Course Fees

Purpose

Course or Lab Fees cover the costs of goods and services related to a specific course in the event that such costs are not covered by State Funds or Student Fees.

Definitions

Fixed: Course and lab fees assessed to all students in a course at the beginning of the quarter.  All courses with a fixed course or lab fee will be specifically identified in the Western Fees and Rates publication.

Variable:  Course and lab fees where the specific fee amount is determined and assessed to students during the quarter.  Each student’s variable fee amount is determined based on materials or services selected and consumed by the individual student.  Examples include variable field trip fees, variable art materials fees, etc.  All courses with a variable course or lab fee will be specifically identified in the Western Fees and Rates publication along with a maximum amount that the fee is not expected to exceed.  The fee may be less than the expected maximum.

Criteria

In order to be established, the fee must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Cover the cost of consumable materials used by the student to make items in class that will be retained by the student.
  • Cover the cost of individual student’s specific expenses (e.g., artist models, technicians) which are unique to the student’s coursework activities.
  • Cover the cost of supplies and materials which are required in the course and are being provided directly to students for convenience and/or economic purposes.
  • Cover the cost of course-specific equipment repair and/or replacement. Equipment repair and/or replacement costs may be shared with other courses.
  • Cover the cost of field trips and related costs.

Approval Process

Approval actions and who completes them
Action By: Action:
Faculty or Staff Member of Department

Completes an Academic Fee Form.

Submits completed Academic Fee Form to the appropriate department chair for the upcoming academic year.

Department Chair

Receives, reviews, and recommends for approval or disapproval the Academic Fee Form.

If approved, forwards the Academic Fee Form to the Dean/Director of the College/Division.

Dean/Director

Receives and reviews the fee proposal and expenditure plans and then:

If recommended for approval, forwards the Academic Fee Form to Academic Budget and Administration

If not recommended for approval, returns the Academic Fee Form to the Department Chair.

Academic Budget and Administration

Receives and reviews the fee proposal and expenditure plans and then:

If recommended for approval, forwards the Academic Fee Form to Academic Fee Committee.

If not recommended for approval, returns the Academic Fee Form to the Department Chair.

Academic Fee Committee

Conducts an internal review of all course and lab fee proposals and changes:

  • Review fee's uses, expenditures, and account balances to validate that the proposed fee amounts to be charged to students are reasonable based on the purpose of the fee.
  • Reviews proposed fee increases to existing course or lab fee to ensure:
    • For fixed course and lab fees, that the increases do not exceed the Washington State growth factor unless justified and do not exceed the cost of goods and services to be provided.  
    • For variable course and lab fees, that increases to the “expected not to exceed” amount do not exceed the Washington State growth factor and do not exceed the cost of goods and services to be provided.
  • Review the purpose of all new proposed fees to ensure that no other funding sources are available or currently in place.
  •  Works with department chairs to resolve questions having to do with fee proposals.
  • After reviewing all of the fee proposals and changes, the Academic Fee Committee forwards recommendation for approval to the Provost.
Provost

Reviews Academic Fee Committee’s fee schedule of proposed fees and approved specific fees and then:

Forwards all approved fees, document in a fee schedule, to the University Fee Committee.

Notifies the Academic Fee Committee of those fees which are not approved or have been recommended for change.

Budget & Financial Planning

Records new fees and fee changes per Provost's approvals.

Publishes all approved fees.

Collecting Revenue

Fees Will Be Assessed in an Accurate and Timely Manner: Fixed course/lab fees will be assessed during the registration process. Variable course/lab fees are determined by the department. The instructor will verify payment by student prior to issuing grades.

Revenue actions and who completes them
Action By: Action:
Academic Department Enters correct fee amount when setting up the course in Banner.
Registrar Verifies that fee is approved and is within the authorized fee amount.
Student Pays the Student Business Office.
Student Business Office

Credits the student’s account and debits the Academic Department’s Course and Lab Fee fund.

Provost Considers revisions to this procedure and amends it as necessary and with concurrence of the vice presidents of Enrollment and Student Services and Business and Financial Affairs.

Administering & Spending Fees

Fees Will Be Assessed in an Accurate and Timely Manner: Fixed course/lab fees will be assessed during the registration process. Variable course/lab fees are determined by the department. The instructor will verify payment by student prior to issuing grades.

The Financial Manager is Responsible for the Proper Administration of Their Course and Lab Fees: Financial Managers are responsible for the review and reconciliation of fee funds. They must monitor fee fund balances to ensure that the level of fund balance is appropriate to support the approved purpose(s) of the fee and to formulate plans for managing fund balances when fee revenue exceeds fee expenditure.

Course and Lab Fee Revenue Can Only Be Spent in Accordance with the Approved Academic Fee Form: Financial Managers may only spend course or lab fee revenue on expenditures which support the course as detailed in the “Fee Purpose” section of the approved Academic Fee Form for the course. An equipment repair/replacement schedule must be maintained for approved equipment fees.

Academic Budget and Administration Reviews Course and Lab Fee Fund Activity: Academic Budget and Administration will regularly review fee revenue, expenditure, and fund balances to validate that the fee amounts charged to students are reasonable based on the actual amount of course-related expenses for the approved fee or projected equipment needs.