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PS-05.A.24 - Tuition, Fees, and Charges

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 05, 2019​​

ISSUE #: 2

PRESIDENT:  Juan Sánchez Muñoz​

​PURPOSE

This document identifies and defines the fees and other charges for which statutory authority is provided to the University of Houston-Downtown (“UHD”). This document further provides the requirements and processes for requesting new tuition and fee charges and/or rate changes, obtaining Board of Regents (“Board”) approval of fees and charges under this authority, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of those involved in implementing these changes in the Student Accounting System. The provisions of this document apply to all tuition, fees, and charges imposed by the university on students, employees, and the public, in accordance with Chapters 54 and 55 of the Texas Education Code​

DEFINITIONS

2.1 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.

2.2 Compulsory fees: Those fees charged to all students enrolled in the university.

2.3 Discretionary fees: Those fees provided by the Texas Education Code that the Board may levy; i.e., the law allows the fees, with the Board’s approval.

2.4 Course-related fees or instruction-related fees: Laboratory fees, supplemental instruction fees, or incidental fees that are charged to cover costs of materials or services related to a specific course or laboratory, as allowed by statute.

2.5 Voluntary fees (54.5061): Those fees charged only to those students who use the service for which the fee is established. 

POLICY

3.1 Tuition and Fees Authorized under Texas Law

3.1.1 Tuition: Article 54.051 of the Texas Education Code establishes tuition and sets limits related to tuition that may be charged by Texas institutions of higher education.

Also, Article 54.0513 established Designated Tuition. Funds collected under this statute are considered institutional funds and are accounted for as designated funds. When the designated tuition rate exceeds $46 per credit hour, a portion of the above-$46/hour amount must be set-aside/withheld and used for scholarships. Differential designated tuition is an additional tuition charge that can be established by a college to cover additional costs of providing instruction. Differential designated tuition is also subject to set-aside/withholding.

3.1.2 Fees: The articles of the Texas Education Code cited in parentheses in this section provide for the following fees and categories of fees: 

A. Supplemental Instruction fees (54.051[1]): The tuition statute states that students registered for a course or courses in art, architecture, drama, speech or music where individual coaching or instruction is the usual method of instruction, shall pay a fee for the individual coaching or instruction, in addition to regular tuition. 

B. University Center fees (54.527): The statute allows and the Board has approved a fee not to exceed $25 per student enrolled in up to five Semester Credit Hours (“SCH”) and $35 for students enrolled for more than five SCH to be set for financing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and improving the University Center. The Board has approved this compulsory fee. 

C. International Education fees (54.5132): The University charges a Boardapproved rate of $4 per student for each semester. The funds may be used to assist students participating in international student exchange or study abroad programs. 

D. 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.

The rate of the fee should reasonably reflect the actual cost to the university for the materials or services for which it is collected; balances of incidental fees may only accrue to the extent considered reasonable in the business cycle of the college or department, or to provide sufficient funds for replacement of equipment and furnishings on a regular, but not annual, basis. Balances accruing as a result of enrollment variances or fluctuations in the cost of materials or services will be expended for the purpose for which the funds were collected, and that use will be stated in an annual report on the use of incidental fees. Funds accruing for the replacement of equipment and furnishings will be accounted for in a manner in which the balance can be readily identified. 

E. Student Service fees (54.503 and 54.5061): These statutes allow the university 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 $250 per semester or summer session (unless approved by a majority vote of the students under this statute.) The Board has approved a compulsory student service fee. 

Student services, under this statute, cover textbook rentals; recreational activities; health, hospital, and other medical services; group hospitalization; intramural and intercollegiate athletics; artists and lecture series and other cultural entertainment; debating and oratorical activities; student publications; student government; student fees advisory committees; 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. 

F. 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. 

G. Fees and charges for services to the general public (54.50​6): The Board must approve schedules of minimum fees and charges for services performed by any department or unit of the university for students and the public. The schedule shall conform to the fees and charges customarily made for like services in the community. 

H. Fees for continuing education courses (54​.545): In accordance with Section 54.545 of the Texas Education Code, the Board delegates authority to the Chancellor, or his/her designee, to set fees for each continuing education course at each institution in an amount sufficient to permit the institution to recover the costs of providing the course. Fees will be charged only for a course for which the institution does not collect tuition or receive formula funding, including an extension course, correspondence course, or other self-supporting course. Information regarding fees charged for continuing education courses shall be on file in the Office of the President. 

I. 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. Revenue from these fees may be used to support parking operations, including debt service on parking garages. The Board is also authorized to charge reasonable fees for parking facilities, enforcement and administration of parking and traffic regulations. These fees are voluntary. 

J. The University may seek authorization from the legislature, through statute, to charge new stand-alone fees, generally to support new non-E&G construction. 

K. Wellness and Success Center Fee: A compulsory fee, approved by the UHS Board of Regents and the 86th Legislature, allows UHD to begin charging this fee of up to $130 per Long Semester, starting in Fall 2019, to finance the construction and operation of the UHD Wellness and Success Center. This Fee is completely separate from the Center Fee. 

PROCEDURES

4.1 In September of each year, the Vice Presidents will request proposals for new programspecific fees or increases to any such existing fees from their subordinate unit managers. All proposal submissions must include: fee name; how it would be charged; rationale for charging the fee; estimated revenue that would be generated; and how that revenue would be spent.

4.2 In October, the Vice President for Administration and Finance (VPAF) will meet with the Executive Council to discuss any input from the subordinate units as well as tuition/fee increases in the larger context of resource needs. If the decision is made to seek an increase in tuition and/or fee rates, the VPAF will work with the Provost and propose a new rate schedule for tuition and compulsory fees. The VPAF and Provost will examine the rationale supporting the requests involving program-specific fees and ensure that the overall proposed plan adheres to guidance received from the University of Houston-System (“UHS”). The VPAF and Provost will present this draft plan to the Student Government Association, followed by several open forums at which the general student population can provide direct feedback.

4.3 After student input has been received and considered, a final recommendation will be made to the President. If approved by the President, a formal request will be prepared by the VPAF, in the format designated by the UHS, for submission to the UHS Board of Regents for review/approval. This normally occurs at the spring meeting of the Board.

4.4 Upon approval by the Board of Regents, the VPAF will maintain an archive in the office files of all requests for tuition and fees along with the Board of Regents approval. These files will be maintained on a continuous basis unless a System Administrative Memorandum (“SAM”) specifies a shorter retention period. Additionally, a copy of the requests and approvals will be sent to the Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Business Affairs who will use that information to create the tuition and fee matrices for the upcoming years. When the matrices have been approved by the VPAF they will be forwarded to the Director of Student Financials to be loaded into the Student Accounting System at the appropriate time. 

4.5 As the tuition and fee information is loaded into the Student Accounting System for the new semester, the Director of Student Financials will conduct tests of the system, in accordance with separate procedures established by that office, to ensure that all tuition and fees calculate and post correctly on the student accounts. The results of those tests will be recorded and submitted to the AVP for Business Affairs for approval. All approved test results will remain on file in the Student Financials Office for a period of three years. 

REVIEW PROCESS

Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Administration and Finance

Review: Every three years on or before November 1st.

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations. 

POLICY HISTORY

Issue#1: 1/06/16 

REFERENCES

Texas Education Code

Last updated 3/7/2022 1:05 PM