Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to pay?

    Yes, but what you pay for depends on the course you elect to take as well as what your school district has agreed to pay for.

  • What do I have to pay for?

    Actual costs will depend on the type of course you choose and whether your school district opts to pay for all or part of your tuition. It is important to remember that the Open Learning (OL) Division of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) not only has different costs associated with the distance and online delivery of its courses, but it also shows its costs in different ways.

    Costs related to OL courses range from tuition and lab fees, to text books and study manuals. In comparison, the costs associated with taking a traditional university course can include tuition, administrative fees, lab fees and ancillary fees (e.g. student union, etc.). OL courses are available online and at a distance which means the costs, and therefore fees, are slightly different.

    Refer to "Table 1" to see a comparison of a typical first-year classroom course at TRU with an equivalent Open Learning course.

    Table 1: 1 Cost Comparison: Distance Delivery Vs. Traditional Classroom.

    TRU-OL Course: Distance and Online TRU-Campus Course: In Classroom
    PSYC 1111: Introductory Psychology I
    (3 credits)
    PSYC 1110: Introduction to Psychology
    (3 credits)
    Tuition $310.80 Program Admission fee 3 $25.00
    Materials $203.70 Tuition $353.94
    Non-Refundable Administration: $87.85 Textbook $80.00
    Non-Refundable Technology: $17.49 Other fees $55.35
      Upass $48.00 (per semester)
    Student Union $57.99 (per semester)
    Health 4 $132.00
    Dental $116.00
    Total: 5 $619.84* Total: 6 $595.286 - $868.287

    Note: Please note that prices are subject to change.

    1 All costs presented here are approximate but generally represent the relevant costs at the time of printing. Please refer to for all up-to-date costs.

    2 Distance and Online refers to the fact that Open Learning courses can be offered by sending all study materials in the mail or through the Internet.

    3 Fee is applicable to the TRU Start (on campus program) and not the TRU Start BC (Open Learning program).

    4 Health and dental fees do not apply to TRU Start students.

    5 Approximate cost if a student applied through the TRU, Open Learning, TRU Start BC program.

    6 Approximate cost if a student applied through the TRU (on campus) TRU Start program.

    7 Approximate cost for a general first-year campus student.

  • Are these really university courses?

    Yes, Open Learning is a Division of Thompson Rivers University, a public post-secondary institution, and the courses offered through TRU Start BC are all credit-based courses.

  • Will the credits I receive be accepted by other colleges or universities?

    Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) cannot predict which credits another institution will accept. This will depend on where the student received the credits, e.g. from a public post-secondary institution like TRU, and what program the credits are being used for. However, as a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), TRU (including the OL Division) is part of the formal public post-secondary system. A good resource to refer to is the BC Council on Admission and Transfer (BCCAT) Transfer Guide, ( If the course you are interested in transferring is not listed there, contact TRU-OL at for assistance.

  • Is there someone available to help me with my course?

    Every student is assigned to an Open Learning Faculty member when they register for a course. The Open Learning Faculty member, available to the student by email and phone, marks assignments and provides feedback. The Open Learning Faculty member also marks the final exam.

  • How do I submit my assignments?

    Students in web-based courses submit their assignments online through the student portal by emailing their Open Learning Faculty member. Students in print-based courses mail their assignments to their Open Learning Faculty member for marking.

  • How do I write my exam?

    Students will write their exams at an approved exam centre and will be supervised by an invigilator. Exam sessions are held once per month and are usually written on weekends.

  • Do I have to buy my course materials through TRU-OL?

    No, TRU-OL students can look for course materials online or elsewhere if they choose. However, students need to be careful to buy the correct edition of the textbook as course materials are often designed for a particular edition. Moreover, some course materials can only be purchased through TRU-OL. Students should check with the Student Services department if they are unsure what materials are required.

  • Can I cancel a course?

    Yes, TRU-OL students can cancel most non-paced courses within the first five weeks of registration. They will receive a refund of 100% of their tuition as long as they haven’t submitted any assignments or written a final exam. Administration and technology fees are non-refundable.

  • Can I withdraw from a course?

    Yes, students can withdraw from most non-paced courses up to 13 weeks after they have registered. There is no refund for a withdrawal. Students cannot withdraw after they have written their final exam.

  • Can I return my books?

    Yes, students who cancel a course may return course materials and receive a full refund within the first five weeks of registration. Materials must be unmarked and in new condition. TRU-OL students can return materials once the course is completed and the warehouse will assess them for refund consideration. A refund will be given if TRU-OL is still using the materials and they are in resalable condition. For additional information, please refer to the TRU-OL policies and procedures at, or contact the TRU-OL Start BC liaison.