|Effective:||09/01/10||Approved By: Sr. Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Deputy CFO|
For Assistance Contact: Assistant Vice President of Financial Services & University Bursar
The guidelines for establishing laboratory fee budgets, allowable expenditures and fee usage review authority are outlined in this document.
Authority for establishing lab fees is provided by TexED.Ch54.501.
§54.501 (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.
Table of Contents
- Laboratory Fees, General Information
- Establishing a New Lab Fee or Changing an Existing Lab Fee
- Banner Student Set Up and Accounting for Lab Fees
- Establishing Lab Fee Budgets
- Maintaining Lab Fee Budgets
- Periodic Review of Lab Fee Usage
- The Office of the Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Controller facilitates approval and or modification of lab fees and periodic reviews of lab fee usage.
- The Student Information System Financial Accounting Manager (a) assures that lab fees have been approved as required by Regents’ Rules and Regulations 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 the Budget Office in revenue management and allocation activities.
- 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 the Texas Education Code.
- 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;
- Requesting changes to lab fees consistent with requirements and statutory limitations.
- Assuring revenues are used consistent with the Texas Education Code.
- What can be purchased with laboratory fees?
Laboratory supplies and materials used by students can be purchased with laboratory fee funds.
- 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.
- The following Account codes are available for use in authorized laboratory fee accounts:
|63003||Office / Computer Supplies|
|63001||Consumable Supplies Non -Office|
|63009||Consumable Supplies — Fabrics|
|63004||Food For Research (not business meetings or entertainment)|
|63005||Chemicals and Gases|
|63007||Fuels & Lubricants|
|63204||Hardware & Materials|
|63206||Farm, Ranch, Nursery Supplies|
- What cannot be purchased with laboratory fees?
As a general rule, the following expenditures cannot be paid or reimbursed from laboratory fee funds:
- Equipment maintenance
- Administrative overhead
To establish a new lab fee or change an existing lab fee, refer to fmog.1201.utsa.
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 for information on the current authorized lab fees.Â The course fee report list is forwarded 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 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 Educational and General (E&G) Cost Center.
A lab fee expenditure Cost Center is established in Fund 21xx for each approved department:
College of Sciences
College of Engineering
College of Education and Human Development
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 Cost Center is established for the approved amount before approving the final budget to be submitted to UT System.
After the registration and refund period each semester, a Banner enrollment report is generated by the Student Information System Financial 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 helps ensure that 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.
Periodically throughout the year, Financial Affairs will review a sample of expenditures in all laboratory fee Cost Centers to ensure they are in compliance with the Education Code. If non-compliant lab-fee expenditures are found, Department Managers will be notified and will be required to move the expenditures to other Cost Centers with allowable revenue sources.