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Course Fees

Policy Number:  BFA-1200-002

Policy Title:  Course Fees

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor: Associate Chancellor, Budget and Financial Administration

Unit Responsible for Policy: Budget and Financial Administration/Budget and Financial Analysis

Effective Date:  Fall 2020, with scheduling integration February 1, 2020

Contacts: Assistant Chancellor and Director, UIC Budget and Financial Analysis

Policy Statement:

The University of Illinois Chicago strives to achieve and maintain the highest levels of instructional excellence and to provide the best experiential and applied learning environment for our students. In support of these efforts, fees may be applied to courses for specific course-related costs.

Although tuition is expected to cover the costs of instruction, course fees are allowed in certain circumstances to recover the cost of materials consumed during the progress of the course or for costs related to specialized equipment, software, supplies, maintenance, technology or field trips that are integral to the curriculum and would not be able to be provided to the student without the revenue from the course fee.

The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois system level, in conjunction with the three university Provosts and at UIC, the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, oversee course fee guidelines, review and compliance for their respective colleges.

Colleges are encouraged to keep course fees as modest as practicable, and to incorporate the costs associated with offering their courses into the operations part of their budgets when possible. This will help to make all of our courses accessible to the greatest number of UIC students. The revenue generated from course fees must be used to directly support specific course offerings. This policy does not apply to the setting of course fees for study abroad.

Reason for Policy:

This policy establishes the authority and process to create or amend course fee justifications and rates. The policy also provides information about the allowable and unallowable costs that may be recovered from course fees. The request, amendment and approval process are detailed in the procedural guidelines associated with this policy.

Accounting and Audit:

Course fee revenue is deposited into revolving funds established to segregate and record financial activity. These funds are not intended to accumulate surpluses or deficits. Over-or under-recovery of costs should generally result in an adjustment to the course fee.

Academic units are required to review their course fee policies and assessments regularly, and to make adjustments in fee rates as appropriate. Deans are responsible for reducing excessive surpluses and or eliminating deficits within a reasonable time after the deficit occurs by using other discretionary funds if necessary.

The University of Illinois Chicago, or UI System Internal Audit department as well as other authorized external entities, may randomly select a number of course fees to be audited, at which time the responsible college may be asked to justify the account balance or document compliance with this policy.

Publication of Course Fees:

The University of Illinois Chicago will publish course fees online. When a student enrolls in a course with a course fee, the student’s tuition and fee assessment will include the course fee.

Minority Impact Statement: The policy has no disproportionate or unique effect on UIC’s minority students, faculty, or staff.

Who Should Read the Policy:  UIC college administration, faculty, and students.


  • Course fee: a charge to all students enrolled in a course to cover expenses related to the student’s participation in that course. The costs must be unique and essential to the course curriculum, or group of courses of a similar subject matter or program.  The course fee rate will be based on estimates of allowable costs that are consistently treated and equally shared with all students enrolled in the course.  Revenue projections will typically be based on a three year average trend of enrollment.
  • Allowable costs: those costs that are reasonable, necessary, and allocable. Details are found in the procedural guidelines and fall into three general categories: (1) Materials, Software and Supplies; (2) Services, including maintenance and repairs; (3) Transportation; and (4) Specialized Equipment.


Forms: Course Fee Request Form

Related Laws, Regulations, Statutes, and Policies: State of Illinois Legislative Audit Commission’s University Guidelines (1982) on “Tuition, Charges and Fees.”

Document History: 

Approved by: Committee on Policy, Chancellor
Approval date: 12/23/2019
Approved as: Revised Policy