Laboratory Fees

Effective: 09/01/10 Approved By: Senior Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer
Revised: 11/03/21
For Assistance Contact:
Assistant Vice President for Budget and Financial Planning
(questions relating to the fee proposal process)

Assistant Vice President of Financial Services & University Bursar (questions relating to Banner setup)


This guideline outlines budget establishment processes, allowable expenditures and fee usage review authority for laboratory fees.


Authority for establishing laboratory fees is provided by Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 54.501 Laboratory Fees.


University Guidelines

Table of Contents
  1. Responsibilities
  2. Laboratory Fee General Information
  3. Establishing a New Laboratory Fee or Changing an Existing Laboratory Fee
  4. Banner Student Set Up and Accounting for Laboratory Fees
  5. Establishing Laboratory Fee Budgets
  6. Maintaining Laboratory Fee Budgets
  7. Periodic Review of Laboratory Fee Usage

A. Responsibilities

Financial Affairs is responsible for the following activities:

  • Financial Affairs facilitates approval and/or modification of laboratory fees and periodic reviews of laboratory fee usage.
  • The student information system financial accounting manager (a) ensures that laboratory fees have been approved as required by Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents before adding a fee to a course in Banner Student; (b) manages Banner Student setup for collection of laboratory fees each semester; and (c) provides reports to assist the Office of Budget and Financial Planning (budget office) in revenue management and allocation activities.
  • The budget office works with Academic Affairs and college departments to establish and maintain laboratory fee budgets that reflect actual revenue collected, in accordance with the Texas Education Code.

Academic Affairs is responsible for the following:

  • Requesting laboratory fees at rates not to exceed the Texas Education Code limit (currently $30 per student per laboratory course) based on cost justifications of supplies to be consumed by the student that are incidental to a laboratory instructional course
  • Requesting changes to laboratory fees consistent with requirements and statutory limitations
  • Ensuring use of revenues is consistent with the Texas Education Code

B. Laboratory Fee General Information

What can be purchased with laboratory fees?
Laboratory supplies and materials used by students

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

What are the relevant account codes?
Account codes for medical supplies, chemicals and gases, animals and freight/delivery service are examples of authorized laboratory fee accounts descriptions. Reference the university's list of accounts in PeopleSoft to determine the correct code for a specific purchase.

What cannot be purchased with laboratory fees?
As a general rule, the following expenditures cannot be paid or reimbursed from laboratory fee funds:

  • Administrative overhead
  • Equipment
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Services
  • Wages

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

The tuition and fee proposal process includes consideration of laboratory fee additions/changes. UT System establishes the proposal process, which occurs every two years. For an overview of the process, see Tuition and Fees Initiative.

D. Banner Student Set Up and Accounting for Laboratory Fees

For each semester prior to the beginning of registration, Financial Affairs staff reviews the fee code setup in Banner to ensure laboratory fees are attached to authorized courses only. See Current Courses Authorized For Laboratory Fee (Appendix A) for information on the current authorized laboratory fees. Financial Affairs forwards this list to the provost’s office for review and distribution to each college.

The fee code identifies the Account/Cost Center to which revenue will be posted as students enroll in the laboratory courses. An interface from Banner to the financial accounting system is run each day. Assessed laboratory fees are posted to a single Educational and General (E&G) Cost Center.

A laboratory fee expenditure Cost Center is established in Fund 21xx for each department with authorized laboratory fees.

E. Establishing Laboratory Fee Budgets

The budget planning process incorporates an annual review of student laboratory fee revenue collected and reported from the most recent fall, spring and summer semesters. Budget office staff computes and prepares the proposed laboratory fee budgets for the next fiscal year based on the most recent trends, then provides the proposed budget to the relevant departmental/college financial leads for any changes to the proposed amounts. The budget office then finalizes the budget and ensures each laboratory fee Cost Center is established with the final agreed amount before submitting the final budget to UT System for approval.

F. Maintaining Laboratory Fee Budgets

After the registration and refund period each semester, the student information system financial accounting manager generates a Banner enrollment report for courses with laboratory fees (L001) and provides this report 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. The budget office also performs a reasonableness test. This review process helps ensure that expenditures recorded do not exceed the actual revenues collected in a given year. Budget revisions are communicated via email to the appropriate departmental/college financial lead.

G. Periodic Review of Laboratory Fee Usage

Periodically throughout the year, department managers should review a sample of expenditures in all laboratory fee Cost Centers to ensure they comply with the Education Code. If non-compliant laboratory fee expenditures are found, department managers will be required to move the expenditures to other Cost Centers with allowable revenue sources.

Related Forms

None at this time.

Revision History

Date Description
11/03/21 Clarified section B. Updated processes in section C. Removed account code listing from section B and college/department listing from section D. Editorial updates throughout (including links and department names).