Utah State University President Noelle Cockett announced today that USU will reduce fall 2020 fees for students. USU will lower fees by $150 for full-time students at its main campus and by $95 for full-time students at its Statewide Campuses.
President Cockett said the university administration fully appreciates and understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact upon USU students.
“We are all feeling the crunch of the severe budget constraints this pandemic is causing, and I want our Aggie students to know that I recognize that we are all in this together,” she said.
All Utah System of Higher Education presidents have been collaborating over the past weeks to determine how best to address the student fee issue. The presidents of Utah’s two research universities, the University of Utah and USU, both decided to reduce fees in a similar way.
“I know that the experiences provided by attending a research university come with higher costs, and we also know that times have been economically tough for many of our students this summer,” Cockett said. “For this reason, I felt it was important to do something that shows we care deeply about the challenges our students face.
The university is limited at this point in the amount of reduction it can offer given fixed costs connected with the ongoing services, resources, and support paid for by student fees, Cockett said, but she added that If the new federal support is approved, as expected, the university will add an additional fee reduction.
Fees support long-term investments into university infrastructure costs (buildings, Athletics programs, new shuttle buses, and technology equipment), as well as services (health care, campus recreation programs, software licenses). For example, the building fee is used to pay statutory bond obligations (mortgage payments) that must be met whether the buildings are open to students or not. Keeping these fees in place each semester ensures that the university can continue to offer these services when the current COVID-19 crisis is over.
In addition, in recent cases, student fees have been used to ensure that students could still access services remotely or virtually: telehealth for both physical and mental health, expanded software licenses and technology to ensure students could access classes remotely, electronic access to library journals and databases and ongoing development of open educational resources (no cost textbooks), and virtual student events to keep students involved.
To learn more about how fees are passed and how student leaders are involved in this process, please see: https://www.usu.edu/student-affairs/student-fees.