Important message for postsecondary Niagara College students: Winter term refunds and Spring term fees

As postsecondary institutions across Canada and around the world adapt to measures and directives related to COVID-19, we know that this is a very challenging time.

With information changing daily, our focus has been on ensuring the continuity of classes and program delivery.  This has been a very sudden transition for all of us, and we thank our students for adapting so quickly. Our faculty and staff have worked hard to develop alternative and online delivery options that have allowed our students to continue their programs and access the services on which they rely. All of us look forward to returning to on-campus classes and activities, but unfortunately at this point, we can’t say with certainty when that will be.

We recognize that the change to online delivery of programs has had an impact on the services that can be accessed by students.  Postsecondary tuition and fees are established by the College in accordance with requirements of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. This message identifies fees that will be refunded to postsecondary students for the winter term, and the fees that will be assessed for the spring term. Separate communication will be provided to non-postsecondary students, including apprentices and those in English for Academic Purposes.

Tuition fees: Tuition fees support the cost of academic program delivery and the general operations of the College. Tuition is not specific to location or mode of delivery (in-person or online); it is primarily for the instruction, assessment, and administration of program delivery, which is ongoing. These are costs that continue during this time and are ineligible for refund or rebate.

Ancillary Fees – essential services for which fees are paid by all postsecondary students.

Program ancillary fees – compulsory for students in applicable programs including co-op and material fees.

Auxiliary fees – non-compulsory fees paid for optional services including residence, meal plans, and parking.

Winter term students

Winter term students are eligible for the following refunds.

  • Program material fees: Students will receive a pro-rated refund where services or materials were not provided following the suspension of on-campus activities due to COVID-19. Eligible refunds will be applied directly toward college student accounts. If a balance is remaining, it will be refunded via cheque to the mailing address on file or, for students receiving OSAP, the refund will be returned to the National Student Loan Service Centre, if greater than $100.
  • Athletics and Student Buildings: Students will be eligible for a pro-rated refund for these ancillary fees related to facilities that could not be accessed after the suspension of on-campus activities.  Eligible refunds will be applied directly toward college student accounts. If a balance is remaining, it will be refunded via cheque to the mailing address on file or, for students receiving OSAP, the refund will be returned to the National Student Loan Service Centre, if greater than $100.
  • Parking Permits: Students will automatically receive a pro-rated refund on parking permits from March 16 (the date on-campus activities were suspended) until the expiry date on their permit. These refunds will be automatically applied onto the form of payment used to pay for the permit (ie: if the permit was paid for with a credit card, the refund will be applied directly to that card). There is no need to apply for the pro-rated refunds – they will be automatically processed.
  • Residence: Students who chose to withdraw from the residence will receive a pro-rated refund based on the day the student fully moves out of residence. Refunds will be issued by cheque to the student’s address on file, within 6-8 weeks of the student’s departure from residence. For more information, contact the residence:

Due to the remote operation of our financial systems at this time, as well as increased demand on banking services, this process will take several weeks for refund processing. Your patience is appreciated. Refund status will be provided on the College website.

Student account balances and mailing addresses can be viewed by logging into your MyNC account.  Students are encouraged to login and update personal contact information to ensure that any refunds are mailed to the correct address. If you require any assistance accessing the account, please contact [email protected].

Spring term students

The Spring term will move to 13 weeks (6 weeks study, 1 week break, 6 weeks of study), beginning on May 11 and concluding August 7, with a break the week of June 22. Spring 2020 program information can be found here.  

Niagara College will post 2020-2021 tuition and ancillary fees in May, including an ancillary fee package specifically for remote learners.   This would be applied to the Spring 2020 term given the extraordinary circumstances we are facing, recognizing the Spring 2020 term at Niagara will be delivered online.

Support is available

We know the current situation is causing stress and uncertainty for many students. Please check our student resources webpage for programs and services that are available remotely for students, including government and college financial supports: www.niagaracollege.ca/healthservices/coronavirus/studentresources

Government support programs:

Students and others in the community who have lost their jobs due the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for relief as the federal Government announced its economic response plan. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit includes support for people facing unemployment. The application is now open, and we encourage our students to review the criteria for possible eligibility.

OSAP borrowers or those with a Canada Student Loan: There have been some changes to the repayment rules for students receiving assistance through OSAP or a Canada Student Loan.  For more information, please see www.osap.ca

College financial supports:

Niagara College has emergency financial support options available for students in need due to COVID-19 issues. Domestic students should reach out to [email protected] for assistance.  Emergency bursary support is available and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.  International students in need of emergency financial assistance due to COVID-19 issues should contact their International Student Advisor at niagaracollege.ca/advising for possible emergency supports.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented public health emergency.