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Monday, April 15, 2024

I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any issues raised in Monday's Alligator article and editorial regarding fees.

I also want to explain to the student body the most recent discussion items brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees, UF's highest governing body, which met last week.

The board's Committee on Educational Policy and Strategy heard several fee proposals Thursday, including a transcript fee, a distance learning fee and an equipment fee.

Due to a number of concerns that were expressed, I want to clarify that these fees have not yet been approved or implemented.

The committee determined all three needed to be further researched before the board considered them for a vote.

With our university facing a tight budget year, I recognize the need to cover service costs related to transcripts.

UF is the only institution in the state university system, as well as among our national peers, to not have already implemented a service charge for receiving transcripts.

However, I am encouraging the university to consider a lower cost for current transcripts so as not to overburden students who apply for scholarships and graduate schools.

The distance-learning fee is a proposed charge of ,1.90 per credit hour for every class that utilizes the e-Learning system. This includes regular distance-learning courses, as well as classes that happen to have an online component.

The system suffers from a shortfall in funding of ,1.54 million annually.

Rather than implementing a distance-learning fee, the university could use less than half of the money received through the recently approved technology fee to cover these costs, and that would still leave a substantial amount for other technological improvements.

As a result, I believe that through discussion with the university, we can find alternate ways to support the e-Learning system.

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The final fee covered in the committee meeting was a pilot program to offset the regular wear and tear of equipment.

The fee would be very similar to the material-and-supply fee, and the cost would be tailored individually for each course.

The pilot program would be implemented in a small number of classes in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, Agricultural and Life Sciences, and Engineering.

As it stands, the university is still fine-tuning the proposal.

None of these fees were voted on at the Board of Trustees meeting, but they will likely return for further discussion at a later date.

I hope this has cleared up any confusion.

Students should feel free to contact me at to discuss any questions, concerns or opinions they feel are confronting the UF student body.

Ryan Moseley is the UF Student Body president.

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