The amount and allocation of student fees for the 2019-2020 school year has been finalized. These fees are collected from students separately from tuition costs and serve to fund various activities and accounts specifically for students across campus.
For the fall 2019 semester, the student fees for any student enrolled in 12 credit hours or more will be $349, and is divided among a number of departments and programs. Student fees will be raised four dollars for the 2019-2020 school year.
According to UVU’s Institutional Research department, UVU had 22,322 full-time students in 2018. This means the total amount of student fees at the current number of students would be over $7 million.
Marc Reynolds, the student body president, said, “One of our biggest roles as student council members is to coordinate student fee hearings, and to act as the gatekeepers to the student fee monies currently being utilized and requested from the various student fee stewards.”
Student Health Services receives student fee money, giving students access to physical and mental health treatments. For the 2019 year, SHS will receive $11.47 per student, a $1.80 increase. This will amount to over $40,000 in increased funding.
During the hearings for student fees, the SHS asked for a 13¢ increase in order to be able to hire a part-time medical assistant. The goal was to be able to provide services on Fridays, as well as evenings from five to eight o’clock in order to be able to see more patients.
The student council approved a much larger increase in order to create a mental health therapist position, citing an increased need among the student body for psychological health services.
“Student government felt so strongly that we needed to make meaningful progress in securing adequate therapeutic resources that they put in the request and supplied the funds for us to hire an additional therapist,” said SHS director William Erb, despite reluctance from the department to request that students fund these services themselves.
The largest portion of student fees goes to the athletics department, which will receive $104.85 per student. Athletics is the only department for which student fees in the last five years has increased each year, starting at $92.79 in 2014.
These fees guarantee students free entry into sporting events, as well as augment the athletics budget for personnel and operations, according to the UVUSA student fees page.
According to Nikki Scott, the associate athletic director over finance and business, “Over the past five years, athletics has seen tremendous growth in many key areas. All revenue categories have grown and overall revenue has increased over 50 percent.”
Scott also said that the athletics department has been able to cover its operations with the increased funds that have come from the increase in students enrolling at UVU.
Student programs and campus recreation also garner a percentage of student fees. These fees are used to fund clubs and activities, as well as organizations like UVUSA. These will account for $71.77 in 2019.
Student fees also support both the Sorensen Student Center as well as the Student Life and Wellness Center. In both cases, the fees go towards maintaining and staffing the buildings. Fees for the Sorensen Center were increased to continue to maintain the aging building.
This year the School of the Arts petitioned the student council for a $15 increase in student fees. According to the School of the Arts, this was to fund steep discounts for events planned for the new Noorda Event Center.
“If we got a student fee, we would be able to utilize that student fee to give our students large discounts for events,” said Linda Moore, assistant dean of the School of the Arts. “I’m talking [about] the difference between a $75 ticket, down to a $25 ticket for a student.”
The student council denied this request. According to Reynolds, the student council felt the School of the Arts’proposal failed to sufficiently benefit enough students to be worth the raise.
Reynolds and other student council members felt not enough of the fee would be used for students, but rather to bring in high-profile performers to benefit the community.
However, Reynolds did express willingness from the council towards a smaller fee in the future.
“We have invited the administration of the School of the Arts to work with our students in the near future to create a fee that is far more student-centered and mutually beneficial for the School of the Arts, as well as a larger portion of our student body,” Reynolds said.
Two fees, the building bonds fee and the Student Life and Wellness Center, were both reduced by a combined $2.69.
Campus recreation received the largest raise at $2.54 in order to create a nutritionist position for the wellness programs available to students.
UVU is one of the only schools in the country where the student council fully controls the student fee funds, making the student council a powerful body for what programs are supported and how much students pay.
Shayla Shaw, a member of the student council, said that when deciding whether to increase or decrease student fees the priority is to make sure that any increase will benefit the majority, if not all, of the students.
More information on student fees and their uses can be found on UVU’s website.
This story was updated April 15, 2019. Shayla Shaw was mistakenly written as Shayla Moore in a previous version.