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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UC Denver

CLAS Policies, Forms & Procedures

Course-Specific & Instructional Program Fees, Guidelines


UCDHSC Downtown Denver Campus - December, 2005

Rationale For Course-Specific and Instructional Program Fees

The State of Colorado and The University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCD) downtown Denver Campus have many pressing fiscal needs that make it difficult to maintain a state-of-the-art learning environment for all instructional programs and courses. For many students, purchasing and maintaining state-of-the-art technology and equipment for personal use is cost prohibitive.

The campus had traditionally used a combination of course-specific and college-specific instructional program fees to:

  1. provide general student access to state-of-the-art instructional supplies and equipment;
  2. reduce the cost for students by pooling the resources of all students;
  3. provide a high quality learning environment and provide a competitive advantage to students, and
  4. provide sufficient funding to schools and colleges for these specific instructional purposes.

At present, all colleges at the UCD downtown Denver Campus have adopted and have been granted permission by the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents to charge college-specific instructional program fees. These fees vary by school and college consistent with their different disciplines, programmatic and pedagogical needs and uses. A complete list of fees and rates can be found on the Denver campus Bursar’s Office web site.

The purpose of these policies and procedures is to clarify the campus policies and standardize the practices governing the establishment, approval and usage of the different course-specific and instructional program fees charged and revenues collected by the individual schools and colleges.

Approval Procedures and Process for Course Specific and Instructional Program Fees

Annual Review and Approval of Instructional Fees

The Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center shall annually review and approve all existing and continuing course-specific and instructional program fees. The Board of Regents shall annually review and approve all new course specific and instructional program fees and any increases or decreases in the same. Such new fees and fee increases will be charged to students only after the review and approval of the Board of Regents.

Proposals for New Instructional Fees or Fee Increases

Any college, school, academic department or administrative unit proposing a new course specific, or instructional program fee or any increase to an existing instructional fee must submit a completed Course/Program Fee Approval Form to the Budget Office no later than January 15th of each year (see deadlines below). The following information must be submitted:

  1. Name of the college, school, academic department or administrative unit requesting the fee
  2. Reason for the fee, fee increase or change in purpose
  3. Dollar amount of the new fee or fee increase
  4. Estimated revenue to be generated by the fee
  5. Expiration date of fee, if applicable
  6. Implementation date of fee
  7. A roster of the student advisory committee membership
  8. A written copy of the student advisory committee’s position on the fee request

Process, Deadlines and Public Notification

January 15 - The Fee Approval Forms must be submitted to the Budget Office with Department/Requester, Student Advisory Board, and Dean approval signatures for the requested fee.

February – Proposed fees are submitted by the Budget Office to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Provost for review. Provost makes a recommendation to the Chancellor regarding fee approvals. Should the Chancellor approve, summer and fall online class schedules updated with all proposed course and academic program fees listed pending approval of the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents

April/May - Board of Regents reviews and approves all mandatory student fees. Information regarding the assessment of all student fees will be available at least thirty days prior to the first day of class for the semester the assessment is made.


Course specific fees are defined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) as those mandatory fees that a student must pay to enroll in specific courses. (e.g., lab fees, music fees, art fees, materials fees, and telecourse fees)

Instructional program fees are any mandatory academic fees that are not a course-specific fee and are related to the instructional program or college, but not the specific course offering. These include college specific fees and program specific fees.

Allowable and Non-Allowable Uses of Course-Specific Fee Revenues

Consistent with the CCHE policy, the UCD downtown Denver Campus defines course specific fees as those fees that are assessed on a course-by-course basis to cover the costs of such materials as chemicals or art and photography supplies used in the process of instruction or breakage fees for laboratory equipment and glassware. These fees often cover the costs of materials that for consistency or practicality cannot be purchased by individual students in a bookstore or the costs of materials that the student may take home at the end of the term such as pottery or a design project.

Course specific fees should cover the unusual costs for a course offering. Specific requirements of course fees include:

  1. Course specific fee revenues must be used for costs directly related to the course for which they are charged.
  2. All sections of the same course offering must have the same course fee charge for all sections.
  3. All governing boards shall annually review and approve all instructional fees (including course specific, college specific, and program specific fees).

Course specific fees may not be used:

  1. for regular classroom materials and supplies;
  2. for new or used capital equipment;
  3. to generate funds for general repair or replacement of equipment in excess of the actual costs necessary for covering the breakage of equipment; and
  4. to minimize tuition rate increases by shifting tuition increases to course specific fees.

Allowable and Non-Allowable Uses of Instructional Program Fee Revenues

Instructional program fees are like course specific fees in many ways – the major difference is that schools and colleges are allowed to utilize funds across the various programs within the college. They should also be used to cover the unusual costs for courses within the program and should be used to cover costs directly related to the academic program.

If you have any questions related to the allowability of a specific circumstance, please contact Finance or Budget.

The following are allowable uses of instructional program fee revenues:

  1. Purchases of instructional equipment and supplies for instructional use in specific programs, some allowable examples include:
    Computers in student labs Plotters
    Simulators Instructional photocopying
    Multimedia products Instructional video and audiotapes
    Instructional CD-Rom disks Course specific software and/or licenses/upgrades
    Scientific laboratory instruments Testing equipment & test protocols
    Diagnostic hardware/software Art studio technologies
    Electronic music technology Cameras
    Course specific web design costs Equipment in student labs
    Matching funds for lab equipment acquisition
  2. Student and non-student personnel costs (salaries or benefits) for indirect instructional activities.
  3. The purchase of the typical laboratory supplies previously covered by lab fees
  4. Materials and equipment used in lab or field experiments.
  5. Materials and equipment for language laboratory technology
  6. Materials and equipment for lab modifications
  7. Learning/tutoring assistance centers as targeted for a specific program
  8. Graduate teaching assistants, that are used to support instructional activities, but are NOT the instructor of record for the class on which they are assisting
  9. Furniture and equipment for specific program use classrooms (please check this category with the appropriate contact in administration and finance)
  10. Travel costs related to program specific field trips.
  11. Charges for maintenance required for the continued use of allowable items purchased with instructional program fees
  12. Student academic or career advising that is program specific

Instructional program fees may not be used for:

  1. Administrative equipment
  2. Administrative photocopying
  3. Advertising/marketing/recruiting
  4. Equipment not accessible to students*
  5. Facilities remodeling for non-lab modifications
  6. Furniture for administrative areas
  7. General office supplies
  8. Graduate student teaching assistantships if they are the instructor of record
  9. Personnel recruiting expenses
  10. Regular classroom materials and supplies, such as:
  11. Chairs or desks;
  12. Chalk or erasers;
  13. Equipment for SMART classrooms
  14. Scholarships
  15. Student and non-student personnel costs (salaries and benefits) for administrative services or for direct instructional activities (i.e. for faculty or instructors salary and benefits)
  16. Placement Testing
  17. Travel except costs related to program specific field trips
  18. Vehicle rental except when related to program specific field trips
  19. Faculty computers and general, non course specific, software

Student Advisory Committee

The purpose for the student advisory committee is to seek advice from those students most likely to be affected by the course-specific or instructional program fees. Therefore, the college, school, academic department or administrative unit proposing the fee must establish a student advisory committee of not less than five students for the purpose of reviewing the proposed fee.

*The term "accessible to students" is meant to imply equipment used by students in order to fulfill academic requirements. Such equipment may be available in an open lab or in a specialized laboratory accessible only while a faculty member or a teaching assistant is present. Often specialized equipment can only be used in a meaningful manner when a direct supervisor is present.