July 15, 2024


Students enrol at Conestoga College for different reasons but the ultimate goal is to gain expertise in a particular field. However, the question that needs to be asked is, “Where does all the money go?”

Students around campus are asking the same thing, with very few knowing exactly what their tuition and other fees are used for.

According to the 2013/2014 program fee’s chart, students are paying an additional $1,123 over and above their tuition. These fees get broken down into several categories. Students can only opt-out of one, that being the CSI health plan. Students who are already covered by another plan can get a return of $255.

Several other non-optional fees include a technology enhancement fee that costs students $244 per year, a recreation/athletics fee of $131 per year and three non-optional CSI fees, which altogether cost $295 annually. These fees are a CSI capital development fee, a CSI association fee and a CSI-CSA fee.

The fees are in place ultimately as a means to better the campus or make it more accessible to students, which means having the gym open to students without a need for memberships and also having open-access computer labs. However, some fees are considered by students both surprising and unnecessary.

“I thought the gym was free,” said Herman Jansen, a second-year fitness student. “I didn’t know I was paying $130 on top of going to my own gym.”

Yet others had no problem with the fees, claiming that they are less than what they would pay at similar facilities.

“I can’t afford a gym membership,” said Jordan Von Holstein-Rathlou, a first- year broadcast TV student. “It was nice knowing I could come here.”

The general consensus, however, is that there should be more opt-out options available for those who think that they will never use certain facilities.

“There are people here (at the college) in their 30s or 40s and the gym isn’t on their minds,” said Sebastian Kozlowski, also a first-year broadcast TV student. “It’s about getting a better job or finishing their courses.”

Another common viewpoint among students is the “it is how the system works, therefore we have to accept it.”

But, the question that  remains is whether or not Conestoga College should charge students for services they do not use.