GW’s Student Health Service now charges students $12 a visit to accommodate longer office hours and a new office at the Mount Vernon campus. While this fee is small in comparison to other healthcare costs, it is just one of many added in recent years to students’ bills. Continuously charging students separate fees for basic services prompts questions regarding the purpose of GW’s already high tuition and damages student morale as they begin to feel overcharged. GW should refrain from charging extra fees and explore other funding options.
Students in the School of Media and Public Affairs pay more than $1,000 in fees for their new facilities. The Health and Wellness Center fee is more than $100 a semester for every student. The Student Association charges students $15 every semester in addition to a huge University Fee that supports student activities programming and other initiatives – although how the University Fee is spent is generally a mystery to most students. With a $50 voluntary library gift and now a fee for using Student Health, one can easily see why students grow tired of the continuous charges.
Most students are not up in arms about the Student Health fee. After all, $12 is not a lot of money. But even that small sum could serve as a deterrent for students going to Student Health to have some nagging cough or other symptom checked out. If students have to pay, they are less likely to visit. From a public health standpoint – especially at a place where students are in constant close contact spreading germs between them – students waiting longer for treatment for minor problems could lead to an increase in more serious ailments.
At least the University is not charging an exorbitant amount. The expanded hours and an office at Mount Vernon are good things and should improve student healthcare. But GW should not continue to add fees at every opportunity. Nor should the University increase this fee in the future.
Genuinely sick students should go see a doctor no matter the fee. Good health is worth $12.