University of California students will continue to pay a $60 surcharge to compensate for the $40 million in losses that the University suffered in a lawsuit levied in response to improperly increased fees.
The UC Board of Regents voted last week to maintain the surcharge – first implemented last fall – in the educational fee currently assessed to students until all costs incurred from the court case are recovered.
In January, the state Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that the University had improperly raised fees for 47,000 professional students during the spring and summer quarters of the 2003 academic year.
The court deemed the UC had broken a promise that it would not raise fees and that thousands of previously enrolled students were entitled to refunds with interest. The California Supreme Court rejected the University’s final appeal and reinforced this ruling.
As a result, the UC Regents’ finance committee suggested the University apply a temporary fee to current professional, graduate and undergraduate students to muster the millions owed in refunds.
The promises to avoid raising fees were made through printed materials advertising the professional schools and, in some cases, students even received bills stating how much they owed before the fee increases.
Regardless of the promised prices, university officials made the decision to raise fees anyway, leading to the lawsuit filed by lead plaintiff Mohammad Kashmiri and seven others. In response to the suit, the UC has removed all written references to raising fees.
At least 33 percent of the revenue generated from the surcharge from undergraduate and professional degree students and 50 percent of the revenue generated from graduate academic students will be set aside for financial aid purposes.