Policy on Broad-Based Fees


This policy outlines SUNY Downstate's policy and philosophy as it relates to Broad Based Fees and is in compliance with State University of New York Policy entitled Fees, Rentals and Other Charges, Section II: Broad-based Fees General Guidelines.



SUNY Downstate’s Broad-Based Fee Policy has been established in accordance with the State University of New York (SUNY) Policy entitled Fees, Rentals and Other Charges, Section II: Broad-based Fees General Guidelines, including but not limited to, the following:

  • All broad-based fees require the approval of the SUNY Chancellor's designee. Any new broad-based fee requests must explicitly state the purpose of the fee and the campus must assure that the moneys generated from the fee are used solely for such purpose. With the exception of the College Fee, broad-based fee revenue must be recorded within separate and distinct accounts.
  • Broad-based fee revenue may be used for personnel and other than personal service (OTPS) expenditures, unless excluded by individual fee policies. Fee revenue may not be pledged nor used to pay debt service.
  • Accumulations of broad-based fee revenue must conform to the University’s policy on financial reserves. Any proposed fee increase must consider any accumulated reserve amounts.

In the event that a fee is imposed upon students without following the guidelines set forth in this policy, funds collected shall be refunded to the payee in full upon request made to SUNY Downstate or by directive from System Administration. Requests for refunds must be made within three years of collection of the fee.

SUNY Downstate is required to submit a five-year broad-based fee plan annually to SUNY, including proposals to charge new fees and adjust existing fees. Plans may include one-time adjustments and/or multi-year adjustments to campus fees.
Broad-based fees are generally charged to all enrolled students to finance discrete activities that benefit the student body, excluding those activities that are part of the core instructional program. Part-time students are charged mandatory fees on a per-credit-hour basis.


Broad-based fee increases are proposed with sensitivity to student financial access. In general, annual broad-based fee increases are no greater than the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) unless there is a compelling case. Compelling reasons for such an increase may include, but are not limited to, expansion of critical student services, technology improvements, mandatory collective bargaining costs that exceed the current HEPI index or an extraordinary increase in fringe benefits.

Student Consultative Process

Requests to adjust an existing broad-based fee or to establish a new broad-based fee invoke the student consultative process. A broad-based fee request may originate from a campus oversight body, such as the Student Health Advisory Committee or Student Technology Fee Committee.

The consultative process commences with the appropriate fee custodian reviewing the proposal with the associated campus oversight body, including student members. Requests to increase the fee are also reviewed by the University Council (all student student government). The recommendation is then forwarded to the Chief Student Affairs Officer, Chief Financial Officer and the President for submission to SUNY who reviews all requests.

Fee Waiver Policy

Broad-based fee waivers are granted for SUNY Downstate students who meet the following conditions: those who are enrolled in study-abroad and whose activities do not require use of the systems/resources that the fee supports. Fees subject to waiver are the health and technology fees. Fee waivers are not automatic. Students seeking fee waivers must apply for them each semester, in writing, to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students may apply for a fee waiver until one week after the drop/add deadline for each term or semester.

Special Fee Waiver Policy As It Pertains to COVID-19

The Office of the Bursar at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University has worked with fee stewards across the University to determine credits due to students due to COVID-19.

  • Spring 2020: For the spring 2020 semester, as a result of COVID-19, students have already received prorated credits for certain fees where services had been discontinued or curtailed due to the COVID-19 emergency. After credits are applied to the student’s account, a refund will be granted where applicable.
  • Fall 2020: Students will receive prorated credits for certain fees where certain services have been discontinued or curtailed due to the COVID-19 emergency in the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Spring 2021: Students will receive prorated credits for certain fees where certain services have been discontinued or curtailed due to the COVID-19 emergency in the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Summer 2021 and after: SUNY Downstate anticipated normal operations as it pertains to fees, but will follow the below protocols should COVID-19 require a change in the future.
    • Campus Housing: Prorated credit based on a departure date from campus residences was processed for Spring 2020. For Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and beyond, we anticipate students will be on campus for the full semester, following the academic calendar. Due to COVID-19, upon reasonable notice, residents may be required to vacate residence halls and apartments on a temporary or permanent basis. If this becomes required, a pro-rated refund will be issued to the student based on the date the student moves out.
    • Student Health Fee: The services provided by the Student Health Fee will be provided either in-person or by tele-health regardless of the pandemic. Therefore, this fee will not be refunded.
    • Technology Fee: The services provided by the Technology Fee will continue to support students regardless if they are in-person or virtual. Therefore, this fee will not be refunded.
    • Student Activity Fees: Student Activity Fees are controlled by the individual student governments and not by SUNY Downstate. Each student government, should it be unable to provide normal services, will consider refunding a portion of the Student Activity Fee. The Student Governments at SUNY Downstate include The University Council and The Student Center Governing Board (which all students are members of) and the individual school/college student governments: The Medical Council, The Nursing Council, The Health Professions Council, The Graduate School Council, and the Public Health Council.
    • Any refund issued will be automatically calculated based on information from the fee steward. We encourage students to sign up with the Office of the Bursar for eRefunds to allow for direct deposit of refunds.


Approved by the Council of Deans. Last Modified: May 2019 with addition made for COVID-19 added in June 2020 and modified in January 2021.