Athletics Fee In Question

Infographic displaying the comparison of athletic fees for Arkansas colleges

INFOGRAPHIC | Brooklyn Russell

Athletic director Abby Davis attended the SGA meeting on March 9 to answer some questions about the possibility of raising the Athletics Fee. 

Tech’s Athletic Fee is the highest fee, charging students 20.60 per credit hour. It remains the highest out of similar-sized universities in Arkansas. 

“We have about a six million dollar budget for athletics; our budget has gone down in recent years. We get two million from ENG and four million from student fees. We do not get state funding. We get that this is a tough fee for students, but the way to offer athletics at this level is by having these fees,” Davis said. 

The six million is divided between eleven sports and covers the costs of: salaries, equipment, graduate assistants, scholarships, supplies, travel, and health insurance. 

“There has always been a discussion about student [fees being useda as] scholarships [for] other students. We have over 300 student-athletes, and we offer 100 students a scholarship. In the last two years, we have not increased the scholarship amount,” she said. 

Part of the budget also covers when a student-athlete is injured, their insurance is billed first, and any remaining costs are paid for by the university “Our health care in Russellville is really high, and that chips away at the budget,” Davis said. 

The cost to operate athletics goes up every year, “We want to have these conversations even if they are tough and get feedback from the students. At no time do we want the student body to feel like we are in our offices making all the decisions,” she said. 

As of right now, the amount the fee could be raised is unknown. The fee is still with the Fee Committee and Budget Advisory Committee. No final decision has been made. 

(Editors’ note: We will follow the story as it develops further.)