Pay Those New Fees, Judge Tells Students

Friday August 15, 2003

University of California students who sued to block fee hikes will have to fork over the cash, at least for now. 

A San Francisco Superior Court judge denied their request Wednesday for an injunction that would have prevented UC from raising fees for law, medical and other professional students this fall. But while no immediate relief is available, the suit will go forward. 

“This isn’t an indication of how it will end up,” said Jonathan Weissglass, an attorney for the students.  

The suit, filed July 24 by students from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Davis and UCLA, also seeks refunds on spring and summer 2003 fee hikes for graduate and undergraduate students. 

Students claim the nine-campus university breached a contract with the students by raising spring and summer fees after students had already registered and been billed for classes. 

The suit claims, separately, that UC broke a promise to law, medical and other professional students that they would not face any fee hikes during their time at the university. 

“We all understand the university has a budget problem,” said Weissglass. “But the issue is whether the university can break promises to balance the budget.” 

The UC Board of Regents raised fees for the Spring 2003 semester by 11.2 percent in December 2002. In July, the board followed with a 25 percent fee hike, that jumped to 30 percent when the final state budget passed.