$550 charge per semester expected to jump again to $650 next fall
The Moore School of Business is upping its annual “enrichment fee” again for students — the fee, which rose $200 this year to reach $1,100, is expected to rise by another $200 next year to reach $1,300.
Originally costing $450 per student, the fee was approved by the board of trustees in June 2009 to fund better staffing in the career management office, improved technology infrastructure and new faculty members. This fall, it increased to $550 per semester and, pending another vote by the board of trustees, it is scheduled to increase to $650 per semester by next school year.
Freshmen are exempt from the fee as it only kicks in once a student has taken 30 credit hours, which usually happens sophomore year.
“For us to get really good faculty, it is extremely competitive because they can go into the business world and make a lot of money,” said Carolyn Jones, assistant dean in the undergraduate division of the business school. “So the fee is necessary for competition of faculty. The other [reason] would simply be that we’re trying to be the best that we can be, and we’re competing against other really good business schools that offer their students opportunities that if we don’t put things in place we can’t offer.”
A release by USC spokeswoman Margaret Lamb at the implementation of the fee stated that “the fee is consistent with similar fees at several other leading business schools in the Southeast, including the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Arkansas.”
According to the University of Alabama’s website, the fee for business students at the University of Alabama is $30 per undergraduate course and $11 per hour for facilities and technology. This means that if a student were taking three, three-hour business courses, his or her fee would be $189.
Auburn University charges its students a “professional fee” which is $260 for full-time freshmen and sophomores, but the number jumps to $560 for juniors and seniors.
The initial plan was for the fee to start at $650, but Jones explained that the board decided to start it at $450 and increase it to make the adjustment easier on students. For that reason, she believes that once the $650 mark is hit, the fee will level off.
“Usually when we end up talking to folks and explaining what we’re trying to do, trying to stay competitive, trying to hire new faculty, they get it,” Jones said. “As state support has been shrinking, it’s very important to us that we’re able to stay up with other schools and kind of keep our image up, so to speak.”
The fee will generate around $1.65 million for the business school from the roughly 3,000 undergraduates paying. Although it has been proposed to raise the fee to $650 next year, it still needs to be voted on by the board of trustees before it can be enacted.
“I didn’t know that it was planning to go up from $550 to $650,” said fourth-year business student Justin Miller. “I’m not necessarily completely opposed to it if I can see something tangible as to where the money is going.”
USC’s undergraduate international business program was recently ranked No. 1 in the country for the fifteenth straight year by U.S. News and World Report, while the entire Moore School is ranked No. 42 out of public and private business schools overall.