FAMU local fees may increase in the upcoming school year

Florida A&M students may see new fees or an increase in existing student fees for the 2010-2011 year. However, mandatory fees such as the activity and service fees, athletic fees and health fees will not see an increase for next year.

Local fees, such as lab and supply fees imposed by the colleges and schools, may see an increase in the upcoming school year.

If approved, students in select courses in allied health sciences, the college of arts and sciences, law and pharmacy may have to pay laboratory and supply fees next year.

Marjorie McNeill, director of health information management, wholeheartedly believes imposing lab fees on students in her department will have positive results.

“The new fees would go toward purchasing software that helps my students acquire entry-level competency and increase certification exam passage rates,” said McNeill. “Essentially, the new software and other supplies would simulate what my students would encounter in the real world.”

An $80 per lab credit hour may be imposed on students enrolled in upper level health information courses to purchase software and other lab supplies. Currently, the health informatics and information has a dedicated lab, but no working printer. This presents a problem for many students who use the printer for projects and other purposes, according to McNeill. The committee approved her proposal.

Once the fee committee approves proposals, they must be approved by President James H. Ammons and his leadership team, and then by the board of trustees.

Approval from the fees committee strongly recommends the proposals to the university president and the board of trustees, according to Valencia Matthews, chairwoman of the committee. “The provost and the board of trustees take our recommendations very seriously,” said Matthews. “However, a variety of factors such are taken into consideration including the student body’s receptiveness to the increases.”

In addition to the proposed local fee increases, an increase in the cost of the graduate student application may take place.

Some students find the proposed new fee increases to be preposterous.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Denise Bailey, a third-year business administration student from Miami. “Being able to stay in school with rising tuition costs is tough as it is, even for a student who pays in-state tuition.”
The proposed fee increases will undoubtedly hurt the pockets of out-of-state students the most.

“I don’t know what I’ll do if tuition goes up anymore,” said Stephanie Head, a fourth-year psychology student from Nashville, Tenn. “Hopefully, it won’t force me to go back home.”

According to Henry Kirby, associate vice president of student life, the proposed fee increases are not necessarily a result of imminent budget cuts the university will suffer.

“The University Fee Committee meets every year, whether in good or bad economic times, to discuss possible changes in fees,” Kirby said. “It has absolutely nothing to do with budget cuts.”

There are a number of avenues that students can take in order to voice their satisfaction or disdain for the proposed fee increases.

“I encourage the student body to attend the university-wide forums, voice concerns to their student representatives as well as the administration and also the board of trustees,” Kirby said.

According to Kirby, half of the committee is students appointed by Gallop Franklin, and the other half is composed of faculty and staff members chosen by President James H. Ammons. Presidents Ammons and Franklin select the chairperson of the committee.

Stanley Hardy, Quinton Haynes, Breyon Love and Iman Sandifer are the student members on the committee. Faculty and staff members committee members include Mary Adams, Herbert Bailey, Merlin Langley, Phyllis Watkins and Phyllis Watson.