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Paying for computer labs, the shuttle: administration explains campus comprehensive fees

Ever wonder what those campus comprehensive fees Mills College lists with college tuition really are?

At a community meeting on Apr. 6, Executive Vice President Ramon Torrecilha explained that the comprehensive fees are a set amount of money Mills charges each student every semester.

When paid, the student is allowed access to campus technologies, the shuttle, public safety services and parking.

The fees also ensure that all Mills students have access to the Tang Center, regardless of whether they are on the Mills student health insurance.

This basic medical fee aspect does not include the service discounts that a full student health policy provides.

Even if a student does not use one or more of these services, such as if they do not need a parking place, they are still required to pay all of the standard fees.

Torrecilha explained that this is because Mills does not give a set percentage of the comprehensive fees to any one campus service.

He also compared the fees to an insurance policy. Many people will not use the services the policy offers, but because so many contribute to the funds pool, Mills can afford to provide the services for students who do need them.

“It’s the Law of Averages: you contribute so others can use it,” he said.

Dean of Students Joi Lewis said that Mills has looked into what services students most frequently need and then pared down the fees to cover those fields in order to keep the costs down. “[The fee] is bare bones already,” she said.

Torrecilha said that Mills currently has no plans to place a cap on how high Mills can raise the fees in the future.