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University Financial Situation

Will the University be providing increased financial support for students?

In addition to ensuring students are aware of the numerous financial aid packages available through government, it has taken many steps to aid students. These steps include: 

  • Financial support to help students caught abroad during the pandemic to return home. 

  • Extending the Spring term fees due date to May 15. 

  • Extending the Spring term late fee period to June 2.  

  • Waiving several incidental feeds for the Spring term. 

  • Waiving cancellation fees for residence contracts.

Will the University provide a complete breakdown of where spring and fall term tuition fees are going?

The University’s annual operating budget is online. 

While it is not possible to separate out specifically where individual tuition dollars are allocated, the University’s largest categories of operating expenses include salaries and benefits, student financial supports, and the cost of maintaining the University’s physical and online infrastructure.

Has the University saved money moving to a virtual environment?

The University is not forecasting any cost savings due to continuing and new investments. We will continue to expend resources in all of our largest categories of operating expenses to support a quality student experience.  

This includes salaries, maintaining the University’s physical and online infrastructure and systems, and providing student academic, wellness and financial support. In some areas, there are new and additional investments being made such as in IT systems infrastructure to deliver courses online and provide student support. 

When can we expect to see the financial report for the past fiscal year?

Each department has received a preliminary financial report already and will receive a final report in June. The University’s annual audited financial statements will be posted online this summer.

In addition to the hiring freeze currently underway at UWaterloo, do you anticipate any job losses?

To date, the University of Waterloo has experienced layoffs primarily within its seasonal workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These layoffs came earlier than expected and may last longer than the normal time for callback.

Instead of doing a 15% holdback across the board, was there any consideration in customizing reductions based on each department or faculty’s ability to absorb the loss?

The University instituted a 15% holdback in every area as a prudent financial measure to ensure it can continue to maintain its core services in a time of significant uncertainty and disruption. Review of the campus's and individual departments' financial health is ongoing, which includes an analysis of where additional financial support may be necessary. 

Given that we are holding back 15% of the operational budget, are we saving very much now by closing the campus?

The University is not forecasting any cost savings due to new and continuing investments. We will continue to expend resources in all of our largest categories of operating expenses to support a quality student experience. This includes salaries, maintaining the University’s physical and online infrastructure and systems, health services and maintaining student financial support. 

In some areas there are new and additional investments being made such as in IT systems infrastructure to deliver courses online and provide student support.