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South Florida State College
Administrative Procedures

Procedure: 4114

Title: Lab/Course and Distance Learning Fees

Based on Policy: 4.11 - Student Fees

Office of Primary Responsibility: Vice President for Educational and Student Services


  1. Purpose:

    To define lab/course and distance learning fees, to identify the costs included in lab/course and distance learning fees, to identify which courses are authorized to establish lab/course and distance learning fees, and to describe the procedures for establishing and/or changing lab/course and distance learning fees
  2. Procedure:
    1. Lab/course fees

      A lab/course fee shall cover the costs of consumable materials, supplies, insurance, or other special products or services purchased by the college and provided to students in a designated course/program so that students may complete the required learning projects or assignments.

      The lab/course fee may not include the cost of materials, supplies, products, or other services used by the instructor in day-to-day instruction, such as demonstrations.

      A lab/course fee can only be applied to a class that is taught in person or in a hybrid format in which the majority of the class is face-to-face.  A lab/course fee is assessed as a flat amount per course.
      1. Eligible lab/course fee costs

        Items that may be purchased with lab/course fees include the following:
        1. Consumable materials and/or supplies purchased by the college and provided to students for the purpose of completing required projects or assignments in a course or program. This cost also includes the per student cost of consumable items purchased in large quantities such as chemicals. The college shall charge
          1. The per unit cost of the items
          2. For bulk or centralized items, a per student cost of the quantity used
          3. For intangible items such as the life expectancy of equipment and normal wear and tear, the number of anticipated years of use times the number of students who will use the equipment divided into the original cost
        2. Equipment, tools, medical apparatus, software, and/or any other products purchased by the college and provided to students for the purpose of completing the required learning outcomes or projects of the course or program.
        3. Services purchased by the college and provided to students for purposes associated with the course or program.
        4. Insurance coverage associated with the course or program that is purchased for students by or through the college.
      2. Courses authorized to establish a lab/course fee

        Courses authorized to establish lab fees include any course that is labeled Lab, courses with the letter “C” or “L” in the statewide course numbering system, or any other course that can establish that the college must purchase and provide consumable supplies or materials and/or insurance, products, or services for students. Justification for the college providing the materials, supplies, products, insurance and services must be to ensure student safety, equality of the learning experience, and/or quality control of the learning experience.
    2. Distance learning fee

      A distance learning fee is associated with a course designated as distance learning and shall cover costs of consumable materials, supplies, insurance, or other special projects or services purchased by the college and provided to students in a designated course/program so that the students may complete the required learning or assignments.

      The distance learning fee may not include the cost of materials, supplies, products or other services used by the instructor in day-to-day instruction such as demonstrations.  The cost may include costs of delivery in alternative delivery formats.  Distance learning fees must be assessed as an amount per credit hour.  A flat fee for a course is not allowed by law.
      1. Eligible distance learning fee costs
        1. All costs that are eligible to be a lab fee can be used to justify distance learning fee as long as the distance learning students use the materials provided by the college.
        2. Costs that offset the expense of a particular distance learning format
      2. Courses authorized to establish a distance learning fee

        Distance learning fees can only be assessed to classes that are listed in the Catalog of Florida Distance Learning.
  3. Procedure for establishing or changing
    1. Lab/course or distance learning fees
      1. Throughout the academic year, the instructional supervisor shall maintain a file with documentation of the actual costs associated with providing the materials, supplies, products, insurance, or services to students in individual courses and will review the summarized lab fee revenue and costs for their programs in Banner.  Every two years, the instructional supervisor shall review the per student cost for each eligible course in the department. The instructional supervisor shall secure information related to anticipated increases or decreases in costs for the next academic year due to increased or decreased costs of current items, new items to be included, or items to be deleted from the lab/course fee. Given these projections and the anticipated enrollment in each course/program with a lab/course fee for the next year, the instructional supervisor shall complete the Fee Approval form indicating the per student cost for each of the eligible items in the lab/course or distance learning fee.
      2. The total fee of the eligible items shall be rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount divisible by course credit/contact hour(s).
      3. If the new cost of the eligible items does not change the total fee, the form shall be filed with the fee documentation for the course and maintained by the coordinator, curriculum support.
      4. If the new cost of the eligible items changes the total fee, the instructional supervisor shall submit the proposed Fee Approval form to the coordinator, curriculum support for standardization no later than the second Friday of each month.  The coordinator will return the Fee Approval form to the instructional supervisor for his/her signature. The instructional supervisor will forward the fee proposal to the division dean for recommendation.
      5. Upon recommendation from the dean, the dean shall forward the fee proposal to the director, eLearning (only if proposal carries a distance learning fee) for recommendation.  If proposal does not carry a distance learning fee, the dean shall forward the fee proposal to the controller for recommendation.  If proposal carries a distance learning fee, the director, eLearning shall forward the fee proposal to the controller.
      6. Upon recommendation by the controller, the controller shall forward the fee proposal to the coordinator, curriculum support. The coordinator will forward the fee proposal to the vice president for educational and student services (VPESS) for review and recommendation.
      7. On recommendation by the VPESS, the fee proposal will be forwarded to the president and South Florida State College District Board of Trustees (DBOT) for approval.  If at any time the fee proposal is denied, it shall be returned to the instructional supervisor indicating the reason for non-approval and notifying previous endorsers and the coordinator, curriculum support of the decision.
      8. Upon DBOT approval, the Fee Approval form is signed and sent to the coordinator, curriculum support to maintain the college’s official record with related course information.  The coordinator will notify the instructional supervisor, registrar, cashier, controller, campus directors, chair, advising/counseling, and/or director, eLearning (if needed) of the lab fee approval.
      9. The registrar will implement the DBOT approved fees and the controller's staff will verify that implementation has been completed.
      10. The director, eLearning will verify that all classes that have distance learning fees are listed in the Catalog of Florida Distance Learning courses online.
      11. Some fees are considered non-refundable.  Non-refundable fees include:
        1. College incurred expenses for materials in which ownership of the goods transfer to the student
        2. Courses that represent prepaid arrangements for which the college has incurred expenses to specifically benefit enrolled students.
    2. Common program related fees
      1. Many programs require the same fee based upon the cost of a common good or service being purchased on behalf of students entering programs.  Examples include fingerprinting, insurance, and distance learning fees based upon centralized instructional delivery costs.
      2. Such common fees will be kept separate from course specific lab fees. When price changes in common cost items, the instructional supervisor must notify the controller of changes in common program fees.  One common fee may be taken to the DBOT for a fee change, rather than having to change each lab or distance learning fee containing the common element.
      3. The DBOT review and approve or deny the common fee for all courses/programs approved by the division deans, the VPESS, and the president.

History: Last Revised: 12/11/13

Adopted: 2/27/2003

Reviewed:

Revised: 7/11/06, 8/7/07, 11/10/09, 4/03/12, 6/18/13, 12/11/13