At Pierce College, students pay mandatory fees in addition to their tuition, but where does this money go?
For a full-time student taking 15 credits and having no HEC membership, the price in mandatory fees is $113.75 at Puyallup and $85 at Fort Steilacoom. The fees actually originate from three areas but aren’t separated or detailed on students’ receipts when they pay for classes.
The three types of fees are the comprehensive fee, technology fee and recreational fee.
“The comprehensive fee was instituted by students as a matter of convenience instead of having to pay separate fees for a variety of services,” Joann Wiszmann, vice president of administrative services, said.
Wiszmann explained the technology fee was instituted by students to fund technology and the recreational fee was instituted by students to pay for design, construction and debt service of the Health Education Centers on each campus.
“Each of these fees was voted on and approved by students when it was initially created,” Wiszmann said.
After the fees were created with a one-time vote open to all students, a committee called the Executive Board was created to maintain the fees. The committee has the right to increase or decrease the fees and then submit the proposal to the Board of Trustees who has the final say.
The board takes recommendations from a committee of college students, staff and faculty as to how to use the technology fees gathered. Committee members choose the most important project to propose to the Board of Trustees.
Currently, the price for the comprehensive fee is $1.50 per credit up to $15, and the technology fee is $3.50 per credit with a maximum of $35. As for the recreational fee, it depends on what campus the classes are taken at. At the Ft. Steilacoom campus, students pay $3.50 per credit with a maximum of $35.
The Puyallup campus student pays $4.25 per credit with no maximum. For students who want to use the HEC, they must pay in addition to the recreational buildings fee a $15 membership fee quarterly.
In the last year, Pierce College has collected about $2 million by using these three mandatory fees. Ft. Steilacoom gained $1.03 million and Puyallup received $972,000.
“Our enrollment for this year is expected to be about the same (as last year), so I would expect the figures to be about the same,” Wiszmann said.
Any amount of money unused by students or the committees is left in a holding account until the college can use it.
The fees are expected to stay in place and will continue to be run by the Executive Board in cooperation with the Board of Trustees.
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