File photo

ZYTARUK: Mandatory fees make it hard on post-secondary students

Students are forced to pay a scandalous heap of fees on top of their tuition

So let it be written…

Talk about earning a degree in getting ripped off.

Local post-secondary students are being forced to pay a scandalous heap of mandatory fees on top of their tuition in pursuit of their undergraduate degrees. All the universities are in on it.

Check this out. If you are enrolled in Kwantlen Polytechnic University, this is what you might well find yourself paying each semester, on top of your tuition – the rising costs of which, especially during a pandemic, is a subject for a future column.

Deep breath now. Here goes: Student Assn Bursary Fund ($1.08), Canadian Federation of Students ($4.75), Student Assn Advocacy Service ($4.05), Student Assn Club & Event Fee ($10.35), Student Assn Reboot Comp Srvc ($5.40), Student Assn Peer Counselling ($4.05), Student Assn Intramurals Fee ($5.10), Student Assn Operating Fund ($52.02), Student Assn Social Justice ($3.15), Student Assn START Volntr Prgm ($6.45), Student Assn SUB Capital Fee ($47.10), Student Assn Lobby Fund ($5.85), Libr, Tech&Student Life Fee-Dom ($154.80), and Student Assn Stu Public’n Fund ($11.25). There is also a $45.66 Moneris Solutions “convenience” fee for students who pay their tuition with a credit card. That’s one heck of a lot of money for a single transaction.

Considering that’s per semester, and there are eight semesters in your typical undergraduate degree, this all amounts to a whole lot of ridiculous.

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Public health, economic health, and the mixed messages in between

That some of these fees are still being charged as students are restricted to online studies during this pandemic is sinister.

It is not my intention to pick on KPU. Simon Fraser University and UBC also present their undergraduate students with a pirate’s buffet of extra mandatory fees as well.

SFU makes you click on each one, on its website (insert eye rolling here). There are supplementary fees, special fees, click click click. Jeepers, it’s like opening a scary door.

As far as I call tell, this is what a freshman undergraduate student at SFU paid this semester in extra fees, on top of tuition: U-Pass BC Fee Assessment ($170), UG Student Activity Fee ($139.64), UG Student Services Fee ($48.05), Application Fee-Undergraduate ($79.50).

And UBC? Again, another deep breath.

These are per year: Athletics and Recreation Fee ($230.82), AMS Membership Fee ($43.15), AMS Financial Assistance Fund ($12), AMS Athletics and Intramurals ($21), Childcare Bursary Fund ($1.17), International Projects Fund ($0.30), Ombudsperson ($1.13), Sexual Assault Support Services Fund ($9.50), Student Clubs Benefit ($1.77), Sustainable Food Access Fund ($0.39), Student Legal Fund ($1), Student Refugee Fund ($5.73), Capital Projects Fund ($8.36), SUB Renewal Fee ($100), Lighter Footprint Fund ($2.64), U-Pass ($170 per term), Indigenous Student Fund ($0.97 ), Permanent thrift shop on campus fee ($0.97) and Graduating Class Fee ($3.00, in final year only).

At BCIT, trade students get hit with a Building Fee ($16.10), SA Capital Levy-Trades fee ($20.93), Day-Learning Resource Fee ($97.48), Dayschool BCIT ID Card Fee ($2.50), Trades SA Fee ($157.32), Student Service Fees ($31.51), FT SA Student Centre Bldg Fee ($65.78), and U-Pass ($287).

The only reason I haven’t mentioned other schools is because I’ve run out of space.

Welcome to U. of Fees. Good grief, how about some relief?

So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now-Leader. Email him at tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Post-secondary EducationSurreyzytaruk column so let it be done

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Sex offender who viewed underage girls as slaves has prohibitions cut from 20 to 10 years

Appeal court reviewed the case of Kyler Bryan David Williams, 29

Surrey resident Hanne Madsen is the executive director of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. (Submitted photo)
Now with a home in Surrey, Big Sisters finds way to connect girls/mentors during COVID

‘We’re really seeing an increase in the demands for our services here in Surrey’

Surrey RCMP recently seized about 451 grams of suspected “magic mushrooms” during a traffic stop in Guildford on Oct. 25. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP seize suspected ‘magic mushrooms’ during traffic stop

Police say the driver was going 108 km/h in a 60 km/h zone

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Seven more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

It’s free to park at White Rock waterfront now through the end of January 2020. (File photo)
White Rock waterfront parking free this winter

City’s relaxation of fees will continue until Jan. 31

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Lawrence Nadessan, 44, was last seen on Oct. 24 at 11:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge man missing since Saturday is extremely out of character, family says

Cameras saw him leaving home, not dressed for the weather

A group of Abbotsford secondary principals’s and vice-principals are at a retreat in Whistler this weekend. (Whistler.com photo)
Abbotsford principals attend retreat in Whistler despite COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Reported group of 20 did follow COVID-19 protocols during Whistler Pro-D event, says school district

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read