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Fees could go up with TSUS approval

Associate Editor

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 00:02

Lab, dorm and meal plan charges may be increased starting in the fall, according to university documents obtained by The Houstonian.

Sam Houston State University, like the other universities that are part of the Texas State University System, submitted items it wanted on the February quarterly Board of Regents meeting agenda. Multiple requests for lab fee, resident hall fee and meal plan rate increases were submitted by SHSU, according to the documents.

Each item on the final agenda requires approval from the Board of Regents before it can be implemented.

Resident hall rate increase proposals were sent for consideration by SHSU. The university proposed a 4 percent increase across-the-board with fees ranging from $72 to $110 more per semester, and $20 to $25 for the summer.

The reason for the increase is an increase in the amount of repairs and renovations to the resident buildings on campus, according to the documents.

“We are using more energy-saving materials to maintain our buildings in order to assist the Department of Residence Life in operating more efficiently,” the document stated.

If every hall were filled to its maximum occupancy rate, the university would see an additional $297,160 in revenue starting Fall 2014.

Since 2009, SHSU has received $261,892 in cash incentives from Entergy’s Texas SCORE Program, including $104,842 in January, according to Today@Sam. The university said it planned on using that money for additional environmental improvements.

The nominal lab fee increases are relatively small when compared to overall tuition, as the changes only range from $2 to $22 per credit hour. The current rate is $8 per credit hour across the board, and this change seeks to make lab fee pricing dynamic.

“Lab fee changes are being requested as a result of the need to replace or repair outdated equipment and tools used by students in the course,” the report stated. “These fee increases will allow students to have access to high quality equipment and supplies and to continue hands-on learning in the lab environment.”

The documents state the $8 lab fee has remained at that price since it started, and since then, equipment and supply costs have increased. The university plans on seeing a year-round total of $169,365 in additional revenue due to the change.

Additionally, the university wants to raise meal plan rates for both mandatory and voluntary plans. The mandatory plans are seeing a 4 to 4.2 percent increase across the board, while the voluntary plans would go up between 5.04 and 5.3 percent. The proposed additional revenue will total $424,418.

These items are among many other proposed agenda items, including numerous additions and alterations to current SHSU degree programs and a 10-year extension to the university’s contract with Aramark.

The President’s Office Chief of Staff Kathy Gilcrease declined an interview for further discussion on the Board of Regents and SHSU’s proposed agenda items.

The Board of Regents meeting is on Feb. 27-28 and will be streamed live online.

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