The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to raise program fees across the board for UW undergraduate students.

An update on the proposal, which was first presented in March 2017 and modified over the summer, was presented to the UW Board of Trustees for their consideration during their September meeting this week.

The proposal outlined a plan that would feature a common advising fee of $6 for every course a student enrolls in, as well as a program-specific fee, the amount of which would depend on what department the course was in.

Dr. Robert Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy and a UW professor of finance and economics, said during the presentation that similar fees had already been adopted at competitor institutions and would help the university better serve students.

Godby said the fees would go towards implementing a professional advising program, expand student success resources and career preparation. Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education Anne Alexander said the initiatives would not only improve student retention and graduation rates, but also save students money in the long run.

Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education Anne Alexander said the initiatives would not only improve student retention and graduation rates, but also save students money in the long run.

“Our current advising system, it’s designed in a very transactional way.  It’s almost like an ATM. You walk in, you pick your classes, you walk out,” Alexander told the trustees. “It’s not best practice.”

Alexander said more relational, year-round advising is necessary to help students choose the career paths that are right for them as well as helping them adjust tracks quickly if a certain degree path doesn’t work out, as well as She said she wants students to start thinking about their careers from day one.

“Mistakes cost students money. They cost students time,” Alexander said.

Alexander said there are currently 10 professional advisers across campus and that many professors currently serve as an advisor for students. Alexander says the university needs to hire a minimum of 20 more.

Godby said the fees, which will be implemented in comprehensive manner and will be the same amount for courses in each program, will help students more easily determine how much their schooling will cost. Godby said the uniform fees would cover “ghost fees” – unofficial fees levied in an ad-hoc basis to cover materials, travel or other course costs.

“The program fees allows you to determine how much school will cost, year one through four, if you follow the university’s recommended curriculum,” Godby said.

The fees across the nine different programs were determined, Godby said, based on the costs associated with teaching the courses in those programs and the enrollment need to cover those costs. The highest program fees in the proposal are in the programs of A&S Visual and Performing Arts and Engineering, both $25, which brings the total up to $31 upon adding the advising fee. The lowest program fees are in Arts and Sciences, non (non-quantitative)  at $3.

The proposal will be brought before ASUW and other UW groups and will be refined in October before being brought before the trustees to make a final decision in November.