Your co-op fee

two students looking at a piece of paper

Co-op at Waterloo is predominately funded by a student-paid co-op fee. Like tuition, this fee is a requirement of your enrolment in a co-op program. You’ll pay it in installments throughout your time at Waterloo. All undergraduate co-op students pay the fee — as do some graduate students whose co-op programs are supported by the Co-operative Education department (learn more about our graduate co-op programs). 

The fee represents the cost of running the co-op program at Waterloo, which includes more than 25,000 students. Each year, we review the co-op fee amount to align with projected future costs and 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. You’ll find the most accurate, up-to-date information about your co-op fee on this page. If you have questions about your co-op fee, please contact our co-op student experience team

Your 2023/2024 co-op fee amount and how it’s spent

The confirmed co-op fee amount for 2023/2024 is $756. Determined through our annual financial analysis and fee-setting process, this amount represents a 1.5% increase from last year’s co-op fee of $745.

As a co-op student, you’ll pay the co-op fee a number of times over the course of your undergraduate academic career. To be clear, the co-op fee 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 number of academic terms.

Your academic program determines when the co-op fee appears as a charge on your account in Quest (see below for a breakdown by faculty/program). To minimize the fees you’ll need to pay in any given term, the cost of participating in co-op is spread throughout your degree.

 Co-op fee allocation

Here is a breakdown of the $756 co-op fee amount. We’ve sorted every role and expense funded by your co-op fee into seven distinct categories of work/costs.

2023/2024 co-op fee allocation graph

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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 associated with your enrollment in the co-op program (like 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 number of academic terms.

This chart outlines how many terms and which terms you’ll need to pay the fee (per program) throughout your undergraduate career. You can get an estimated total cost by multiplying the current fee by the number of times you pay. For example:

  • $756* x 8 = $6,048
  • $756* x 6 = $4,536
  • $756* x 5 = $3,780
  • $756* x 4 = $3,024

Note: The $756 co-op fee amount is for the 2023/24 fiscal year only - it is reviewed annually and is subject to change. Visit the Tuition Fee Schedule to find out your fees based on your program and the current term.

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 utilizing projected revenue/expenses to determine the fee. Here is an example of the process and dates used to set the current fee amount of $756.

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