Tuition, Fees and Other Charges
Section: Fiscal Index: B-18
The provisions of this policy apply to all tuition, fees and charges imposed by the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) on students, employees and the public in accordance with Chapters 54, Tuition and Fees, Chapter 55 of the Texas Education Code and UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.29 (References). This document also provides the requirements for approval of tuition, fees and charges, the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the process, including an overview of the budget allocation process and revenue expenditure guidelines.
Current and previous academic year listings and descriptions of all tuition, fees and charges are available online in the UHV Academic Catalog, Billing and Financial Services section. (References)
The Texas Education Code places restrictions on tuition charges, mandates that certain fees be charged and allows certain other fees to be charged only with approval of the institution’s governing Board (UHS Board of Regents). The statutes prohibit institutions of higher education from the collection of tuition, fees or charges of any kind except as permitted by law.
Definitions (Citations in parentheses refer to Texas Government Code)
- Consumables - Those tangible items that are consumed or lose usefulness within one year, or that are made of glass and therefore cannot be guaranteed to remain useful for one year.
- Compulsory fees (54.5061) - Those fees charged to all students enrolled in the university ( i.e., Student Service Fee, Extended Access and Support Fee).
- Discretionary fees - Those fees provided by the Texas Education Code that the Board may levy; ( i.e., the law allows the fees, but approval is the responsibility of the Board)
- Fees and charges - For the purpose of this document, every fee and charge imposed by the University of Houston-Victoria on students, employees or the public. Charges between departments within the university are not included in this definition.
- Mandatory fees -Those fees and charges provided by the Texas Education Code that the Board shall assess. ( i.e., those fees and charges that are mandated by law).
- Materials and supplies – defined as Consumables. These are tangible items that are consumed or lose usefulness within one year.
- Voluntary fees (54.5061) - Those fees charged only to students who use the service for which the fee is established
- Incidental Fees (54.504) - A fee that may be charged to students or prospective students to cover the cost of providing materials or services which are not the subject of a charge under any other statutory authorization. Incidental fees may be course related or non- course related.
Fees and Categories of Fees Authorized Under Texas Law and Currently Charged by UHV
Statutory authority for UHV to impose tuition, fees and other charges follows:
- Tuition Rate set by Governing Board – The tuition rates provided by Subchapter B of 54.008 are minimum rates. The governing board of each institution of higher education shall set tuition for graduate programs for that institution at a rate that is at least equal to that prescribed by Subchapter B, but that is not more than twice the rate prescribed by Subchapter B. Between the maximum and minimum rates, the board may set the differential tuition among programs offered by an institution of higher education.
- Tuition - Articles 54.008 and 54.051 of the Texas Education Code establishes tuition rates and sets limits related to tuition that may be charged by Texas institutions of higher education.
- Designated Tuition - Article 54.0513 of the Texas Education Code allows for the assessment of Designated Tuition in an amount that the Board considers necessary for the effective operation of the University. Funds collected under this statute are considered institutional funds as defined by Section 51.009 of the Texas Education Code and are accounted for as designated funds.
- Fees - The articles of the Texas Education Code cited in parenthesis in this section provide for the following fees and categories of fees that are charged at UHV.
- Student Center Fee (54.5405): A Board approved fee to be used for financing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and improving a Student Center at the University of Houston-Victoria. These fees are subject to the review of the Student Fee Advisory Committee. Although the Board may increase the amount of this fee, any increase that exceeds 10%, from one academic year to the next, must be approved by a majority vote of the students enrolled at the university by a general student election held for that purpose.
- Incidental fees (54.504): A fee may be charged to students or prospective students to cover the cost of providing materials or services which are not the subject of a charge under any other statutory authorization. Incidental fees may be course related or non-course related. Most academic voluntary fees are covered by the incidental fee statute. The rate of the fee should reasonably reflect the actual cost to the university for the materials or services for which it is collected. The governing board of an institution of higher education may fix the rate of incidental fees to be paid to an institution under its governance by students and prospective students. Incidental fees are accounted for as other designated funds and a description of the amount of each fee charged is published in the Academic Catalog. Various incidental fees are charged at UHV, examples include:
Graduate Business Fees, Student Teaching Fees, Publishing Fees, Returned Check Fees, Late Registration Fees, Loan Origination Fees, Loan Late Fees, Reinstatement Fees, Jaguar and Paw Pass Replacement Card Fees, Parking Citation Fees, Athletic Fees, Study Abroad and others.
