running fun events and interesting campaigns both on and off campus that challenge the main dialogue that perpetuates stereotypes and stigma. The Centre also provides peer-to-peer support, helps advocate for students who need support, and provides diversity and inclusion training to the university. We are not a club; rather we are a safer space where you can relax, find resources, and get connected to peer and professional support services in community. Everyone is welcome!

* We know that Nipissing’s student groups funded through ancillary fees will continue to offer opportunities for students to engage with campus life throughout this difficult time. While we certainly understand that some students may interpret reduced value-for-money in services that have moved to an online format, it is vital that these initiatives continue to be supported.

Student Development Fund

The purpose of the Student Development Fund is to assist start-up projects or initiatives, which contribute to the objective of student development at Nipissing University. This program provides funds for special projects and initiatives that enrich the University community. Nipissing University is committed to the professional, personal and social success of its students, student groups and clubs. Projects that are dedicated to the principles of personal and community development, health and wellness and, in particular, provide extra and co-curricular educational opportunities for students to build leadership, citizenship, intercultural awareness and/or community-building skills are encouraged.


To support the development of an eSports gaming initiative at Nipissing.  Providing students access to the most popular games and gaming systems and create a new opportunity to enhance the student experience on campus. Providing the opportunity for participation in the OPSE league, as well as guest speakers to use the games while discussing topics such as team management, marketing, tournament play, and online platforms.

Arts & Culture Initiatives

To enhance the arts and cultural experience on campus and connection to the greater North Bay community. This proposed program will support the enhancement of current community connections with the overall goal of providing Nipissing Students, staff and faculty with new opportunities for engagement and enhancing programs that already exist.

NUSU Membership Fee

This fee funds a variety of student related services, events, and committees on campus. It also funds the operation of the Student Union so they are able to represent the student body including, but not limited to; advocating to the university on students behalf, representing students on different levels throughout the university, and increasing opportunity for student and staff positions to provide services to students.

NUSU Clubs and Groups Support

 This fee funds student clubs and services that foster and promote student life on campus. All fees collected and are equally accessible to student run clubs contributing to Nipissing University student life. Club funds are used to run events, activities, advertise, and campaigns. Unlike societies, clubs cannot be exclusive in nature and can be created by any student on campus. For more information on what clubs NUSU offers, as well as how to start your own club, please visit:

NUSU First Year Orientation and Transition Support

This fee funds projects and resources for first year, mature and transfer students at Nipissing University to ease the transition into post-secondary life. The fee sponsors initiatives of first year students and groups on campus, as well as events that are primarily catered to first year students. More information available at

NUSU Campus Recreational Activities

Student athletics games and tournaments.  Activities for student athletes and non-athletes.  Activities to provide positive school engagement for all students while on campus.  Includes food, staff, and insurance for athletic events.

* Due to possible Covid-19 limitations, this fee will continue to support necessary operational costs, as well as various virtual activity offerings by NUSU.

NUSU Campus Safety Outreach and Awareness Campaigns

This fee is to increase awareness of the general safety and well-being of students on campus. The fee also supports students by increasing awareness about student resources on campus.. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact

Bus Fee

Student Transit Passes (North Bay only)

Student transit passes – If an institution has a compulsory ancillary fee to support student transit passes that was established prior to January 17, 2019, compulsory ancillary fees may be charged for the duration of the agreement and any subsequent renewals of these agreements. Renewals are understood to be subsequent contracts between the same parties creating uninterrupted service to students.

A North Bay Transit Pass is included for all full-time Nipissing students on the North Bay Campus.  The bus pass was initiated as a result of a student referendum.  Bus passes will be effective from September 1 to April 30.  The bus pass will be incorporated into the student ID card.

Student Health Plan

Student Health and Dental Plan

Health and dental plans – these can be charged on a compulsory basis, but institutions must allow students to opt-out if they provide proof of pre-existing coverage.

The Nipissing University Student Union Benefits Plan covers all students attending Nipissing University. Our insurer's, WeSpeakStudent, have worked with NUSU in order to tailor a plan that meets and exceeds the needs of all students. Get to know your benefits so you are able to get the most from the plan. Students may contact NUSU, or visit their website, for more information on how and when to opt-out, should they feel that their current coverage is sufficient.​ 

How do I opt out of the non-essential ancillary fees?

1.  On the "WebAdvisor for Students" menu, click the "Non-Essential Ancillary Fees Opt-Out" link.

2.  When prompted, select an available term, and click submit. Choose which non-essential ancillary fees for the specific session you wish to opt-out of by clicking the corresponding checkboxes in the "Opt out of this Non-Essential Fee?" column. Click the submit button once completed.

3.  You may start the process again to opt-out of additional fees, or to opt back into fees, if permitted by the opt-in/opt-out dates.

