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The Truth About Class Fees

by Kaitlyn Wightman
Marketing Specialist

January 17, 2014

What do you think about class fees? Tell us! Take our short online survey about class fees.

Fred Hurst is very active in the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, or WCET, and always on the lookout for trends in higher education. So we were intrigued when he shared this WCET blog post on online class fees. 

Check it out. It’s about the experience of Celia Perez, an adult student who went back to college to pursue her bachelor’s degree online. 

I was told that online would allow flexibility to work around the full-time schedule and at a reduced cost due to the student paying for Internet, electricity (being at home vs. classroom), and not having to participate in the on-campus programs nor utilizing student services.” 

Then she hit “The Fee Barrier” and found herself paying more than $500 in fees: iCourse Fee, Student Programs Fee, Student Services Facility Fee, Technology Fee (same as iCourse?), Recreation Fee, Special Class Fee, Technology Expense Fee, plus a few other redacted fees. 

That is a lot. 

First, yes, Celia is attending a public university and the unnamed state’s Board of Regents sets these fees. Secondly, no, she does not attend NAU (though we’d love to have Celia). 

Celia sadly cancelled plans to pursue a graduate degree. Her question now: Why are public universities funded this way? 

It all makes for an amazing read. 

So, What Are NAU’s Class Fees? 

At NAU-Extended Campuses, we strive to make the total cost of classes transparent – you can see it on our tuition pages. Other than individual class fees, our totals are all-inclusive so what you see is what you pay for a 3-credit course. Most universities don’t do this. 

But, like any public university, we charge fees. Here they are for the 2013/14 academic year and what they go toward: 

Financial Aid Trust fee: $16 for up to six credits (2 classes); $32 for seven or more. This is to help support financial aid awards for all of NAU. Did you know we awarded more than $120 million in aid this year alone?

Information Technology fee: $8 per credit hour with a max of $96 (for 12 hours/4 classes). You guessed it: This supports IT.  

Class fees: These are dependent on which class/es you take and cover things like science labs, equipment, etc. For some classes, they can be more than $50. 

So, for a full-time student (undergrad or grad) taking 12 credits through NAU-Extended Campuses, expect your fees to be $128. 

That’s much lower than the $500+ Celia is paying.

These fees are also different—and lower—than the main NAU campus. That too is by design, as NAU-Extended Campuses serves a broader, “nontraditional” student body.

Hello, Personalized Learning

All of this is why we developed Personalized Learning—with the help of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.  

The brainchild of Fred Hurst, Personalized Learning has no hidden fees, no constraints on how much you can learn, and no limits on how fast you advance. 

We think it’s going to be a pretty big deal in the world of online learning

Tell Us What You Think

Obviously, this is a complex topic. That’s why we’d love to know your experience with fees. 

Take our short online survey. 

It’ll take a couple minutes tops. We’ll be sure to share the results. 

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Additional Story Info
For more information, contact:
NAU-Extended Campuses
1-(800)-426-8315
ec.marketing@nau.edu