Ancillary Fee FAQs & Descriptions


Per the Ontario Government’s Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines for Publicly Assisted Universities, the Government has now created a distinction between essential and non-essential fees and services and the related ancillary fees for those services.

Fees that the Government has defined as essential are now mandatory for all students enrolled at Nipissing, regardless of program/campus.

Fees that the Government has now defined as non-essential, students are able to opt out of.

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. 

Essential Fees

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 for the construction of the Student Centre.  This fee is collected in order to pay for rent, maintenance and cleaning of the current office space.

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 consist 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.

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.

Health Services

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

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.

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.

NUSU Health Resources and Promotion Initiatives

Promotion of services such as “good 2 talk”, 2-1-1, and Virtual Doctors. Information for counselling services and mental health supports available on campus and in the community are available and promoted at NUSU.

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.

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 (Google Hangouts, accessed through your student email), 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.

NUSU Academic Peer Support

NUSU as an organization works to support students while at school, as students ourselves.  We provide peer support to our fellow students in addition to providing service coordination, and advocacy.

NUSU Career Resources

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

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.

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.

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.

Non-Essential Fees

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.

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

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!’

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.

NUSU Society Fee

The Society Fee allows program-specific organizations to receive funding. 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. For programs with non-existing organizations, the money will be held until one is created. 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.

NUSU Planner Fee

This fee contributes to the production, design, and administration of the annual student
planner. Students are entitled to a planner that includes a calendar with important dates, information about the Nipissing University Student Union, the North Bay community, as well as Nipissing University.

NUSU – Canadian Federation of Students Membership Fee

This fee goes to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) for a membership fee.  Each student pays this fee in order to be a part of NUSU’s membership of CFS.  This group is Canada's largest post-secondary student organization, giving access to the ISIC Discount Card free of charge and to 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, and fairness for international students, consent and anti-sexual violence initiatives, and student mental health services, among others. Further to this, they provide support for the Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students representing Indigenous post-secondary students.

NUSU Membership Fee

This fee funds a variety of student related services, events, and committees on campus such as Wellness Week; 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 creates student and staff positions to provide services to students.

NUSU Clubs and Groups Support

 This fee exists to ensure a secure source of funding to support student clubs and services that foster and promote student life on campus. All fees are collected and are equally accessible to clubs. A club is a student group with goals of contributing to Nipissing University student life. Clubs are able to run events, activities, advertise, and run campaigns with the funds in their accounts. Unlike societies, clubs cannot be exclusive in nature and can be created by any student on campus.

 NUSU Central Administrative Support

This fee provides the infrastructure, supplies and qualified staff to be able to run our day-to-day operations and support students to the best of our ability. Operations such as 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 exists to ensure student voices are heard at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. This includes, but is not limited to, working with our local representatives of parliament to ensure that Nipissing University students are aware of issues that may impact them and to ensure that the student voice is communicated to all levels of government.

 NUSU First Year Orientation and Transition Support

This fee funds projects and resources for first year students at Nipissing University to help them 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 the first year students.

NUSU Awareness Campaigns & Initiatives

This fee exists to increase awareness about current student needs, issues, and the supports offered on campus and within the community. Initiatives and awareness campaigns are to educate students on the issues impacting them and society.

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 for more information on how 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 16th for the Fall semester, and January 17th 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.​