Student Choice Initiative Information

What is the student choice initiative?

The SCI is a policy directive proclaimed in January 2019 by the Ontario provincial government. This directive mandates universities to enable all students to opt out individually from non-tuition ancillary fees that the government considers non-mandatory. Most student union fees are non-mandatory according to the SCI framework. Universities that do not comply with the SCI risk losing their funding from the provincial government.

How will it IMpact Graduate Students?

The SCI will impact Graduate Students’ experiences and access to resources and services on and off campus such as:

  • Funding, Grants, and Bursaries.
  • Academic Advocacy and Appeals Supports.
  • Student organizing and advocacy through democratic representation
  • The removal of the Ontario Student Grant.
  • Mandating that there is an upper limit of 50% on the funding graduate students can receive from provincial grants, the rest coming from loans.
  • Removing the 6 month loan interest grace period after graduation for provincial loans.
  • Changing the calculation for provincial funding for universities and colleges to a ‘performance based’ system.

The sci at u of t

Your fees to the UTGSU enable us to advocate on your behalf and to support graduate students. By opting out of UTGSU fees, you jeopardize the UTGSU’s ability to support graduate students at U of T, and you will forfeit access to the many services of the UTGSU. In addition to the services listed in the opt-out portal, your fees enable us to provide many other services, including but not limited to:

In the opt-out portal you will find a list of “optional” services that the UTGSU provides. Although the fees you see represent some of the services the UTGSU provides to its members, the specific break down of these fees was solely determined by the University of Toronto, and not the UTGSU. For specific information about some of the UTGSU’s services, please contact us or click on the following links:

looking for more information on the effects of the sci on students, the UTGSU, and your Course union?

Email with questions or concerns or speak to your course union representative.

Want to get involved in MOBILIZATION regarding the sci?

Join the UTGSU Mobilization Working Group! This group is the UTGSU’s point of contact for students looking for information, action, or support in light of the Provincial Government’s attacks to post-secondary education. Contact us at if you have any questions on how the Student Choice Initiative will affect student access to resources.

Graduate students looking for support in their own political actions should contact the Mobilization Working Group at which can advertise actions, connect you with allies, and provide organizational support for your initiatives.