Universities Tacking on More "Green Fees" -- At the Students' Appeal


What did your student fees pay for anyway? Library access? The student association? The health center? Chances are that unless you're a recent graduate (or you're in school now), they didn't include a mandatory "green fee," a small charge of about $3 to $5 per semester that helps the university finance things like renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus.

I would have expected these extra fees to be a sore point with already maxed-out college students and their parents -- even though they're comparatively small when you stack them up against the majority of college expenses. Wrong. Today, Green Inc. featured a post on such fees and the rising number of students pushing to self-impose them.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education maintains a list of universities with "green fees," along with information about the fee rate, the percentage of students that approved the increase and details about where the money goes. On the list, you'll find big public schools like University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and smaller private institutions like the University of the South (which, by the way, has heftier rates than most).

Not all students have the final say in whether or not to impose fees, though. Florida and Texas universities require legislative approval for any fee increases; if the students want an increase, but the legislature isn't quite so gung ho, no dice.

More: How College Rankings Work How College Financial Aid Works How 529 Plans Work