Those pesky student fees: where the money goes

It’s the time of the semester where student bills are finalized. Have you checked yours? Unsure of what all the fees are for? Here’s a breakdown of the fees paid by all full-time students (except E.D.P) every semester and where exactly the money goes.

Students paid over $1 million last year in fees collected by the college.

According to Director of Student Activities and Community Service Krista Swahn, the student activity fee is around a $100 per student and accounts for a little under one-quarter of the fees. 55 percent of that money goes to the SGA, which offers small grants to students and covers the cost of activities and clubs on campus. The other 45 percent goes to the student activity fund, which pays for fun activities around campus, from laser tag to booking bands.

The breakdown of the remaining fees came from Sharron Scott, dean of administration.  

The Campus Initiative fee accounts for $700,431, all of it going to debt service, meaning it pays the debt cost of new construction and renovations. Stearns, Bentley, Shape and The Visual Arts Center are all paid for with this fee. Students are expected to pay around a $147 each.

Environmental/ Health Science fees cover the cost of consumables for labs. Petri dishes, chemicals, slide covers, and specimens for study are all covered by this fee. An average of $40 a student is paid.

Art fees go to cover supplies, from chemicals in the dark room to maintenance of the enlargers to supplies for painting, sculpture and printmaking. The average fee is $90 for a student enrolled in art classes.

Parking Pass fees (and proceeds from parking tickets) do not go to the people writing them. They actually go to pay for maintenance of parking lots and roads on campus, including plowing, painting and general upkeep.  Students have to pay $50 for parking passes and $20 to $100 or more for tickets.

Some other fees included are $20 for Behavioral Science students to cover classroom supplies; a graduation fee of $79 that helps cover the cost of the tent (and is only paid once unless a student is receiving more than one degree from JSC); and a one-time orientation fee of $245 for freshmen covering activities and food.

Some of the fees are not fixed and will often increase in conjunction with hikes in tuition and room and board. “The campus initiative fee, orientation fee and student activities fee typically increase annually in conjunction with tuition,” said Scott. “Student course fees are not adjusted annually.  A department may request an adjustment to a course fee by making a request to the office of the Academic Dean.  The amount collected annually varies based on course offerings and the number of students enrolled in courses that have a course fee.