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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Campus

Fee for online students gets name change


During the latest Board of Regents meeting a move to change the name of a student fee was unanimously passed. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

During the latest Board of Regents meeting a move to change the name of a student fee was unanimously passed. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

A change to the name of a student fee was proposed and passed in August during the most recent Board of Regents meeting.

The fee, which used to be called the Extended Access Fee, is now called the Online Education Fee. The fee is not new and the change was made to provide more transparency, according to the Board of Regents Agenda.

“This is not an increase to any student whatsoever,” said Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Jim McShan at the August meeting. “It’s basically the definition of the fee we’re addressing.”

The fee will not be charged to anyone taking a hybrid or in-person class and will be charged only to those taking 100 percent online classes.

Those who are taking completely online classes don’t have to pay the Campus Recreation and University Center fees like those who take in-person classes. Those who are taking one online class and one, or more, in-person class pay the other fees and not the Online Education Fee.

The change of the name will not increase or lower the total price of fees online, or on campus, students pay. It will change the individual fee prices for online students.

Currently, online students pay a $178 Student Service Fee. In the new plan that price will increase to $228. To make sure the total fee price for online students does not increase, they will no longer pay the $50 University Center fee.

“We’re basically shifting money from one pocket to the other,” McShan said. “This is a technicality from a legislative perspective.”

The breakdown of what the Online Education Fee is not listed in the name change proposal, but UH spokesman Chris Stipes elaborated on what the fee is used for.

“The Extended Access Fee went into effect in 2011 to fund the costs associated with online and off-campus courses including technology, instruction, media, etc,” Stipes said in an email

The reason online students will not pay a Campus Recreation or University Center fee is because they, often times, can’t use the buildings, said McShan.

The name change was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents.

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