Here is something to think about if you’re a student at UCLA and submitted a credit card application to pay for various campus bills; you may find the university’s recent decision quite upsetting. Starting Aug. 1, the university will charge a 2.75% fee if students use credit cards to pay for tuition, housing, parking or other fees.
According to the Los Angeles Times, UCLA administrators say the school spends $6.5 million per year on processing fees for credit card transactions and can no longer afford it with the reduced state funding for the school.
“That’s money that can be better spent in support of academic programs and student services,” campus spokesman Phil Hampton told the Los Angeles Times.
How are students handling the news? As any current or past college student would understand, paying for school is exceptionally difficult. Student loans accumulate, and student debt grows at the speed of light.
Many UCLA students are upset about this decision as well, especially since students are already trying to adjust to paying an additional 8 percent for tuition starting in September because of the state budget crisis.
According to the UCLA Admissions page, California undergraduate students already pay hefty amounts to attend the university. The tuition for California residents attending the school in the fall and needing room and board is $30,476, while prices for out-of-state students are higher at $53,354. These figures include fees for health insurance, books and transportation as well. With tuition growing, theses expenses can only be expected to increase.
Student officials said that credit card usage has been very popular at UCLA, accounting for 79% of all revenue in student accounts. Besides instituting the credit card surcharge, UCLA announced that they will no longer accept payments with Visa as these cards do not allow percentage-based convenience fees. Other popular credit cards (MasterCard, Discover and American Express) will continue to be accepted.
UCLA student body President Emily Resnick told the Los Angeles Times that students are angry about all these upcoming changes, as well as the short notice they were given of them. The card charge was only announced earlier this month to launch at the start of August.
“Especially at a time when tuition is increasing substantially and steadily year after year, forcing students to pay yet another additional fee is unnecessary,” Resnick said.