JSU introduces bundled fee structure

Scott Young, News Editor

Fees at Jacksonville State University are now bundled and charged per credit hour in one ‘general university fee’, as opposed to the previous structure where each fee was listed individually. Program and course fees are not included in the bundled fee and are charged separately. 

Students taking between one and three credit hours are charged $150 per credit hour for their general university fee; and students taking four to five credit hours are charged $125 per credit hour. For six or more credit hours, there is a flat rate of $700.

The bundled fee structure is inclusive of the athletic fee, Recreation and Fitness Center fee, general university fee, technology fee and student activity fee.

Students taking a fewer amount of credit hours pay less in fees under the new fee structure, but a student taking the traditional 12 credit hour course load pays an extra $113, or 19.25 percent more in fees; not including program and course fees.

When asked for the new allocations for the bundled ‘general university fee’, Buffy Lockette, JSU’s public relations director, provided this breakdown:

  • Wellness Center, 37.01 percent
  • Transportation, 6.18 percent
  • Student Health Center, 3.82 percent
  • Technology Fee, 11.39 percent
  • Athletic Fee, 10.42 percent
  • Library, 3.93 percent
  • Student Activities, 3.41 percent
  • Classroom Upgrades, 7.99 percent
  • General Fund, 15.85 percent

Pie chart shows the percentage breakdown of the general university fee based on numbers provided by Buffy Lockette, JSU’s public relations director.

Kyra Watral, a senior majoring in chemistry and biology, is taking 16 credit hours and has paid the bundled $700 general university fee.

“I hate it,” said Watral in reference to the new fee structure. “Not just because of the increase, but because of why. JSU has only had fees for a short time now, and they are already $700 a semester?”

Watral claims that JSU fits a different ‘niche’ than larger schools like Alabama and Auburn, and that JSU should not compete to become more like them in terms of campus size and cost of attendance.

“Instead of actually attempting to compete with other colleges by improving our academic programs, they’re just randomly building things and charging students for things we never asked for and don’t want or need while blatantly ignoring the things we are asking for, like updated residence halls and more parking,” said Watral.

She adds that while new fees have been added and increased, she has not seen those dollars in action to improve the School of Science.

“Last I was on campus [the end of July], Martin still had moldy boards covering up windows,” said Watral. “We have many different pieces of equipment that do not work and are just sitting around collecting dust.”

Lockette argues that many students were confused by the old fee structure and that the new fee structure was reorganized at the suggestion of the Tuition and Fees Committee.

“Part-time students taking only one course had to pay the same fees as those taking 16 hours,” said Lockette. “Now, fees are bundled and charged by the credit hour.”

Lockette points to the upgrades made to Mason Hall, Stone Center and Brewer Hall in defense of the university’s diligence on campus renovations.

“Soon, we will break ground on new buildings for the School of Health Professions and Wellness and School of Business and Industry,” said Lockette. “Both of these projects will provide the opportunity to increase parking on campus.

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