Course Fee Guidelines

Principles guiding COUrse fees:

  • Financial limitations constitute the primary barrier for student access and completion. While financial aid can be used to pay fees, course fees should be kept to a minimum whenever possible to avoid increasing the financial burden on students.
  • Course fees should only be charged to recover expenses directly associated with individual students (see examples below). Course fees should not be used for current expense funds for the department or to pay costs that cannot be tied directly to the achievement of student learning objectives for a specific course.
  • Materials used to support teaching and learning fall into several categories outlined at the end of this document. Consideration will be based upon satisfactory demonstration that prudent management practices are in place (including reallocation of funds, regular review of fiscal operations, adequate fiscal control and optimal use of existing funds), as determined by the Office of the Provost. Requests for equipment and maintenance should be submitted via the appropriate Dean to the Office of the Provost in the spring of each year. Departmental equipment budgets for the upcoming year will be established and/or adjusted each spring in cooperation with the Dean and Office of the Provost. Course fees should be used only to fund student consumables.
  • Decisions to recommend to Cabinet that certain durable goods be funded using course fees will be determined after annual review. On occasion such recommendations may deemed appropriate based upon value to the student learning experience.
  • Course fee revenue should only be used by a School or Division to purchase student consumables when doing so provides students with a substantial cost savings through bulk purchasing or other mechanisms. Such purchasing should not be for convenience alone nor to bypass other SLCC entities such as the SLCC College Store.
  • Course fees should not be used to pay ongoing personnel costs. Only independent contract personnel whose services are associated with an individual class (such as private music instructors or art models) should be paid using course fee revenue. Exceptions must be approved by Cabinet.
  • Course fee revenue should not accrue over time. If you find that you are spending less on student consumables than you had anticipated and funds are building up in your revenue account, please reduce the course fee rather than using the revenue for purposes not specified in your original request.

Examples of acceptable course fees:

The following list includes examples of acceptable uses for course fee revenue and is not intended to be exhaustive.

  • Consumable supplies or instructional tools that are “used up” within a single semester or term.
  • Access to online course materials, such as open educational resources, where such access is licensed at an institutional level and not an individual student level.
  • Test fees for an industry-sponsored examination taken as part of a class when the College has negotiated specific terms with the test provider.
  • Distance learning fees assessed for online courses to support instructional systems, student support, testing services, etc. directly associated with these courses.
  • Cost of private instruction where the instructor has a contract with the College and not with individual students.

categories of teaching & learning materials

Categories of Teaching & Learning Materials

Description

Source of Funds – Annual Process

Consumables

Any materials, goods, teaching tools, or 3rd party examinations used by an individual student to meet the learning outcomes of a specific class during a specific academic term. Does not include amortization of durable goods.

Student course fees

Category

Description

Source of Funds – Deans request to Provost

Inventoried Capital Assets*

Any College asset whose value equals or exceeds the capital limit of $5,000 in conformance with Board of Regents, state and federal guidelines.

Provost capital equipment budget (formal proposal required)

Capital Asset Maintenance & Service

Contractual or non-contractual maintenance of capital equipment intended to prolong its useable life or maintain performance. Includes replacement of parts and accessories.

Provost capital equipment budget (formal proposal required including justification for service contract vs. replacement)

Computers & Software

Computers and software whose value is less than $5,000. Includes both the initial purchase of a software package/license and any annual license maintenance fees.

Provost computer lab budget

Non-capital Equipment

Equipment less than $5,000 in value per item that is purchased or replaced en masse at regular, predictable intervals.

Provost non-capital equipment budget (formal proposal required)

Non-capital Equipment Maintenance & Service

Contractual or non-contractual maintenance of non-capital equipment intended to prolong its useable life or maintain performance. Includes replacement of parts and accessories.

Provost non-capital equipment budget (formal proposal required including justification for service contract vs. replacement)

Durable Goods

Equipment and supplies less than $5,000 in value per item that is used by multiple students across multiple classes and can be replaced on a staggered basis. Breakage and usage should be included in the calculation of average life of durable goods.

Departmental equipment budget (annual review required; if funds are received from Provost Office, annual request required)

See Fixed Asset Policy for definitions. All rules for budgetary uses within categories apply.

Course Fee Guidelines (Printable)