New course fees are coming for East Central College students who take automotive technology, building construction and welding classes.

The new fee structure, according to Vice President of External Relation Joel Doepker, is based on market analysis of similar programs and classes at community colleges and vocational technical schools throughout the state and are aimed to offset costs the college pays annually.

These courses are hosted by ECC, but taken at Four Rivers Career Center.

Doepker said, per student, the college has to pay those course fees and up until now, students in those programs have only paid for their tuition.

“The rationale for this is that currently, for each student enrolled in these classes, the college pays $1,538 to Four Rivers,” Doepker said.

The fees will help offset the actual costs of these programs.

Automotive technology courses will have a $125 course fee, building construction will have a $100 fee and welding courses will have the highest course fee, $250.

In the past, the college had covered the costs of these programs. This year, those fees cost the college roughly $105,000.

Doepker said the new fees would cover most of that, saving the college money.

Fees at Jefferson College, Metropolitan Community College and St. Louis Community College-Forest Park were used as comparisons.

Doepker said the board conducts a yearly assessment of this program to assess if the fees need to fluctuate as years go by.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said that course fees are nothing new to the college and that most students already pay them.