Hundreds of thousands of students impacted by Ontario's five-week college strike have been told they have the option of receiving a full tuition refund if they choose to drop out by Tuesday.

But what does that mean exactly?

To start, the amount students paid to enroll in the fall semester likely won't be the same as what they get back. Depending on the college, schools may choose to keep ancillary and health plan fees. 

We crunched the numbers at three Ontario Colleges for a full-time first-year student enrolled in a culinary management program impacted by the strike. 

Fanshawe College: 

  • Tuition: $2,595 
  • No refund on ancillary fees and the health plan worth $616
  • The college says students had access to the gym/facilities during the strike and health coverage lasts until August
  • Full refund on program supply fees worth $144
  • A $500 deposit will not be required for students re-enrolling for winter programs
  • Refund = $1,979

Conestoga College: 

  • Tuition: $2,720
  • Refund on all ancillary fees
  • No refund on the health plan worth $286
  • No refund on program supply fees worth $375
  • Refund = $2,059

Lambton College: 

  • Tuition: $2,204
  • Refund on all ancillary fees
  • No refund on Health plan fee worth $198
  • No refund on "Textbooks for All" program worth $290
  • No refund on international student activity fee (variable)
  • Refund = $1,716

What else students need to know

Fanshawe College sign

Students at Fanshawe College have until Tuesday to decide whether to withdraw and get a refund for some of their tuition. (Dave Chidley/CBC)

The ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development said it is up to individual colleges to decide how students are reimbursed. It added "refunds of ancillary fees for this current semester will be determined by each individual college and are not included in the tuition fee refund policy."

Students can also receive up to $500 in financial compensation though a Student Hardship Fund.

For all colleges, OSAP recipients will have their money directed to the National Student Loans Service Centre where balances will be reimbursed in the form of a cheque.