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Program-Related Ancillary Fees Process

Program-related ancillary fees refer to fees that are additional to regular tuition. Any fees under this category are required to be paid in order for a student to enroll in and successfully complete the credit course associated with the fee. Usually, such fees cover the cost of items not normally paid for out of operating or capital revenue.

Verifying, establishing or amending fees

Faculties and departments wishing to establish or amend an ancillary fee can do so in the fall of each year as part of TMU’s annual budget process. During this time, deans, chairs, directors, budget managers and departmental assistants will be contacted by Financial Services with an invitation to verify existing fee information or to submit documentation for amendments.

A verification response is required from faculties and departments even if amendments are not being made.

Please take time to verify the accuracy of your existing fee information. A response is required via the  (google form) program-related ancillary fees verification form (external link) , even if you will not be making amendments.

You can refer to the 2023-2024 Budget Priorities and Expenditures document for details on your department's fees. Using these details, please:

  1. Ensure that the fees associated with your program is complete and fully accurate, including:
    • program and course titles
    • course codes
    • fee amounts
    • terms billed (Fall, Winter, Spring)
    • fee category; and
    • refund category.

      Please also verify via the Financial Information System or your financial advisor for your cost centre and account numbers.
  2. Double check that the details listed are completely consistent with your calendars and any other pertinent notices.
  3. Review and determine whether the current fee is still relevant, fair and consistent with the costs they are designed to cover. Fees may need to be reassessed if costs are consistently not covered or are over-recovered, or are inconsistent with similar fees at other universities.

If changes are required, they must be proposed per the procedures in the following “amendment procedure” section.

If you will be proposing new fees or amending existing fees, please provide the following documents in an email to Catherine Banks, financial administrator, Client Advisory Services, Financial Services at Unfortunately, proposals and amendments received after the deadline will not be processed until the following budget planning year.

  1. A proposal that meets the requirements of TMU’s protocol and administrative requirements. The submission must explain the rationale for the new fee, or a change to an existing fee. Appropriate metrics must outline the computation of the fee and a computation of the costs being recovered. Appropriate comparisons and metrics should be included, for example, comparisons to similar fees charged by other universities.
  2. Copy of the minutes of your department or school council meeting, including student representation, indicating approval for your proposals. 
  3. Provide full details on the:
    • fee amount(s) proposed and computation of costs being recovered
    • program or course name that the fee will apply to
    • brief description of the fee and goods or services being provided to students (learn more about eligible fees)
    • terms over which fees are to be charged (Fall, Winter, Spring)
    • fees category (see below for types of fees eligible as program-related ancillary fees)
    • refund category
    • cost centre and account number to which fees would be deposited
      • if this is a new fee, your Financial Advisor will contact you to create a new cost centre once the fee is approved by the Board of Governors.

Your proposal will be reviewed by Financial Services prior to Board approval. You will be formally advised of the final decision. Please ensure that your calendars and any other pertinent notices are consistent with the approved fees.

Refund categories

When submitting a request for a new program-related ancillary fee, please consult page 42 of the 2023-2024 Budget Priorities and Expenditures document to determine which refund category applies to your fee.

  1. 100% refund prior to the commencement of classes
  2. 100% refund up to two weeks prior to the start of classes
  3. No refund
  4. Tuition fee refund policy applies
  5. Other (as defined)

Types of fees eligible as program-related ancillary fees

While certain fees require a majority vote of students via a formal referendum, the following ancillary fees are exempt from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ regulations requiring approval from a majority of affected students.

Institutions may charge a program-related ancillary fee for the reasonable, direct costs of travel and accommodation of students on compulsory field trips. Program-related ancillary fees cannot be charged for such things as salaries and benefits or travel and accommodation of faculty, or for any specific tuition-related activities for any compulsory field trips.

Note: Travel often requires deposits early in the school year when fee revenue is minimal. To reduce the risk of deficit in a student ancillary fee cost centre, a nominal surplus carry-forward each year is reasonable for paying advance field trip deposits.

Expenditure eligibility examples

Eligible expenditure

Ineligible expenditure

  • Bus driver accommodation costs
  • Faculty travel costs

This category is only eligible if the learning material and clothing is retained by the student.

