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All the Small Fees

It’s not about the money, money, money, or is it? Amid cries and outrage on the ever-increasing tuition rates, some students are unaware of the small fees that plague the student population which, in my opinion, are more heinous than any tuition increase.  Onward State presents a list of “small” fees that can sneak up on a student:


1) 5¢ to make a copy

This one seems a bit obvious, and some might say, “well it’s only 5 cents,” but c’mon man, 5 cents?  That’s just unnecessary.

2) $1.50 to give away a student football ticket

You read that correctly—there is a $1.50 charge to simply transfer your ticket to another student’s ID even if the “purchase” price is zero.

3) $6 to late-drop a class

I kid you not, folks. Penn State University charges your bursar account $6 every time you drop a class after the beginning-of-semester grace period. This is perhaps the most outrageous charge, as the student merely clicks a button on eLion to process the change. Certainly, it does NOT cost $6 to process a late drop.

4) $15 for a copy of your official transcript

To anyone applying for jobs, get ready to pay for your transcript.  Speaking from personal experience, I paid $15.00 two weeks ago for a DIGITAL copy of my transcript. Yup, $15.00 for Penn State to allow me one-time access to download a PDF. Unfortunately, this is a charge that is unavoidable, as most major corporations and consulting groups are going to require applicants to submit a copy of their official academic transcript.

5) $2 Guest fee + $29 fee to buy a student football ticket for a visitor

I understand that a large portion of that fee goes to Ticketmaster, but not all of it.  To have to pay an extra $31 on top of the purchase price of the ticket is a big deterrent for students to purchase an extra ticket on their ID. It can be far cheaper for certain games to buy a regular ticket and sneak your visitor into the student section.

6) $103 for a gym membership (2 semesters)

After speaking with students from other universities in Pennsylvania (such as Pitt), many of them don’t have to pay for a gym membership to on-campus facilities.  I understand the argument for such a charge and that it is significantly cheaper than, say, LionHeart downtown. However, it’s a fee that nobody wants to pay.

7) $750 to apply for the SCM/IST minor

$750 to apply for a minor. This is absurd. We are already paying to attend this school via tuition, but for some students to minor in something they are actually interested in requires an EXTRA COST.

I’m sure I’m missing a few fees, so post in the comments below anything that I’ve missed!

About the Author


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