Student Choice Initiative

On January 17th, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced an initiative to give students the option to choose whether to pay or not pay the non-essential supplementary fees. This is the Student Choice Initiative or SCI.

McMaster University has determined the Fall 2019 optional opt-out period to be between September 12th to 20th, 2019. This can be performed through Mosaic.

To read more, click here.

GSA Essential Fees

These are mandatory fees that the students have to pay and do not have the choice to opt-out from paying them. The list of the essential fees is generated keeping in line with the government regulations of what is considered to be mandatory. These fees include

  • Athletics and recreation
  • Career services
  • Student buildings
  • Health and counselling
  • Academic support Student ID cards
  • Student achievement and records
  • Financial aid offices
  • Campus safety programs, and
  • Student transit passes

GSA Non-Essential Fees

Students will have the option to choose not to pay these fees if they do not wish to access the following resources they are paying for. This includes,

  • GSA Grad Recognition Awards
  • GSA Club funding
  • GSA Social Events
  • GSA Community Enhancement
  • GSA Advocacy.

It would be recommended to pay the non-essential fees as the GSA represents the students and through these resources, the GSA strives to make the grad student experience better at McMaster.


I do not think I have used or intend to use any of the above-mentioned services, why should I opt-in then?

The GSA advocates on behalf of the students to the management and the government. This advocacy might not directly impact you individually but all the graduate students at McMaster. Some instances of advocacy include the negotiation and subsidising of the Health and Dental Plan and the HSR transit pass fee. Through the GSA, you can get academic research support and funding. The GSA also awards bursaries and travel grants.

How much am I paying for the non-essential fees?

The GSA has budgeted less than $20 to be paid in order to avail the above-mentioned services.

I already opted out, how do I opt back in?

By opting out in September, you will not have the opportunity to opt back in when you wish to avail any of the above-mentioned services by the GSA.

I do not agree with a few of the GSA’s initiative which makes me want to opt-out. What should I do?

The GSA is by the students and for the students. Because of this democratic nature of the organisation, we need to function in a way that benefits all our students collectively. However, we do not shy away from any concerns or criticisms brought forward to our attention by our students. If you have any issues you would like us to address please feel free to email us.

For more questions, please email

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