Budget Requests

Designated accounts that collect distance learning fees operate through our office. If you're in the process of developing an online course or program and have a letter of agreement executed with our office, we'll prepare your designated account application (budget request) and monitor its progress through the FSU Budget Office.

How to Request a Designated Account

To request a designated account, contact ODL fiscal staff. We will advise you on state and university guidelines for calculating your distance learning fee, help you prepare your budget request, and work with the Budget Office to establish your account once it's approved. The Budget Office requires the following:

Guidelines for Assessing a Distance Learning Fee*

Departments offering distance learning courses that assess a distance learning fee should be aware of the Florida Statute regulating the assessment of distance learning fees:

  • Distance learning fees are assessed per credit hour.
  • Distance learning fees are assessed only for courses in which at least 80% of the direct instruction is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both.
  • The amount of the distance learning fee may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course.
  • When a distance learning fee is assessed, the university may not assess duplicate fees to cover additional costs.

In addition, the university maintains policies to ensure that distance learning fees are used only for costs directly attributable to developing and delivering a distance course. Our fiscal staff are available to answer questions about what expenses are or are not allowable.

Distance Learning Fee Audits

Because the distance learning fee for a course should never generate revenues in excess of costs, ODL's fiscal staff perform monthly reconciliations of each distance learning designated account. If expenses vary from the annual estimated cost of developing and offering the course, the distance learning fee is adjusted for the next academic year.

*Florida Statute 1009.24.17(a) and 1009.24.17(b)