Original Issuance Date: July 20, 2001
Last Revised Date: November 13, 2023

1.   Policy Purpose

This policy sets forth principles applicable to the administration of student technology fees.

2.   Responsible UW System Officer

Vice President for Finance and Administration

3.   Scope

This policy applies to the administration and allocation of student technology fees at all UW System institutions.

4.   Background

In the 1993-95 biennium, the UW-Madison proposed, and the Legislature approved, a 2.5% tuition increase, of which 1.7% was for technology. The technology fee was then applied to all campuses during the 1995-97 biennium at a rate of 1% in the first year and 2% each year thereafter. This fee is designated as the Student Technology Fee (STF).

The Student Technology Fee is a tuition surcharge. Tuition surcharges are part of UW System’s GPR/Fee budget. As such, Student Technology Fees are subject to policies that govern approval and allocation of GPR/Fee funds. The Student Technology Fee is not a segregated fee. It is intended to provide students with additional or enhanced services. Student Technology Fees should not replace existing funds intended to support student technology. Students at all campuses pay the Student Technology Fee.

5.   Definitions

None listed.

6.   Policy Statement

Each UW System institution must form a committee that will review plans for the allocation of the Student Technology Fee. This committee must include students appointed by student government and appropriate campus staff appointed by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. This committee is intended to be advisory to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. Plans developed for the allocation of the Student Technology Fee shall reflect efforts to provide students with additional or enhanced technology services and be consistent with the campus overall and information technology strategic plans.

The committee shall review any major changes in Student Technology Fee allocation plans proposed during the fiscal year. Furthermore, Student Technology Fee plans for fixed costs, especially personnel expenses, must consider potential contractual obligations/implications from one year to the next.

UW System institutions must establish a specific accounting tracking mechanism for Student Technology Fee allocations as well as provide an annual report of expenditures to the Student Technology Fee review committee.

Student Technology Fee expenditures should concentrate on areas that benefit a significant number of students. Examples of appropriate and inappropriate Student Technology Fee expenditures are provided below to assist UW institutions in evaluating the intended usage of Student Technology Fees. Neither division is to be considered a comprehensive list.

Examples of appropriate Student Technology Fee expenditures:

  1. Expenses related to improving student access to technology such as:
    1. Upgrading or improving campus network services and access to off-campus network services.
    2. Subscriptions and licenses to online resources and services for students.
    3. Upgrading general computer lab equipment and capabilities, including computer hardware, software, video projectors and related equipment used for student class presentations.
  2. Technology equipment and supplies used directly in classrooms and other learning spaces that are used by a wide breadth and significant portion of students.
  3. Expenses related to training a significant portion of the student population to better enable them to utilize computer hardware, software, and new technologies.
  4. Expenses related to improving the level of technology for students with disabilities.

Examples of Student Technology Fee expenditures that are normally considered inappropriate

  1. Equipment and supplies used directly in classrooms or other learning spaces used by a relatively small portion of students.
  2. Computer hardware, software, or upgrades for faculty/staff offices and faculty/staff only workstations.
  3. Department-specific or limited access equipment which has little potential for student use.
  4. Research equipment.

If an expenditure that could appear inappropriate is recommended by an institution’s Student Technology Fee review committee and is approved by the institution’s chancellor, a rationale of how the expenditure benefits a significant portion of students must be kept for future audits.

7.   Related Documents

None listed.

8.   Policy History

Revision 3: November 13, 2023

Revision 2: November 11, 2022
Revision 1: June 10, 2018
First Approved: July 20, 2001