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Colleges seek an increase in fees

Utah college students digging deep into their wallets to pay tuition increases for the upcoming year can't stop there. They also will have to ante up more money for fees, if the State Board of Regents approves institutional proposals.

The board will consider fee schedules Friday for seven of the nine colleges and universities that represent increases ranging from 24 percent at Dixie State College to just .61 percent at Salt Lake Community College. Two of the schools, Southern Utah University and College of Eastern Utah, are not proposing any addition to current fees.

Regents allow the institutions to raise fees up to the same level as the system-wide tuition increase — 4.5 percent for the 2003-04 academic year. Fee increases over that amount must be justified and the institution must show that students support the rise. In addition to the 4.5 percent across-the-board tuition increase, each institution also added second-tier tuition hikes ranging up to 23.5 percent, an average of just under 10 percent.

Although SUU did not ask for more fee money from students, the school imposed a 19 percent second-tier tuition increase. Coupled with the 4.5 percent across-the-board regents' increase, students at the Cedar City school will pay 23.5 percent more in tuition this fall.

Dixie is raising student fees $70 per year to help cover the costs of a new computer information system that will link the St. George college to others in the Utah system.

Snow College students agreed to an 11.1 percent ($30) hike to finance additions to the campus Activity Center. Athletics and student transportation were targeted at Utah Valley State College, where officials are asking for a 6.78 percent ($24) increase in student fees. At Weber State University, students OK'd a 4.58 percent rise, just slightly over the 4.5 benchmark, to enhance student activity and recreation programs.

University of Utah students will see a rise of just $6 (1.03 percent), but they pay the highest total fees in the system at $588.20. Utah State University is second with $526, which includes this year's proposed $16 increase (3.14 percent).

Income from fees supports such things as student activities, building use, athletics, union buildings, medical/health insurance, recreation, telephone registration, student health services, library use, computers, campus transportation, special labs, testing and other items, depending on individual institution needs.


E-mail: tvanleer@desnews.com