MONTANA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education

 

 

2500 Broadway  à  PO Box 203101  à  Helena, Montana 59620-3101  à  (406)444-6570  à  FAX (406)444-1469

 

To:                 Board of regents

From:           Laurie Neils

Date:            November 2, 2000

Re:                 University system analysis of course fees           

 

In the report from the Regents Task Force on Student Fees, the Montana University System campuses were required to bring their preliminary plans for FY2002 course fees, tuition increases, and other mandatory fee increases resulting from the analysis of course fees to the Regents in November 2000.  The MUS campuses provided a thorough analysis of their course fees to the Office of the Commissioner. 

 

The course fee analysis, prepared collaboratively by the academic and fiscal offices, is a giant first-step toward better control and accountability of course fees. The campuses used the definitions that were endorsed by the Board of Regents to determine whether a current course fee should be:

·        Continued as a course fee

·        Rolled into tuition

·        Added to the Equipment or Computer Fees

·        Established as a 2-year Program Fee or 4-year Tuition Surcharge.

 

The Task Force Report provided the following definitions:

 

TUITION AND MANDATORY FEES SHOULD INCLUDE:

 

COURSE/LABORATORY  FEES MAY INCLUDE:

 

PROGRAM FEES:

 

The Montana University System collected over $1,900,000 in course fees during fiscal year 2000.   In order to put that amount in perspective, the campuses collected (net of fee waivers) $98.67 million in tuition for fiscal year 2000.  The campuses are recommending a total reduction to course fees of over $726,000, or about 37% of the course fee revenue.

 

MONTANA UNVERSITY SYSTEM

COURSE FEE ANALYSIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Program Fees

 

 Course Fee

Campus

  Revenues

 Computer Fee

 Equipment Fee

 Surcharges

 Tuition

 Reduction

The University of Montana

 

 

 

 

 (Wages & other)

 

Missoula

                587,767

                   12,777

                   30,273

 

                  81,821

          124,871

Tech

                202,585

                   36,150

                   41,252

 

                  15,970

            93,372

Western

                  58,404

 

                     4,487

 

                  13,631

            18,118

Helena COT

                  13,575

 

 

                    2,705

                    7,070

              9,775

Total University of Montana

 $             862,331

 $                48,927

 $                76,012

                    2,705

 $             118,492

 $       246,136

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montana State University

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bozeman

                610,003

                   25,199

                   10,528

                186,200

                  43,540

          265,467

Billings

                321,800

 

 

                  50,520

                162,881

          213,401

Northern

                  91,150

 

 

 

                    1,300

              1,300

Great Falls COT

                  64,923

 

 

 

 

                    -

Total Montana State University

 $          1,087,876

 $                25,199

 $                10,528

 $             236,720

 $             207,721

 $       480,168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

System Total

 $          1,950,207

 $                74,126

 $                86,540

 $             239,425

 $             326,213

 $       726,304

 

The detailed analysis provided by the campuses, not surprisingly, contains inconsistencies within a campus, within a university, and certainly within the system.  We will continue to scrutinize and refine the analysis and bring a recommendation forward to the Regents prior to your consideration of FY2002 tuition and fees.

 

Based on their current analysis, the campuses are recommending the following increases in tuition and mandatory fees to offset the decrease in course fees:

 

 

 

 

 Program Fees

 

Campus

 Computer Fee

 Equipment Fee

 Surcharges

 Tuition

The University of Montana

 

 

 

 

Missoula

 .05 PCH

 .15 PCH

 $70 per semester

0.20%

Tech

 .90 PCH

 1.03 PCH

 

0.32%

Western

 

 .20 PCH

 

0.52%

Helena COT

 

 

 $40 per semester

0.06%

 

 

 

 

 

Montana State University

 

 

 

 

Bozeman

 

1.75%

                 186,200

0.25%

Billings

 

 

                   50,520

1.63%

Northern

 

 

 

 

Great Falls COT

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations from The University of Montana campuses include:

·        Missoula eliminates or reduces over 100 course fees;

·        Missoula recommends that Forestry implement a Program Fee;

·        Montana Tech reduces or eliminates many course fees that heavily utilized computer supplies, program specific software or equipment, and tutors;

·        Western reduces or eliminates many course fees within Business and Technology and Environmental Sciences;

·        Helena would reduce six electronics course fees that range from $5-$40 per course to a program fee of $40 per semester.

 

Recommendations from Montana State University campuses include:

·        Bozeman includes tuition surcharges for Architecture of approximately $30 per semester and Media Theatre Arts of $180 per semester;

·        Bozeman’s $1 per credit in education would roll into tuition;

·        Billings eliminates the COT mandatory Instructional Materials Fee and instead implements program specific fees;

·        Billings Developmental Math and English course fees are eliminated and rolled into tuition;

·        Great Falls continues their existing program fees.

 

The review of course fees has brought some positive outcomes.

·        The Regents will have better accountability and control over course fees; 

·        Students will be included in the discussion of new or changed course fees;

·        The academic and fiscal officers reviewed each course fee to determine whether it was appropriate to retain the fee as a course fee;

·        New course fees will undergo more scrutiny and a structured review;

·        The presentation of the inventory and fees books will provide better categorization and more useful information of fees to the Regents.

·        A biennial audit of course fees, program fees, and mandatory student fees will be conducted by the internal audit staff of the universities.