Elizabeth City State University trustees have approved a 25-percent increase to the student health services fee, citing a need to expand mental health services on campus.

The health fee increase is one of several trustees approved last month. Others include a new $10-per-semester student ID fee and a $12.50-per-semester mail center fee.

The health fee increase, which is subject to ratification by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, raises ECSU’s annual student health services fee from $265.23 to $333.

The increase, coupled with a projected 6 percent bump in enrollment, is expected to generate an additional $114,000 in revenue. ECSU plans to use the funds to cover the cost of hiring additional staff for ECSU’s counseling center.

Trustees also approved a plan to round mandatory annual fees and residence hall room rates to the nearest whole dollar. Under the plan, which takes effect in the spring, the athletics fee will be $899 and the student activities fee will go to $738.

Rates for student housing will be as follows:

  • $3,196 for a single occupancy room at University Tower
  • $2,518 for a double occupancy room at University Tower
  • $3,758 for a single occupancy room at University Suites
  • $3,082 for a double occupancy room at University Suites
  • $3,777 for a single occupancy room at Viking Tower
  • $3,097 for a double occupancy room at Viking Tower
  • $3,097 for a triple occupancy room at Viking Tower.

Trustees also set residence hall room rates for Bias Hall, where renovations are expected to be completed early this year. Rates for Bias Hall per semester will be $3,082 for a double occupancy room and $3,570 for single occupancy room.

Trustees also approved a $10-per-semester ID card fee. Currently there is no fee for the university’s “one card” service, which includes admission to athletic events, meal plans, libraries, and secure entry to campus buildings.

Trustees also approved a new $12.50-per-semester mail center fee. The fee, which will only be charged to students who sign up for a mailbox, will help the university cover the cost of maintaining and operating the mail center.

The UNC Board of Governors has prohibited increases to any mandatory student fees in fiscal year 2022, with the exception of the health services fee. For any other mandatory fee, an increase to one fee must be offset by a decrease to another.

The total allowable increase for all student fees is 3 percent, and must be approved by the Board of Governors.

In a related matter, the ECSU Board of Trustees signed off on a $1.2 million reduction to the university budget for the current fiscal year. The reduction takes the university’s budget from $40.7 million down to $39.5 million.

By reducing the budget, 17 vacant positions won’t be funded, saving the university $977,941. Also, university travel budgets have been reduced by $226,244.

ECSU’s original budget was based the university receiving recurring funds. Those funds ultimately were not received, however, because the state doesn’t have an approved state budget and ECSU didn’t meet all its enrollment goals.