Have you ever wondered what the “segregated fees” in student tuition are? A segregated fee, also known as a “seg fee,” is money taken out of student tuition per credit to financially support campus departments.
For the athletic department, the currently approved seg fee is $5.18 per credit. According to athletic director Duey Naatz, these seg fees make up the department’s operating budget.
According to a handout that Naatz gave the Stout Student Association, 30 percent of the operating budget goes towards salaries, 28 percent goes towards travel expenses, 23 percent goes towards supplies (i.e. equipment and uniforms) and the remaining 19 percent pays for maintenance, rent and leases, services, etc.
Capital funding is an area of the Athletics budget that seg fees do not cover. These are funds used for large projects such as new locker rooms or scoreboards. Naatz said the department mainly fundraises for capital funding.
“With the state budget cuts over the years, what’s really been cut from our budget is state support for capital funding,” Naatz said.
Seg fees are approved through the SSA. Naatz said the athletic department used to approve their seg fees three years in advance, but has recently opted to approve them only for the next school year. The 2018-19 and 2019-20 seg fees have already been approved because of the former policy.
Students will see a $0.32 increase in seg fees by 2019-20, which Naatz said mainly covers inflating costs.
Last year, there were about 200 students fewer than the campus’ target enrollment, which affects the budget of seg-fee-operated departments on campus. Naatz said the athletic department lost around $24,000 because of the drop in enrollment.
“[It] is not a huge amount, but over time and when you don’t anticipate it, it leaves a little bit of a mark,” Naatz said, “We have the ability to fundraise, whereas the library or the counseling center or the other seg fee operations have a harder [time].”
Naatz stressed that the drop in enrollment does not constitute a crisis, and that there are reasons enrollment is down, such as a decreased number of students graduating high school in the past few years, which lowers the number of possible Stout freshman. He said the athletic department is doing its part to entice potential students.