SHU should be more transparent about where our money goes

The financial burden of college students doesn’t stop at tuition. There are many other fees that are tacked onto the tuition bill that students have to pay.

For example, according to the Seton Hall website, there is a one-time $300 new student fee. There is no explanation for what this money is used for or where it goes. It’s just a charge on every freshman’s account. On top of that fee, are additional fees for each semester.

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If you are a full-time student, you pay a “university fee” of $460 per semester. What exactly is a university fee and where is this money going? It doesn’t seem to be helping decrease the price of student parking passes. It also doesn’t look like it’s going toward decreasing the price of meal plans, which have skyrocketed this year because of the new “unlimited” swipe plans.

The fees don’t end there. Full-time students are also charged a $275 mobile computing fee per semester. What is a mobile computing fee? These fees that students are charged are not explained, just added to bursar account bills.

Then there’s a technology fee charge of $400 per semester for full-time students. Technology is an important aspect of every student’s learning and it is beneficial to them. However, I don’t think the technology fees are worth paying for because the Lenovo laptops we get from SHU are unreliable. Many students complain about the laptops shutting down randomly or the slow internet connection they have.

Students have access to tech help. However, according to the SHU website, there is a laptop repair charge of up to $125 per instance. This discourages students from going to tech services in fear of having to spend more money that they do not have.

Students living on campus not only pay more than $4,000 a semester for dorming, but they also run the risk of fees like accidentally locking themselves out of their dorm, which is a $10 to $25 charge each instance. Losing the key is a $106 fee per instance.

If a student loses their SHU ID card or has it stolen, they are charged more fees. The fee for a replacement ID is $35, while the fee for a temporary card is $20.

The fees even have fees. For example, if a student gets a parking violation they may appeal it. However, SHU’s website says that if the appeal is denied, the student will be assessed a $25 fee. The $25 is in addition to the original fine and any late fees. Does this appeal really take that much time out of a parking services employee’s day to charge an extra $25?

Students do not have money to waste. Some students pay for university by themselves. I think it’s important that Seton Hall start being more empathetic to the people who fund this campus. Yes it is important to renovate and make changes, but at the cost of whom?

Seton Hall officials are not making the most cost efficient upgrades for students. They also need to be more transparent about where the money we pay for tuition and these fees are going toward.

Vanessa Vela is a sophomore journalism major from Chino, California. She can be reached at vanessa.vela@student.shu.edu.

Author: Vanessa Vela

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