Class Related Fees

Original Policy Source APPM Section I. Item 1.
Policy Approval Authority President
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 01-20-2000
Last Review Date 08-11-2009
Policy Category/Categories Finance / Risk Management

In the undergraduate and graduate catalogs it is made clear that students may incur charges for such things as field trips, breakage, and use of class-related instructional materials. When appropriate, students are billed for class-related fees (e.g., "laboratory" or "breakage") in support of such expenses, which are then deposited in income fund (04) accounts assigned to the department levying the fee.

The enclosed guidelines set forth policies and procedures pertaining to class-related fees:

Policy Guidelines

  • Inadequate general revenue allocations should not be the determining factor in the decision to charge students a class-related fee.
  • All academic units must administer fee funds in ways which give all students paying a fee equal opportunity to benefit from the expenditure of funds.
  • The university should seek to eliminate inequity in the assessment of fees supporting instructional programs through periodic review of fees and through auditing the use of fee income.
  • Students should pay directly for necessary instructional materials which are available or can be made available through local commercial channels, and which are used on an individual basis. Instructional materials for use by individual students should be furnished by the university where there are special considerations of security, storage, safety, availability, quantity, and variety.
  • Where the use of instructional materials in classes results in the creation of a physical end product of value which is retained by the student, assessing students for materials is clearly justified.
  • Where special equipment or materials are necessary for instruction and used directly by students, a fee assessment is justified to cover the cost of purchase, rental, maintenance, repair, and replacement. Such items include personal computers and accessory equipment, musical instrument parts, jewelry materials, laboratory items, films and tapes, etc.
  • When deposits are required of students to cover excessive breakage of university equipment, provisions must be made for appropriate and timely refunds.
  • Instructors assigned to teach courses as part of normal university contractual arrangements will not be paid from course fee accounts; however, the cost of special presentations or models may appropriately be paid from fee accounts.
  • Transportation costs related to clinical experiences and off-campus instruction (excluding continuing education courses), such as course-related field trips, may be funded through course fees as can normal expenses incurred in courses taught entirely in the field.

Procedural Guidelines

  • The Bursar is responsible for establishing and monitoring procedures for collection and deposit of all course-related fees in university accounts. The Accounting Office establishes fee accounts, monitors disbursements according to data on fee request forms, and verifies that all disbursements have appropriate approvals.
  • Establishment or deletion of a class-related fee, or a change in fee amount, must be approved by the department chair, the college dean, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Budget and Planning.
  • Class fees shall be established and subsequently renewed for a maximum period of three years. Departments and colleges should review fees to determine whether they are appropriate, whether the amount charged and size of fund balance are reasonable, and that the use of fee income is correctly assigned. The Provost's Office will be responsible for monitoring submittals for compliance. Approval of a fee and arrangements for its collection must be completed before any public notice of it is made.
  • Students shall be given adequate notice of fee requirements, including amounts (or maximum amounts,) prior to the registration process. (This will involve listing fee amounts in the Schedule of Classes and/or other printed announcements related to courses published prior to registration for the semester in which the fee will be levied.)
  • Categories of 04-account fees which require distinction are listed below together with examples of each:
    1. Instructional materials fees: electronics lab fee, biology lab fee, life drawing fee, computer equipment
    2. Breakage deposits: chemistry breakage fee
    3. Personal service fee: towel and locker fee
    4. Field trip and transportation fees: geology field trip fee
    5. Special rental and facilities fees: skiing, bowling, golf, and scuba diving fees
  • Accounts used for course-related fee funds (04) shall be maintained separately from revolving material funds, which are in local-fund (41) accounts.
  • Fees of different categories will be retained in separate accounts. Appropriate limits on types of expenditures permitted will be established for each account. Auditing procedures will be established to monitor the use of fee income.

Fee Reviews

The Provost's Office shall be responsible for initiating annual reviews of class-related fees in the colleges. Reviews will determine:

  • whether fee authorization will expire, thus requiring renewal;
  • if the instructional components of courses for which fees are collected are actually being delivered;
  • whether fees continue to be necessary in the specific courses or whether adjustments in accounts and/or budget lines ought to be requested.

Class-related fee request forms, approved by appropriate chairs and deans, should be transmitted to the Provost's Office no later than January 24 for fees to be implemented in the following fiscal year.

Refunds of Class-Related Fee

Refunds of course-related fees paid may be made in cases where:

  • withdrawal from a course results from factors involving university error or oversight in the collection of a fee (Request for Refund of Class-Related Fee form is required);
  • withdrawal from a fee-supported class is prior to the end of the official add/drop period (Student Accounts Receivable System will automatically credit the student's account);
  • a course for which fees have been paid is deleted from the schedule (Student Accounts Receivable System will automatically credit the student's account); or
  • it can be demonstrated that students in a course/program were not afforded a reasonable opportunity to experience the instructional component of the course/program for which a fee was collected (Request for Refund of Class-Related Fee form must be processed).

Mass refunds for a course should be initiated by the course instructor or other appropriate department official and must be approved by the department chair and college dean and processed by the Accounting Office and the Bursar. Department chairs are responsible for seeing that appropriate refund procedures are undertaken.

Individual requests for refunds must be initiated by the student involved. The request must be approved by the chair of the department in which the course is offered and the dean of that department's college. The request will be processed by the Accounting Office and the Bursar after the end of the third week of classes in a semester or summer session.

Approved by Provost's Office, March 4, 1993
Editorial modifications by Provost's Office, January 20, 2000
Form updates by Provost's Office, August 11, 2009


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