Monday, October 7, 2019 - 11:22am
By:
Alan Flurry

From art students who need paint, brushes and paper to create their works, to chemistry students needing chemicals and test tubes to complete experiments in labs, starting in spring 2020 UGA students will not have to pay additional laboratory and supplementary course material fees for those supplies:

“All students at UGA should have the same access to the classes required for their degrees,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “By eliminating course material fees, the university is removing a potential financial barrier to ensure that our students can focus first and foremost on learning. My administration remains committed to supporting our students through this initiative as well as continuing to raise new scholarship funds during the final year of our capital campaign.” 

Roughly 450 courses at UGA, mostly in the arts and sciences, have laboratory and supplemental course material fees that range from $5 to $200. The fees cover items like lab or supply kits, consumables such as paper and chemicals, and even instructional computing site license fees not eligible for Student Technology Fee funds. Some 13,000-14,000 students pay approximately $50 per semester, on average, in these additional fees. 

Putting an end to the fees not only will open the opportunity for all interested students to take these classes but also will ensure that they are aware of their expenses upfront. Student Government Association President Rachel Byers commends the administration’s action.

“As higher education costs rise nationwide, the SGA is always excited for any measures that aid student affordability,” said Byers, a fourth-year student in political science and communications studies. “The elimination of lab and supplementary course material fees is a noble measure by university administration that will have a twofold effect. First, it reduces the cost of college for cash-strapped students. Second, it helps those students who might be passionate about a specific subject matter but choose not to take the class because of cost concerns. The positive result is that students have the ability to explore their passions without worrying about their bank accounts.”

This is very big news for students in the arts and sciences across UGA on campus now and in the years to come. A major step forward in university efforts to support and invest in our students.

Image: students in the Lamar Dodd School of Art