Your co-op fee

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Co-op at Waterloo is predominately funded by a student-paid co-op fee. Similar to tuition, this fee is associated with being enrolled in a co-op program and is paid in installments throughout your time at Waterloo. The fee is paid by all undergraduate co-op students, as well as some graduate students whose co-op programs are supported by the Department of Co-operative Education (learn more about our graduate co-op programs here). 

The fee represents the cost of running the co-op program at Waterloo for more than 22,000 co-op students a year. We review the co-op fee amount annually in alignment with projected future costs to determine whether an increase is needed. Factors such as service improvements, inflation and cost-of-living increases can influence the co-op fee.

We are committed to providing transparent information about your co-op fee via this webpage, where the most accurate, up-to-date information about your co-op fee lives. If you have questions about your co-op fee, please contact our co-op student experience team


Co-op during COVID-19: Innovations and approaches to maintaining positive work term experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has naturally affected employment across Canada and around the world, including student employment everywhere. Though we can’t predict exactly what job prospects and employment will look like for the next few co-op work terms, we’re doing our best to monitor, assess and innovate our approach to leverage every possible opportunity for our students.

To learn more about what we’re doing differently in light of COVID-19, including new job development activities and innovations for both students and employers, visit the webpage linked below.


Your 2021/2022 co-op fee amount and how it’s spent

The confirmed co-op fee amount for 2021/22 is $739. This amount represents a 0.7% increase from last year’s co-op fee of $734 as determined through our annual financial analysis and fee-setting process. 

The $739 co-op fee is paid a number of times over the course of your undergraduate academic career. It is not a "job-finding fee" per work term. Instead, it represents the cost of running the co-op program and is spread out over a specific number of academic terms.

When you are charged depends on your academic program (see below for a breakdown by faculty/program). The fee is structured this way to minimize the fees you pay in any given term by spreading out the cost of participating in co-op throughout your degree.  


 Co-op fee allocation

Donut Graph of Co-op fee allocation (see all amounts and details below)

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Co-op fee by program

The number of times you pay the co-op fee varies by program. The co-op fee is a fee associated with being enrolled in the co-op program (similar to tuition). It is not a "job-finding fee" per work term. Instead, it represents the cost of running the co-op program and is spread out over a specific number of academic terms.

Below is a chart that outlines how many terms you pay the fee (per program) and what terms you pay throughout your undergraduate career. You can get an estimated total cost by multiplying today’s current fee by the number of times you pay. For example:

  • $739* x 8 = $5,912
  • $739* x 6 = $4,434
  • $739* x 5 = $3,695
  • $739* x 4 = $2,956

Note: The $739 fee amount is for the 2021/22 fiscal year only - it is reviewed annually and is subject to change. Visit the Tuition Fee Schedule on the Finance website to find out your fees based on the current term and your program.

See when and how often you pay based on your faculty and program:

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How the co-op fee is determined and set each year

The co-op fee you pay today actually supports the next fiscal budget. We use a three-year model that utilizes projected revenue/expenses to determine the fee. Here is an example of the process and dates used to set the current fee amount of $739.

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