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Section 12: Revenue

Tuition and Fees Process

Effective Date:

07/01/08

Approved By:

Kerry L. Kennedy, Vice President, Business Affairs

Last Revised On:

01/24/11

For Assistance Contact:

Associate Vice President, Financial Affairs (210)458-4210

PURPOSE/SCOPE

This policy statement outlines the various categories of fees and tuition that UTSA students may be charged and addresses the following:

  • The processes by which each category of fee may be established and or modified;

  • How unexpended fee account balances are managed;

  • How approved fee amounts are updated annually, effectively communicated to students and appropriately attached to proper courses in Banner.

  • Authority for establishing and reviewing annual revenue budgets, expenditures and year-end balances (retained earnings).

  • Authority for periodic review of the rates charged for approved fees.

AUTHORITY

The Texas Education Code, Chapter 54, states that no institution of higher education may collect from students attending the institution any tuition fee or charge of any kind except as permitted by law.


UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES

Table of Contents

A. Designated Tuition

Increases to the designated tuition rate are recommended at the lowest possible amount to cover incremental changes in mandatory and fixed costs that can not otherwise be deferred or paid from other local or E&G funding sources such as state general revenue. A reasonable projection of paid semester credit hours net of bad debt allowances is used to project revenue. Trend analysis or other reliable enrollment information should be used to project future budget years covered by the Tuition and Fee Proposal period. The institution should be conservative in projecting growth so as to avoid a revenue shortfall and structural budget deficit.

The Vice President for Business Affairs will submit a report to the Committee on Management and Operations (CMO) that outlines his/her recommendations for designated tuition rates and the basis for that recommendation. Each member of the CMO will receive copies of the proposed designated tuition rates at least one week prior to the meeting at which the designated tuition rates will be discussed. The CMO will then determine what proposed designated tuition rates will be submitted to the Tuition and Fee Committee.

The Tuition and Fee Committee reviews the proposed designated tuition rates, including the basis for the proposed rates, and make a recommendation to the President regarding their approval.

B. Incidental Fees and Other Statutory Fees Not Established by Referenda

The Board of Regents delegates to the President the authority to assess, modify and collect certain fees upon a finding by the President that such fees are required to reasonably reflect the actual cost to the institution of the materials or services to be provided. The President’s approval authority is conditioned on prior review and approval by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

New lab, course or incidental fees, or modifications to existing fees, including statutory fees not established by referenda (e.g. International Education Fee, Medical Services Fees), are generally considered during the Tuition and Fee Proposal process every other year, but may be considered ‘off cycle’ for unusual or special circumstances.

Per Education Code Section 54.009, tuition and fee rates may not be increased once a student has registered regardless of whether that student has paid the tuition and fees for that semester or summer term.

1. Fee Request Form

The Fee Request Form is used to request new or make changes to existing incidental, course or lab fees. The request must be approved by the appropriate Vice President with responsibility oversight for the fee and reviewed by the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs before seeking endorsement by the appropriate student fee committee(s). Once a recommendation is obtained, the Vice President for Business Affairs coordinates the review and approval of the Executive Vice Chancellor and university President.

To establish or change the fee rate of a new or previously approved fee in this category, the following Cost Justification Worksheets must be submitted for review and approval:

  • Schedule A – Cost Justification for Proposed New Fees

NOTE: The cost justification form is a zero based budget approach that requires (re-)justification of the rate based on current semester credit hour projections and expenditures.
  • Schedule B – Cost Analysis for Rate or Justification Change to Existing/Approved Fee

Only fees subject to the approval of the President may be considered as an ‘off-cycle’ request. All other tuition and mandatory fee changes must occur during timelines established by the Board of Regents and The UT System.

