Slight increase

University of Wyoming students will pay more in tuition next semester after the Board of Trustees approved a student fee increase of $28 per student per semester during its meeting last week.

The student success fee will expand tutoring and advising services available to students through the Writing Center and the STEP Center and help the UW Art Museum offer internships and mentoring opportunities.

The fee takes effect fall 2018, alongside a $21 decrease in student fees approved by the board in March — the result of having successfully paid back a bond issued in 1999 to renovate and expand the Wyoming Union on campus.

“No one likes to see an increase in fees, but for a price of $7 — due to the loss of the $21 Union Bond — we will gain a large group of expanded student services,” said Ben Wetzel, president of ASUW. “I hate to see increases, but to help students succeed in difficult times, it is worth it.”

The board also approved an ASUW-sponsored measure to consolidate a number of student fees, including the now lessened Wyoming Union fee.

Previously, student service fees were earmarked for the Wyoming Union, student health, recreation, wellness and the AWARE program.

Now, these fees will be gathered together in a consolidated student services fee of $396.22 — to be doled out to the various programs as needed.

While some of these student service fee-funded entities have grown in past years and are in need of greater funds, others have shrunk — especially during this year of budget cuts — and the allocations to these entities no longer reflect their actual need, said Bill Mai, vice president of administration.

“There was this imbalance,” he said. “There was excess in some areas and a shortage in others.”

The new consolidated student service fee is meant to give the Division of Student Affairs greater flexibility in responding to these needs. In the interest of transparency, the university will report to ASUW how this consolidated fee is distributed, Wetzel said.

“As long as they maintain the good faith in the relationship of reporting to us how those fees are being used at the start and end of each semester, as we asked, I don’t foresee a downside to this relationship,” Wetzel said.

The fees for intercollegiate athletics, transit, ASUW, student media, recycling and the Department of Theater and Music will remain specific line items and, together with the student services fee and the new student success fee, bring a full-time student’s mandatory fee total per semester to $673.73, starting in fall 2018.

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