Student fees are essential

Each year a new student fee schedule goes into effectat the beginning of the fall semester. The schedule determines the dollar amount a student will be charged for each fee.  The fees charged to a student’s account is determined by Florida statutes, approved by the University’s board of trustees and administered through Florida A&M University. 

When it comes to these fees, some students are unaware of them. Some students said they are curious about how the fees are used.

Demetrius Scott, 19, is one such student. Scott said he has no idea how the fees are handled.

“I think [student fees] go to the school,” said Scott, a sophomore graphic design student from Champaign, Ill. “I really don’t have a clue where they go. I just know I pay them in my tuition.”

One student knew a little more.

Jimmie Smith, 19, a sophomore health science student from Ft. Lauderdale, said student fees cover the cost of students’ P.O. Box, cable, tuition and medical services.

“I don’t know the total per semester,” Smith said. “But I know those are the types of things they cover.”

Student fees are assessed per credit hour and vary based on residential status and academic level.  If a student is attending FAMU and pursuing an undergraduate degree, the fees will be lower compared to the amount charged to a student pursuing a graduate or law degree.  Non-Florida residents are assessed a Non-Resident Fee as well as a Non-Resident Financial Aid Fee.

The following information is based on University documentation, which was provided by Annarene Wineglass, director of student financial services. The fees are as follows:

A. Health Fee- Students registered for six (6) or more hours shall be assessed a health fee of $59.00 per semester

B. Material and Supply Fees- Students shall be assessed a range of $15.00 to $60.00 per course for certain courses.

C. Orientation Fee- Students who are enrolled for the first time shall be assessed a $35.00 orientation fee.

D. Late Registration Fee- Students who fail to finalize registration during the regular registration period shall be assessed a late registration fee of $100.00.

E. Late Payment Fee- Students who fail to pay tuition or make appropriate arrangements for payment (deferment or third-party billing) by deadline set by the University shall be assessed a late payment fee of $100.00.

F. I.D. Card- Students shall be assessed a $5.00 identification card fee per semester, excluding the summer semester. G. Repeat Course Fee- Students shall be assessed an additional charge of $175.84 for regular courses taken more than twice

H. Repeat College Preparatory Fee- Students shall be assessed an additional charge of $212.20 for a college preparatory course taken more than twice.

I. Transportation and Access Fee- Students shall be assessed a transportation and access fee of $55.00 for fall 2008, $55.90 for Spring 2009 semester and $28.75 for summer 2009.

Some students have negative feelings about the university fees. Among those students is LaShonda Thompson, 21, who said some fees are unnecessary.

“I don’t think the fees are fair,” said Thompson, a senior biology student from Chicago, Ill. “A lot of the times they charge you these fees because of something that is out of your control. I applied for re-admission in May and came in June to try to register. I had to register late because my application wasn’t processed until the first week of the school year.”

Some students feel it is unfair in another way. Chevarlyn Chaney, 22, is among them.

“Half of the fees I’m being charged for I don’t use,” said Chaney, a senior pre-physical education student from Miami.  “I’m paying for something that I’m not using.”