Students will soon vote for an increase in the Student Services Fee and a new Medical Services Fee in a referendum. The following information aims to answer frequently asked questions and provide clarity on the topic. 

What new fees are in the referendum?

Students will vote for an increase in the current Student Services Fee from $10 to $20 per semester credit hour (SCH), and a Medical Services Fee of $25, which is a flat fee, not related to semester credit hours. The revenue collected from these fees cannot be used for anything other than their designated purpose, and the Student Services Fee cannot go above $250 per semester for a student, no matter how many hours a student enrolls for.  

Why are new fees being considered?

Due to statewide higher education budget cuts made by the Texas Legislature, UNT Dallas had a $1.5 million reduction in funding for 2018-19 biennium. Despite those budget cuts, fees for the services that we provide our students have increased across the board, and as an institution we need a way to cover those basic services. UNT Dallas is proud to have the lowest tuition in the region, and we haven’t implemented a tuition or fee increase since 2015. In addition, our shared services fee, which is an expense the university incurs as a member institution of the UNT System, is increasing by over 22 percent.

What does the Student Services Fee cover?

“Student Services” are separate from regularly scheduled academic functions and can include recreational activities, intramural events, artist and lecture series, cultural and entertainment events, student government, and similar activities. Specifically, for our campus, we are looking to expand services in the areas of counseling, veterans’ success, career services and others in an effort to provide greater service to a growing student body. A fee structure allows those services to be funded with transparency.

What will be the overall impact on tuition of the Medical Services Fee?

While the State of Texas authorizes a fee of up to $75 per semester for medical services, the leadership at UNT Dallas selected $25 as a Medical Services Fee to start an efficient medical clinic on campus. This clinic would include a licensed medical professional, basic supplies and an administrative assistant to help coordinate the needs of the students with routine health issues. As a 24-7 campus with students living in Wisdom Hall, a full-time medical office that will be open during normal business hours is an important piece to campus safety and student well-being.

Is there an opportunity for academic programs to be developed around having a clinic on campus?

Opportunities may present themselves in the future for our students who are looking at a career in health industries. All of our programs traditionally have an experiential-learning focus and provide opportunities for involvement and new experiences. Any opportunities of this kind would be explored after the establishment of the health clinic.

How do we compare to other institutions regarding the amount we charge in fees?
UNT Dallas currently charges a Student Service Fee of $10 per Semester Credit Hour. Our annual tuition and fees of $7,848 is the lowest in Dallas-Fort Worth. We anticipate, even with the introduction of these proposed fees, that UNT Dallas will continue to rank as the most affordable university in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and our tuition will remain below the statewide average. It’s an important part of our mission, and these fees and what they are designated to fund is transparent. Most state higher education institutions in Texas are raising tuition and fees as a result of the recent legislature cuts in funding.

How often will new fees be introduced?

There are no other plans for new fees that require a student vote, and these fees are structured so they cannot be used for anything other than their designated purpose. We foresee an athletic fee in the future, but that would demand legislative support. 

There are other proposed fees that students don’t vote on, including the library and technology fee, and the academic and career advising fees. These questions below have also been frequently submitted by students:

What services will the academic and career advising fees cover?

The advising service fee allows for the hiring of advisors to better meet the student need for advising services. It allows for the hiring of additional student workers to assist with appointment check-ins, answering phones, and preparing for appointments and orientations. It also allows for the hiring of new student workers to serve as peer advisors who can be trained to answer quick questions, sign forms, etc. to better expedite student registration and advising in situations where a student doesn’t require the help of a full-time advisor. 

Is there an opportunity to meet with my advisor more frequently if students are being assessed a fee?

Yes. Currently UNT Dallas has an advisor to student ratio around 500 to 1.  With the implementation of the fee this number will be reduced to 250 to 1, meaning shorter wait times to speak with an advisor.

Will the advisor assigned to me continue to be my advisor until I graduate?

Currently UNT Dallas does not have assigned advising. Students are free to see any advisor they choose, and can re-schedule with that advisor as they wish.  Once the fee is implemented we anticipate implementing more individualized forms of advising where a given advisor would be assigned students with certain majors.  This should allow advisors to specialize in a chosen field, and they will be more connected to the academic departments.  The outcome will be a situation where students can more quickly receive answers to questions about their curriculum and other course options and exceptions.  Any changes to assigned advisors would be done with the consideration of students, as well as best practices for the field of advising.