Washington State University

Revised 4-06
University Receivables

Special Course Fees

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Educators and administrators may request the establishment of special course fees to pay for goods and services not provided by state-appropriated funds or general student fees. However, revenues from special course fees are not intended to replace departmental operating budgets. Special course fees are to be considered exceptions to standard budgeting procedures and implemented only when necessary.


University personnel are to use this procedure to request new special course fees, to request changes in existing fees, or delete existing fees.

This procedure applies to established WSU courses or new courses which have been approved by the Faculty Senate.

An approved special course fee applies to all sections of a given course for the indicated semester.


Instructors are not to collect money directly from students and then purchase items needed for academic classes. Likewise, instructors are not to purchase items and then sell them to students. Such practices violate University cash handling and purchasing policies.


To be approved, a special course fee must meet at least one of the following sets of criteria:

Continuing Value

The fee provides funds for tools, equipment or products which have continuing value to the specific student charged for the fee. In addition, the items are not normally available for purchase in the local area. Examples include:


The fee provides for the purchase of services not normally provided by WSU. Examples include:


The fee provides funds for purchases of materials that would be hazardous or inappropriate for students to purchase individually.

Examples include:


The requester completes and initiates a Special Course Fee Request form. Complete and/or print the master on 30.95.6 to obtain supplies of the form.

The requester completes all pertinent blanks on the form down to the approval section. See the sample in the PDF version of 30.95.3. Sample sections are numerically keyed to the following explanations. Sections without an explanation are considered self-explanatory.

Fee Amount (1)

Enter the requested amount to be charged each student per semester.

Contact Name/Telephone/E-Mail (2)

Enter the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of an individual able to answer questions regarding this special course fee request.

Semester (3)

Enter the semester the course is taught, e.g., fall, spring, summer.

One Semester Only? (4)

Indicate whether or not the special fees will only be required for a single semester.

Justification (5)

Indicate why the special course fee is required. Include an explanation of exactly how the revenue from the fee will be spent. Explain how the class situation justifies a fee by applying one or more of the conditions above.


Estimated Revenue (6)

Indicate total estimated revenue. Multiply the fee amount times the projected number of students per semester.

Estimated Expenditures (7)

Estimate planned expenditures which will utilize revenue from the special course fee.

Indicate each expenditure item.

Indicate the amount to be spent for each expenditure item.

Indicate the expenditure object for each expenditure item. Refer to 70.09 for an explanation of University expenditure objects.

Total (8)

Calculate total estimated expenditures.


If estimated expenditures exceed estimated revenues, the requester indicates what funds will be used to replace the deficit.

If revenues greatly exceed expenditures at the end of the fiscal year, the continued existence of the fee at the current level may be questioned by the Controller. A ten percent surplus is considered reasonable.

Departmental Budget Number (9)

Enter the budget number for the responsible department.

Requester Name and Signature (10)

The requester indicates his or her name and title and signs and dates the request.

Chair and Dean Name and Signature (11)

Special Course Fee Requests must be approved by each indicated office before the new fee can be established.

The requester routes the form to the chair and dean for approval. The form is then sent to the University Receivables Section of the Controller's Office.


The Fee Committee or Controller either approves or does not approve the request.

If approved, the course budget is assigned an account number.

The semester the new fee goes into effect is indicated.

Controller's Office personnel inform the Registrar of the new fee.


The Controller's Office returns denied requests to the initiating department. After including additional clarification and justification, the department may resubmit a denied request to the University Fee Committee.


A special course fee cannot be assessed unless it is published in the TIME SCHEDULE distributed prior to the applicable semester. Submit the Special Course Fee Request to University Receivables prior to the following dates in order to meet the Time Schedule's publication deadlines.

Fall semester - February 28

Spring semester - September 30

Summer session - September 30


Deficits are not allowable in the course account. Expenditures which create deficits are to be transferred to departmental budgets (see 30.25). See 30.21 for overdraft procedures.


Only expenditures that relate directly to the course are allowable.

Inappropriate charges to the account must be transferred to departmental budgets. See 30.25.

Controller's Office personnel periodically review the appropriateness of expenditures.


A revision to an approved special course fee amount or deletion of a special course fee requires resubmittal of the Special Course Fee Request form. Annual fee increases are limited by legislative action.

See the PDF master form:
30.95.6: Special Course Fee Request
Complete and/or print as needed