Our Fees Campaign and You
Fees force employees to “pay-to-work,” which is especially true of graduate employees who are no longer taking classes but only working on their research and teaching. Fees are also a way to get around the full tuition waiver that our contract guarantees to all graduate employees! The University cannot charge us tuition, so they charge us fees instead. The same argument has been made by the Florida Board of Governors, the body that oversees the operations of the State University system.
To make matters worse, there is very little transparency about HOW fees are used by UF. The University itemizes fees to an extent, but it is unclear how the collected money is actually spent. The correlation between fee increases and budget cuts would seem to indicate that fees aren’t really spent on what UF claims they are spent on, but are simply used as a revenue stream to make up for lost state funds!
GAU has fought for and won "fee relief" in recent contracts. Beginning in the spring semester of 2020, and each semester thereafter, the University will pay approximately 31% of non-tuition student fees. A graduate employee enrolled in nine credit hours will see a savings of $227 a semester! A graduate employee enrolled in six credit hours over the summer will have an additional savings of $152. This fee relief does not affect the availability of any services offered by the University or others.
When the full amount of fee relief is effective during the 2020-21 academic year, the average graduate employee taking eighteen credit hours will keep $455 more of their paycheck each year! Those enrolled in twenty-four credit hours will keep $606 more of their paycheck. As a result, graduate employees can expect to save approximately $910 to $1,212 over the course of a two-year degree, and $2,275 to $3,030 over the course of a five-year degree.
This is money in addition to raises that helps graduate employees deal with the burden that fees place on their finances. While this money does not cover the full cost of fees, our fight is not over. Each year we fight for increasing relief for fees. We believe it is wrong for graduate employees to be forced to pay-to-work at UF and universities across Florida. since many of the fees are mandated by the state of Florida, we are fighting for legislation that decreases fees for graduate students state-wide, On both of these fronts, we need your help and involvement! Join us as we move forward.
THE AVERAGE GRADUATE EMPLOYEE AT UF WILL NOW SAVE
Due to COVID-19, the fee calculator does not accurately reflect fee savings for Summer A, B, or C 2020.
In our collective bargaining agreement, GAU has won fee deferral, allowing graduate employees to pay their non-tuition student fees later in the semester.
For graduate employees, student fees are due no earlier than on the following dates each semester:
The University may impose later fee deadlines.