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U of T reduces some incidental fees, introduces international opt-out from health insurance for fall

KPE, Hart House, student services fees fall for all campuses
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ISOBEL HEINTZMAN/THE VARSITY
ISOBEL HEINTZMAN/THE VARSITY

While U of T has not planned any changes to tuition fees in the fall 2020 semester, some non-tuition incidental fees, which cover student services and programs, have been reduced. Students will not be able to opt out of any incidental fees, which include fees for services like Hart House and the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (KPE) Sport & Rec fee, even if they will not be on campus in the fall. As the fall term goes ahead with online classes and minimal in-person gatherings, on-campus services will be scaled down or moved online entirely. Additionally, international students who will be studying outside of Canada will be able to opt out of their University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).

The university anticipates all services and programs returning in full in January 2021, so fee reductions do not apply for the winter 2021 semester. The university may reconsider this depending on the circumstances closer to January.

Incidental fee reductions across all three campuses

The services and incidental fees vary by campus, as outlined in an FAQ on the website for the office of the Vice-Provost Students, and the changes will reflect specific circumstances at each campus. The fee reductions apply to all registered students and are specific to the campus at which they are registered.

At all three campuses, the KPE Sport & Rec fee is reduced by 30 per cent, and the Hart House fee is reduced by 20 per cent. The student life fee at UTSG is reduced by 10 per cent. At UTM, in addition to the previous fees, the UTM athletics fee is reduced by 25 per cent, and the student services fee, which includes the fee for the suspended shuttle service, is reduced by 35 per cent. UTSCʼs athletics and recreation fee is reduced by 40 per cent, and the student services fee is reduced by 25 per cent.

“Most programming and services continue on-line or through video calls, phone calls, and other means,” a university spokesperson wrote to The Varsity. “In-person services will also be offered wherever possible in accordance with public health, government, and university guidelines.”

While intramurals and Varsity sports will not be available for the fall term, some athletics facilities run by KPE Sport & Rec, UTM Athletics, UTSC Athletics, and Hart House may be open to in-person activities according to health requirements applicable at that time. While the UTM and UTSC campuses reduced the cost of spaces provided for student services and organizations, the UTSG campus waived it altogether. The FAQ also notes that “some spaces may be available for students with appropriate physical distancing in place.”

Eligible international students can opt out of UHIP

Although there are no fee reductions to UHIP, international students living outside of Canada for the full 2020 fall term will be able to opt out of the service for the fall semester. Students are automatically enrolled in the service starting August 10 and have the option to disenrol in October. According to the Student Life website, coverage between August 10 and August 30 will be free of charge due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements. 

The university will provide disenrollment applications online in October 2020. Students who disenrol but arrive in Canada before the end of the fall term are required to contact the UHIP office immediately. As of now, UHIP coverage and fees are set to be activated again from January to August 2021. If border restrictions continue, the university will provide further information on how to disenrol for the winter semester in January.