Please note that all WebAdvisor opt-outs must be completed by no later than September 20th for the Fall semester, and January 21st for the Winter semester

What policy governs ancillary fees?

Nipissing University introduced its first Protocol Agreement and Guidelines for Compulsory Ancillary Fees in 1994. It was signed by the Nipissing University Student Union and approved by the Board of Governors. This document translates the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities guidelines into the Nipissing University context and outlines the process for fee increases or the introduction of new ancillary fees.

The Protocol Agreement Statement and Guidelines for Compulsory Ancillary Fees describes categories of permitted ancillary fees, including fees for student services provided by the University, services provided by the Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU), fees for specific and limited projects (normally capital projects), and system wide fees (e.g., fees established through a formal agreement for all Ontario universities such as the University Health Insurance Plan).

How are the ancillary fee levels set?

Cost-recovery fees are set at a level to recover the expense incurred by the University in the procurement of the good or service that is being transferred to the student. The University is not permitted to make any profit on these fees. 

Like cost-recovery fees, administrative user fees (service fees) relate to the costs of the services provided, and are set at a level that is based on a reasonable estimate of the administrative costs associated with the service provision. The only administrative user fees and fines that may be charged are those shown on the University's Service Fees. The fees and fines shown on the list may be adjusted annually by administrative authority, provided that the adjustments relate to the cost of the services provided. The introduction or removal of a fee from the service fee listing must be submitted to the Compulsory Ancillary Fees Committee for review and approval.

Why do I have to pay ancillary fees?

Compulsory Ancillary Fees are essential to the functioning of both the University and the Student Union. Without these fees neither would be able to provide the extra-curricular programming that is offered. Ancillary fees are fees charged to pay for administrative services, materials and activities not supported by operating grants, capital grants or tuition fees.

Why do I have to pay for ancillary fees separately from paying for tuition?

Tuition is charged to students according to the principles outlined in the General By-Laws of the Board of Governors of Nipissing University. Ancillary fees are levied to cover the costs of items not normally paid for out of operating or capital revenue (operating and capital grants and tuition fees).These fees vary across programs, courses, year of study and are often based on student choices. 

Can I obtain a refund for a fee I have paid?

Ancillary fees are charged in three ways and refunds are dependent on how the fee is charged.

Compulsory ancillary fees relate to a course or academic program and are charged automatically to all students registered in that course or program. These fees are not refundable.

Some specific ancillary fees (for building access fobs for example) are listed as fully refundable deposits. These fees can be refunded once the relevant academic term or program has ended during a refund period. These refunds are processed through the Facilities Office. 

The majority of the Service Fees are optional fees and are only charged to a student if they utilize the service or incur a fine (such as in the case of late returns to the library). These fees are not charged automatically. Some cost recovery fees are also optional and are only charged to a student where they opt for services, materials or activities.

How do I know what ancillary fees to expect?

Compulsory fees are charged automatically through your registration. Please check your account on Webadvisor if you are not certain which fees you have been assessed. You can also look at the Fees and Payments area on the Nipissing University website prior to selecting your courses to see what kind of program and course-related ancillary fees you will be charged. Non-compulsory fees are charged to you as you access a service, pay a fine or purchase a good.

What if I want to be exempted from paying fees?

As one of the changes included in the 2019 Ontario Budget, the Government has introduced the Student Choice Initiative, a measure designed to provide students the opportunity to choose which non-essential ancillary fees they pay. As one of the requirements of the Student Choice Initiative, Nipissing University has created an online opt-out option with an associated summary sheet of your non-essential fees, built into WebAdvisor. This opt-out will be available as of August 9th, 2019.

Per the Ontario Government's Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines for Publicly Assisted Universities, there are distinctions between essential and non-essential services. Fees that the Government has defined as essential are now mandatory for ALL students enrolled at Nipissing.

Essential services include:

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

There are also additional terms and conditions surrounding health and dental plans, as well as student transit passes, available for review here:

All ancillary fees not included in the above categories are optional, and students may opt out using the WebAdvisor option.


Tuition is assessed at differentiated rates between: a) first and continuing year of study, b) programs of study, and c) international students. The Nipissing University Board of Governors approve the establishment and collection of fees and charges for academic tuition and services.

Ancillary Fees are assessed on a per credit and sessional basis. Most ancillary fees are mandatory. The fees administered by the University are governed by an Ancillary Fee Protocol established by the University and NUSU.

Program Specific Fees may be charged because of the program you are enrolled in.

Course Specific Fees may be charged by the University for the reasonable cost of such things as field trips, or learning material.

Service or Administrative Fees are fees for service and may be incurred as a result of a request or action. 

Residence Fees vary depending on the residence assigned and type of room.​