What Are We Paying For?

Student piggy banks are often empty

I am sure most universities and colleges place fees on their students for the various services provided.  But how often do we students pay attention to our school fees?  Have you ever checked your term summary statement to see what you are paying for along with your class tuition?

I was recently telling the story of how I discovered that every student at PSU pays for thePSU Rec Center, whether they use it or not (a decision made via student votes, by the way).  This conversation brought me to wonder what other unknown expenses I pay for through my tuition. 

            I began to investigate the summary statements for the past year, and although I was surprised to see an unwarranted library fine from the winter term, there was little information on tuition expenses beyond the lump sum.  So instead I searched for general tuition costs on the PSU website, and I found that for an undergraduate attending full-time, the estimated cost is $2000 per term.  This estimate includes tuition costs of $1506, incidental costs of $218, a building fee of $45, health services for $190, and the campus Rec fund for $41.  I have no idea what the incidental cost is for, and the building fund, what is that?  Student health services is a wonderful idea, but if I am paying $190 per term for health services then why does it still cost so much to see a doctor on campus?    

            These costs really surprised me, and I can’t help but wonder what other unknown expenses I have paid for over the past 4 years.  After watching Kenny’s video blog this week, I see that we students do have a voice in the matter.  With the exception of tuition, our fees are controlled by student government, which is why it is so important for students to participate in the ASPSU process. 

When it comes to the costs of our education, ignorance is not necessarily bliss!





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