Decoding student fees: Part one

Students pay a variety of fees when attending UAA, but sometimes it is difficult to know exactly where the funds are going and how the money is being spent.

“I don’t know very much about [fees] at all,” Rebekah Kline, a junior majoring in health sciences, said.

Kline believes that students may only briefly glance at the fees charged by UAA but hopes that this will change..

“From what I understand, student fees pay mostly for the services you as a student could use,” Amanda Allard, a senior majoring in management, said. “When you take a math class, you pay for a fee that pays wages for the tutors that are there to help you. Then there are things like the transportation fee, where any student can use the bus systems for free.”

Understanding the fees charged by the university can lead to students taking a more active role in programs offered by UAA.

“I think students should know what their fees pay for. That way, they may discover something they are paying for but have not taken advantage of, but could,” Allard said.

Student Fees at UAA include charges for facilities maintenance, student media and activities. Several fees are mandatory for students registered in three or more credits held on the UAA campus.

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The fee totals can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including whether courses the student is taking are located on campus or online, the number of credits a student is enrolled in and the student’s overall tuition cost. Fee charges are not necessarily the same for every student.

With so many fees under question, The Northern Light will focus on a few in-depth per issue. All fees will be visited through this series of articles.

Student Health and Counseling Services – $14 per credit for students registered in six or more on-campus credits, with a maximum charge of $168.

The Student Health and Counseling Services fee allows the SHCC to provide a range of services to students that have paid the fee. The fee is only applied to students that are taking six or more credits on the UAA campus.

UAA Student Health and Counseling Center is located in the Rasmuson Hall 116/120. Photo by Robert Gant.
The UAA Student Health and Counseling Center is located in Rasmuson Hall 116/120. Photo by Robert Gant.

Services at the SHCC include physical exams, health education and wellness programs at no cost, while other services, such as laboratory and pharmacy services, are offered at a reduced cost. The center also provides resources to students on alcohol and drug education, mental health counseling and sexual health practices.

“The most important thing I think that students should know is that if they are taking six on-campus credits, visits to the health center are essentially free, they’ve already paid for their visits, so it definitely is a resource that they can take advantage of,” Mary Woodring, director of Student Health, said.

The SHCC maintains a professionally trained and educated staff that can assist students in finding a balance between their health and academic schedules while making costs easier to meet.

Students are also able to take advantage of the many educational and outreach programs such as lectures, student events and activities offered through the SHCC to learn more about health-related topics like bystander prevention, sexual wellness and staff or peer-led seminars.

Student Media – $11 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits.

Student media fees are used to support the two student media organizations on the UAA campus. The fee is split evenly between the student-run newspaper, The Northern Light, and the student radio station, KRUA 88.1FM.

The Northern Light has been the student-run newspaper for UAA since 1988. Fees help to pay for the costs of printing, paper delivery and website maintenance.

Radames Mercado-Barbosa, KRUA’s production coordinator, edits audio tracks for a future TNL and KRUA collaboration. Photo by Jason Herr.

For over 20 years, KRUA has been broadcasting to the listeners of Anchorage on their 88.1 FM station. Student media fees help to cover the costs of the station.

Overall, student media fees help to accommodate the costs of production, projects and continuance of both student-run media organizations.

The remaining student fees will be discussed in future issues of The Northern Light.