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Section 12: Revenue

Laboratory Fees

Effective Date:

09/01/10

Approved By:

Lenora Chapman, Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:

11/28/12

For Assistance Contact:

The Office of the Associate Vice President, Financial Affairs
Financial Services and University Bursar
Budget Planning & Development

PURPOSE/SCOPE

The guidelines for establishing laboratory fee budgets, allowable expenditures and fee usage review authority are outlined in this document.

AUTHORITY

Authority for establishing lab fees is provided by Texas Education Code 54.501:

Sec. 54.501. LABORATORY FEES. (a) An institution of higher education shall set and collect a laboratory fee in an amount sufficient to cover the general cost of laboratory materials and supplies used by a student. An institution other than a public junior college may charge a laboratory fee in an amount that is not less than $2 nor more than $30 for any one semester or summer term for a student in any one laboratory course, except that the amount of the laboratory fee may not exceed the cost of actual materials and supplies used by the student. (b) Laboratory fees collected by an institution under this section shall be accounted for as educational and general funds.

The University of Texas Board of Regents’ Rule 40401 delegates authority to the President conditioned on prior review and approval by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES

Table of Contents

A. Responsibilities

Financial Affairs is responsible for the following activities:

  1. The Office of the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs facilitates approval and or modification of lab fees and periodic reviews of lab fee usage.

  2. The Student Information System Accounting Manager (a) assures that lab fees have been approved as required by Board of Regents’ Rule before adding a fee to a course in Banner Student; (b) manages Banner Student set-up for collection of lab fees each semester; and (c) provides reports to assist Budget in revenue management and allocation activities.

  3. The Budget Office works with Academic Affairs and college departments to establish and maintain lab fee budgets to reflect actual revenue collected in accordance with Education Code.

Academic Affairs is responsible for:

  1. Requesting lab fees at rates not to exceed the Education Code limit (currently at $30 per student per laboratory course) based on cost justifications of supplies to be consumed by the student incidental to a laboratory instructional course;

  2. Requesting changes to lab fees as appropriate consistent with requirements and statutory limitations.

  3. Assuring revenues are used consistent with Education Code.

B. Laboratory Fees, General Information

  1. What can be purchased with laboratory fees?
    Laboratory supplies and materials used by students can be purchased with laboratory fee funds.

  2. What constitutes a laboratory material and supply?
    Supplies and materials that follow the lab curriculum, are reasonably allocable to a student, and consumed through the experiments performed constitute laboratory materials and supplies.

  3. The following object codes are available for use in authorized laboratory fee accounts:

    Object Code
    Description
    1314
    Freight/Delivery Services
    1401
    Consumable Office / Computer Supplies
    1402
    Consumable Supplies Non -Office
    1403
    Consumable Supplies - Fabrics, Clothing, Linens
    1406
    Computer Supplies - Center For High Performance Computing
    1415
    Food For Education Or Research (not business meetings or entertainment)
    1416
    Food Services Utensils
    1417
    Animals - Purchase Of (Non-Capitalized)
    1420
    Chemicals and Gases
    1425
    Medical Supplies
    1430
    Fuels & Lubricants - Other
    1443
    Hardware & Materials
    1450
    Plants
    1451
    Farm, Ranch, Nursery Supplies
  4. What cannot be purchased with laboratory fees?
    As a general rule, the following expenditures cannot be paid or reimbursed from laboratory fee funds:

    • Wages

    • Equipment

    • Services

    • Equipment maintenance

    • Administrative overhead

C. Establishing a New Lab Fee or Changing an Existing Lab Fee

To establish a new lab fee or change an existing lab fee, refer to the Tuition and Fees Process FMOG.

D. Banner Student Set Up & Accounting for Lab Fees

For each semester prior to the beginning of registration, Financial Affairs staff reviews the fee code set-up in Banner to assure lab fees are attached only to those courses that have been authorized. See Appendix A. A course fee report is forwarded to the Provost’s Office for review and distribution to each college.

The fee code identifies the account to which revenue will be posted as students enroll in the lab courses. An interface from Banner to the financial accounting system is run during each business day and once over the weekend. All lab fees assessed are posted to a single 12-account.

A lab fee expenditure account is established in fund 14 for each approved department:

College of Sciences
BIOLOGY
CHEMISTRY

College of Engineering
CIVIL ENGINEERING
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

College of Education and Human Development
INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

E. Establishing Lab Fee Budgets

The budget planning process incorporates an annual review of student lab fee revenue collected and reported from the most current fall, spring and summer semesters. Budget Office staff compute and review the proposed lab fee budgets for the next fiscal year with the Assistant Provost for Academic Budgets, Planning and Communications, to assure course offerings for the future fiscal year will be consistent. The final recommended budget is communicated to affected departmental / college financial representatives and the Budget Office assures each lab fee account is established for the approved amount before approving the final budget to be submitted to UT System.

F. Maintaining Lab Fee Budgets

After the registration and refund period each semester, a Banner enrollment report is generated by the Student Information System Accounting Manager for courses with lab fees (L001). This report is provided to the Budget Office to allocate revenue “earned” based on courses taught and “paid” student enrollment. The Budget Office restates the budget based on the target projections for each semester and reconciles the amount of revenue posted to correspond with enrollment data. At this time a reasonableness test is also performed. This review process also ensures expenditures recorded do not exceed the actual revenues collected in a given year. Communication of budget revisions is sent via email to the appropriate departmental or college financial representative.

G. Periodic Review of Lab Fee Usage

Periodically throughout the year, Financial Affairs will review a sample of expenditures in all laboratory fee accounts to ensure they are in compliance with the Education Code. If non-compliant expenditures are found in laboratory fee accounts, Account Administrators will be notified and the expenditures should be moved to other accounts with allowable revenue sources.


DEFINITIONS

See the Tuition and Fees Process FMOG for definitions.

REFERENCES/LINKS

RELATED FORMS/WORKSHEETS

See the Tuition and Fees Process FMOG for related forms and worksheets.


REVISION HISTORY

Date Description

03/21/13

Revised Appendix A to include 2 new BME lab fees.

11/28/12

Revised the Appendix A – Current Authorized Lab Fees, Amount, Courses and Account Numbers spreadsheet (revision date 11/28/12). Updated link on Appendix A to now display the correct path. Updated to include 2 new BME lab fees.

04/11/12

Revised the Appendix A – Current Authorized Lab Fees, Amount, Courses and Account Numbers spreadsheet (revision date 04/04/12).

10/14/11

Revised the Appendix A – Current Authorized Lab Fees, Amount, Courses and Account Numbers spreadsheet (revision date 10/13/11).

10/29/10

Revised the Current Authorized Lab Fees, Amounts, Courses and Account Numbers spreadsheet (revision date 10/28/10).

08/30/10

Guideline published.


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