just a minor fee increase…

April 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm | | grad life, stipends

I received this email today:

We are writing to inform you that beginning in the fall of 2009, Stanford University will implement a Campus Health Service Fee of $167 per quarter.  The fee will cover many services provided by Vaden Health Center, including primary care medical visits, psychological evaluation and short-term therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and access to health and wellness programs.

The mandatory fee will apply to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on the Stanford campus, including visiting researchers and students participating in high school summer programs that result in course credit at Stanford.

Wha? An increase in fees of $167 per quarter?!? Right now, I’m paying $30 in fees. Now it will be almost $200. That’s nearly an order-of-magnitude increase!

There are 17,833 students at Stanford, so that means an increase in well over $10 million in yearly revenue from fees. Holy shit!

So let me get this straight. In these hard economic times, the best idea is to squeeze millions of dollars out of the poorest people on campus? Without warning and in the middle of their schooling?

Bullshit. There should be a boycott.


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  1. So, every student will have to pay a mandatory fee of $167/quarter, or $55.67/month, regardless of health insurance, etc.

    In addition, the quarterly fee for Cardinal Care insurance (the minimum coverage required by Stanford) is increasing to $800/quarter, or $400/quarter with a grad student subsidy. That’s $133.33/month.

    So, starting next year, Stanford students with the minimum health coverage will be paying $189/month out of pocket for health coverage. That’s $2268/year, just about 8% of our total income.

    Note that according to the Association of Health Insurance Plans, the average single American full-time worker pays 6.7% of their income towards health coverage – they pay $2,617 a year for single coverage, but make about $39,336.

    Comment by charles — April 8, 2009 #

  2. Chemistry grad students at Illinois pay about $400 in fees per semester including insurance. We used to pay nothing because the department. Then the graduate student union stepped in and decided they would represent all graduate students, which meant all graduate students would receive the same incentives. And now we are on equal footing with the broke-as-shit english department. And now we pay. I pray for their destruction once a semester.

    Also I am not crying for you. See above.

    Comment by excimer — April 8, 2009 #

  3. we need to understand how important it is for the university to maintain its endowment at its previous value of 17 billion dollars. with these economic times, the endowment has probably dropped to 10-12 billion dollars, and this cushion is simply not enough if we all of a sudden wanted to start our own space program. not to mention 10 billion dollars is laughable in comparison to the the other ivy leagues. size does matter.

    BTW: research…BY GRADUATE STUDENTS brought in approximately 1 billion dollars last year (take that coach calhoun), or 34% of the university’s annual revenue (ie. the MAJORITY).

    Comment by ak — April 8, 2009 #

  4. We pay about $300 per semester at my state university ($200 in the summer) but our health insurance is completely covered by the chemistry department. This includes a health fee, rec services, free bus transport, and all the other random stuff.

    However, one year they randomly charged every student a $100 “energy fee” for two semesters (this was a year or so before $4/gal gas last summer) and this was totally not calculated out to show where the money was going. Plus, why should I have to pay for energy used to run building that I WORK in, and dorms that I DON’T LIVE in. That is like telling your average bank teller they’re going to start taking the utilities out of their pay check. Oh, and that hotel down the street? We’re charging you their utilities as well. WTF.

    Comment by sarah — April 8, 2009 #

  5. i wonder what net revenue the chemistry department brings in? there may be a net flow of money from the university to the department (if you count buildings and electricity), because chemistry facilities are expensive.

    Comment by sam — April 8, 2009 #

  6. we will be paying ~$600 per quarter for fees and insurance. up from about $400 this year.

    so start crying for us. :)

    Comment by sam — April 8, 2009 #

  7. This is a backdoor tuition increase. Schools gotta get their grubby little hands on more money (at a rate alarmingly above inflation) so they try to get creative.

    Comment by Bob Barr — April 9, 2009 #

  8. Sam,

    Just deduct the monetary equivalent (including interest) of the fee increases for whenever (if ever) you make a donation as an alum. If you want instant gratification, you could just have a spite-cake-and-cookie sale, a “help raise money for my shitty fee school fee hike” fundraiser.

    Comment by jordan — April 9, 2009 #

  9. Graduate School Stipends, Health Fees, and Net Stipends (after health fees):
    Harvard – $29,106 stipend, $2830 health fees, $26,276 net stipend
    Stanford – $28,700 stipend, $2268 health fees, $26,432 net stipend
    Berkeley – $26,500 stipend, $1689 health fees, $24,811 net stipend
    Yale – $28,000 stipend, $1166 health fees, $26,884 net stipend
    Princeton – $28,600 stipend, $1050 health fees, $27,550 net stipend.
    MIT – $28,200 stipend, no health fees, $28,200 net stipend
    Cornell – $28,533 stipend, no health fees, $28,533 net stipend
    Columbia – $29,328 stipend, no health fees, $29,328 net stipend

    Comment by charles — April 10, 2009 #

  10. do the grad students have a union? this may be incentive to get one started.

    oh, i expect many students will take advantage of “short-term therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services” with the added pressure from not being able to afford ramen noodles anymore.

    Comment by rob — April 10, 2009 #

  11. This seems applicable:

    “I love this fucking University, and this University loves fucking me.”

    Comment by 13013 — April 12, 2009 #

  12. […] fees increasing and stipends not growing, it seems that now is a perfect time to add a safety […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » SCMF — April 13, 2009 #

  13. I think I might be missing some fees at MIT, Cornell, and Princeton, btw… I’m hearing MIT may at least have a small couple hundred dollar annual fee.

    Comment by charles — April 16, 2009 #

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