Program Fee Rationale and Use

All members of Western Michigan University's Lee Honors College are charged a $100 per-semester fee. Students should know why and how the college uses the money. In implementing the fee in 2009, the college conducted focus groups with students and learned the following:

  • Students wanted not only challenging courses, but also more classes that are small in size and taught by experienced, knowledgeable instructors who inspire discussion, engagement, debate and a passion for learning.
  • Students wanted additional honors classes to qualify for general education credit (now Western Essential Studies), and the addition of more lower and upper level honors courses in their major(s) and minor(s).
  • Students wanted more classes to be exclusive to honors students to enable instructors to respond to the honors students' desire for a collaborative intellectual experience.
  • Students wanted courses and activities that prepare them for employment or graduate education.

How we use the dollars

The funds generated by the program fee are and will be used exclusively to enhance your academic experience at the Lee Honors College. Specifically, we use the funds to achieve the expressed aims of the five priorities above. Authorization to disperse funds from this account requires the approval of the dean. Categories of items that can be funded by the program fee include:

  • Instructor fees for innovative courses designed specifically by the honors college;
  • Lee Honors College sponsored co-curricular activities as approved by the dean such as books for guest speakers, field trips, and refreshments for honors college sponsored events;
  • Support for study abroad, Study in the States, thesis research and attendance at conferences.
  • Supplemental grants for instructors to enhance learning experiences in honors classes, and fees to departments for qualified instructors.

As we continue our efforts to offer students the best honors experience possible, it is important that we receive feedback on how these funds are spent along with ideas for further enhancing honors education at WMU. Here is the breakdown for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
 A graph chart showing the usage of the program fee. Detailed description follows.

Program fee breakdown

  • $33,454.75 Student engagement and programming
  • $217,407.06 Compensation for faculty, staff, and students
  • $55,426.45 Study in the States
  • $17,494.78 Honors College Vans