When looking at your tuition bill for each semester, have you ever wondered what the extra fees are for? For an undergraduate student under the “Student Accounts” section of my.newpaltz.edu, aside from the tuition bill there is a student service fee of $581.50, a college fee of $12.50, and a gift to the fund for New Paltz fee of $12.00.
The good news is that not all of these fees are mandatory. According to newpaltz.edu, the gift to the fund for New Paltz is optional. More than 2,800 current students and over 5,000 alumni help “create the New Paltz Experience through support of the campus programs, events and lectures, faculty-guided student research and scholarships,” the site says. In order to waive the fee a student must log on to my.newpaltz.edu, go to the student services tab, click my student account, and an option to waive fees will appear. Should you choose not to waive the $12 gift, it is tax deductible and a tax receipt will be sent to your campus email address. Also, each student who donates will be listed on the SUNY New Paltz Foundation website.
The college fee and student service fee are mandatory for students living on and off campus, enforced by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Students taking online classes are exempt from these fees. The $12.50 college fee is “a mandatory fee for the support of student administrative services,” according to newpaltz.edu. To clarify this further, Lee Degnan from the student accounts office said it’s “something that New York state imposes, it goes toward the upkeep of the office.” She wasn’t sure about what the fees go to specifically.
The student service fee is divided up in to four sections, as stated in the “Description of Fees” section of the student accounts website. The first portion is the health center fee, which helps cover the operation of the student health center. Degnan said that even if students have their own health insurance and medical provider they are still required to pay. The second portion is the athletic fee, which covers the operation of the intercollegiate athletic program. If a student does not use the athletic and wellness center or the health center, they will not be refunded any money.
“If you’re on campus and there’s a possibility you may use these facilities, you’ll get charged,” Degnan said.
Another portion of the student service fee is the technology fee. It is designated for continuing the “enhancement and implementation of technology across campus,” according to the description of fees. Degnan was unsure of how these fees were specifically implemented so she recommended contact with the computer services department. John Lewitt, AVP Technology/CIO of the computer services department was unable to be reached.
The last part of the student service fee is the student activity fee, which is approved by the student body for the operation of all college student activities. Student Association’s Linda Lendvay, the dispersing agent for the office, explained that this portion of the fund covers all the extracurricular activities on campus, anything outside of the classroom except Greek Life. They fund all clubs and the administrative costs associated with the student government.
Some events that this budget covers are Caribbash, Jam Asia, Envied Fashions, Black Week, and Latino Week. This budget is also responsible for funding organizations such as The Oracle, Avant-Garde Magazine, WFNP Radio, NYPIRG, and the on-campus Children’s Center. According to the Student Association budget for the fiscal year of 2012 to 2013, the proposed budget is $1,475,000. This spending plan is broken down in to different sectors. The Social & Cultural Board, Athletic Board, and the Media Board are among the groups with the highest budgets.
Degnan said the student accounts office is responsible for “collecting the fees, [they're] not sure where the money goes exactly.”