When students log into SOLAR to pay for the Fall 2016 semester, the total will be slightly higher than it was this past academic year.
Stony Brook University officials proposed a Comprehensive Fee increase of 2.2 percent for the 2016-2017 academic year, university representatives announced at a media event on Wednesday.
The increase amounts to $22.50 per semester, bringing the total to $915.25 for full-time undergraduate students. Last year’s proposed Comprehensive Fee had a similar increase of $24.50.
“Over the next several weeks, we’ll be having a number of different meetings and sessions with students to talk about these proposals, field questions, get input and make some determinations based on the information we receive,” said Lyle P. Gomes, the vice president for finance and chief budget officer.
Over the past year, student committees have provided input on the proposed fees that constitute the Comprehensive Fee. The fees support transportation, athletics, health services, recreation facilities and technology.
“The percentage increase is small, but if you’re paying the tuition, or your parent is paying the tuition, it still matters,” Chuck Powell, assistant provost for Teaching, Learning and Technology, said. “But I promise you, every nickel you invest in the tech fee, we squeeze it three or four times to get every drop out of it.”
The technology fee had the highest proposed increase of $12 per semester in order to pay all 200 of the Division of Information Technology’s student employees under the new State University of New York minimum wage increase. The extended library hours also created a need for a larger fee.
The total proposed technology fee of $252 per semester will fund the 1,500 work stations on campus, 12 SINC sites and four CoLAs. DoIT also plans to invest in technology such as Echo 360, VoiceThread, Respondus and Studymate. The division saw a 25 percent increase in network usage on campus this fall.
The health and counseling fee had a proposed $8 increase to keep wait times short for psychiatry services and to increase the availability of help.
The new health and counseling fee per semester would total $169 with the money going toward the demand for counseling and support on campus. CAPS has implemented a 24-hour support line called CAPS After Hours. Student Health Services also provides free flu kits and over-the-counter medicine to students.
“Because of these expanded programs we’ve seen a 20 percent increase in student requests for our direct services in the last two years,” said Julian Pessier, interim director of CAPS. “It is for this reason we are proposing an $8 increase per semester for the student health and counseling fee to partially help us meet the costs of the increased demand for our services.”
The transportation fee had the lowest proposed increase of only $2.50, making the total $142 per semester.
“SBU Transit continues to improve transit services in many ways,” said Connell Friel, interim director of transportation and parking. “In order to increase capacity and reliability of our transit fleet last fiscal year, we made a major vehicle investment with a purchase of three new buses, and this coming fiscal year we are budgeted for the purchase of another.”
The money will also go toward continued upkeep of the SBU Wolf Ride program, which has expanded to almost 80 bicycles, as well as the upkeep of bus shelters. This past year, SBU Transit also altered bus times to accommodate commuters coming from the South P lot.
The athletic and Campus Recreation facilities fees did not have proposed increases for the upcoming academic year. But even with the proposed increases, the athletic fee still remains the most expensive fee at $270.25 per semester.