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COURSE FEE GUIDELINES

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 from department Chair, Dean and VP 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 fee proposals through your VP Office for submission to the Accounting Office by:

SEMESTER DUE DATE
Fall February 1
Spring July 1
Summer January 1
Winter June 1

Factors That Allow For A Course Fee:

From SUNY Fee Policy 7804:  A fee may be charged for a course, or courses, that have extraordinary costs that meet the following criteria; this listing is not intended to be all-inclusive:

    • Special course supplies and materials where the student retains an end product of worth
    • Special and unique services provided by the course
    • Extraordinary costs associated directly with degree, diploma, or certificate program delivery (i.e. maintenance or purchase of specialized equipment, testing or certification fees, clinical and practicum activities)
    • Costs associated with a course specific to scientific chemicals, supplies and materials, modest equipment, and proper disposal of waste
    • The fee represents a financially significant savings to the student

Note that these fees are  not permitted for routine materials (textbooks, etc.) and revenue from these fees may not be used to fund the cost of instruction, academic staff, or technicians.

 Course Based Fees, including amounts, must be disclosed in campus publications used by students for degree, course and area of study selection.

Guidelines For 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 (link on bottom of this page).
  • Each fee should have a separate IFR account or subaccounts  for tracking and audit purposes.
  • Are expenses or equipment shared with other labs? If yes, the item cost must be  allocated across the number of labs.
  • If expenses are not shared equally, separate fees are required. Complete a separate budget template for each fee.
  • The same fee can be applied to multiple courses as long as the expenses are shared equally among the courses and average enrollment is taken into consideration.
  • PSR IS NOT ALLOWED   in the course fee proposal (No cost of instruction, academic staff, or technicians)
  • Projection of enrollment, revenue and expenses - Actual annual enrollment should be used as the basis for revenue projections.  Actual annual expenses should be used as the basis for expense projections.
  • Expense projections should have detailed support, broken down by categories/type of expense (example for Supplies: Gases-$1,000, Acids-$500, Gloves-$850)
  • Supplementary documents must be provided and include itemized cost to support the expense.
  • 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 equipment useful life please contact Property Control.
  • If the cost is associated with a student project, a breakdown of materials to build one unit is required. Documentation supporting the unit costs are required (Itemized cost, PO, quote, contract, or invoice)
  • Unallowable costs identified by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) include 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
  • The Result of projected revenue less projected expenses should not be a surplus
  • IFR Cash balance for existing course fees - A large surplus should not remain in the account. A surplus due to timing of invoices to be paid is acceptable if the expense was already incurred. Support must be provided (ex. Invoices, POs, quotes, etc.).
  • An explanation to justify the need to charge a fee must be provided. This may be on dept letterhead, signed by the Chair.
  • Justification must include the following:
    • Indicate if the 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 explaining the need for the fee.
    • Letter from Dean  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.

 

REFERENCES