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Descriptions and Definitions

Description and Definition - Tuition and Fees

Often the phrase "tuition and fees" is used to refer to the charges that all students pay to attend a college or university.  In Washington's public institutions, "tuition and fees" are composed of specific types: 

  • Operating fees
  • Building fees
  • Services and Activities fees
  • Technology fees

The actual "tuition" portion, as referred to in statute, consists of operating fees and building fees.  Services and activities fees and technology fees are additional. 

Tuition and "mandatory" fees at Western Washington University encompass those defined in statute (operating fee, building fee, service and activity fee, technology fee) as well as other mandatory fees (health service fee, housing and dining building fee) charged to all students enrolled for six (6) or more credit hours per quarter.

Tuition Fees

There are two components of tuition fees:

  1. Building Fee

    Fees charged all students and which are submitted to the state treasurer. These funds are then combined with the normal school fund revenues and are deposited into the Western capital projects account. These funds "shall be used to pay and secure the payment of the principal of and interest on the building bonds issued by" Western. Reference RCW 28B.15.025, 28B.35.370, 28B.35.371.

  2. Operating Fee

    Fees charged all students registering at Western and which are combined with state funds appropriated by the legislature to constitute the University's state operating budget. These funds are used to support the instruction, library, student services, administration and maintenance functions of the University. Reference RCW 28B.15.031.

Services and Activities Fees

Defined as "fees charged to all students...for the express purpose of funding student activities and programs." At Western, these funds are used to amortize, in part, residence halls, dining halls and student activity facilities; to support the Associated Students administration, clubs and programs; and to provide support for student activities, such as theatre arts, music, student publications, the campus recreation office and intercollegiate athletics. Reference RCW 28B.15.041. More Info

Student Health Services Fee

Fee charged to students for health center/clinical services. More Info

Student Technology Fee

Defined as "fee charged to students to recover, in whole or in part, the costs of providing and maintaining services to students that include, but need not be limited to:  Access to the internet and world wide web, e-mail, computer and multimedia work stations and laboratories, computer software, and dial-up telephone services."  Reference RCW 28B.15.051. More Info

Non-Academic Building Fee

Fee charged to students to assist in payment of bond debt retirement for capital projects not funded by the state (local or auxiliary enterprises).

Sustainability, Equity, & Justice Fund Fee

A student-initiated fee with the goal of promoting sustainable practices at Western Washington University. The fee goes towards the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates to offset 100% of the electrical consumption of the university as well as the Sustainable Action Fund Fee Grant Program which funds innovative student-driven projects that aim to reduce the campus’ environmental impact. More Info

Student Recreation Fee

The Student Recreation Fee is used for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Wade King Student Recreation Center.   More Info

Student Alternative Transportation Fee 

The student-approved Alternative Transportation Fee gives every Western student taking 6 credits or more a Viking Xpress Bus Pass, provides WWU Late Night Shuttle Service, and provides funding for a Student Alternative Transportation Coordinator. More Info

Legislative Action Fee

The Legislative Action Fee is a mandatory fee of $1 per quarter that is charged to all registered students on any WWU campus. It was approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2014. There is no provision for an increase in the fee, so an increase would need to be initiated either through a referendum to be voted on by students during the spring AS Election or by a direct recommendation from the AS Board of Directors. More Info

Multicultural Center Fee

Put forward by students via a referendum, this fee is to "expand the building space for a Multicultural and Ethnic Student Center."  It was approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2017 to be no more than $30 per quarter for students taking 6 or more credits. More Info