Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Last updated: 2 years ago

Student fees: where they go and how to opt out

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

File photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

You’re probably paying thousands of dollars to go to UBC. The vast majority of that is going to tuition and possibly housing, but you might not know what the rest is used for. Here’s how much you’re paying in student fees every year, what they’re used for, and how you can save a few bucks by opting out.

Fees you can’t opt out from

Athletics and Recreation $209.06
Supports recreational programs and facilities (it’s why the BirdCoop is so cheap). It’s also tax deductible.

SUB Renewal Fee $90.00
Why is the new SUB so nice? Because you paid for it.

AMS Membership Fee $38.44
Every student is automatically enrolled in the Alma Mater Society, which represents your interests to UBC’s administration.

AMS Athletics and Intramurals $21.00
Why isn’t this included in the Athletics and Recreation fee? Beats us. Either way, intramural sports are very cheap, and students get free access to things like the Aquatic Centre because of this.

AMS Financial Assistance Fund $12.00
If you’re experiencing serious money troubles, you can apply for the AMS Financial Hardship Subsidy. This fee helps with that.

Capital Projects Fund $7.44
Goes toward financing capital projects. Read here for more details.

Graduating Class Fee $7.00 (only in your final year)
One last grab at your wallet — for old time’s sake.

Sexual Assault Support Services Fund $3.39
SASC is committed to ending rape culture and providing support to victims of sexual assault through workshops, counseling and professional staff. Here’s their site.

Student Refugee Fund $2.61
UBC (and you) sponsor a few refugee students every year, to allow them to continue their studies here.

Lighter Footprint Fund $2.35
Support for the AMS’s vision of environmental justice.

Student Clubs Benefit $1.56
A pool of money to be drawn from by — you guessed it — student clubs on campus.

Childcare Bursary Fund $1.05
Presumably an arm of the childcare section of UBC, with regard to providing bursaries for families in need.

Ombudsperson $1.02
An “independent, impartial and confidential resource to assist students in addressing and resolving concerns about unfair treatment at UBC,” as described on their website

Student Legal Fund $1.00
The SLF supports “litigation, advocacy, and lobbying for improved education and access to education at UBC, and other matters of law that set broad precedent and are of concern to UBC students,” according to their site.

International Projects Fund $0.26
This fee allows the AMS to fund “worthy causes with an international focus,” as explained in this hilariously awkward video.

Fees you can opt out from

U-Pass $304.00
Provides unlimited transit in the GVRD for $38.00 a month. Very few people are eligible to opt out, but if you’d like to see if you are, check here.

AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan $221.94
If you already have a plan, here’s how to opt out.

iMED $180.00 + $9.00 Direct Billing fee
Same thing, but for international students. Here’s how to opt out.

Fees you can opt out from, but we’d really prefer you didn’t

Ubyssey Publication Fee $6.26
CiTR Radio $5.22
AMS Resource Groups Fee $1.56
Bike Kitchen $1.01

At The Ubyssey, being completely separate from the AMS and the university, we depend a huge amount on the support of UBC students to keep us alive. We work hard to ensure that, as your official student newspaper, we bring you the news every day to the best of our abilities. We can’t speak for CiTR, the Bike Kitchen, or any of the resource groups represented by the AMS, but it’s hard to imagine that they feel any differently about their work and the student support they receive.

Plus, to opt out, you have to talk to us in person. And we’ll make it weird.