Costs associated with paying for college are a concern for most students. In some cases, students aren’t entirely sure what all these fees are covering.

Gwendlyn Chai, a University of Rhode Island junior, has started a petition to raise awareness about the $494 off campus study fee that students must pay before studying abroad.

“That’s a lot of money that they’re collecting, and a lot of people don’t even know what that fee is for, and that’s why I feel so strongly about it,” said Chai.

According to the University’s website, the off campus study fee maintains students’ registration while overseas. It will ensure that the student remains registered, that all eligible financial aid will be applied to the study abroad program, and that the student will have continued, uninterrupted access to all URI services.

After putting out the petition, Chai learned it is not the Office of International Education at URI that draws up the feed, but instead, the Rhode Island Board of Education.

“I will make some adjustments to it, but I do need to talk to the Board of Education to see what their response is,” said Chai. “We can add things to the petition. Why should we pay $500 just to remain at this school for a semester that we aren’t here.

Although the fee is not under the control of the Office of International Education, they say that it’s more complicated than it appears, and that they are doing everything that they can to try and make it possible for students to have a feasible experience.