March 13, 1998 in Idaho

Students Question UI Hike Tell Hearing They Want Skinny On Their Fat Matriculation Fee

Associated Press

University of Idaho students are willing to pay more for better playing fields and computer labs, but when it comes to a mysterious matriculation fee they want a score card showing how it benefits them.

Students testified at a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed 10 percent student fee hike. The university is requesting fees for fall 1998 to be set at $1,068.

Several students said they support paying $2 a semester more for improved fields for intramural sports like rugby, football and soccer. They also said computer labs need improvement and agreed to a $14 increase in a computing fee.

But when it came to the matriculation fee, the question asked was “What is it?” Students said they have asked for years that the administration tell them specifically how that money is spent.

That is difficult to show, said Hal Godwin, vice president of student affairs. The money goes into a larger fund before it is spent, making it difficult to link the fees to specific expenditures.

A. Larry Branen, executive director for institutional planning and budget, said the fee generated $7.5 million last year. Most of the money went to the physical plant for maintenance and operation of buildings.

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