Please, no more fees


Kelly Stiles

Student fees can seem outrageously high–but are they really?

As a college student, I expect to be charged fees–but I do not expect to pay for nonsense. A student’s bill can be viewed on MyHenderson, where costs are broken down per credit hour.


Some fees make sense. The publication fee, broadcast fee, health fee, student activity fee, and the recreation center fee seem worth it to me, as I have used these services a few times. It’s also better upon realizing that each of these only applies to on-campus hours.


They range in price from $0.50 per hour to $8.50 an hour. Although some students may not use the services associated with them, these fees are necessary as there is no way to know who is using them and who is not when bills are produced.


On the other hand, many of the fees seen on a student’s bill make little or no sense. For example, no matter who they are or what classes they take, students have to pay $19.75 per hour for athletics. The athletic fee is per credit hour, but online hours are not exempt from this fee, unlike some other costs.


As a college student, I saw it on my bill, and I thought it was ridiculously high, seeing as I only had a swim class once before. We couldn’t use the building outside of class due to COVID, so $19.75 per hour, adding up to $296.25, seemed a bit high. I mean, it cost more than the class itself to pay for the athletic fees.


I accepted it. I mean, I was using the athletic building, so I understood having to pay the fee. However, this semester, I am not in any athletic courses at all. I looked at my bill again and realized that I was paying precisely the same amount this semester.


At first, I thought this included membership for the Recreation Center. However, the Rec Center has its own fee of $8.50 per credit hour.


Paying a band fee doesn’t make sense either. However, it is only $1 per on-campus credit hour. This means that this fee most likely will not exceed $15 for a someone taking the 15 hours that the average student takes. If you look at it, you can reason this expense away as paying for the band performances that you get to see on campus.


A source of contention is the building repair and maintenance fee. This is not due to how much it is, but rather the fact that maintenance is often neglected.


I live in Smith, and I must admit, I know people who have had many complaints about how much they pay for maintenance to have them not fix things when requested. One such instance is my friend’s broken window. She has sent multiple requests for it to be fixed, to no avail.

Another instance is a broken safe that my friend has yet to have fixed. They tried to open it for her, and it opened, but it would not close again. From what we can tell, the battery is dead. I understand that they have more essential maintenance issues, but it would take maybe 10 minutes to fix the safe, and we pay for services like these.


We also pay $15 per credit hour for the tech fee. But the thing is, that is $180 for the semester with 15 hours. There are several things this likely covers–computer labs in the buildings, the internet, and probably several other things, but we do not have a good internet connection. It goes down a lot, and when it is up, it is incredibly slow, which makes class assignments and Zoom meetings a real hassle.


I know that these fees pay for us to have access to certain luxuries. However, some are too high, and others may not be used well.