Higher enrollment will lower student fees for 1999-2000

by Rebecca Czaplewski

Students might end up paying slightly less next year for the Coffman Union renovation than the $26 the Student Services Fees Committee approved earlier this month.
Coffman officials have been squirreling away money for various aspects of the project — funds fees committee representatives hope will ultimately save students money. But University officials caution that the decrease is mainly dependant on the enrollment figures for next year that determine how much money overall is collected in student services fees.
Vicki Larson, financial consultant for the Campus Involvement Center, said because Coffman representatives have been planning the renovation for the past few years, they have set aside some funds.
“You can’t start something like this without having money put away,” Larson said, adding that the savings have been used for surveys and architectural designs.
One reason for the slightly lower fee is some University College students will start paying student services fees next year. UC students who are degree-seeking and take at least six credits per semester on campus must pay the fee. Larson estimated that currently about 300 students per quarter fit this profile.
These UC students will pay fees because of the University’s switch to a single registration program, which means that more students must pay fees. Previously, UC had registered separately from the rest of the University.
Earl Nolting, director of UC student support services, said the registration systems had to be unified.
“There was a lot of discussion. Clearly we’d prefer not to have this, but that didn’t seem to be an option,” Nolting said.
Jed Ipsen, president of the UC student board, said board members knew they couldn’t stop the fees change. Ipsen said they were most concerned with the reality of UC students using the fees-receiving services.
“One problem with the fees is that most fees-receiving services don’t stay open until 9 or 10 p.m.,” Ipsen said. He added that because their classes are usually at night, UC students won’t get to use the services.
However, despite the Coffman Union fees increase, students will actually pay about $3 less in overall student services fees next year. Students were charged $480.69 in student services fees this year; the 1999-2000 fees are $477.08 for the year.
The funding for fees-receiving student groups in 1999-2000 changed little from this school year. Only two groups received cuts in funding: the Institute of Technology Board of Publications and the Minnesota Student Association. The IT Board of Publications had requested less funding from the board for the upcoming school year.
Larson credited the slight decrease in student services fees for next year to the fact that other groups remained steady in funding while projected student enrollment increased.