It’s More Than Just a Dollar

Last week, we noticed the Scripps student body fee for the 2017-2018 school year rose a dollar per student, from $108 in the 2016-2017 year, to $109 per semester. There was no explanation, no email, and no notification justifying this increase.

While a buck may not seem so significant in the grand scheme of our student tuitions, the unannounced change left us wondering: why didn’t the Scripps student body receive an update about the rise in financial fees, even those as small as a buck? As students who pay to attend and study at these institutions, we deserve to at least be alerted when and why our budgets have been raised, if not some type of say in the decision.

Scripps’ website confirmed this change in fees, and verified that CASHnet did not make a typo in its report. However, we are not so much worried about the dollar as we are about our academic facilities maintaining honest and transparent communication with its students.

The lack of awareness about student body fees is disconcerting. The SAS constitution neither specifies how its student government utilizes these fees, nor discloses who has the authority to change the rates. Scripps’ office services confirms that the Treasurer B bylaws must “[contact] the Student Accounts Office to request the student fees check at the beginning of each semester.”

All students at the Claremont colleges are subject to student body fees: Students at the other schools pay between $122.50 (Claremont McKenna College) and $177.50 (Pomona) in fees per semester.

Not only is it the responsibility of our governments to alert us to such changes; we as members of the student body should be interested in understanding and anticipating these changes in our finances. We should want to know when we are being charged extra, and for what reasons.