Understanding Your Tuition Bill

More stories from Robin Bridges

‘I was unaware’
October 8, 2019

There seems to be a fee for everything at NEIU. What does it all mean and where does the money go? How do students benefit from these fees?

Below is a list of the current fees at NEIU, the amount of the fee, how students can utilize the benefits, and influence those fees. Some fees are calculated based on the number of credit hours taken by students. Others are calculated per credit hour. Some fees can be waived and others are mandatory for students taking at least one class on the main NEIU campus.

Student Health Insurance & Health Services Fee

These fees are for two separate resources. Student Health Insurance is a lump sum fee automatically charged each semester for full-time students. Students can have the fee waived if they can provide evidence that they have other insurance.

Student Health Services is a per-credit hour fee that cannot be waived. This fee covers the use of the health services office on the main campus. Students do not have to be covered by Student Insurance to use the Health Services, which provides free Band-Aids and condoms to a Stress free Zone with free massages and movies during finals. $3.00 per credit hour.

Academic Enhancement Fee $7.50 & Campus Improvement Fee $1.00

These are two more fees that sound similar but do not share a common purpose. These fees were best explained to the Independent in an email correspondence from Thomas Lambert, Director of Student Payment Services after the NEIU Board of Trustees reviewed all public universities in Illinois and other schools with similar fees in place.

Thomas Lambert, Director of Student Payment Services, said, “Our Campus Improvement Fee, like these other university fees, will be used to pay existing campus debt service…The Academic Enhancement Fee has been used for laboratory renovations, the library master plan process, classroom furniture, distance education equipment, etc.” Currently the Academic Enhancement Fee is $7.50 per credit hour. The Campus Improvement Fee is $1.00. They cannot be waived.

Parking Fee & U-Pass Fee

The U-Pass fee is automatically charged to any full-time student enrolled in at least one class on the main campus and cannot be waived. It does, however, provide unlimited free rides on all CTA transportation for the entire semester. At $128, that’s a savings of $272 dollars for those who use the CTA exclusively.

The level 2 (blue zone) parking fee funds a main campus parking pass that is calculated per credit hour at $11.50 for all students. This fee, for those who do not drive to campus, can be waived. There is also level 1 (gold zone) parking pass available for an extra fee of $379 per semester for students who want to to park in lots A & C.

Student Activity Fee, “Green” Fee, Student Union Fee

Though these fees cannot be waived, students can influence their use through their involvement on campus in clubs. There are also fee committees through which students can fund projects to customize the campus.

The Green Fee supports the recycling, clean energy and other alternative energy projects around campus. This fee is figured as a lump sum at $3 per semester.

The Student Union fee funds the Information Center and events in the Student Union, Recital Hall and auditorium. Equipment, career fairs and concerts, meeting spaces and quiet study rooms are all funded by this fee. This is calculated at $6.75 per credit hour.

The Student Activity fee funds all clubs on campus. There are more than 70 clubs; ranging from service oriented organizations to hobby centric societies to sports clubs. These clubs include Geeks and Nerds United, NEIU Hillel and many others are funded per event or activity. Others, such as The Independent, WZRD, United Greek Council, Black Caucus, Seeds and Que Onde Sola, are funded annually. It also funds activities like alternative spring break trips, service and leadership workshops, conferences and retreats. At $5 per credit hour these fees give students the opportunity to get involved not only in how their money is spent but to influence and affect the activities and atmosphere of NEIU.

Performing Arts Fee $0.80 per credit hour, Computer Resource Fee $16.75, Campus Recreation Fee $4.40

This set of fees fund programing around the campus that is generally free or at a reduced cost to students. The performing arts fee supports both free and low cost performances such as plays, concerts, recitals and dance productions. Tickets are often available for students at the box office on the main campus. This fee cannot be waived but is calculated at $0.80 per credit hour.

The Computer Resource fee not only funds classroom technology such as smart classrooms and computer labs, but also supports the free Wifi available on campus as well as printing services. $75 in printing credit is loaded on to students accounts attached to your student ID every semester. The use-it or lose it fee is calculated at $16.75 per credit hour.

The Campus Recreation fee is used to fund fitness programs, intramural sports and wellness programs. On the main campus the fitness center is available to students, along with group fitness classes, climbing wall and pool at low or no cost to students and their relatives. This fee, calculated at $4.40 per credit hour, saves students over $100 on a gym membership. This is not a complete list of all the fees associated with college tuition here at NEIU but a compilation of the most common to all students.