Student fee increase proposed for next fall

December 4, 2014 Latest Print Print

Expecting a decrease in state funding next year, OCCC administrators are proposing more academic service fees to help offset the rising costs of operating the college. The proposed fee hikes were presented at a special Board of Regents meeting Dec. 3 at Frontier State Bank in Oklahoma City.

Enrollment and Student Services Vice President Marion Paden will present the fee-increase proposals at The Leadership Council meeting scheduled from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in CU3. The meeting is open to the public and all students are invited to attend.

Business and Finance Vice President John Boyd said raising the fees would help the college recover some costs. He said an increase of $5 to $75 per fee would bring in an additional $103,378 of revenue for the college.

“As our state appropriations continue to either stay flat or even decrease, our costs are not staying flat,” Boyd said. “Our costs are not going down.”

In a presentation, Boyd proposed raising the science lab fee from $15 to $20 for in-class students. He said currently the college covers many of the costs for that lab.

“ … We have to buy the chemicals and the kits and the gloves and the goggles and all the supplies that go with that … ,” Boyd said. “It’s very expensive.

“We pass that cost along to the student, not along to the whole student body, but just to the students that are taking that course.”

He also suggested raising the applied music fee from $50 to $125 to help cover the costs of private music lessons.

“The applied music lesson fee is … where it’s killing us … ,” he said. “This is where we’re paying the full rate for an adjunct professor, or a full-time professor, to teach a private lesson and we’re only charging the student $50. We just can’t continue to do that.”

Boyd said he supports raising the International student status maintenance fee by $5 each semester, making the fall and spring fees $20 and the summer fee $15.

Remedial course fees and electronic media fees are not expected to increase.

Boyd also discussed charging a $20 selective admissions application fee when students apply for programs such as nursing, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant, or the speech and language pathology assistant program.

Because the film and video production program is “second to none,” Boyd said, he is suggesting a $20 lab fee be charged to those students enrolled in film and video lab classes.

A $30 nursing process 4 lab fee and a $25 EMT lab fee also have been recommended by Boyd.

If approved, the new fees would go into effect in the fall semester 2015.

Jerry Steward, executive vice president, said the college has been putting off the fee increases for a number of years.

“These fees have been under discussion for several years,” he said. “Last year, we discussed with President (Paul) Sechrist and there was a decision made to not pursue it at that time, but as budgets continue to tighten, we revisit that topic.

“We all understand that nobody wants to increase the cost of attendance in any way, but given circumstances … at least it’s a topic that we need to revisit,” Steward said.

Boyd will attend the TLC meeting with Paden to answer questions and provide information.

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