Pay attention to your fees

Our plan for this week’s Vox Pop was simple. The student activity fee students are charged each semester is going up for a vote: should it be voluntary or remain mandatory? We asked students what they thought of the fee being mandatory.

The question was simple enough. Yet, what we were met with were several students who were unsure of any of the details surrounding the fee. Explanations were needed for what the fee is, how much it costs and where the money goes. More often than not, students had never even realized that an extra $97 was charged to their bill each semester.

This is concerning. Beyond the value of debating the necessity of the various fees levied onto students, it’s important for students to take stock of the fees they are charged for their own understanding of education costs.

Part of the problem derives from the way loans are dispersed. FAFSA reports and student bills are posted on myOswego, but many students are more likely to be keeping tabs on pending refunds than on where the rest of the loans are going. College students are busy, and it can be hard to keep track of it all.

But this doesn’t make it any less important. Students should keep track of the art fee, athletic fee, the Mary Walker fee, the technology fee and anything else that appears on their bill.

These fees, especially the student activity fee, all have their purposes and value on campus, but that doesn’t mean they are beyond questioning by the students. If a student feels the technology fee is too high, they should look into how the amount is determined and where the money goes.

Beyond fees, there is incredible value in keeping close tabs on tuition expenses in general. It is easy to turn the blind eye now, when loan money streams in each semester to take care of all costs.  There are many ways for an enterprising student to cut down on costs, such as commuting or living off campus.

Pay attention now, before the loan bills stream in and you wish you had.