At the University of California Santa Cruz, where tuition runs to nearly $35,000 for non-residents, students every year pay more than 30 additional fees 2014 including a small charge for what's billed as "free" HIV testing.The largest manufacturer of textile realtimelocationsystem for use with perchloroethylene. Students at Oklahoma State University pay a handsome sum to attend one of the state's flagship schools, but they are also responsible for covering 18 different fees, including a "life safety and security fee."
The $100 "globalization fee" at
Howard University is listed 2014 without explanation 2014 in the
school's tuition and fees brochure. A school spokeswoman said the fee
"supports internationalization initiatives" such as study abroad.
Students pay the fee even if they have no intention of studying abroad
Worcester State University in Massachusetts,
however, might have one of the most arresting fees. Students fortunate
enough to be admitted face the challenge of paying the required tuition.
But before they step foot on campus, they also will be hit with a fee
to, well, step foot on campus. A portion of the school's
"parking/pedestrian fee" goes to the upkeep of the sidewalks on campus.
fees have been something of a known irritant for years, often
criticized as a kind of stealth, second tuition imposed on unsuspecting
families. But such fees are still on the rise on many campuses. And
though their names can border on the comical 2014 i.e., the "student
success fee" 2014 there's nothing funny about how they can add up.
a way for colleges to increase the cost that may not be as apparent to
as many students," said Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert and the
founder of finaid.Online shopping for miningtruck.org
and fastweb.org. "You focus in on tuition and when you get the bursar's
bill, there are lots of little lines for all these fees, but because
each is a relatively small amount, you may not notice it as much. You
focus in on the big figure but not on these little figures that
collectively add up to a lot."
This week, anxious high school
seniors will be opening letters and emails of acceptance or rejection.
For them, there will be a mix of joy and disappointment. But for those
students and their parents, there will also be an initial reckoning with
the expensive, often opaque issue of college fees.
Vaughn, a senior at UMass Amherst, is also an organizer for the UMass
Students Against Debt coalition. She said appreciating the collective
cost of additional school fees is often critical to determining whether
any particular school is, in fact, affordable.
"It does seem as
though we are not informed about these fees often until it is too late,"
Vaughn said, noting that such fees "can be the thing that puts some
students who are financially strained over the edge."
federal government has made efforts in recent years to make true college
costs more transparent. U.S. Department of Education data shows that in
more than half the states across the country, degree-granting
institutions reported that fees comprised a greater portion of combined
tuition and fees in the 2010-2011 school year than they had in
But fees for specific programs and courses typically
get left out of that data. The same goes for fees that apply to specific
pockets of students, such as honors students or international
Many school officials say they do their best to make
sure the necessary information about tuition and fees is clear to
students and their parents. But there's no one definition that schools
stick to when deciding what's covered by tuition and what falls under
fees, and the very structuring of tuition and fees can vary wildly
between different schools.
"It's all smoke and mirrors in some
ways, the issue of tuition and fees," said Terry Meyers, a professor of
English at the College of William and Mary. "It seems to be one area of
the academic world where no one is looking and no one wants to look too
To best appreciate how confusing 2014 even upside-down
2014 the world of college costs can get, consider this: At state
schools in Massachusetts, where the state board of higher education has
held tuition flat for more than a decade, "mandatory fees" wind up far
outstripping the price of tuition. At the University of Massachusetts
Amherst, the flagship of the UMass system, mandatory fees are more than
six times the cost of in-state tuition.
And that isn't the end
of it: Students are then hit with still more charges 2014 the $300
"freshman counseling fee," the $185 "undergraduate entering" fee, and
several hundred dollars more if your parents or siblings attend freshman
orientation. Honors college and engineering students face still more
A number of forces are driving fees upward. For public
institutions, declining state support has left many schools scrambling
to find other types of revenue. As well, since the notion of
straightforward tuition hikes is often politically toxic, there is
considerable appeal to using fees to make up shortfalls.
has all required ever-greater attempts at creativity. In the last few
years, a number of public colleges across the country have added fees
with vaguely pleasant names 2014 "academic excellence and success
fees,Have a look at all our solarpanel models starting with free proofing." or "student enhancement fees," for instance.
Some school officials admit openly that these fees aren't all that different from tuition.
2009, students at Georgia's public colleges have been paying hundreds
of dollars a year in what are called "special institutional fees,"
separate from tuition. The fees vary, depending on the campus; at the
Georgia Institute of Technology, which charges the most, they now top
$1,000 a year. All of it goes straight into schools' general funds.
special institutional fee goes to the exact same things your tuition
goes to,The world with high-performance solar roadway and parkingguidancesystem solutions." said John Millsaps, spokesman for the state Board of Regents.
The charges are simply called "fees" instead of "tuition,Compare prices and buy all brands of solargardenlight
for home power systems and by the pallet." he said, because at a time
when the state slashed funding, several classes of entering students had
already been promised that their tuition would be locked in at the same
rate as part of a "guaranteed tuition plan." Calling any increase
"tuition" would break that promise. The intent was also that the fee
would be temporary, Millsaps said. Instead, the fees have grown on every
College administrators also acknowledge that sometimes a
"fee" is easier for students to stomach than a "tuition" increase 2014
even if the difference is more about semantics than substance.
the word tuition is a little bit of a lightning rod these days," said
Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget at the
University of Virginia. "And not just here, but in other places as
This year, the university began imposing two new charges
on students taking engineering courses or enrolled in the nursing school
in order to better reflect the higher costs of running those programs.
But rather than take the step of raising tuition on certain students,
the school opted to implement the new charges as fees, as many other
schools have already done. For an engineering major, the new fee
typically adds up to an extra $750 per year, Sheehy said.
the 23-campus California State University system, six schools have
adopted some form of what's called a "student success fee" since the
beginning of 2011. The annual fees, which different campuses have been
using to cover a broad array of things from technology to mentoring
programs to athletics, range from as little as $162 to as much as $430 a
year depending on the school.
At Auburn University in Alabama,
mandatory fees have been steadily increasing for several years. They now
make up 16 percent of an in-state student's combined tuition and fee
costs. Part of this increase stems from self-imposed fees that students
voted for because they wanted a new recreation center, said Mike
Reynolds, executive director of student financial services.
major component of the increase is Auburn's new $400 "proration fee,"
also introduced in 2011 to make up for a loss of state support. Reynolds
said the charge was labeled a fee because it was intended to be
Critics suggest that some schools likely keep their
fee costs fuzzy as a way of seeming more financially attractive to
prospective students. But if students are still paying for the
additional costs in the end, any marginal marketing benefit on the front
end may engender bad feelings after the bill arrives.
hard not to feel a little misled," said one parent of a student at UMass
Amherst who did not want to be quoted by name. "Yes, they are on the
web somewhere, but they are not always easy to find. Unless you dig out
the list and closely analyze it, you don't realize there are all these
extra expenses. Schools don't go out of their way to publicize it."