What if I told you that you pay $60 a semester for T-shirts, hot dogs and Advil?
You already know that you pay something upward of $200 in student fees, but have you ever wondered where all that money goes?
First, let’s explain what student fees are. There are two kinds: course fees and general fees. Course fees are when you register for a class and are charged anywhere between $1 and $35 for that specific class. General fees are essentially everything else that’s not tuition.
On the graph, you can read how each of your dollars spent on student general fees is dispersed. The way it breaks down, general fees increase with more credit hours. If you take between three and six credits, your fees range from $130 to $263. Students with seven credits and above will always pay exactly $282.
According to the chart, these fees go to several different areas. About $7 goes to pay UTA and about $2 goes to the OneCard ID. But you may not be aware of what a few of the fees are for. For instance, roughly $10 to $11.50 goes to paying for the Wellness Center, which is our on-campus medical facility where you can receive assistance from a nurse for stomach pain, nausea or even a simple headache. About $70 pays off the Student Center, as required by a contract UVU has with a construction company. Nearly $60 goes toward a funding pool for all campus student programs.
What student programs? The Outdoor Adventure Center, for example. Every semester, the Outdoor Adventure Center holds many recreational activities for students, from canoeing to rock climbing. Other examples include UVU Intramurals and the many clubs all over campus.
But each semester, much of the funding goes needlessly unused. Last year, Intramurals had up to $4,000 just in gift cards and textbook money, but not many students showed up to Intramurals’ activities, and the money was wasted. Some money pays for things like gatherings on campus at which students are invited to watch TV and eat free pizza; such events are often poorly attended. Some clubs host events to win free food, T-shirts and money — all funded by general fees.
On the one hand, students complain that student fees are too much, and on the other hand, students complain that there are no clubs to join. There are actually hundreds of clubs all over campus, but ignorance causes a lot of club funding to pile up in extra amounts, and as a result the school frequently reduces funding — until eventually some clubs have to disband.
This all means that you, as a student, might be paying money to see a doctor when you could just visit the Wellness Center, and you might be missing class just for a migraine when there is a nurse on campus who can give you Tylenol, Halls, and other medical aid — for free. It means that you might spend money on a cliched dinner-and-a-movie date when you could go rock climbing or play on a disc golf course — for free. It means you spend hundreds of dollars in gas a month when a bus pass will get you nearly anywhere in Utah County — for free. It means you spend most of your own hard-earned money on school supplies when you could use a gift certificate for the bookstore. For free.
Beginning this semester, UVU REVIEW will spotlight a club or two each issue, detailing what the clubs do, how they use student general fees, and how to join. In addition, UVU REVIEW will “challenge” various clubs to competitions to spread awareness. In the meantime, keep in mind that although your student fees are high, they provide many great and free on-campus opportunities.
To find out more about UVU Intramurals, the Wellness Center and the Outdoor Adventure Center, turn to page____