Frequently Asked Questions:

1.      Can I choose to opt-out of some fees and not others?

Yes. Each optional fee listed in your Mosaic account is independent of the others.

2.      If I opt-out, how much money will I receive in return?

If you choose to opt-out of a specific fee, the amount of money corresponding to said fee will be removed from your Account Summary and a new fee total will be calculated. The opt-out period will end on September 20, 2019. Students will be required to pay tuition and supplementary fees for the fall term in full by September 25, 2019 to avoid interest and late fees.

3. Why are there two separate fees within the Student Buildings category?

The McMaster University Student Centre fee supports the costs to operate MUSC
that are not associated with a specific tenant, such as an MSU service, the Student
Wellness Centre or operations of Hospitality Services (e.g. La Piazza). These costs
include capital enhancements, maintenance of common areas / meeting rooms,
custodial services, and general costs realized in the operation of the MUSC. Whereas
the Capital Building fee supports the specific space needs of MSU-run student
services, including capital enhancements and operational costs.

4.      Why are there additional fees on my Mosaic account that are not explained here?

If additional fees appear on your fee statement which are not described on this
website, that indicates those fees are not related to MSU fees / operations. The
additional fees will be in relation to your faculty, McMaster University at-large, or from
other campus groups that have established their own ancillary fee through past
referenda. For more information, click here.

5.      Why is there an essential fee and a non-essential fee for MSU Clubs?

Within the definition of essential fees provided by the Ministry, fees that support the
operating and capital costs of athletic and/or recreational facilities/operations are
considered essential. The MSU Clubs Department operates with five different
categories of status clubs: Academic, Cultural, Recreational, Religious and Social
Issues. The essential club fee will support the operational costs of the department
and clubs within the recreational category exclusively. Whereas non-essential Clubs
Department fee will specifically support Academic, Cultural, Religious, and Social
Issues clubs at $2.50 per student, per category.

6.      How are MSU fees established?

Students, through the democratic processes of the Student Representative Assembly
(SRA), can add, modify, or rescind services and fees charged by the MSU. All fees
have been approved by students through referenda. As for the fee strucutre
presented to students this September, McMaster University has been working
alongside the MSU, MAPS and GSA, along with student societies, to review all
supplementary student fees to determine which fees are essential and non-essential
as per the provincial government’s classification guidelines.


The MSU, like most student associations in Ontario, operates on a single-fee basis,

where all full-time, undergraduate students (enrolled in 18 or more units) pay a single ancillary fee and subsequently receive access to the entirety of the MSU’s services without any user fees. Students, through the democratic processes of the Student Representative Assembly can modify, add, alter, or rescind the services offered and the fee charged by the MSU.

However, this funding model will change in September 2019, due to a provincial government directive called the Student Choice Initiative.


Under this new directive, many aspects of what a student association offers to students will become optional. The ability to opt-out of financially supporting numerous student services will be available via Mosaic from September 12 - 20. This funding change may prove very harmful to the operations of student unions across the province and may reduce or eliminate some of the services they provide to students.

The future is uncertain. Whereas many student unions will move to a pay-for-service and/or reduce student jobs, good fiscal management on the part of the MSU will give McMaster students at least one year of uninterpreted service. The amount of services offered, the level of services offered, and the cost of services offered may all be impacted by the optional nature of funding.

#ChooseStudentLife and stay opted-in to MSU services.