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A student writing at a desk. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Student activity fees: What are they and what do they do?

University of New Mexico student activity fees can be a little daunting when you first spot them on your bill, but they don’t have to be a mystery.

“Revenue generated by the student activity fee is used to support a variety of student activities that enhance the academic and intellectual environment at UNM,” UNM Policy 1310 reads.

There are three fees students pay, which include “a facility/information technology debt service fee, student activity fee and student government fee,” according to the policy.

Student activity fees pay for UNM resource centers such as the Women’s Resource Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center and African American Student Services, according to the 2023-24 UNM Operating & Capital Budget Plans. They also fund student publications.

Student activity fees fund student support services, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Career Services. CTL provides free tutoring and Career Services provides free career advice, workshops and information on employment opportunities.

Additionally, student activity fees provide funding for recreational ventures such as bands, club sports and Greek life. They also provide students with free access to athletic events and Johnson Center.

Prabhleen Kaur, a spring 2024 graduate, wrote that she thinks student activity fees are worth the benefits the campus community receives.

“Student fees are something that we all pay for at UNM, but some use it to the full extent while others don’t. (For example), when it comes to the gym, though it is accessible to every single UNM student, some students choose to use it while others don’t,” Kaur wrote.

The Student Fee Review Board (SFRB), a committee of undergraduate and graduate students, annually determines how the approximately $12 million in student activity fees should be allocated, according to their website. Their meetings are open to the public, and students can comment by emailing the SFRB, visiting the Associated Students at UNM or Graduate and Professional Student Association offices or contacting board members.

The benefits of student fees depend on whether an individual takes advantage of the services they fund, Gabby Thomas, a 2024 graduate, wrote.

“UNM student fees are either a hit or miss. You pay a one-time fee to utilize the Johnson Gym all year round. You pay SHAC to utilize their free health services,” Thomas wrote.

Arly Garcia is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @DailyLobo

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