Joey Coleman: Quebec cracks down on ancillary fees

Quebec cracks down on ancillary fees

The Quebec government announced a cap on extra fees charged to students on top of tuition. The move is intended to monitor ancillary fees at universities and close loophole that allowed universities to raise fees despite strict regulation of tuition costs.

Education minister Michelle Courchesne noted that ancillary fees differ by as much as $1000 between schools. Now universities will be required to provide an outline of fees at the beginning of the year and a report at the end of the year. Universities who charge more than $700 in extra fees will only be allowed to raise this by $15 without consent from student government. Schools with lower fees may raise their fee by up to $50.

Student groups applauded the move, but acknowledged that the real problem is the underfunding of universities.

Students in Ontario have also been calling on the government to crack down on ancillary fees. Two college students filed a $200-million class action lawsuit in June, claiming that schools have been charging fees banned by government. Post-secondary institutions in Ontario are banned from charging fees that should be covered by tuition.