UC students frustrated with persisting surcharge

March 14, 2013 5:43:42 PM PDT
UC students will not get hit with another tuition increase this fall, but there is a small surcharge that will continue to be added to their bills and that has many students seeing red. They say they shouldn't have to pay the fee.

It's only $60 a year. Still, many students say the surcharge seems unfair. "Rather than just turning to students every time they need to pay for something, including past fees on students which they shouldn't have raised," student Ben Keller said.

Students have been forced to dish out the extra $60 a year since 2007. Facing massive state budget cuts, UC officials unexpectedly raised tuition in 2003. UC had also reassured graduate students they would see no tuition hikes. The courts later found UC had improperly raised fees and ruled that those former students had to be reimbursed. And it's today's students that are paying for that reimbursement through the surcharge.

On Thursday, the UC regents voted to extend that surcharge through 2018 to finish paying off the last of the lawsuit judgments. "Tuition increases were as a result of state funding cuts. Now the tuition surcharge, $60 dollars a year, one-third of that goes to financial aid, so that surcharge is benefiting our neediest students," said UC spokesperson Steve Montiel.

This surcharge will bring in $91 million by the time it expires in 2018.


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