New fee on some college bills: It’s for the virus

College students are used to seeing fees on their semester bills: activity fees, lab fees, athletic fees, technology fees, orientation fees and so on.

This year, some students are noticing a new item: coronavirus fees.

Faced with extra expenses for screening and testing students for the virus and for reconfiguring campus facilities for safety, some colleges and universities are asking students to pay a share of the cost.

The level of testing and protective steps, and the associated cost, vary widely by campus. Some colleges are testing all students at the start of the semester, while others will also test repeatedly throughout the academic term. Testing is mandatory at some campuses, voluntary at others. “It really varies,” said Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

The University of Michigan is charging a $50-per-term coronavirus fee this year. Revenue from the fee will help cover the costs

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