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2018 UTSA Student Referendum FAQs

FAQs: Athletics Fee Proposal

What is the current Athletics fee and how does it compare with other similar universities?
The current Athletics fee is $20 per semester credit hour (capped at 12 semester credit hours), which is 27% lower than the Conference USA average. With the increase, the fee will still be 20% below the Conference USA average.

What is the actual fee increase?
The proposal is to raise the fee by $1.00 in 2018-19 and by an additional $1.00 in 2019-20 to a total of $22, in addition to the removal of the cap of 12 semester credit hours.

When was the last time an Athletics fee increase was approved?
The last time a student referendum vote was conducted to increase the Athletics fee was in 2007, in preparation for the addition of the football program. 

Why does Athletics need a fee increase and who will benefit?
Currently, UTSA’s budget is ranked 12thout of 14 Conference USA institutions. More importantly, it is significantly behind regional competitors like Texas State, North Texas, and Houston.  In order to keep Athletics competitive and sustainable, we must continue to generate revenue.

All UTSA stakeholders will benefit in some degree or another. The additional support will enhance not only the student-athlete experience, but the overall student experience as well. These enhancements will create general greater awareness and attention for UTSA and its stellar academic programs thus advancing the local, regional, and national brand of the University. Multiple studies have shown that as the quality of athletics programs increase, so will donations, student applications and revenues. For example, researcher D. Chung in his article, “The Dynamic Advertising Effects of Collegiate Athletics”, found that moving from mediocre (4 wins per season) to great (10 wins per season) in football results in a 17.7% increase in applications and a 4.8% increase the overall quality of the student body, in terms of average SAT score. Lastly, Athletics will set aside annual funding to assist the band and spirit squads along with other student-focused initiatives to be determined as we move forward.

Are there any student-specific benefits? 
 Yes. With the passing of this fee increase, the Athletics department will be able to continue and expand its student-based marketing efforts. Students will continue to be admitted to all home contests for free and receive discounted transportation to the Alamodome for home football games. The Athletics department will also continue to subsidize student-travel opportunities to select in-state and regional match-ups along with postseason (bowl games, conference tournaments, and NCAA) access. The fee increase will allow Athletics to expand graduate and undergraduate employment and internship opportunities. Current benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Participation in on field/court promotional giveaways
  • $2.50 Round-trip Transportation to Alamodome (Free for Rowdy Crew ORANGE members)
  • 10% off Concessions at Alamodome during UTSA home football games
  • Premium Seating
  • T-Shirt giveaways/Free Pizza at select events
  • Rally Towels, Thunder Sticks, Mini Basketballs, Special Themed Posters (Star Wars)

Why can’t the students who regularly attend games just pay more?
This is not a traditional way of applying fees or funding University programs or facilities such as the library, technology or campus recreation. Competitive athletic programs bring an intrinsic value to the institution and all of its stakeholders, so applying the fee equally is reasonable give the funding model that exists throughout higher education.
Didn’t Athletics just receive $10M in bond funding?
Yes, the bond issue that was passed in May 2017 included funds for a Track & Field and Soccer team building to be located at Park West. Athletics is not permitted to use these funds for any other purpose.

Is this fee increase going to be used to fund increases in salaries?
The fee increase will not be used to fund increases in salaries. Increases in Athletics Department salaries are funded by Athletics-generated funds in areas such as ticket sales, fundraising, corporate sponsorship, NCAA and Conference USA revenue distributions and media contracts.