Myth: Will your tuition go up next year?

FAU students might pay more for tuition in the fall due to a new law passed last year. If imposed at school, the price of tuition will go up $12.30 per credit hour. And none of that will be covered by financial aid.

While it is unconfirmed whether the Florida government will raise the student tuition rate, the new policy, called differential tuition, will allow Florida universities to increase tuition up to 15 percent on top of any raise made by the state.
“If the state were to raise tuition by 8 percent, then that means that FAU could raise 7 percent more,” explains Ken Jessell, the vice president for FAU’s Financial Affairs.

Currently, a full-time student taking 12 credit hours per semester pays $984.36 in tuition fees.  Add a 15 percent increase to those 12 credit hours, and a student in the fall would pay $1,132.96 for 12 credit hours. According to Jessell, the additional $147.60 won’t be covered by financial aid.

Students who were actively enrolled in a Florida university by July 1, 2007, don’t have to worry: They won’t be charged. But for students who enrolled after that date, Bright Futures and Florida Prepaid plans won’t cover the extra $12.30 per credit hour. However, supplemental plans can be bought through Florida Prepaid to cover the cost of the differential tuition.

Students like Brennan Tassef say the extra money would stretch their wallets. The sophomore pays for all of his tuition with student loans and financial aid.
“That’s a lot per credit hour. If I had to pay that money, I would be irate,” says Tassef, a history and political science major. “It doesn’t make sense in the current recession to have the students pay for what the government doesn’t want to spend.”

According to Jessell, FAU has plans to notify students of this change if it is decided upon. A committee will vote on the differential tuition sometime in late April or early May.


Locals Only

FAU requires students to pay three “local fees” per credit hour. The money from those fees benefits student activities, health services and athletics.

Currently, those three fees add up to $31.25 per credit hour. That is on top of the cost of tuition.

Just as with the other fees, FAU can’t say for certain whether these fees will increase, but Ken Jessell, the vice president for Financial Affairs, estimates that their total will increase 3 to 4 percent, or up to $1.25 per credit hour.

A local fee committee made up of FAU officials will decide in late spring whether these fees will be increased, and students will be notified when a decision is made.

FAU’s “local fees” for this school year:
-Activities and Services (A&S) fee: $10 per credit hour
Unlike the price of tuition and other fees, the price for the A&S fee has stayed the same for the past eight years.

-Health fee: $7.50 per credit hour
The health fee was raised last school year by $1.17.

-Athletic fee: $13.75 per credit hour
The fee has not changed since the 2005-2006 school year, when it was raised from $10 to the current price.


Road rage
Whether you own a car or not, you have to pay to park

Each school year FAU students pay a flat fee called a “transportation fee” whether they own a car or not.  This year, the transportation fee costs $60. 

However, the money is not just used to fund parking services for students who own a car.
“It’s more than just a fee for parking,” says Ken Jessell, vice president for Financial Affairs. “[FAU] has put in walkways, installed blue emergency service lights, and subsidized travel through Tri-Rail and bus services. We have also increased security personnel on bikes.”

The transportation fee was implemented during the 2001-2002 school year at the price of $21.75. Previously, students only had to pay for a student decal.

In 2003, the price of the transportation fee rose significantly to $47 when FAU decided to combine the price of the decal with the transportation fee.

Since then, the cost of this fee has been raised another $13 and has been $60 for the last two school years.


Technical foul

State lawmakers passed a bill in 2008 that could lead to another fee. This time, the new “technology fee” could cost up to $49.20 more for a student taking 12 credit hours.

The money collected from this new fee would be used to obtain new teaching equipment to fit the changing technology.

FAU is still deciding whether or not to impose the fee. However, a Technology Fee Committee proposed the idea to FAU President Frank T. Brogan. This group was composed of seven university officials and nine students from various campuses who spent time reviewing this new legislation.

They hope to have a decision to students in late spring.

Student Government President Abe Cohen was among the students involved in the process.
“We talked about different things [FAU’s Internet system] could do to become better,” says the senior marketing major. “We are behind on technology, and it hurts your education.”

The committee ultimately decided that if imposed, the fee should be $4.10 per credit hour whether you are an in-state, out-of-state or graduate student.
“The fee will fund and support university teaching and research that will directly relate to students,” says Charles Brown, vice president of Student Affairs and chair of the Technology Fee Committee.

The fee committee feels that the technology will improve teaching methods and how students learn in the classroom.
“We are going to extend wireless Internet to everywhere on campus because right now there are spots where you can’t get it,” describes Cohen.

If the new technology fee is imposed at FAU, another committee will be established to make sure the money is actually used to improve technology in the classroom.