- Student Services Fees (54.5061 and 54.503): These statutes allow the University of Houston System to charge fees to cover the cost of student services that the Board considers necessary or desirable in carrying out the educational functions of the university. The fees may be approved as either compulsory or voluntary; the maximum allowable for all compulsory fees is $150 per semester or summer session (unless approved by a majority vote of the students voting in an election called for that purpose or by a majority vote of the student government at the institution.) Student services, under this statute, may be used to cover a range of services and activities, including textbook rentals; recreational activities; intramural and intercollegiate athletics; artists and lecture series and other cultural entertainment; debating and oratorical activities; student publications; student government; student fees advisory committee; student transportation services; and any other student activities and services specifically authorized and approved by the Board, except those authorized by any other section of the Education Code.
- Rentals, rates and charges (55.16): The Board is authorized by this statute to impose rentals, rates and charges upon students and others for the occupancy, services, use, and/or availability of all or any of its property, buildings, structures, activities, operations, or other facilities, in such amounts and in such manner as may be determined by the Board. The Board is not required to charge students enrolled in different degree programs at the institution the same rentals, rates and charges.
- Vehicle registration and other fees related to parking and traffic (54.505): The Board is authorized by this statute to charge reasonable fees to students, faculty, and staff for registration of vehicles. The Board is also authorized to charge reasonable fees for parking facilities, enforcement and administration of parking and traffic regulations. Vehicle registration and parking fees are not currently charged at UHV, however fines for parking violations are charged (see incidental fees).
- Charges and Fees for Certain Payments (54.5011) – With Board approval, an institution of higher education is authorized to charge a fee or other amount, including a discount, convenience or service charge for a transaction, in connection with any payment to which this section applies. This includes payments for tuition, fees, or other charges made or authorized in person, by mail, telephone call, or through the internet by means of: (1) an electronic funds transfer; or (2) a credit card (or debit card). At UHV an Electronic Payment Card Processing Fee is assessed for electronic credit and debit card tuition and fee payments made online. The monies collected are used to offset the costs of providing convenient electronic options to those who make use of the services. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the total amount paid.
Request, Reviews and Approval of New Tuition, Fees and Charges or Amendment of Existing Fees and Charges
Annually, changes in tuition and fees are submitted to the Board of Regents for approval in accordance with Board of Regents Policy 56.03.01 (References) A tuition rate or fee change is recommended only after thorough review of many factors, including the past history of income, patterns of budget vs. actual revenues and expenditures, needs of the university, enrollment estimates, upcoming new programs and market analysis which includes a review of peer university tuition and fees.
UHV's process for the implementation of tuition and fees:
- The Vice President for Administration and Finance will monitor collection of incidental fees and set up budgets for proper expenditure in departmental cost centers. The departments that expend incidental fee revenues will monitor proper expenditure according to budget.
- The Provost, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and/or the Deans project enrollment for the upcoming academic year.
- The Vice President for Administration and Finance then estimates revenues needed from tuition, fees and other sources to sustain services based on enrollment projections and estimated expenditures for the next academic year.
- The Executive Committee (President, Provost, VP for Administration and Finance, VP for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and VP for University Advancement) proposes tuition and fee changes which are then presented to the President’s Cabinet and the Student Fees Advisory Committee for review.
- The Student Fees Advisory Committee provides input to the President.
- The President’s Cabinet provides input to the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee finalizes tuition and fee recommendations and presents to the UH System Chancellor.
- Once the Chancellor has reviewed the campus recommendations, they are presented to the Board of Regents. Generally, tuition and fee rate changes are presented at the first Board meeting of the calendar year.
- Once approved by the Board of Regents, the tuition and fee rates will be entered into the Student Finance System and implemented for the upcoming fall semester. The rates will remain in effect for the entire academic year.
