Our View: Per-credit fees are cumbersome
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 22:09
After my refund check made its way into my account, I was disappointed to say the least. Not because of the length of time it took to hit my account, the increase in my tuition or even the entire page of fees.
What made me disillusioned was all the fees that our university charges on a credit hour basis. Although credit based student fees are not new policies at ASU, its precedent does not make it any easier to swallow.
Some of our most expensive fees are charged on a per credit basis. This means that every credit hour taken is not just added, but multiplied to the total bill. This encumbers students with higher fees while they are simultaneously paying for more tuition.
The reasoning behind credit-based fees is fairly simple. Those students who are enrolled in more classes at ASU are using more of the resources and should pay more money for them.
This type of fee works well when it comes to resources that can logically be linked with the extra classes. Paying extra for infrastructure fees, library, or information fees might make sense because extra classes makes students rely on these services more.
Fluctuating student recreation or athletic fees do not make sense to be charged per credit hour taken. This is because students who take more classes generally use these resources less.
Students taking 17-21 credit hours are not going to have time to take advantage of their money spent on athletics. With 21 credit hours of homework Thursday and Saturday nights are more likely consumed with homework; not with going to football or volleyball games.
With student debt being such a daunting problem for students, it only makes sense that fees should be reflective of students uses as much as possible.
Some universities take it a step farther and once a student hits full-time credit load tuition and fees are flat. Having flat fees for students will make bills more predictable from semester to semester.
So maybe the fluctuating recreation and athletic fees are just symptoms of a larger issue with student fees. After all, it is easier to sell an hourly tuition increase of $20 than it is to simply say that tuition and fees are going up another $1,000.