Fee increase percentage debated by students

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Derek Remsburg/File

With the UC Board of Regents slated to vote on a controversial fee hike at their meeting Thursday, UC officials and students are citing different figures for the actual size of the increase.

While UC officials and most media outlets have said tuition will rise 9.6 percent increase, student leaders have said that if approved, the increase will be a 10.5 percent.

So which number is correct? Technically, both. It depends on how the numbers are framed.

The proposal would raise mandatory fees — comprised of tuition and a student services fee, which all students must pay — by a total of 9.6 percent.  If the increase is approved, tuition itself would rise from $10,152 to $11,220 while the student services fee of $972 would remain the same.

This would raise mandatory fees from $11,124 to $12,192 — a total increase of 9.6 percent.

However, since only tuition is rising, student leaders have said that the hike should be called a 10.5 percent increase because excluding the student service fee and looking solely at the jump in tuition — from $10,152 to $11,220 — tuition is rising 10.5 percent.

The UC Students Association has said that the difference in the numbers being reported reflects a lack of transparency in the way the UC is presenting the hike.

“The result is that the tuition itself is increasing 10.5% and students are concerned that this is not being framed to public in a transparent manner,” said a statement from the association.

Aaida Samad is an assistant news editor.