Wartburg is charging students a new $150 fee this year for classes that extend beyond the usual three and one-quarter hours per week.
This fee was approved last spring by the college cabinet following discussions with the President’s Budget Advisory Council.
The fee is coming into play this year after a faculty member on the advisory council suggested a fee to offset costs for those certain courses, Rich Seggerman, chief business officer and treasurer said.
Associate biology professor Ed Westen was the faculty member who brought up the topic of the extended fee to the board for discussion.
“We have to figure out how to generate enough revenue to run the place,” he said.
Westen said the extended fee has been a topic of discussion on and off for a while and this year it has now come into effect to help create more revenue for the college.
This fee is being applied to students who have extended class time. If a class has a lab within their scheduled class time there won’t be a fee, but if lab is outside of the scheduled class time there will be a charge, Westen said.
With classes that do require more time of the student and teacher, the board decided to charge just the students in those classes, instead of raising tuition for every student on campus, Seggerman said.
“We thought it would make more sense to actually have those students with the benefit of having those classes pay that cost instead,” Seggerman said.
Sammi Bruett said she is being charged for her science labs along with paying tuition, books and separate lab materials herself.
“The textbooks and this extended instruction fee, along with tuition and room and board and everything is way more,” Bruett said.
Even with this extra extended fee, labs are still not counted as a credit. The class itself is only one credit, Bruett said.
Fee notifications were sent to students earlier in the summer who took a class during winter term and to students who took a summer course. For the rest of the other students a notice went out towards the end of the summer, Seggerman said.
Junior Debbie Nesvik said she thinks this fee is confusing because she doesn’t know what the money is going toward and why students have to pay extra for labs when in some not many materials are used.
“I don’t want to have to pay an extra $300 if I don’t have too,” Nesvik said.
Westen said the money that is going to come from this extended fee isn’t going to just one specific area. Wartburg is estimated to generate about $200,000 from this fee and those funds will be spread out to areas that are determined to need the money by the budget committee, board of regions and the president.
Seggerman encourages students to go and talk with financial aid and see if there is any way they can help offset the cost. Most likely it would be in the form of loans, he said.
“All it was a way to generate the revenue to do the things that we want to do as a college,” Westen said.