Do you really know what you are paying for? College tuition is more than a price tag on a diploma. The price represents the work required to earn a degree while juggling jobs, friendships, internships, networking opportunities, extra curricular activities – the list goes on.
On a much more literal level college tuition is more than money for classes; it’s money for everything from library fees to transportation costs.
ASAP (Automated Student Access Program) features a financial aid section with a breakdown of semester costs. Each bill lists fees depending on major, but other fees are standard for all students. According to UTSA’s website, it is students’ responsibility to know about the additional fees tied to their major and specific courses. Students may not know they’re paying for features such as campus recreation and extracurricular activities.
The University Center
The University Center (UC) has more to offer than one might think. From free movie screenings to career counseling to convenience stores to ballrooms, the UC is the most versatile part of campus. Fees for these services and access to events are included in the receipt found on ASAP. Up to $120 per semester per student goes toward running the University Center. The minimum payment students are charged via ASAP is $40. This number coincides with the number of class hours a student is enrolled in.
The Advising Center charges $120 per semester per student. Take advantage of this payment by setting up an advising appointment at least once every semester and make sure you’re making wise course selections.
For each student’s credit hour per semester, $14 is charged for library resources. The room filled with books is good for more than just killing time, cramming for exams and printing homework. There are also tutoring services housed in the JPL. Calculators are available for check out. Books occupying two floors worth of space are available for research or leisure. Study rooms are available via online checkout. Keep these fees in mind next time online research seems like the best option or grasping trigonometry feels impossible.
Each semester, a $20 fee is charged for transportation services. Paying for a parking pass is an option for commuters, but those busses that frequently circulate campus are funded by student fees. Many nearby apartment complexes hire bus drivers to transport students to and from campus. If that stop is still too far, wait for a UTSA bus to take you to another side of campus. Using campus transportation is also helpful for avoiding parking citations, which are charged through ASAP.
The fee for Distance Learning can seem confusing. These fees help fund online classes and maintain learning systems, like Blackboard. Up to $25 per credit hour can be charged to maintain the program and can vary from student to student depending on the number of online resources needed. Take advantage of this by using Blackboard to its fullest capacity and, if you’re taking online classes, be aware of what you can access.
For $32.70, medical services are provided each semester. This includes wellness exams, checkups, walk-ins and other helpful benefits UTSA’s Student Health Services has to offer. A charge in addition to the $32.70 will be assesed for prescriptions or doctor visits, but with proper insurance, the price stays low. Next time you feel under the weather, walk over to the clinic to figure out what’s wrong. Walk-ins are welcome, and oftentimes you’ll leave with a few free packets of generic pain killers, nausea relief tablets or whatever will cure what ails you.
Across the way from the on-campus clinic is the Recreation Center. Access to all that lies within the Rec Center walls adds up to $120 per semester. But, it’s more than rows of elliptical machines and basketball courts. Fitness classes and cooking classes are offered and there is even a Smoothie King (sorry, smoothies cost extra). Don’t worry about getting a membership at an expensive gym when a state-of-the-art facility is within walking distance from class.
In addition to physical fitness fees, $20 per credit hour is assessed for athletics to support the programs UTSA offers. Even if you don’t play a sport for the university, remember that access to games is free with a current UTSA I.D.
Student Services Charges
Student Services fees can cost up to $184.80 per semester, depending on the number of credit hours you take. This fee goes towards events and extra services the university provides that don’t classify as academia. It pays to keep student government and other on-campus organizations running. The fee helps maintain financial aid, counseling and career services. Using these services and being involved in an organization can be beneficial, so keep this expense in mind.
Technology fees can cost up to $300 per semester to help with the upkeep of the wireless system, online services and other helpful resources. In addition, a $5 fee is charged for supplemental teaching and learning programs offered on campus.
Information from UTSA’s website indicates that “charges are assessed to all students each semester whether or not the student uses or takes full advantage of the underlying service provided by the fee.” Why not take full advantage of what is already being paid for? Get out there and show those fees who’s boss.