Change in Student Dues: Co-Chairs’ Perspective

By David Van Engen Psy.D. & Amanda Janke M.A.

Several years ago, MPA chose to change student dues from a substantial fee to none in order to encourage new membership.  While this was successful (student membership quickly grew over 600), there was no system in place to effectively track these new memberships at an administrative level. As a result, it was not possible to know when students graduated, became full members, or moved out of state.

To best tackle this issue, we took several months to survey current student members, field questions, attend Membership Task Force meetings, and passionately debate the best way to resolve the above administrative issue without creating undue burden for student members. The Student Division -as students ourselves- acknowledged that any fees may represent a hardship. For that reason, we fought to ensure that students will have the option to check a financial hardship box with their membership renewal and waive this annual fee.

Based on this process, MPA leadership met for their quarterly meeting in July and a motion was passed to change student dues from $0 to $10 per year in order to allow for the system to accurately track memberships. We believe that a nominal annual fee with the option to waive the cost will allow us to serve everyone equitably. We understand that there may be concerns with this change and we are more than happy to listen and discuss (please, feel free to reach out).

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