2. Routing Process for Fee Request Form
    a. The forms are to be routed to the requesting department’s Vice President for approval. The Vice President will evaluate the submitted forms and forward only those that are endorsed for technical review (i.e. projected revenue is supported by enrollment levels) to the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs, who may also raise substantive concerns (e.g. are costs and reserve levels reasonable?) with the requesting department’s vice president. After this consultation, the department’s Vice President may modify the fee request as deemed appropriate.

    b. he proposed new fees and or fee changes that will be included in the Tuition and Fee Proposal will be sent to the Committee on Management and Operations (CMO) to determine the fee proposals in this category of fees that will be submitted for review by the respective student oversight committee(s). Each member of the CMO will receive copies of the proposed fee forms along with any commentary from the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs at least one week prior to the meeting at which the fees will be discussed.

    c. For off-cycle fee requests, the Vice President for Business Affairs will have final authority over which fees are submitted for review by the respective student oversight committee(s).

    d. The respective student oversight committees will then review the proposed fees for recommendations to the Tuition and Fee Committee. The Tuition and Fee Committee will review the proposed fees and make recommendations to the President and regarding their approval.

    e. Expenditures will be monitored by fee administrators, Deans and the Vice Presidents to whom the departments report, to assure they are in accordance with the fee justification and that deficit spending does not occur.

    f. Retained earnings exceeding 10% of the prior year’s operating expenses must be approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs. Transfers to reserves must be authorized, see Establishing Reserves for more information.

C. Student Services Fees

All money collected as student services fees shall be reserved and accounted for in an account or accounts kept separate and apart from educational and general funds of the institution and shall be used only for the support of student services. All the money shall be placed in a depository bank or banks designated by the governing board and shall be secured as required by law.

Each year the governing board shall approve for the institution a separate budget for student activities and services financed by student service fees. The Student Fee Advisory Committee is a committee authorized by the Texas Education Code to advise the Board of Regents and administration of UTSA on the type, amount, and expenditure of compulsory student service fees. This section is largely derived from §54.503 and §54.5031 of the Texas Education Code.

1. Student (Services) Fee Advisory Committee

The Student Fee Advisory Committee is composed of the following nine members:

    a. Five student members who are enrolled for not less than six semester credit hours at the institution and who are representative of all students enrolled at the institution, appointed by the Student Government Association. Three students will be appointed to serve two-year terms and two students will be appointed to serve a one-year term; and


    b. Four members who are representative of the entire institution, appointed by the president of the institution.


    c. A vacancy in an appointive position on the committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as the original appointment. A student member of the committee who withdraws from the institution must resign from the committee.

The Student (Services) Fee Advisory committee shall:

    a. study the type, amount, and expenditure of Student Service Fees including appropriate reserve amounts in conformance with this guideline;

    b. Meet with appropriate administrators of the University, submit a written report on the study conducted, and recommend the type, amount, and expenditure of the student services fee to be charged for the next academic year.

Before recommending the student fee budget to the Board of Regents, the President of the University shall consider the report and recommendations of the committee. Per Education Code 54.5031(g), if the President's recommendations to the Board of Regents are substantially different from the committee's recommendations to the President, the administration of the institution shall notify the committee not later than the last date on which the committee may request an appearance at the Board of Regents’ meeting. On request of a member of the committee, the administration of the institution shall provide the member with a written report of the President's recommendations to the Board of Regents.

D. Fees Established by Student Referenda

Fees established by student referenda have authorizing legislation that outlines the manner in which such fees may be modified and any change in such fees must be made accordingly. Such fees must be handled and expended in the manner articulated in the authorizing legislation.

    a. Departments funded from such fees must develop budgets sufficient to pay for each related activity and/or service, associated capital costs, including debt service and operation costs, plus prudent reserves.


    b. Each department substantially funded from such fees will have a multi-year plan in place and annually review the fiscal viability of the organization that includes an evaluation of the need for reserves and the establishment or revision of reserves. See Establishing Reserves for guidelines.


    c. In evaluating the need for reserves, each department’s management will document the findings in writing to be shared with the respective advisory councils/committees during the annual budget process. Funds for reserves shall be derived from retained earnings. As needed, or as determined appropriate by the respective advisory councils/committees, earnings from projected operations, may be designated to fund reserves in order to attain prescribed levels.

E. Caps on the Overall Tuition and Fee Increase

In the event that a cap restricting the overall increase of total academic costs for any budget year is imposed, the Vice President for Business Affairs will make recommendations to the CMO and President regarding the designated tuition and fee levels, if the recommendations from the Tuition and Fee Committee and the Student Fee Advisory Committee, combined with any scheduled new fee or fee increase established by student referendum, exceed the established cap.

