Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Special Course Fees

Policy and Procedures (eff. Fall 2004)

Intent 

Supplies and Equipment budgets are intended to cover the basic requirements in all courses. Special course fees may be permitted in course offerings where the University incurs continuing and significant expenses for services or materials supplied directly to students, for example, chemicals and beakers for science labs and ceramic supplies for art studio courses.

Planning

Course fees are an integral part of budget planning and are expected to be included in the budget presentations that take place the year before course fee proposals are submitted.  Once a year the Office of Registration and Records will send deans a list by department of all active courses that have been approved for special course fees and the amount of the fee.

Requests

A request is initiated using the Special Course Fee Proposal form when a department believes that the level and type of expense validates the need for such a fee. Cross-listed and 400/500 requests should be on one form; otherwise separate requests must be submitted for each course.

Fees will be considered for only for courses that are active at the time the request is submitted. It is preferred for fees to be established by the course not credit hour; however, for variable credit courses the fee may be linked to credit hour.  Fees are not established by contact hour. Fees must be in whole dollars rounded upwards and all sections of a course shall levy the same fee in the same amount. Fees must be approved by the Board of Trustees. Students may not be assessed special course fees that have not been approved. All University and state policies must be followed.

Student Notification/Refunds

The Office of Registration and Records will note the existence of a course fee by the appropriate course on the Schedule of Classes. If a special course fee proposal has been sent to Academic Affairs and is in the review process, then the Schedule of Classes will state that a course fee has been proposed. The fee will be assessed when a student registers for a course that carries a special fee. Should a student drop a course with a special fee, or completely withdraw from the university while carrying courses with special fees, university refund rates/policies will apply to special fees in the same manner as they do academic fees/tuition.

Management of Fee Accounts

Expenditures shall be restricted to those purposes identified in the department's approved fee request. The balance of funds in each department's special course fee account shall be reviewed by the dean and the Office of Academic Affairs at the end of the fiscal year. As course fee allocations are made near the end of each semester, funds sufficient to cover expenses the following semester may accumulate in each account. Accumulation of significant fund balances beyond this may prompt reduction of the course fee.

Departments will send a report by August 1 to the dean that details use of fees for the preceding fiscal year. The dean will submit a summary report using the Special Course Fee Review form to the Office of Academic Affairs showing the amounts used by major categories. All existing course fees will be reviewed every five years by the department and the dean and a recommendation for continuation or termination submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Timeline

Requests for course fees generally are taken to the Board of Trustees in February. The Special Course Fee Proposal form, signed by the department representative, chairperson, Office of Registration and Records, and dean must be received in the Office of Academic Affairs no later than November 15 to have the possibility of being taken to the February Board meeting. Allow at least two weeks for review in the Office of Registration and Records. The dean’s signature signifies that he or she has reviewed the department’s budget and determined that the proposed fee is appropriate and necessary. If approved, the fee will take effect the following fall semester. Fees will not be approved to go into effect at a later date.