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Your co-op fee

Welcome to the co-op fee comprehensive review page (also known as the co-op fee “deep dive”). In this space, we'll talk about the work that is being done to examine the questions you have around the co-op fee and how it is spent. This page aims to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information available. It was last updated on February 2nd, 2018.

How is my CECA co-op fee spent?

We hear it a lot - questions around how your co-op fee is spent and why you pay it. 

In July 2017 a project team was officially established to perform a comprehensive review of the co-op fee (we're calling it a co-op fee "deep dive"). The Co-operative Education department and the Federation of Students are partnering on this initiative, and our project scope aims to:

  • create guiding principles behind the fee expenditure model
  • develop a consultation process to engage students and other stakeholders as the fee recommendation is being prepared each year
  • find ways to increase transparency about how the co-op fee funds are spent
  • identify recommendations for determining and assessing fees
  • set defined deliverables for improvement, working within the pathways of approval at the University

Breaking down the costs

Our project team has worked to find the clearest way to break down your fee. It's not as simple as looking at individual units and their budgets, as many of our staff members work to support different areas of co-op. For example:

  • A person in a communications role provides communications support across a variety of categories - they may spend 15% of their time on the co-op employment process, 15% on employer relationship management, 25% on faculty and institutional relations and 45% on new business.
  • A co-op career advisor, on the other hand, would spend 100% of their time working on student advising, support and programming for students preparing for their first work term.

We've taken into account every role and expense funded by your co-op fee and sorted them into seven distinct categories of work/costs - take a look at the budget breakdown below and see where your $709 went this past year.

The co-op budget

Our budget number of $18.9 million reflects the actual co-op fees collected during fiscal May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. Learn more about how this number is calculated on our FAQ page.

co-op budget

Your $709 co-op fee 

Your $709 feee

Work categories/costs

We've taken into account every role and expense funded by your co-op fee and sorted them into seven distinct categories of work/costs below. We are working to show how much of your co-op fee supports each work category.

Co-op at Waterloo

The University of Waterloo has more co-op students than Canada's next two largest post-secondary co-op institutions - combined.

In fact, about one-third of all university co-op work terms across Canada are filled by Waterloo students. 

With increased size and diversity comes increased complexity. There are 150 full-time ongoing staff members that make the University of Waterloo co-op program possible. There are also contract and casual staff that support the co-op process for special projects and at peak times each term.

Curious about our numbers? Take a look at this interactive chart below.

For more information and metrics around co-op, visit our 2017 Annual Report.