Should a cap be required, Business Affairs’ staff will consult with the appropriate Vice President(s) to review impacts of any fee rate changes below previously approved levels. A range of scenarios that allow the University to comply with the imposed cap will be provided by the Vice President for Business Affairs to the Committee on Management and Operations (CMO) which will meet to discuss the possible options, including variations CMO members may suggest that are not included in the scenarios forwarded.

Each member of the CMO will receive the proposed scenarios at least one week prior to the meeting at which the fees will be discussed. After discussing the matter, the CMO will make a recommendation to the President on how to comply with the imposed cap on tuition and fees.

F. Establishing Reserves

Reserves are appropriate to promote the efficient and effective operation of the related operating unit, avoid significant fluctuations in the fees charged for services, and minimize the potential for unanticipated financial shortfalls that may impact other funds of the university.

Fee administrators wishing to establish reserve accounts will submit written recommendations to the Vice President to whom the department reports. The Vice President for Business Affairs has the final authority regarding establishment of reserve accounts and recommended balances. Transfers of retained earnings are approved in accordance with this authorization. Expenditure plans and reserve levels should be monitored accordingly.

Appropriate fee administrators will recommend requirements to set aside retained earnings or budgeted fee revenue as designated reserves to meet the following needs:

  • Equipment Replacement - To reserve for replacement and repair of specific existing equipment.

  • Renovations – To reserve for improvements to existing facilities for self-support areas and auxiliary enterprises with responsibility for maintaining and upgrading specific campus buildings.

  • Deferred Maintenance – To reserve for the upkeep of buildings and equipment.

  • Planned Future Operations – To reserve for one-time costs required to start up new programs or expand existing programs.

  • Revenue Fluctuation – Reserved to protect against enrollment fluctuations.

  • Insurance Deductible – To reserve for self-insurance deductibles and only applies to areas with potential liabilities.

G. Communication of Fee Rates and Changes

The following process ensures the accuracy of tuition and fees recorded in the Banner Student Information System, Information Bulletin, Fiscal Services’ website and or other publications for students and university constituents. Upon receiving approval of fee changes, the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs communicates to the following parties:

    a. The Student Information Services Financial Accounting Manager will record/ update the Banner Student Information System to assure student billing accuracy and correct account mapping to the general ledger/financial accounting system.


    b. The Director of Financial Services and University Bursar is responsible for communicating updated information to affected areas within Student Affairs, including Academic Publications. He also assures UTSA Fiscal Services website is updated.


    c. Academic Publications is responsible for the production of the Information Bulletin. Prior to each Fall semester a "request to update information" is sent to administrators with the responsibility for reviewing the accuracy of the information. This process is coordinated by the Office of the Registrar, Division of Student Affairs.
  • Once requested changes have been made, a draft comparison document is sent to affected parties in Financial Affairs and Student Affairs’ offices for review. All questions are directed to the Director of Financial Services and University Bursar.

  • Once all changes/updates and questions have been satisfied, the document is sent through the required approval process (first to the Faculty Senate, then to the Provost’s Office, and to The UT System.

H. Review of Annual Revenue Budgets, Expenditures, Year-end Balances (Retained Earnings) and Fee Rates

    a. The Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs will periodically review approved fee rates to assure the university is appropriately recovering its costs. The results of such reviews will be communicated to the appropriate Vice Presidents for information and or appropriate action.


    b. The Senior Director of Budget Planning & Development will establish revenue targets for all fee revenue budgets based on current year revenue and projected future enrollment. Any deviation to target budgets will be discussed and changes mutually agreed. Budget to actual revenue is monitored periodically by Financial Affairs.


    c. Expenditures will be monitored by fee administrators, Deans and Vice Presidents for appropriateness in accordance with the fee justification and to assure deficit spending does not occur.


    d. Year-end balances and transfers to reserves will be monitored according to this guideline.

DEFINITIONS

Term Definition

Fees established by student referenda

Fees that became established after having passed a student referendum in accordance with the Student Government Association Constitution and/or Bylaws. These fees require specific authorizing legislation that is incorporated into the Texas Education Code. The authorizing legislation specifies the process for modifying the fee.

Incidental fees

Fees collected pursuant to Texas Education Code Section 54.504 includes, without limitation, such fees as library fines, microfilming fees, thesis or doctoral manuscript reproduction or filing fees, bad check charges, application processing fees, and laboratory breakage charges, but does not include a fee for which a governing board makes a charge under the authority of any other provision of law.

