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Sneaky Fees

<p>Students will be welcomed into 2017 with increases to graduation, child care and student card replacement fees.</p>

With student invoices sent out in late February, University of Melbourne students may notice some recent price hikes when looking at their statements. 2017 has seen all student service related fees and charges rise with inflation. This includes childcare, re-enrolment and skill assessment fees.

One of the more significant price hikes affecting almost all students at the University is an increase in graduation fees, which came into effect with the 2016 December round of graduation. Graduation fees include attendance of the student, two complimentary guest tickets and regalia hire. This cost students $155 at the beginning of 2016. By the end of 2016, this jumped to $215.

Some students are concerned the fee hikes will stop them from being able to attend their ceremonies. Third year Bachelor of Arts student Pat Rong is strongly against the price hikes, labelling them as unreasonable and unnecessary.

“Many of my friends last year simply chose not to attend their graduation ceremonies, instead preferring to save or spend it on other things. Attending the graduating ceremony should be a part of the University of Melbourne graduation experience, not some last attempt to milk us one more time.”

The University of Melbourne Student Union President, Yan Zhuang acknowledged these concerns.

“We’re working closely with the university to explore how we can minimise the financial impact of service-related charges on students. These fees disadvantage those living away from home and students from low-socio economic status backgrounds, and we’re working with the University to reduce the burden on students.”

Replacing a student card will now also cost students $50 in 2017, a $20 increase from 2016.

However, some student service fees have seen very little inflation, such as requesting for a copy of an academic transcript having only increased by $1. Despite this there is no doubt that current and future students of the University will be affected.

Some students have voiced their support for the prices increases, suggesting that the extra revenue will provide a significant increase in the quality and quantity of services available to those studying at the University. Second year Biomedicine student, Richard Cong told Farrago.

“As an active participant in university events, I would very much prefer quality over price. The small price hike in graduation services is necessary to maintain the high standard at the University. Coming from a middle-class family, these small rises in service fees are manageable for me”.

Image via The Conversation/Shuttershock

 
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