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.

Essential Fees

(As Determined by the Government)

These are mandatory fees that the students have to pay and do not have the choice to opt-out from paying. 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

These are Fees that students will have the option to choose to opt-out. These fees include the following:

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

It is recommended by the GSA to pay ALL 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.

How to opt-out –

STEP 1 – Log in to MOSAIC and click on the Student Choice Initiative tile.

STEP 2 – Read and review all the information before proceeding to opt-out.

STEP 3 – Review the non-essential fees to make an informed decision. Click on the slider if you want to opt-out of paying certain fees.

STEP 4 – Click next to proceed to the payments page.


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 Administration of the University and the Government. This advocacy might not seem to directly impact you individually but many facets of Graduate Student life are actually influenced. For instance, the negotiation and subsidization of the Health and Dental Plan and the HSR transit pass fee. Through the GSA, you can also get academic research support and funding.

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

The GSA has budgeted less than $20 to be paid in order to use 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 use 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, for the students. Because of the 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