The rate of an incidental fee must reasonably reflect the actual cost to the university of the materials or services for which the fee is collected. In fixing such rate, the governing board may consult with a student fee advisory committee which the governing board may establish if such student committee does not presently exist.

Laboratory fees

Fees authorized by Texas Education Code, Section 54.501 to cover the cost of actual materials and supplies used by the student not to exceed $30 per any one semester or summer term for a student in any one laboratory course.

Recreational Facility fee

Collected pursuant to Texas Education Code, Section 54.543. (a) The board of regents of The University of Texas System may charge each student enrolled at The University of Texas at San Antonio a recreational facility fee not to exceed: (1) $150 for a term or semester of more than six weeks; or (2) $75 for a term or semester of six weeks or less. (a-1) The recreational facility fee may be used only to finance, construct, operate, maintain, or improve student recreational facilities at the university. (b) The board of regents may pledge the fees charged under this section to pay obligations issued pursuant to the revenue financing system of The University of Texas System.

Reserve

An account designated for the allocation and use of fund balance for a specific, authorized future use.

Respective student oversight committees

Include ad hoc and standing committees for the purpose of reviewing fee assessment and usage.

Retained earnings

Accumulated earnings of a fund that have been retained in the fund and are not reserved for any specific purpose.

Statutory fees not established by student referenda

Other fees established by statutes that allow the University to raise the fee amount by an unspecified process up to a certain level without a student referendum.

Student Fee Advisory Committee

Established to advise the administration of the University on the type, amount, and expenditure of compulsory student service fees as provided for in Texas Education Code.

Student service fees

Collected pursuant to Texas Education Code, Section 54.503. to fund “student services” which are activities separate and apart from the regularly scheduled academic functions of the institution and directly involve or benefit students, other than services under Sections 54.504, 54.511, 54.512 and 54.513 of the code. The term does not include services for which a fee is charged under another section of this code.

Student Union Building Fees

Also referred to as University Center fees are collected pursuant to Texas Education Code, Section 54.532. (a) The board of regents of The University of Texas System may levy a student union fee of not less than $20 or more than $150 for each semester or summer session, assessed in proportion to the number of credit hours for which a student registers, for the sole purpose of financing, operating, maintaining, and improving a student union building for The University of Texas at San Antonio.

This fee may be levied in addition to any other use or service fee. (b) The fees collected under Subsection (a) of this section shall be deposited to an account known as The University of Texas at San Antonio University Center Fee Account and shall be placed under the control of and subject to the order of the university center advisory committee. The committee shall annually submit to the president of The University of Texas at San Antonio a complete and itemized budget to be accompanied by a full and complete report of all activities conducted during the past year and all expenditures made incident to those activities. The president shall submit the budget to the board of regents as part of the institutional budget. The board of regents shall make such changes in the budget as it deems necessary before approving the budget. The board shall then levy the fees, within the limits fixed in this section, in such amounts as will be sufficient to meet the budgetary needs of the student union building.

Tuition charges

Comprised of two components:

  • Statutory tuition: a tuition charge authorized under Texas Education Code, §54.051, in an amount determined by the Texas Legislature for resident or nonresident students.

  • Designated tuition: a tuition charge authorized under Texas Education Code, §54.0513, that a university may impose on any graduate or undergraduate, resident or nonresident student, in an amount that the governing board of the institution considers necessary for the effective operation of the institution.

Tuition and Fee Committee

A non-statutory committee established by the University to review and recommend proposed designated tuition amounts, incidental fees and statutory fees not established by student referenda.

REFERENCES/LINKS

RELATED FORMS/WORKSHEETS

  1. Fee Request Form & Cost Justification Worksheets (Schedules A and B)


REVISION HISTORY

Date Description

01/24/11

Added Establishing and Changing Student Fees document to References/Links section.

04/07/10

Per Education Code Section 54.009, tuition and fee rates may not be increased once a student has registered regardless of whether that student has paid the tuition and fees for that semester or summer term (added to section B. Incidental Fees and Other Statutory Fees Not Established by Referenda).

12/08/09

Revised the types of reserves that are being authorized.

09/21/09

Converted format from PDF to HTML. No changes to content.

09/09/08

Clarified fee definitions with details from Education Code.


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