UCDC Policy on Assessing Course, Lab & Program Fees

Through the annual budget cycle Dearborn campus units receive general fund resources to  support educational costs including faculty & staff salaries, student services, infrastructure  costs, information technology costs, library costs, and other activities which directly support  instructional activities on campus. These resources are generated through the assessment of  mandatory tuition, course premiums, and fees as approved by the University of Michigan  Regents and paid by students enrolled at the Dearborn campus. 

There are times, however, when there are extraordinary costs associated with delivering  instruction or offering specific educational experiences which arise and generate costs above  and beyond those funded by mandatory tuition or course premiums. The purpose of this  policy is to explain how these extraordinary costs may arise, how they should be addressed,  and to provide transparency to students, as well as the campus community, about how these  costs are calculated and approved on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. 

Academic Units with new extraordinary costs, that is, costs beyond those funded by  mandatory tuition and course fee premiums, shall first document how these costs are incurred  prior to contacting their Unit Budget Lead or Dean for additional resources, and then follow  the procedure(s) outlined below.  

SITUATION #1: Extraordinary Instructional Costs Related to On-Campus, For Credit Instruction (Formerly Course and/or Laboratory (Lab) Fees) 

After determining there are new, extraordinary, non-routine costs for consumables, materials,  services, and/or external activity fees used exclusively in the classroom and which support  on-campus, for-credit instruction, the affected department or program shall first contact 

their Unit’s Budget Lead to determine if these costs may already be included in the tuition and  premiums allocated to their Academic Unit through the Dearborn Campus Budget Model.  Examples of instructional and administrative costs which are already covered by tuition and  course premiums paid by students include, but are not limited to: 

1. Regular payroll costs, such as faculty and/or staff, for instruction and/or instructional  support services; 

2. Facilities or information technology infrastructure; 

3. Academic program support for on-campus and off-campus instruction;

4. Department administration or operating overhead (example: regular payroll, telephones and  communications, lights, copier leases, utilities, etc.); 

5. Normal, incidental costs associated with offering classes (examples: photocopies, office  supplies, office or computer equipment, research equipment not consumed within the  semester). 

Once it is determined the new costs require additional funding, the Unit’s Budget Administrator  or Dean shall be contacted to request these costs be covered by tuition and/or course premiums  generated by the Unit. 

SITUATION #2: Extraordinary Program Costs Supplementing On-campus, For-credit  Instruction (Formerly Program Fees Supplementing On-Campus, For-Credit Instruction) 

Academic Units may need to recover funding for new, extraordinary costs to support educational  models specific to a field of study, particularly at the graduate level when a degree program: (a)  has new costs which accrue directly to the degree program, (b) new costs which span a  substantial portion of the degree program’s curriculum, and (c) the only students receiving a  direct benefit are enrolled in that degree program. Units shall follow the review process, as  outlined above, and shall first contact their Unit’s Budget Lead to determine if the costs are  already covered by tuition and course premiums prior to contacting their Dean to request new  funding. 

SITUATION #3: Extraordinary Costs Related to Off-Campus Educational Opportunities  (example: student travel) 

Academic and Student Units units offering off-campus educational opportunities, either for credit or not-for-credit, may elect to assess a one-time program fee to fund new extraordinary  costs directly related to individual student participation which are not covered by mandatory  tuition, course premiums, or another source of funding such as a gift or a grant. The off-campus  program fee may support activities such as domestic (not local) travel, travel abroad, clinical  placements, internships, service learning, and /or student research projects. Any program fee  supporting travel outside the United States must also comply with and include any costs as  outlined in SPG 601.31, International Travel. This one-time program fee is typically assessed as  a flat fee per student participant.

Examples costs which may be allowed in an off-campus, one-time program fee include, but are not  limited to: 

1. Materials, supplies, devices, or equipment fully consumed within the course and materials  and supplies not easily obtained through local retail vendors; 

2. Printed materials, licensing, or copyright fees; 

3. Goods that are retained by the student once the course is completed (videos, references  materials, software); 

4. Admission, entry fees, or participation costs for local out-of-classroom experiences;

5. Classroom, facility, and information technology resources consumed at a host location;

6. Travel costs for excursions, field visits, entrance fees that are part of the educational program

7. UM-Dearborn faculty or instructor travel, accommodations, and/or meals;

8. UM-Dearborn staff travel, accommodation, and/or meals for direct supervision or logistical  support; 

9. Stipends for local staff for program supervision, to direct travel activities, or provide  logistical support; 

10. Host institution provider fees for non-instructional items and services; 

11. Pre-departure orientation programming, materials, and hosting costs; 

12. On-site orientation programming, materials, and hosting costs; 

13. Student transportation to and from the program location; 

14. Student accommodations at the host location or locations; 

15. Hosting group meals that are required during the program; 

16. On-site transportation; 

17. Required UM travel insurance for international travel; 

18. Currency conversion costs and/or wire transfer fees for international travel. Below are examples costs which may not be included in a one-time, off campus program fee: 

1. Costs for the companions or dependents of employees; 

2. Costs for regular faculty or staff who are already on-site for the program;

3. Costs or reimbursements of regular faculty or staff compensation expenses or supplemental  stipends already funded through tuition and course premiums; 

4. Department administration or operating overhead (example: regular payroll, telephones and  communications, lights, copier leases, utilities, etc.). 

The above examples of allowable and unallowable costs are not exhaustive of all possible costs  that may or may not be included when calculating the costs associated with a one-time, off-campus  program fee. Units shall first contact their Unit’s Budget Lead or Financial Services if questions  arise on allowable or unallowable costs, and also for assistance with calculating accurate per  student program fee costs prior to seeking the approval of their Dean or Senior Officer to assess  one-time off-campus program fee(s).

Financial Services and Student Accounts shall be consulted by any Unit assessing a one-time  program fee to ensure the program fee covers all incurred costs and is appropriately and fully  documented. The one-time program fee will then be assessed on the student's account in a timely  and accurate manner, and any revenue collected from the student transferred to the Unit assessing  the one-time program fee. 

Administration and Oversight of Costs for Off Campus Educational Opportunities  

Program fees shall be billed directly to students through their University of Michigan student  account. This will ensure that students are able to fully utilize all available financial aid resources  at their disposal to pay for such fees and that any fees paid to the University are accurately  recorded on the student’s 1098-T for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses. Units shall  understand that one-time, off-campus program fees may be partially paid and/or completely  dropped if a student decides to withdraw from a University sponsored educational activity. Units  shall work directly with Financial Services and Student Accounts to manage any revenue losses  due to these circumstances. 


Date First Issued: September 10, 2015 

Approved by UCDC: February 9, 2023 

Last Updated: March 8, 2023 

Next Review Date: July 1, 2025 

Owners: Financial Services & the Dearborn campus University Curriculum and Degree Committee (UCDC) 


Related Policy: UM-Ann Arbor SPG 601.39 Student Tuition and Fees (August 1, 2019)