As part of our Co-op Fee Comprehensive Review project, we are working with undergraduate co-op students to collect and answer some of the most common questions about the co-op fee.
If you have a question that isn’t asked or answered below, feel free to contact our co-op student experience team so we can continue to build awareness and increase transparency about this important subject.
What is the co-op fee per program?
See our co-op fee main page for an overview of the current fee amount and when it is paid by each faculty/program.
I have finished all my work terms. Do I still pay the co-op fee?
The co-op fee is a program participation fee spread out in fee instalments over a student’s undergraduate academic career. When you are charged the fee depends on your academic program. It is not a "per work term" fee. Instead, it represents the cost of running the co-op program, and it is spread out over a specific number of academic terms. Please see the fee per program tables to learn when you pay based on your program.
I am switching from co-op to regular. Will I get my co-op fee back?
Your fees for the term will be adjusted only if your program change is approved prior to the date indicated below. If your change is not approved until after this date, it will be effective the following term.
Fall term November 1
Winter term February 1
Spring term July 1
I think I have been charged the co-op fee incorrectly. Who can I contact?
You can contact Student Financial Services, if you have questions about the number of co-op fees you have been charged, or about any other questions you have regarding your student account; for example, payments, refunds and due dates.
Can I get a co-op fee refund if I don't use co-op resources?
The co-op fee is a cost to participate in the co-op program at Waterloo. We recognize that not every student accesses the same amount of support on every work term (for a variety of reasons). However, the co-op fee is currently structured as a "single pay" philosophy, where all students pay the same fee amount when enrolled in their co-op programs – similar to tuition.
Also, remember that a portion of each of these paid fees is allocated toward program improvement, which benefits all co-op students.
Why do I still pay the co-op fee if I arrange my own job?
The co-op fee is a co-op program participation fee, similar to tuition. It is spread out in fee installments over a student's academic career. when you are charged the fee depends on your academic program. It is not a job-finding fee per recruitment term. Please see the fee per program tables to learn when you pay in your program.
The co-op designation is dependent on students' participation in the entire co-op system, this includes resources beyond WaterlooWorks job postings and interview services. Students who arrange their own jobs are still participating in and using resources in the co-op system. Students pay the co-op fee to ensure the allocation of all resources needed to build a strong co-op program.
Please see the co-op fee visual breakdown on the co-op fee home page to learn how your fee is allocated to all co-op resources.
How much of the fee goes toward WaterlooWorks?
The development of WaterlooWorks was funded by the Provost's office. Now that the system is up-and-running, there is an ongoing continuous-improvement fee in our contract with the WaterlooWorks vendor, designed to keep the system operational.
The provost has agreed to continue funding half of that fee each year. The other half is funded through the co-op fee. The 2016-2017 fiscal year was the first time this WaterlooWorks cost was rolled into the co-op fee (hence the major increase last year). There are no major changes to this cost expected in the future.
To help you understand what continuous improvements have been happening, we’ve been tracking implemented system enhancements and bug fixes that impact students. We’ve also collected and responded to every student survey concern that has not yet been implemented in WaterlooWorks. The response may include planned future action or an explanation as to why action is not being taken at this time.
Co-operative Education is committed to clarity and transparency around WaterlooWorks. In March 2017, we released data about the cost of producing WaterlooWorks.
Site visits seem expensive. Are they necessary?
Having student advisors and field staff present within the industry provides a better experience for students who need help navigating work term challenges.
In addition, student advisors and field staff are important in maintaining positive relationships with employers and allow us to jump on job development opportunities quickly when any become available.
Please note that student advisors don’t visit all students and employers in person; that change was made a number of years ago to improve service and reduce costs.
If your student advisor reaches out to you for a site visit, feel free to use your visit to ask questions about your work term experience, or to discuss career questions. Student advisors are a resource for you to help navigate all the different aspects of your work term and career!
Is the work term report marking fee part of the co-op fee
The work term report marking fee assessed in your tuition on Quest is separate from the co-op fee. Work reports are defined and marked by each faculty, and Co-operative Education does not receive this fee.