Advisory Committees and Their Roles
At UHV, certain advisory committees have a role in the review and recommendation process for fees and charges:
- Student Fees Advisory Committee (SFAC) - The SFAC receives its authority from the Texas Education Code; Chapter 54; Section 54.5062. The committee is composed of 5 students, 2 faculty members and 2 staff members and reports to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
The SFAC recommends the level and funding allocations for Student Services Fees to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and provides input to the President. The recommendations of SFAC are duly considered during the budget process.
- Student Housing and Dining Committee - This committee proposes new initiatives and reviews policies and procedures pertaining to student housing and student dining services but does not make recommendations on what to charge. The committee, reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, advises the Executive Committee and provides advice and assistance on related matters as requested by university management.
- Student Center Committee – This committee, which includes five students who work in various university offices or are involved in student organizations, is focused on student ideas and student priorities for the Student Center. The intent is that through the committee and open forums, students will have input into the design and layout of the facility. The Vice President for Enrollment Management chairs the Committee.
Budgeting and Expenditure Restrictions
Revenues from approved tuition and fees charged at UHV are budgeted in accordance with the guidelines of the Tuition and Fee Schedule produced by the Budget Office and approved by the Executive Committee.
- Tuition and Designated Tuition -
- Tuition is allocated during the annual budget preparation process and is accounted for as education and general funds. Tuition is subject to the expenditure restrictions of state funds.
- Designated Tuition is accounted for as designated funds and is allocated as a part of the annual budget preparation process. These funds are expended as designated (local) funds.
- Fees and charges –
- Student Service Fees - Money collected as fees for student services shall be: (1) reserved and accounted for in an account kept separate from educational and general funds of the university and, (2) used only for the support of student services. Student service fees Fee are budgeted into auxiliary cost centers. Student service fee revenues may be expended, subject to the recommendation of the Student Fee Advisory Committee and the final approval of the President and the Board, for necessary expenditures in support of the student service for which they are allocated.
- Student Center Fees – Funds collected as fees for the UHV Student Center shall be budgeted into auxiliary cost centers but are restricted for use only for the financing, construction, operation and/or improvements to the Student Center in Victoria.
- Incidental Fees – Fees are budgeted and accounted for as other designated funds, however, the revenues from incidental fees shall only be used to provide materials, equipment, furnishings and services specifically for the purpose assessed.
- Rentals, rates and charges - Revenues from rentals, rates, and charges shall be deposited into designated cost centers or auxiliary cost centers, and expenditures shall be restricted to the purpose for which the rental or charge is assessed. Where the charge is for rental of university space for which Education and General funds are received, the state must be reimbursed for utilities and maintenance costs.
Notification and Implementation of Board Approved Action
- The Vice President of Administration and Finance (or designee) is responsible for the timely notification of appropriate staff within Administration and Finance of Board or Presidential action concerning tuition and academic fees, housing and meal plans or other charges. Upon notification, the Bursar or Assistant Bursar, Student Billing will enter tuition, fees and/or charges into the Student Finance System to be implemented for the upcoming fall semester.
- The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee) is responsible for the timely notification of appropriate staff within Academic Affairs of approved tuition, academic fees and/or other charges.
- The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (or designee) is responsible for the timely notification of appropriate staff within that division of Board or Presidential action concerning residential housing charges.
VIII. Record Retention
Records Retention requirements for meeting minutes of the Board of Regents, which includes the schedules of proposed tuition and fee rates for all UH System campuses are permanently retained by the Board. Retention requirements for the annual UHV Academic Catalog, which includes the tuition and fee charges for the academic year, are also retained permanently. (References) UHV Executive Committee minutes are retained for a minimum of three years by the President’s Office.
- UHV Academic Catalogs (Billing and Financial section includes descriptions of all fees)
- Board of Regents Policy 56.03, Approval of Tuition, Fees and Other Charges
- UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.29, Tuition, Fees and Charges
- Texas Education Code, Chapter 54, Tuition and Fees
- Texas Education Code, Chapter 55.16, Rentals, Rates and Charges
|Raymond V. Morgan Jr., Ph.D
|Origination: Vice President, Administration and Finance
Next Review Date: December, 2018 (every 3 years)