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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Opinion

Student fees justifiable


Student fees – they creep up a little bit every year, many of us do not understand what they are for, and the majority of the students complain incessantly, but fork over the money because there is no alternative.

What most do not realize is what exactly these fees are for? Next time you are just browsing around the UH Web site, take a look at the Student Financial Services site.

For the most part, students do not pay attention to the breakdown of the fees when it comes time to pay the bill at the beginning of the semester.

‘In all of my years at UH, I never looked at what I was paying for until the last semester before I graduated,’ said Sara Turner, a C.T. Bauer College of Business marketing 2002 alumna. ‘By that time, it was pointless to even question it.’

What people do not realize is even though there are required fees for services that may not be used, this is how the University is able to pay for the advances and upgrades to our campus. And do not worry- it is not just us, students for many moons to come will be paying for the same services and more.

The UH Web site breaks down the fees for both undergraduate and graduate students. At the minimum, undergraduate students will pay approximately $836 in student fees, which does not include individual college fees, lab fees, late registration fees, optional fees or international student fees.

Graduate students are expected to pay the same amount, plus additional fees for applications, incidentals, research and resource fees, technology, counseling, liability and more.The additional expenses can range from a mere $4 up to $1015 or more, and some of the fees are multiplied pending on the number of courses the graduate student is signed up for.

As mentioned, both undergraduate and graduate students pay the same initial set of student fees for the same reasons and the same price. These expenses cover everything from the use of the UC, to the use of the computer labs. Where the complaints come in is when students have to pay for services they never utilize, such as the Wellness Center or the clinic.

The fact remains that those services are there if the students so wish to take advantage of them.

James Harrison, a 1998 accounting alumnus who currently practices corporate law, explains that even though fees are increasing every year, it is for the good of school and students alike.

‘UH has changed so much over the past 10 years – all to benefit the students; the fees are a normal part of tuition that everyone pays for,’ he said.

If you are still in confusion as to why we pay the fees we do, then consider this. Walk into any computer lab on any given day and you will find a plethora of students zoned into their screens and pounding away at the keyboards, focused on their task at hand, whether it is Facebook or research.

The school is not going to have open access for every student on campus for free- this is a service paid for by within our student fees.

Another example is the beloved UC and UC Satellite. Good food, prices and a place to socialize and unwind with friends often times offering entertainment or freebies – you have to pay for it to be there.

Do you love the fact that your new professor only teaches one day a week on campus and the rest of the time online? Thanks to the fees we pay, hybrid classes are becoming a hot ticket item on campus. What about the relatively generous printing allotment we get every semester? Well, it’s not free, and that is no joke.

Even the free condoms offered by the Women’s Resource Center (for those who are interested or in need) must get financial support from somewhere.

Harrison goes on to emphasize if UH is continuing to strive to become a top-tier nationally recognized campus, then the improvements we are enjoying now will continue to be paid for by future generations.

In all, we will be paying fees for one thing or another for the rest of our lives, but you will see that most of those fees are justifiable.

Becoming educated means going beyond the classroom – know what you are paying for, read between the lines and if still in doubt, ask questions.

Alana MousaviDin is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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