Opt-out or not? The U-Pass discussion at Algonquin College

While the fall term is already rolling at Algonquin College, the option to opt-out of a U-Pass for the term remains available to students. The U-Pass is automatically factored into a student’s tuition fee breakdown for the 2020-21 academic year. Per term, the U-Pass will cost $218.03 this year. With the majority of programs being […]
Photo: Kened Sadiku
A sign outside the U-Pass service centre explains students must book an appointment in order to pick up their cards

While the fall term is already rolling at Algonquin College, the option to opt-out of a U-Pass for the term remains available to students.

The U-Pass is automatically factored into a student’s tuition fee breakdown for the 2020-21 academic year. Per term, the U-Pass will cost $218.03 this year.

With the majority of programs being taught remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U-Pass could be an option that students may not need, due to them not having to travel to campus for the fall term.

Keelan McHale, a second-year business marketing student says he’s happy to see the college giving students the option to opt-out of something they might not need this term.

“I think it’s great of the school to allow students to opt-out of the U-Pass this fall,” said McHale. “I personally am not affected by the opt-out as I live outside any bus routes but I’m happy to see other students getting their money back for something they won’t use.”

Unlike McHale, some students might need to depend on the U-Pass to still get around the city even if it means they won’t be attending the campus.

Patrick Yammine, a second-year police foundations student says he never knew the option of the opt-out was there and wishes he had found out about the advantage earlier on.

“I didn’t even get the chance to take it out of my tuition,” says Yammine. “Now I’m stuck with a useless U-Pass which I will never use.”

While the option to opt-out is still available today, Yammine said he wishes students had got an announcement regarding the fall term and how the U-Pass was still tied into the final tuition costs.

“The least they can do is tell us it’s an option to get it removed, but no,” said Yammine. “They knew students weren’t going back to school this fall but they still decided to put our tuition into a U-Pass.”

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