Deep Patel, a second-year manufacturing student, makes use of his printing allowance. Photo credit: Chanelle Pinard

Full-time Algonquin College students will have $28.05 reduced from their their Students’ Association fees this fall because of the campus closures for most students due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Student Board of Directors have made cuts to the ancillary and administrative fees because of the health restrictions being imposed on all institutions. These restrictions prevent gathering on campus and the cancellation of all varsity sports events. A full-time student will be paying $922.87 this year.

Despite the reduction in cost, there are still fees associated with studying on campus being applied to the tuition of remote learners.

“We had to look at what were necessary fees,” said Emily Ferguson, president of the Students’ Association. “With students being at home, we needed to find a good balance, knowing there would be services students do still need.”

While some costs offer the option to opt out of, like U-pass, health and dental plans, these could be important to students currently navigating the landscape of a pandemic while potentially living away from the support systems of home.

The SA has provided services to students and continue to do so with the use of the collected fees. Some services could be crucial, like access to the food cupboard.

At a total of $159.62, the technology fee covers essential services to remote learning, like access to college email and online storage. However, a $10 printing allowance, access to internet and unlimited use of access labs are services students will not be able to use while remote learning.

“There are some who need these services so there is still that fee,” said Ferguson. “A lot of the internet and printing is happening at home, so we are still looking at fees throughout this semester.”

The SA’s board of directors have made some cuts to the fees associated with the first term back during a pandemic, but there are still many questions that have no precedented answers.

Ferguson says that the board will continue to examine the fee situation throughout the term and students could potentially see more opt out options next semester.