Fee reductions have been proposed by the University of Connecticut to eliminate major-specific charges. “The consensus of the committee is that students should reasonably expect that their tuition will cover most of the cost of their academic instruction, with some well understood exceptions such as the purchase of textbooks,” the committee’s report said. For example, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors tend to utilize more lab resources and equipment, and they are given more student fees than other majors. However, all students are charged fees to cover lab equipment, regardless of major or use of these facilities. If every student on campus is contributing to the funding of equipment and facilities, there should not be additional charges to students who use them. “Students should reasonably expect that their tuition covers such non-textbook materials, and that many of the fees generate so little revenue that the schools or colleges offering the course would feel very little financial impact,” the committee said.
In other words, students of all majors will be charged the same basic fees paid by majors that are less lab-intensive. In addition to fees covering equipment and academic facilities, the UConn’s Financial Committee is “reviewing the transit fee to ensure the amount reflects the level of access that students have to CT Transit and other public transportation.” This financial proposal will help incentivize students of all majors to attend UConn, since costs will be equal.
These fee reductions have come at a surprising time. With the significant budget cuts that were made this year, it would be more reasonable to expect an increase in student fees. If the university has a lower budget, more student contributions will be needed to maintain facilities and provide equipment. A major benefit of these reductions is that they generally tend to attract more students that do not receive financial aid, and the school will provide less financial aid as a result.