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University to raise student fees another $120 next semester

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University at Albany students will pay an additional $120 in broad-based fees for the 2019-2020 academic year, the large increase coming to the intercollegiate athletic fee.

Broad-based fees fund university functions and services for students which are outside of the core instructional program.

Sophomore human biology major Dominique Desroches is unhappy with the 4.2% increase.

“School is expensive,” Desroches said. “This school has been taking a lot of money from us to begin with.”

UAlbany’s vice president for finance and administration Todd Foreman said the fee increases help the institution respond to inflationary increases it has no control over.

“The increases will generate an additional $2 million in revenue for the campus,” Foreman said in an interview Wednesday.

UAlbany’s intercollegiate athletics fee will see the largest increase — up $35 to $635. The 5.8% increase will make UAlbany’s intercollegiate athletic fee the highest among the four SUNY university centers — Binghamton, Stony Brook, UAlbany, and the University at Buffalo.

Last year, Binghamton University had the highest intercollegiate athletics fee at $608. This year, it has increased to $626 dollars per year.

The intercollegiate athletics fee is only one of several sources of revenue for UAlbany Athletics. The program is also financed by corporate sponsorships, private fundraising, ticket sales, and advertising, UAlbany’s director of athletics Mark Benson said.

According to Benson, the fee increase will help the program recruit and retain student athletes.

“The biggest area of expense is scholarships for student athletes,” Benson said in a phone interview, citing tuition increases for out of state and international students.

“It is in line with the campus strategic plan,” Benson said.

COMPREHENSIVE FEES

The comprehensive service fee will cost students $1,393, a $35 increase from the 2018-2019 academic year. The comprehensive service fee is comprised of the health and counseling fee, transportation fee, and technology fee.

The additional $10 going towards the health and counseling fee will allow Student Health Services to hire four additional staff members to meet the anticipated increase in demand when the center moves from Patroon Creek to Dutch Quad next year.

The transportation fee increase of $15 will fund the replacement of university owned busses and will allow the university to renegotiate a new contract with CDTA, as the current contract ends in September.  

The additional $10 going to the technology fee will fund scheduled replacement of university information technology equipment.

New for the 2019-2020 academic year is a $50 career services fee. This fee will fund additional positions in the Office of Career and Professional Development. All four SUNY university centers will be introducing this fee.

Senior communication and business major Tyler Soto is happy he will not be affected by the fees. “I’m glad I’m graduating because I hear the fees keep going up and up,” Soto said.  

UAlbany’s Division of Finance and Administration presented the fee increases to the Student Association Senate on Feb. 27, 2019. However, the fees were not up for vote.

Following the presentation and discussions with Foreman, Student Association Senate chairman Brandon Holdridge is confident the fee increases will benefit UAlbany students.

“The general consensus was that these increases are reasonable and will have a positive impact for the students of this university,” Holdridge said in an email response.

According to Foreman, the 2019-2020 fee increases come in just under the maximum amount permitted by SUNY. Foreman assures student input is considered in all financial decision-making processes that impact students. The recreation and campus life fee, university fee, and academic excellence fee will not be increased.

Students will have the opportunity to voice their concerns on the budget during an open forum conducted by the UAlbany Office of Financial Management and Budget on April 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center West Auditorium.

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