Fall 2020 Tuition FAQ

Q: How does the University set tuition and fee rates?

A: Tuition and fees are determined as part of the University’s anticipated annual revenue and expenses during the annual budget development process. St. Catherine University sets tuition and fee rates following a careful review of our resources and expenses in relation to our mission and strategic plan goals. We evaluate the most essential issues to ensure delivery of an excellent education, including support and development of academic programs and initiatives, student financial need and funding for student financial aid, attracting and retaining high quality faculty and staff, and facilities and capital improvements. The University has determined the tuition rates necessary to meet our budget and operating needs for the fiscal year and advanced the minimum increases required to continue delivery of the excellent education St. Catherine students continue to expect.

Q: When do the new rates go into effect?

A: Tuition and fees are established annually and new rates go into effect summer term to align with the University’s fiscal year. This year, the summer term begins May 27, 2020, and the 2020-21 rates will be in effect for the Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters. 

Note: The Occupational Therapy Assistant Online program is delivered on a separate calendar with new rates effective annually each fall term.

Q: My classes are being delivered online; do I still pay the same tuition rate?

A: Yes. St. Catherine University offers courses across multiple modalities (e.g. in-person, online, hybrid) and tuition rates are determined by college and program of study, not by delivery method. Faculty teach both online and on-campus courses depending on the program and course. St. Kate’s is committed to delivering well designed online courses by professors trained in effective online teaching practices, and takes significant effort to deliver high quality online education. Generally 8-10 hours of online programming and instruction is required for every one hour of face-to-face time with students.

The University is committed to maintaining the high quality and level of rigor in online instruction that is found in our traditional face-to-face instruction. Our accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, has also asked us to maintain this high level of quality.  There are costs associated with the ongoing development of online courses in this new method that meets the Higher Learning Commission requirements. This includes monitoring course development and delivery for accreditation, technological support, technology software and virtual learning software for labs and simulations, and multimedia products. 

Q: How is St. Catherine University ensuring delivery of high quality education online?

A. During the Spring 2020 term, the decision was made to move to a virtual or online format for courses in order to complete the semester due to COVID-19. This process moved current courses to remote education, or remote learning, and included a variety of options, including synchronous (at the same time) or asynchronous (on your own time) course sessions, chat boards and discussion groups, video recorded lessons, etc. This transition focused on the best approaches to move remaining course content to a format that could be done remotely by students for the remainder of the semester.

For the fall 2020 semester, for the courses moved online (or for all online classes in the future), the University will engage in online instruction, a specific method of delivering coursework that maximizes learning in an online format. This method keeps student learning as the focus and organizes course content into the most effective way for students to access and engage with it. This includes things like where materials are located, how learning activities are designed, new uses of technology and multimedia to enhance learning, and assessment of student outcomes. 

Additionally, students should be mindful of the level of preparation of their faculty. St. Kate’s faculty are high-caliber professionals in their fields who have spent years becoming subject matter experts who deserve and expect compensation for their work. Our dedicated faculty are working diligently to ensure students continue to have the quality experience they have come to know and expect from St. Kate’s. They are also continuing to build their skills and knowledge to deliver this quality education in a manner and format that meets student needs during this unprecedented time and allows students to continue to pursue their education. 

Q: The University of Minnesota froze tuition. Is St. Kate’s going to do the same?

A: No. As a public university, the University of Minnesota receives significant state funding to support their operations. St. Catherine University is a private nonprofit university that does not receive supplemental support from the state. St. Catherine University generates funding through tuition and fees, gifts, and grants to support all of our operations. The University has determined the tuition rates necessary to meet our budget and operating needs for the fiscal year and advanced the minimum increases required to continue delivery of the excellent education St. Catherine students continue to expect.

Q. What does my tuition cover? 

A. St. Catherine University charges tuition to support all of the costs and expenses necessary to deliver an excellent education on campus and online for all students, from first-year undergraduate to doctoral levels: small classes, supportive faculty with deep knowledge of their disciplines, ongoing enhancement of a historic campus as well as an expanding technology and virtual infrastructure, academic support and co-curricular services, and student services.

Q. Why am I charged a Technology Fee?

A. Technology is a key component of the infrastructure necessary to provide the desired curriculum and student experience. The technology fee helps fund some of the annual cost of licensing and maintenance for our core student software and technology services including the network, student enterprise system, course management system, and various other systems. These systems are designed to improve academic success and student services such as advising, degree audit, and mobile apps for student class information, schedule, and grades. 

In the past year, we replaced our wifi network across the St. Paul campus with a new, more secure, state-of-the-art system and launched a new application for students to find “how to” information and forms to request services. During the upcoming two years, we plan to integrate and enhance our degree planning, course planning, and registration tools to better align our course offerings to the needs and wants of our students, and we will continue development of security enhancements to protect and inform students on safe digital practices.

Q: What is the Student Activity Fee?

A: Student activity fees are charged to St. Catherine University students each semester. The fee is used to support the student governing boards, wide variety of on-campus and online student groups, programs and events, and to support student service offices and programming. The fee and how it is allocated varies according to the different student populations to best support our students. We recognize the importance and value in maintaining our community for students during the pandemic, and the student governing bodies and student groups continue to meet online. 

Q: What is the Clinical and Assessment fee, and why is it charged?

A: The Clinical and Assessment Fee is charged to undergraduate nursing students after they have been admitted to the major, for select terms when they are enrolled in courses determined by the Nursing department. This fee supports a range of expenses associated with the Nursing program, including securing clinical placements, development of the nursing curriculum, lab experience and equipment, and nursing board exam preparation program and services.

Q: I cannot complete my clinical experience right now due to COVID-19. Am I still charged the Clinical and Assessment fee?

A: Yes, this fee supports the cost of securing and supporting a student’s placement into their clinical experience, as well as curriculum support for the nursing board exam preparation and services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous faculty and administrators are exploring and leveraging alternative technology options. This group is also working with accrediting agencies and clinical partners to ensure that experiences will move forward after this unprecedented crisis is over. The Clinical and Assessment fee will not be refunded for those clinicals that were not completed, however, there will be no additional charges when the clinical experience resumes. 

Q: How are residence hall and meal plan rates established?

A: Residence hall and meal plan rates are set annually as part of the overall University budget process following a thorough review of room availability and demand, facilities improvement and operational needs, contracted services and options, and cost to students and families. The 2020-21 academic year marks the second year our standard double room rate will remain flat and our third consecutive year that the Platinum meal plan, which is required for all first year College for Women students living on campus, will remain unchanged. 

Q: Why do I pay a parking fee, and what is it for? 

A: Parking on campus is limited, and many students take public transportation or utilize street parking when commuting to campus. For those who purchase a parking permit, the cost of the permit helps offset public safety and facility expenses such as snow removal necessary to maintain parking areas. Due to COVID-19, all students who purchased a parking permit were refunded the prorated remaining spring 2020 balances to their Student Account, and all parking fines were forgiven. 

Q: What tuition and fees will I pay if I defer enrollment or take a leave of absence?

A: Students are charged the tuition and fee rates that are in place at the time of enrollment. For example, a student who returns to the University in Spring 2021 will pay the 2020-21 rates. Students should consult with the financial aid office to review potential impact on their aid package.

Q: Where can I find tuition and fee rates?

A: Tuition and fee rates are posted above, along with billing, payment processes, and the Summary of Financial Procedures.