Increase in student fees explained

Changes in tuition and fees will cost undergraduate students enrolled in 15 hours an extra $270 this semester. For graduate students taking a course load of nine hours, that cost is $171.

Undergraduate tuition was raised to $219 per credit-hour at the May 19 Board of Trustees meeting; up from $215 last year. Graduate tuition was raised from $269 per credit hour to $274 per credit hour.

An additional $10 is being charged per credit hour for a new athletic student fee. Bernadette Hinkle, vice president for administration and finance, said that doesn’t indicate an increase in athletic funding.

“What has happened in the past is those dollars have always gone to athletics; they’ve always been a transfer out of our tuition revenue that the students have paid and moved over to athletics,” Hinke said.

“To be more transparent, to be more accurate in how we budget that fee, that ten-dollar fee, was put in place by the board to supplement the athletic budget and in lieu of that, reduce the transfer they would usually do.”

Hinkle said $15 per credit hour used to be transferred from the general tuition revenue to athletics. Now that the new fee is being assessed, only $5.50 per credit hour will be allotted from general tuition revenue.

The health and wellness fee doubled from 3 per credit hour to 6 per credit hour. Hinkle said the situation is similar to the changes in athletic funding, where less money is being transferred from general tuition revenue and is instead being paid for by the fee increase.

“We were trying to make their program and what they do to serve the students self-sufficient so that’s the increase in the fee,” Hinkle said.

Also included in fee changes was a change of the transcript fee from $1 per credit hour to $2 per credit hour.

Hinkle said the administration tries to avoid increasing fees and tuition, but that state funding formulas dictate what will ultimately happen.

“We had a 1.83 percent tuition increase this past year, and that is to offset all of the cost of the campus. We had flat funding from the state so our state appropriation remained the same. To offset the cost of running the university we had to increase tuition, which is typical in a university setting,” Hinkle said.