January 31, 2023

Clint Heinze -- Paying student fees may not have been on your bucket list.

Each year, a chunk of each student’s tuition goes to fund campus events and other campus ventures.

Approximately two-hundred dollars was charged to each traditional student this year. This is the student services fee, and six hundred sixty five dollars was charged for the general fee.

“It is the traditional undergraduate students who are charged the student services fee. The graduate students and OPS students are not,” Lammons said. “They don’t typically attend certain events. They are welcome to, and you might see them at a sporting event or something. It is geared toward the undergraduate population.”

Each fee has its purpose in fulfilling the school’s goal to be student-friendly place.

“The student services fee funds activities, The Banner newspaper, classes, student government, the Angelos yearbook, the library and organizations like this on campus,” Lammons said.

Students pay for more than just their own entertainment; they pay for part of the enhancements on campus.

“There is a general fee that students pay that underwrites emergency funds for the school…it also covers part of the parking as well as technology,” Lammons said. “It’s kind of a lump fee. From year to year, it changes a bit. We evaluate it each year.”

About ten years ago, according to Lammons, “a student’s bill was substantially longer, because it had your tuition and then it listed every single fee and it got out of hand. As a university, if we want to offer students these services, it just has to be wrapped up into a fee.”

These services include all of the activities and organizations that students would wish to be a part of on a daily basis on campus. However, there is a question as to who gets what part of the money.

Hofshroer explained that it is about stewardship: ”We really are tasked with spending that money wisely with what students want…but also spending it wisely in saying that ’Maybe we need some new light towers in this area,’ or things that will allow us to program in the future.” Hofshroer said. “We consider the overall vision from the administration.”

Not only is it about stewardship, but a need and a want to “touch as many students as possible with these fees,” Lammons said.

“We say ‘These are the things that we foresee, these are the things that we would like to do for this coming year.”

Splitting money up evenly is a task because, “We are really careful that we are having it truly going back to students,” Lammons said. “From history we know what it takes to operate certain programs, again, when it does increase, say by ten dollars, how do we divide that up evenly? And it literally comes down to ‘Okay $2.50 to you, $.35 to you’ and so on.”

The rapid increase of the student population in the last couple of years has minimally changed the structure of fees that students have to pay.

“Every year, the student catalogue will publish the fees for that year, and you can see a natural progression, but has it been growing leaps and bounds? No, not really,” Lammons said.

“I think the unique situation is the fee per student. So when a new student is added, their fee is added. Now with that said, just because a student is added, there are other costs,” Hofshroer said.

“As inflation goes up, the vendors that we use change, the cost for material goes up, if we need more staffing, those things can increase a little bit…I don’t want to say it’s self sufficient, but it is structured so that your fees match the needs of all the students.”

Every year, students expectations of the events held during the year may increase. As Lammons said, they are “ramped up.”

“If we are still able to do- with more students, with inflation going up every year- still able to offer the same quality of events, but like he said, ramping it up, it is a testament to the good stewardship of the school,” Hofshroer said.

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