University of Iowa

Call for Summer Session 2013 and Fall Semester 2013 course fee requests

Deans, Directors, and Departmental Executive Officers
Larry Lockwood, University Registrar and Chair, Miscellaneous Fee Committee
January 15, 2013
Call for Summer Session 2013 and Fall Semester 2013 course fee requests

Deadlines for submitting a new course fee (or revising an existing course fee) are:

  • For summer session and fall semester – February 15
  • For spring semester – October 1

Basic Principle

Costs of offering a course are expected to be borne by the department offering the course, including materials related to the mechanics of teaching the course, such as course outlines, syllabi, exams, and similar handouts, and the purchase, maintenance, and replacement costs of instructional equipment. The department is also expected to bear the costs of staffing courses, including personnel employed to aid in the course such as teaching assistants and guest speakers. Exceptions to this basic principle arise when there are unusual and/or extraordinary costs associated with offering a course.


Authorization to assess course fees for such exceptional costs will be granted on a case-by-case basis according to the procedure below. Examples of costs that may be recovered by assessing a course fee: (1) required travel expenses for students to visit off-campus sites as part of the course; (2) consumable supplies, such as art supplies and non-inventoried instructional materials, necessary for successful completion of course requirements.

Delivery costs for offering a course off campus are not defined as course fees and are not included in this policy.

Students should be expected to pay the cost of supplemental written materials, such as supplemental readings, if they are to have ownership of the materials. The costs of supplemental written materials will not be assessed through the course fee system. If the department does not wish to cover the costs of such materials, the materials should be sold to the students through the University Bookstore or other local distributors. This procedure simplifies the financial transaction, and helps to avoid possible copyright infringement.

The fee should be based on plausible estimates of the anticipated costs or previous records of actual costs and should be kept as low as possible. Dean's offices should keep complete and accurate records of the justification for any fee approved.

Authorization Procedure

To request a course fee, the department completes a Course Fee Request Form (available here), the DEO signs it, the budget officer signs it, and the form is forwarded to the dean for approval. The request should include a budget detailing what costs will be covered by the fee, and a revenue estimate based on projected enrollments. After review and approval at the dean's level, the request is then forwarded to the Miscellaneous Fee Committee. The committee reviews the request and forwards it to the Provost and to the Vice President for Finance & Operations for final approval.

Publication of Course Fees

Course fees are published in the Schedule of Courses on ISIS. When a student enrolls in a course with a course fee, the student’s tuition and fee assessment summary will include the fee. The public can view a list of approved course fees on the Registrar’s Office web page here. University of Iowa colleges are asked to link to this web page on their respective home pages.

Accountability of Course Fee Receipts

Course fees are approved to fund only certain types of expenses. Course fee revenues and related expenses must be accounted for separately and should not be commingled with the other activities of the unit. A preferred method to accomplish this goal is to establish a unique MFK WhoKey for this purpose.

Collegiate Budget Officers with oversight for the department promoting the course fee must ensure a review is performed at least annually on each course fee account to ensure that amounts collected are not excessive and fees are expended as proposed. Ideally the account will achieve a break-even balance over a 3-5 year period or will be subsidized from other departmental financial resources.


Internal auditing of expenses and income is the responsibility of the college to which the department originating the course fee belongs. Each year, the state auditor’s office may randomly select a number of courses to be audited, for which the colleges will be asked to provide reconciliation of income and expenses.

If you have any questions, contact David Salisbury at 335-0235 or