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Lab fees cover equipment upkeep

Jason D. Cox
Staff Writer

Many students today are concerned with how much they are spending on school and how the money is actually used. When classes require lab fees, it is important to know what they will be used for.

The communications department has lab fees for journalism, radio, television.

The sciences also have lab fees for laboratory classes in both life and physical sciences.

These fees are designed to repair or replace equipment in the classroom.

“As a biology major, practically all my classes have lab fees,” senior biology major Heather Garcia said. “However, I can’t complain about the fees. We have up-to-date equipment and everything we need to conduct experiments.”

“The lab fees are determined by each of the academic program chairs,” Associate Vice President and Treasurer Avo Kechichian said.

Science classes average out the lab fees among all the students in these classes.

Every student pays a part of the cost to maintain the equipment.

The sum of all the lab fees does not cover the total cost of this service.

The science department’s budget is used to pay for equipment and upkeep; lab fees are merely a supplement to that.

The funds from lab fees go into what is called a restricted fund and do not belong to the school.

“At some schools you pay varying amounts for lab fees for different classes based on what equipment they will be using,” Robert Neher, professor of biology, said.

“We try to keep the cost to students low and cover everyone.”

Another fee for some science courses is something called a “breakage fee,” Neher said.

This is essentially a safety deposit students pay at the beginning of the semester.

This fee helps with the cost of the equipment’s repair or replacement if a student breaks anything.

Students who return equipment intact at the end of the semester can contact the financial aid office and request their breakage fees be returned.

Jason D. Cox can be reached at

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