Proposed Campus Fee Adjustments

Health Services Fee Adjustment

Introduction

Student Health Services include the following programs:

  • Student Health Center (SHC)
  • Counseling & Wellness Center (CWC)
  • Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC)

There are many reasons a student might utilize the services at SHC, CWC or CADEC. In fact, we know well that you can only learn when your body, mind, and environment are healthy, and that’s why the best universities are committed to providing high quality physical and psychological care on campus for the whole student.

Student Health Services prides itself in understanding the unique needs of college students. In fact, many Student Health Service professionals who work in these units went to graduate school specifically to learn more about how college affects students, physically and psychologically. In short, they know that when students do not feel well, physically or emotionally, it can have significant ripple effects that can prevent them from achieving academic and personal goals.

Challenges

Executive Order 943 (PDF) and 1053 (PDF) outline the health care services required from the CWC and the SHC but with growing operational expenses and a budget based on a 20 year old health fee model it is increasingly difficult to meet the rising health care needs of the campus community.

Recent surveys indicate that 1 in 4 college students will struggle with a mental health problem while enrolled. Indeed, the greatest spike in demand in Student Health Service is for mental health services, and the increase in referrals between the Student Health Center and the Counseling and Wellness Center is significant. Many students come to both the Student Health Center and the Counseling and Wellness Center for help with acute panic and anxiety, and if left untreated, many of these students are at risk for dropping out, drug and alcohol abuse, even thoughts of suicide.

At both the CWC and the SHC students report that they receive excellent care from the providers once they get in but getting seen at either clinic is a challenge.  During the fall of 2017 at the CWC the average wait time for an intake appointment was 14 days. During that same time period the wait time for a gynecological appointment was 15 days.  Both CWC and SHC provide same day walk-in slots but those spots fill up quickly each day.

The International Association for Counseling Services (IACS) recommends that a university counseling center should have one counselor for every 1,000 students. Right now, our ratio is about 1:1,900.

Proposal

The proposal is to increase  the Student Health Fee by $99/semester beginning in fall 2018 with an additional $9/semester increase annually for five years. After academic year 2023-24 the fee will increase by the application of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A student fee adjustment (the first significant fee increase in 20 years) will give Student Health Services financial security for the next 8-10 years. It’s the right thing to do for current students and future Wildcats.  When we are financially stable we can:

  • Adequately staff to meet the health care needs of our students
  • Offer extended hours
  • Eliminate the summer visit fee
  • Expand summer counseling services
  • Shorten wait times during the semester