Mandatory student fees total more than $800 with the $168 University System of Georgia institutional fee included in Spring 2011. Those fees go to things like the athletic fee, which takes up most of the fee amount. The athletic fee gives money to athletic scholarships and allows for free access to Georgia State students with Panther ID.
“I know that we have to have student mandatory fees so that we can use resources like the library and the Student Center,” said junior Darius Sutton, who has the guaranteed tuition plan. “But some things I think can be cut down in the costs that we pay. Like the athletic fee. I’m not an athlete and I don’t even go to that many games so it doesn’t make sense that I should be paying so much for something that I don’t even use.”
Sutton felt differently about the $40.00 student activity fee included in student mandatory fees. Money from this fee is distributed by a committee of seven students and three faculty and staff members to more than 150 student organizations.
“With all the workshops and events that happen around campus all of the time, the student activity fee isn’t as much of a burden as the other fees,” he added. “Plus it’s not as much to pay that fee as it is to pay the others.”
A library and technology fee, totaling about 18 percent of mandatory fees, is also included. These fees help provide students with study rooms, library databases and computers.
With more than 32,000 students on campus as of fall 2010, campus fees total about $26 million. Some students are exempt from paying mandatory fees, making this estimate tentative.
Students in the GSU-62 Program, a program allowing students older than 62 who have been accepted to and enrolled in courses at Georgia State, can have all of their fees waived.
Students enrolled in courses under an agreement between Georgia State and another legal entity, along with students only enrolled in courses meeting more than 50 miles from campus by a program that requires these courses be taken at least 50 miles from their campus, also have their fees waived.
Nursing major Jasmine Knight doesn’t mind the mandatory fees, particularly the transportation fee.
“Because of the transportation fee, I can take the shuttle around campus so I don’t have to worry about being late to any of my classes,” she said. “But most important is that the shuttle can take you to Turner Field. I’m so glad that I don’t have to drive through traffic everyday and find a place to park just to get to my class. It makes things way easier.”
“If it weren’t for the transportation fee I don’t know how I would get from home to school in an emergency,” said junior history major Adrienne Hutcherson. “I stay on campus in the Commons but I don’t have a car, so if anything comes up I can use MARTA. It would be way more expensive if I had to pay out of pocket each time or if I had to buy a monthly card from MARTA instead of the discounted monthly pass from Auxiliary Services.”
Georgia State’s student mandatory fees have continued to grow with campus. Fees are projected to increase in the future, but the exact amount is still unknown.
“If we have to pay a little more money, then that’s fine. But only if I can tell that the money is not going to waste. I want to seen the school looking better than it did last year if we have to pay more,” Hutcherson said.
Published April 12, 2011 in “The Signal“