Expenditure eligibility examples

Eligible expenditure

Ineligible expenditure

  • Classroom handouts that supplement the course material, for example, journal articles
  • Personal safety material/lab coats
  • Clickers
  • Printing costs for course outlines, mid-terms, final examinations, student orientation guides or handbooks
  • T-shirts, blank USB keys or other promotional items

This category is only eligible if the items are retained by the student.

Expenditure eligibility examples

Eligible expenditure

Ineligible expenditure

  • Eligible material is where the student consumes the material for a personally created course project. Examples include models produced by students at the School of Interior Design and Department of Architectural Science, or food prepared and consumed by School of Nutrition students
  • Maintenance or replacement costs of shop tools and equipment

These are fees paid by students to the university which do not produce net revenue for the institution but instead are set and levied through an agreement with the vendor. In these cases, the institution is neither the manufacturer nor supplier of the material or service being purchased.

Expenditure eligibility examples

Eligible expenditure

Ineligible expenditure

  • Eligible charges are the result of an agreement with the students to provide vendor goods/services needed for their specific courses/program at the university’s negotiated cost. Some examples are:
    • student memberships in professional organizations
    • vendor negotiated supplies, such as tools/tool boxes, given directly to each of the students
  • Ineligible charges would be for goods/services acquired where there is no agreement with the student body or net revenue is received by the university on the transactions.

Institutions may charge program-related ancillary fees for the total costs of placing students in jobs for work-terms. There are two types of programs at the university providing placement services to students:

  1. The cooperative programs that are coordinated centrally by the Career & Co-op Centre.
  2. Internship or work-term courses administered by individual schools and departments.

Expenditure eligibility examples

Eligible expenditure

Ineligible expenditure

  • Salaries and benefits of that portion of each position directly related to the provision of placement services and work-term activity, including such positions as placement directors, officers, assistants and administrative and support staff.
  • Non-salary expenditures attributable to the provision of placement services and work-term activities including travel, telephone, mailing/postage, printing, photocopying, publicity, computing, equipment and furnishings, supplies and expenses, and external meetings.
  • Maintenance costs of space used for placement service, including costs of utilities, custodial service and security of this space. Eligible space should include the space used for administrative and professional placement staff, and interviewing or meeting rooms used in the placement function. The costs of space used for part of the time for other purposes should be adjusted according to the proportion of usage for placement service. Note: This would only be applicable where the faculty or department incurred or was charged back for these costs.
  • Charges not directly related to the provision of placement services or that have been specifically paid from operating grants. For example, faculty that is funded from operating grants should not be receiving additional funding from ancillary fees paid by students for providing placement services. The administration of the placement services should be based on negotiated FTE release time and purchased from the ancillary fee funds for academic staff.
  • If the internship is a credit course, only the proportion of the faculty or instructional time related to the placement is recoverable.

Fee governance and administrative requirements

All non-tuition-related fees are governed under the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and must be:

  • approved by the Board of Governors; and
  • announced prior to collection through TMU’s published fee schedules. Fee announcements must provide a breakdown of the fees, explaining their purpose sufficiently to allow the student to understand clearly what materials, services or facilities have been made available through payment of the fees.

Once program-related ancillary fees are established, faculties and departments must monitor expenditures with the following guidelines in mind:

  • All revenues and related expenses must be tracked in a separate cost centre by the respective faculty or department.
  • The accounting principle that requires the matching of revenues and expenses must be applied rigorously. It is important that operating cost transfers to ancillary fee cost centres are recorded in the respective faculty or department’s cost centre in the same period as they are incurred via journal entry.
  • Ancillary fee cost centres should be monitored regularly to ensure there are no large aggregations. A rule-of-thumb has been that the year-end carry forward balance be no greater than 5% of revenue. Should the surplus exceed 5%, an action plan must be developed in consultation with the respective Dean and Financial Services to address the imbalance. Similarly, an action plan must be developed should the cost centre be in a deficit position at year-end.
  • Fees for mandatory work-term placement activities may be spread over a four year program where the fees, if paid by students on a course-by-course basis, could be a financial burden to the students. This even spreading of fees is the general approach taken in the co-op program. However, the fee revenue should never exceed the total placement costs. The University is not entitled to any surplus fees that exceed costs. In all instances the approach should be communicated to the respective student body.
  • All expenditures are subject to audit review.


If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Banks, financial administrator, Client Advisory Services, Financial Services at