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General Information: 

Fees for credit-bearing academic courses require approval from SUNY. Requests must include documentation and justification of the need for the charges and a budget for the funds accruing from the fee. Please refer to SUNY Fee Policy Number 7804.

Any changes to course number or course additions to an existing fee must be formally communicated to the Accounting office with approval letters from department Chair, Dean and Provost Offices (see required documentation below). All changes or additions must be approved by SUNY before charging the fee.

All new fees and revision to existing fees must be reviewed and submitted to the department's VP Office before submission to Accounting.

Due Dates For Course Fee Submissions:

Please send to the Accounting Office (must have VP approval).

Fall February 1
Spring July 1
Summer January 1
Winter June 1

Factors That Allow For A Course Fee Are One Or More Of The Following (Per SUNY's Fee Policy 7804):

  • Special course supplies and materials where the student retains an end product from the coursework (i.e., sculpture, ceramics, media portfolios)
  • Costs where there is a significant savings per student due to volume purchasing
  • Items not available to the general public (i.e., access to testing or learning items, professional grade materials), and certifications
  • Extraordinary costs which includes maintenance or purchase of specialized equipment, testing or certification fees, clinical and practicum activities, supplies and materials not commonly available at local merchants or campus bookstore
  • Special services (i.e., music instrument rental, private lessons)
  • Scientific chemicals, gases, and materials
  • Dental instrumentation
  • Proper disposal of laboratory waste
  • Travel to off campus sites

Guidelines To Course Fee Submissions Are As Follows, But Not Limited To:

  • Due to the significant administrative effort and costs for initiating new course fees, as well as subsequent management of the fees,  the minimum threshold of  recouping expenses on new course fees  is $5,000
  • Each fee requires a separate budget template (see below attachment). IFR accounts should be separate for each fee or subbed out for ease of tracking/audit purposes.
  • Multiple courses with the same fee can use one template and one IFR account as long as expenses are shared equally among all courses
  • If costs are not shared equally among multiple courses, separate fees may be needed. Complete a separate budget template for each fee.
  • Provide course numbers with titles
  • PSR IS NOT ALLOWED   in the course fee proposal
  • Projection of enrollment revenue and expenses - Existing fees should use actual enrollment as basis for revenue projection and actual expenses as basis for expense projections
  • Some unallowable costs identified by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are alcoholic beverages, bad debt, personal use of organization-funded automobile, unreasonable reimbursement for travel expenses, cost of entertainment, etc. For more details on allowable and unallowable costs, visit the link below under References.
  • Fees are not permitted for routine materials, textbooks and items commonly available to students at local merchants or the campus bookstore
  • Inclusion of account deficit to increase the fee is not permitted
  • Expense projections should have detailed support, broken down by categories/type of expense (example for Supplies: Gases-$1,000, Acids-$500, Widgets-$850)
  • Supplementary documents to support expenses must include detailed calculations to justify cost
  • Are expenses or equipment shared with other labs? If yes, the item(s) cost must be  allocated across the number of labs. If expenses are not shared equally, separate fees may be needed. Complete a separate budget template for each fee.
  • Purchase Orders or Quotes are required for items over $2,000 (ex. maintenance agreements, equipment)
  • Equipment cost should be broken down and depreciated over its useful life. A comprehensive schedule should be provided as support. Purchase Order numbers should be included.
  • For number of years useful life of an equipment please contact Property Control
  • If cost is associated with each student building a project, a detailed breakdown of expenses to build one unit is required Documentation supporting the unit costs are required (PO, quote, contract, or invoice)
  • Result of revenue less expenses should not be a surplus
  • Cash balance for existing course fee IFR account - a surplus should not remain in the account. A surplus due to timing of invoices to be paid is acceptable if the expense is for prior semesters. Support must be provided (ex. Invoices, POs, quotes, etc.).
  • An explanation to justify the need for each fee must be provided. This may be on dept letterhead, signed by the Chair.
  • Justification must include the following:
    • Course is required for graduation/completion of a degree or if it is an elective
    • If there is a tangible end-product that is retained by student at end of course
    • If there are significant savings for the student and estimate dollar amount saved per student
  • Based on the nature of the course fee request, additional information may be required

Required Documentation:

  • SUNY Budget Template (Course Fee Request Template)
  • All supporting details for each expense item in SUNY Budget Template
  • Course number with title and course description
  • Upon final review by Accounting, the following approval letters are required on department letterhead with signatory title:
    • Letter from Chair to Dean explaining the need for the fee.
    • Letter from Dean to Provost (or other VP office) approving and endorsing the need for the fee.
    • Letter from Provost (or other VP office) to the University Controller/VP of Finance stating approval and endorsement of the fee.

Course Fee IFR Account - Ongoing Review:

SUNY's Fee Policy Number 7804 states that Course Fee IFR accounts will be reviewed every two years to justify continued need for the fee and assurance that the revenue generated by the approved fees is used in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the fee. Only approved expenses presented with the budget for the SUNY approved fee is allowed to be charged to the course fee IFR account to offset the fee revenue. Such expenses should be directly charged to the associated IFR account.