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Student Fees and Refunds Policy

Student Fees and Refund Policy Information

Date Approved: June 8, 2020
Effective Date: July 1, 2020
Date Reviewed: Winter 2020
Replaces: Tuition Fees and Refund Policy 2014


To articulate a structure for establishing, approving and operationalizing student-related fees each Academic Year at Cambrian College (the “College”) and for the communication, assessment, payment and refund of these fees.


Academic Year: the period of time that runs from September to August and consists of three 4-month terms: Fall (September to December), Winter (January to April) and Summer (May to August);

Ancillary Fee: fees charged to support services and activities distinct from academic programming or general overhead for the institution, as defined by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (“MCU”). Ancillary Fees may be at the program or institutional levels;

Domestic Student: a citizen of Canada or a Permanent Resident or a spouse or dependent of either, as defined by MCU;

Full-Time Student: an individual who is enrolled in a college program of instruction for at least 70 per cent of the student contact hours or 66 2/3 per cent of the courses required for the program of instruction in a given semester or reporting period, as defined by MCU;

International Student: a foreign national who holds a student authorization/study permit or who meets criteria which allows them to study without a permit, as defined by MCU;

MCU Reporting Eligible Student: a student who must be reported under MCU’s Enrolment Reporting and Audit Operating Procedures. This includes funding and non-funding eligible students in funding and non-funding eligible programs and courses.

Part-Time Student: an individual who is enrolled in one or more courses but in less than 70 per cent of the student contact hours or 66 2/3 per cent of the courses required for a Full-Time program of instruction in a given semester or reporting period, as defined by MCU;

Permanent Resident: a permanent resident as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27;

Senior Team: For the purpose of this policy, means the President and any Vice President, Associate Vice President and Executive Director;

Student’s Attendance Rate: The calculated status of a student as Full-Time or Part-time;

Student Fee: Tuition and Ancillary Fees charged to a student at the point of registration;

Student in Overload: a student registered in credit hours over and above normal course load for the Full-Time program and semester in which the student is registered.

Tuition Fee: fees charged to students representing their contribution towards the operating and capital costs of academic program delivery and general overhead for the institution, as defined by MCU;


This policy applies to fees established for MCU Reporting Eligible Students. It also applies to student-related fees established for other Continuing Education, Contract Training, Apprenticeship, and Upgrading courses and programs.

