Kuntz: Know your mandatory fees

BY KATIE KUNTZ | AUGUST 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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College is downright expensive.

The Office of the Registrar estimates that after tuition, fees, housing, and personal expenses, students paying in-state tuition are likely to spend $21,832 this year and out-of-state students will spend more than an estimated $40,000.

This is a lot of money. Especially when 81 percent of students at this university are receiving some form of financial aid, largely in the form of loans, and the average loan is more than $25,000.
A secondary education is well worth the cost but only so long as students are getting their money’s worth.  

Last week, The Daily Iowan reported that On Iowa, a recruitment initiative orchestrated by the university for the sake of student retention, cost approximately $250,000, and that was in part paid for by a $250 enrollment fee.

The Daily Iowan also reported that there were nearly 4,500 incoming freshmen this year. If each of those students paid that $250 admissions fee, then more than $1 million in admissions fees were paid to the university this year.

Because On Iowa only cost about $250,000 of that $1 million, incoming students need to be responsible for discovering the whereabouts of the rest of that cash.

These fees include a technology fee, a health-service fee, an activity/student union fee, a building fee, arts and cultural events fee, a recreation fee, a career-services fee, and a professional enhancement fee.

The student-activity fee, totaling $231.50 for a full-time liberal-arts student, funds the student organizations on campus, so remember to “Pick One.”

Another fee, the career-services fee, allows the Pomerantz Center to be a “world-class facility,” helping place students in lifelong careers after graduation.

These events, organizations, and technological advances are important to keep our campus competitive and make our university excellent.

However, the state of Iowa has the third highest rate of student debt nationally, and students must always check that the debt is worth the Hawkeye Challenge. Don’t be fooled by all the “free”-bies on campus; that would be like paying tuition and then believing that you’re classes are free.

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