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U of T incidental fees return to pre-COVID-19 levels for fall 2021

Fees for Hart House, athletics were reduced last year when programs moved online
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ISOBEL HEINTZMAN/THE VARSITY
ISOBEL HEINTZMAN/THE VARSITY

Beginning this fall, incidental fees have returned to the amount before the COVID-19 pandemic began due to the return of in-person programs this fall. 

Incidental fees are non-tuition fees which cover non-academic programs such as Hart House and the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (KPE) Sport & Rec fee. The university decided to reduce these fees during the 2020–2021 school year and the summer, since some programs funded by incidental fees rely heavily on in-person participation and were not being used as much by students due to the move to online learning. 

As programs at U of T like Hart House and KPE have been scheduled for programming in both in-person and online formats, incidental fees have returned to the level that they were at before the pandemic. 

When asked about whether they would consider reducing incidental fees again should the university return to remote operations, the spokesperson said that U of T will “continue to assess the level of fees within the context of the return to campus.” 

Last year, the KPE fee was reduced by 30 per cent and the Hart House fee was reduced by 20 per cent at all three U of T campuses. Other fees such as student life, student services, and athletic fees were reduced at some of the campuses. 

The vast majority of programming for these services took place online last year, with Hart House offering virtual fitness classes and most other student services transitioning to an online format. 

As the university continues to implement a return to in-person programming for the fall semester, a number of the programs that were moved online last year have similarly planned for a return to in-person programming. 

Hart House has announced an increase in hours of operation, and “distanced use of essential resource spaces” starting from the week of September 7. It has also announced the reopening of in-person event bookings for lectures, presentations, discussions, and more. 

KPE has similarly announced a limited reopening of the Varsity Centre, Back Campus Fields, and other athletics facilities.