Policy Statements

  1. Establishing and increasing fees
    1. All fees are established on an Academic Year cycle.
    2. All fees charged on a compulsory basis to MCU Reporting Eligible Students (directly or via payment arrangements with sponsors and under contract) are set and/or increased within MCU’s Binding Policy Directive (“BPD”) and Reporting Operating Procedures.
    3. International Tuition Fees are inclusive of the International Student Recovery fee and the Municipal Tax Recovery
    4. Institutional and program Ancillary Fees are annually reviewed and any requests for increases to existing fees or the introduction of new fees are, where applicable, reviewed within MCU’s BPD and the parameters of the Compulsory Ancillary Fee Protocol Agreement.
    5. With the exception of health insurance for students, all Ancillary Fees are established at the same rate for both Domestic and International Students.
    6. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition fees are established on a per challenge basis within MCU’s BPD.
    7. Apprenticeship fees are established per the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development directives.
    8. Upgrading fees for fee payers are established per the MCU directives.
    9. Contract training fees are outside the scope of MCU’s BPD and are established on a cost recovery basis.
  2. Communication
    1. Tuition and Ancillary Fees are communicated annually on the College’s public web site by the earliest deadline to confirm an offer of admission for the Fall term of each Academic Year.
    2. Prior to registration, applicants who have confirmed offers of admission are provided with an estimate of first term fees through their student portal and/or through the Enrolment Centre.
    3. Tuition deposit amounts are communicated in admission related print and electronic publications and documents at the opening of the admission cycle. These amounts may be presented as an estimate in cases where fees have not yet been approved by Cambrian’s Board of Governors.
  3. Fee assessments and charges
    1. At the point of registration, student fees are assessed against the fee schedules and against the student’s registration details and attendance rate.
    2. For the purpose of fee assessments, a Student’s Attendance Rate is calculated as full-time or part-time using the MCU’s published definitions.
    3. Full-time fee assessments and charges are term-based and part-time fee assessments and charges are credit- and/or course-based.
    4. At the point of assessment, the fees are charged to the student’s account.
    5. A Student in Overload registration status is assessed and charged additional tuition based on the number of credits in overload.
    6. Tuition deposits are charged once per Academic Year and within MCU’s directives. If, in the same Academic Year, a student applies for a program while enrolled in another, a second deposit may be charged.
    7. Non-compulsory institutional Ancillary Fees are charged on an opt-out basis as prescribed by MCU’s
  4. Tuition exemptions
    1. International Students – International Students granted certain citizenship statuses prior to the end of the published 10th business day of a term (“Day 10” in the Academic Schedule) under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, C. 2001, c. 27 may be exempt from paying International fees. These statuses are defined in MCU’s BPD and official documentation is required. As outlined in the BPD, these exemptions may be extended to designated family members. When an exemption is confirmed, these students shall be assessed at the Domestic Student rate.
    2. Student with Permanent Disabilities – Students with a documented permanent disability that requires a reduced course load as a learning accommodation may be eligible to pay $20 per course once they have paid the equivalent tuition as a student completing the program in the same timeframe. This learning accommodation must be documented through the Glenn Crombie Centre for Student Support.
    3. Seniors – Students aged 65 or older by the start of a program/course may be eligible for a discount on the tuition portion of their fees.
    4. Staff – Current staff members may be eligible for a Tuition Fee subsidy as defined in their Collective Agreement or as otherwise confirmed by the Human Resources’ Department.
  5. Fee waivers and exceptions
    1. Fees cannot be waived, or be different than, the approved fee schedule unless under exceptional circumstances. These exceptions must be reviewed and approved by the Registrar in consultation with other stakeholders.
  6. Fee payments
    1. Fees are due within the timeframes established by the Enrolment Centre and, where applicable, in accordance with MCU directives.
    2. Regardless of payment arrangements, students are responsible for ensuring that their fees are paid in full, including their tuition deposit.
    3. Tuition deposits paid reduce the amount of tuition owing for the term.
  7. Fee payment deferrals
    1. Students who can demonstrate that their fees will be paid by a third party, (e.g., a sponsor), or who has been approved for financial aid (e.g., through Ontario’s Student Assistance Program (“OSAP”), may be eligible for a fee deferral. Documentation/proof will be required.
    2. Students who cannot pay their fees by the published deadline due to exceptional circumstances may be eligible to enter into a fee-payment agreement to defer the payment of their fees.
  8. Refunds
    1. Non-refundable tuition amounts are noted in the Student Fees and Refunds Operating Procedures.
    2. Students who withdraw from a funding eligible program within the first ten business days of the term will be refunded full fees paid for the current term, less the non-refundable tuition portion of these fees or fees paid, whichever is less, as well as any fees paid in advance for subsequent terms.
    3. Requests for refunds after the refund deadline or falling outside of the traditional program and course delivery dates will be considered under the Withdrawal and Refund Procedure.
    4. Refund requests from sponsored students and OSAP recipients will be processed as per the Withdrawal and Refund Procedure.
    5. The College will refund all fees paid towards a program or course that is suspended or cancelled by the College.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Students are responsible for

  • Being aware of their responsibilities regarding paying fees and seeking clarification where unsure;
  • Following fee payment, withdrawal and refund deadlines and processes;
  • Being proactive in securing funds and/or sponsorship prior to fee-related deadlines; and
  • Providing requested documentation/proof in support of exemptions, refund requests and fee payment deferrals.

Registrar is responsible for

  • Interpreting and operationalizing MCU’s Binding Policy Directive and Operating Procedures;
  • Annually collecting changes to the fee schedules for courses and programs;
  • Ensuring compliancy to this Policy and other fee- and refund-related directives;
  • Preparing the Student Fee package to be taken to the President’s Student Advisory Council (PSAC) and to the Board of Governors for approval;
  • Communicate the approved and official fee schedules within required timeframes;
  • Operationalizing the Student Fee assessments in accordance with official fee schedules;
  • Collecting fees during registration cycles;
  • Overseeing the processing of refunds and reviewing and approving exceptions to the policy; and
  • Overseeing the fee payment deferral process and approve the list of exceptional circumstances leading to fee payment deferral agreements.

Deans/Directors are responsible for

  • Reviewing compulsory Ancillary Fees within their mandate on an annual basis and confirming currency of amount and rationale for the fees; and
  • Consulting with the Registrar on fees that are not on deemed tuition and ancillary in nature that are not included in prior to charging or communicating these fees.

Associate Vice-President, Human Resources and Student Services is responsible for

  • Overseeing the PSAC and its role within the Compulsory Ancillary Fee Protocol Agreement;
  • Consulting with the Registrar on proposed Tuition Fee increases and changes to the compulsory institutional Ancillary Fees; and
  • Approving and presenting the package prepared by the Registrar to the Board of Governors.

Senior Team is responsible for

  • Annually reviewing and approving the proposed Tuition and Ancillary Fees.

PSAC is responsible for

  • Reviewing proposed compulsory Ancillary Fees and make appropriate recommendations to the President.

Related Policies / Directives / Regulations