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Additional fees for MATC students

By Dolores Klitzka, Times Staff Reporter
On December 19, 2011

Rough economic times call for careful budgeting and spending. So why is it that our college prefers students to pay an ATM fee of three dollars rather than installing credit and debit machines in our cafeteria? Budget.

S-building cafeteria located in the downtown campus of MATC is the Mecca for eating, drinking, socializing, and study power. The cafeteria offers a load of choices for students who are feeling a bit under-nourished. Everything from soda and a cheeseburger to a nutritional salad bar can be found there. However, you will have to carry cash in the cash only lines. And what if you're out of cash? The US Bank, also located on the third floor of the S-building, has an ATM located directly across the hall from the bank. What's the catch? You have to pull out a minimum of $20 from your account, and submit to an outrageous yet common fee of $3.00, just to utilize this machine. While you're at it, tack on another $2.00 fee if you happen to bank with the college's Chase Bank. What's with the additional fees?

While most students who arrive at the college are here for a higher education to increase their own wage human capitol power, it seems like the "additional" fees never stop.

According to the MATC website, online course fees are $10 per credit. Other fees are $20 graduation fee, $8.00 fee for each official transcript of record, same-day service is $15 for the first copy and $8.00 each for additional copy. There is a $6.75 per semester nonrefundable Student ID fee, a $3.80 per credit Transportation Surcharge, a $40 returned check fee and miscellaneous material fees for classes. Parking fees are $32 for the school year, $22 per semester and $15 for the summer session. Then you still have to pay for parking if you are attending at the downtown campus. An Academic Support Center fee of $2.75 is charged per credit. A Graduation Assessment fee of $.40 is charged per credit, a Student Activity fee of $6.71 per credit (6.0 percent of postsecondary tuition) is charged for most courses. Most of these fees are included in the overall per semester prices and are directly taken off your financial aid before you see the bill. However, only the student ID fee is usually noticed, even after all is paid.

So why the additional ATM fee when MATC urges students to change their student ID (Stormer Card) into a debit card, utilizing a US Bank checking account? Good question and notably amusing is the fact that MATC does its very own banking business with Chase, a much larger banking corporation. The answer is in the finances.

In order for the S-Building cafeteria to rent or lease a credit card machine, one of two things must happen. 1, the school rents a machine from an equipment store at a flat rate and then gets charged a per swipe fee at a fixed rate ranging from .39% to about 2.7%. So to break it down in simpler terms, if you are buying a soda and using your credit card to purchase it, the charge would be 1.50 for the soda and an additional 20 cents charged to the school just to swipe your card, plus up to 2.7% at the end of the day. The school would eat up these additional charges and figure in another miscellaneous fee to tack on to the already inflating fees being charged per semester or 2, the school locks into a contract with a firm that delivers the machine for free and charges near max rate for the swipe, and they just suck it up and pay for the machines on their own.

I don't know about you, but personally I think I'll stick with a bag lunch. Thanks.


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