Fees: Use what you pay for

Every student on campus pays fees when they pay for their classes and the fees can be confusing. Let me break it down for you in two ways: first, I will explain each fee, and second, I will show what it costs for an undergrad degree (this is 120 hours on average according to government guidelines).

“All fees were [Arkansas Tech University] board approved and all students get charged these fees whether they are on campus or online,” Colleen Bennett, project/program specialist for the Student Accounts Office, said.

All items listed are “free” because the student has already paid for them when they paid for classes.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS FEE ($6.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This covers treatment for minor illness, health education, health promotion, health maintenance, health history and physical assessment, first aid, which includes bandages and crutches, clinical laboratory procedures, women’s health services (which are on the second Tuesday and fourth Wednesday of every month from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm) and prescriptions. This also covers 10 free visits to see a counselor per academic year. This does not include the gym, as that is a separate $25 fee that has to be paid each semester. The Health and Wellness center is supported 100 percent by this fee, no additional income is given to this department. [Undergrad degree= $720]

TECHNOLOGY FEE ($11.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This covers items such as programs, software and Wi-Fi usage. This is also how the school pays for things like the new Banner system implemented in One Tech and Blackboard. This fee covers everything technology wise except for the actual equipment used (like computers). [Undergrad degree= $1320]

TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT FEE ($1.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This covers all the equipment that uses technology, such as computers and routers, that are outside the classroom for academic purposes only, not administrative. [Undergrad degree= $120]

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT FEE ($10.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This covers every piece of equipment in the classroom, whether you are in the actual classroom or not, such as projectors, desks and speaker systems. This fee is broken down into two parts, $5 per credit hour goes to the previous stated academic needs, and the other $5 is used for general operating expenses for departments that create no revenue. [Undergrad degree= $1200]

ASSESSMENT FEE ($2.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This fee covers the expense to keep up with state and government compliances, such as meeting certain regulations about safety, education and availability of needed instructional material. Basically, this fee keeps us in good legal standing to be a college. [Undergrad degree= $240]

TRANSCRIPT FEE ($2.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This fee covers a student getting as many copies of their transcript for free that they want at anytime, even after graduating. I know it may not seem like a big deal but other colleges charge $25 or more each time you want a transcript and when a person applies to get a job they may require transcripts and this mean you could be paying hundreds of dollars. For example: $25 times + 20 job applications = $500. [Undergrad degree= $240]

STUDENT SUPPORT FEE ($2.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This fee allows students free access to all Tech sporting events on campus. It also covers Student Government Association events (Homecoming and leadership conferences), the Student Activities Board events (comedians, guest speakers and the summer send off) and Campus Recreation, which offers numerous trips throughout the semester, free equipment rentals (hammocks, kayaks, bikes, etc.) and hosts intramurals. Currently, this is also paying back a loan to upgrade the intramurals area with lighting and bathrooms; last payment will be made this semester according to Amy Pennington, interim vice president for student services/dean of students. [Undergrad degree= $240] Reserve for this does get saved semester to semester so that it can be used for larger events.

ATHLETIC FEE ($10.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This is the newest of the fees, enacted Fall 2016, and covers all athletic programs. Basically, this helps all campus sports exist. This fee was previously lumped into tuition costs but to become more transparent, the college voted to make this a separate fee so students would know exactly where the money was going, according to Linda Johnson, budget and special programs director. [Undergrad degree= $1200]

STUDENT COMMUNICATION FEE ($3.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This fee covers any information packets, brochures or postcards that need to be communicated to existing and future students. This is also what helps pay for your campus newspaper. [Undergrad degree= $360]

There is an additional fee that could be on a student’s bill but there are certain conditions that must be met before it is applied.

DISTANCE LEARNING FEE ($10.00 PER CREDIT HOUR)- This fee is for online or mixed technology classes only. If you have even one of these classes, you will be charged this fee.

“We try to be very sensitive about the bottom line cost for a student because it’s not just tuition; it’s tuition, fees, books, and room and board,” Johnson said. “We try to be mindful of this when discussing fees or tuition increases because there are a lot of students that don’t have any help, and we get that. ”

The Student Accounts Office, Student Services, budgeting and the Health and Wellness center provided the information for each fee. For more information about other fees, such as parking or Techfit (gym access), go online to http://www.atu.edu/stuaccts/tuitionfees.php.

Amber Quaid
About Amber Quaid 60 Articles
Amber Quaid is the coeditor-in-chief for the Arka Tech newspaper at Arkansas Tech University. Her focus is on diversity and its importance for inclusion into society. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in communication and public relations. She is currently working on receiving her master’s degree in multimedia journalism. Amber has been in the professional world of journalism for 4 years and in professional management positions for 16 years with a Fortune 500 company. Currently, on the Arka Tech Amber does layout, design, and writes articles about diversity and mental health issues. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her kids and playing deck-building board games.