Breakdown of tuition fees shows where dollars go
December 14, 2009 —
A student’s tuition covers more than just their classroom education. But where else do those funds go and how much of them go there?
Perhaps the most notable classroom fee pertains to courses considered technology-heavy.
These courses, deemed as such by academic affairs, each carry a $50 computing fee.
The fee covers extensive use of the computer labs on campus.
While some argue they could use their own computers and not the University’s, the fee applies to anyone in these courses.
Jim Muladore, vice president of administration and business affairs, said the University cannot make exceptions.
“Some students may say they have their own computers, but we can’t differentiate for each student in these classes,” Muladore said. “These labs accommodate the students without computers, and the computers are there for anyone to use if they need them.”
While the computing fee only applies to some, every student pays two mandatory fees: a general service fee and a technology fee.
The general service fee, which sits at $10.75 a credit, helps sustain six University services.
These include parking services, Student Association, Program Board, student publications, student health services and the facility debt service.
Receiving $7.70, the facility debt service receives the bulk of the general service fee.
This goes toward paying off the bonds the University took out to fund construction and maintenance of academic and academic-related facilities.
It does not include any student housing.
Parking services come in a distant second at $1.70 per credit hour.
Student publications, which include Cardinal Sins and Valley Vanguard, receive 17 cents of the $10.75 per credit.
While overall tuition has jumped to $215.70 a credit in 2009 from $184.75, the general service fee has increased 30 cents in that time.
The technology fee, which is now $3.85 per credit, provides funding for such things as equipment across campus, smart podiums and registration systems.
Like the general service fee, the cost of the technology fee has not risen as sharply as overall tuition. In three years, the fee has increased 55 cents.
Even with these additional fees considered, Muladore says SVSU’s overall tuition cost remains the lowest among Michigan state universities.
A 30-credit school year at SVSU will now run a student $6,900. A toptier state university such as MSU will cost a student $12,400 for the same number of credits.
The average cost of such a class load for the 15 state universities is $9,167, meaning SVSU costs 25 percent less than the average.
When it comes to additional fees, Muladore says it’s important to keep mind of these figures.
“Do you want to look at the parts or the total,” he said. “It’s better to look at the bigger picture.”