The Canadian Federation of Students offers a number of programs and services in order to offset the high cost of education. Federation services are designed to help both individual student members and students’ unions to save money.
New and existing services are constantly being created and improved by the membership. Students have prioritized purchasing and providing ethically sourced materials with consideration for the rights of workers and the environment. Collectively participating in services gives members of the Federation the ability to negotiate for better pricing while maintaining high quality.
Handbook and Day Planners
The Federation’s handbook project was initiated to reduce the cost of producing high-quality handbooks, particularly for smaller students’ unions. By pooling together resources, students’ unions of all sizes soon benefited from the project, and today even the largest students’ unions in Canada realize savings from the economies of scale enjoyed by the Federation’s handbook service.
By bulk purchasing, the Federation has been able to negotiate for more affordable, better quality and ethically sourced handbooks. The handbooks are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and vegetable ink with colour pages. Students’ unions also save money in writing and editing, design, printing and binding. These economies of scale have enabled some students’ unions to reduce or eliminate local advertising from their handbooks. Although producing a dayplanner through the Federation dramatically reduces costs because of the size of the print run, students’ unions can maintain robust and unique content relevant to their campus communities. Cover art, optional advertising, customisable calendar pages and up to 64 pages of local content are all available through the service.
Identification Card (ISIC)
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is an internationally recognized student travel discount card. ISIC holders can use their cards while travelling abroad in over 80 countries around the world at various museums, hostels, hotels, historical sites and entertainment attractions. In Canada, students save money through national discounts on flights and bus tickets, at major department stores, at sports events and more. Students can also use the ISIC card for discounts at local small businesses around their campuses. For a full list of ISIC discounts in Canada and abroad, visit the ISIC website at ISIC.org.
How to Get an ISIC: The ISIC is available to full-time students for free as a benefit of membership for the Canadian Federation of Students. Members can get their card online for free at ISIC Canada saving you the $20 annual cost of the card. Non-members, including high school students 12 years of age or older, can purchase the ISIC for $20.00. The Federation is the only licensed authority to issue the ISIC in Canada. Members can receive the ISIC at participating students’ unions. The ISIC can also be purchased online at ISICCanada.ca. For a full list of ISIC discounts in Canada and abroad, visit the ISIC website at ISIC.org.
Tax Filing – UFILE
The Canadian Federation of Students negotiated with UFile.ca to offer students free online tax filing. UFile.ca is one of Canada’s leading online tax filing services. Although the service starts at $15.95 per use, members of the Federation are provided with a code to access UFile.ca for free all year round. Students can use UFile.ca to file taxes for their spouses, partners or dependents. The service is also available in French at impôtexpert.ca. During tax season, the Federation provides students’ unions with updated promotional materials to raise awareness amongst students about the free tax filing service. Posters include the current tax year’s access code that students enter online at UFile.ca. Special code offer: CFS1981
Health Network (GreenShield)
The National Student Health Network is the Federation-coordinated, buying consortium for health and dental insurance. Starting in 1986, students began coordinating their negotiation and purchasing of health and dental insurance. Now with Greenshield Canada, the only not-for-profit insurance company in the country, students on the Network collectively save millions of dollars every year.
The primary purpose of the consortium is to use the collective expertise and combined purchasing power of participating students’ unions to secure lower rates and better coverage for individual members. Through the cooperative services model offered by the Federation, students’ unions have direct control over the services offered by their health and dental plans. It was this control that allowed the Network to be among the first providers to regularly cover oral contraception and the first to offer spousal benefits to same-sex partners.