Judge Orders UC To Refund Fee Increases
The University of California must pay more than $33.8 million to about 9,100 students enrolled in its medical, nursing, law, business and other professional schools under a San Francisco judge's ruling, the Los Angeles Times reports (Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 3/7). Superior Court Judge James Warren's ruling, which was released Monday, also will apply to dentistry and pharmacy students (Krupnick, Contra Costa Times, 3/6).
The ruling stems from professional fee increases that UC approved in 2003 and 2004.
Warren ruled that UC violated its contract with students because literature accompanying the student fee schedule states, "Increases in the fee apply to new students only. The fee will remain the same for each student for the duration of his or her enrollment in the professional degree program" (Schevitz, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/7).
In their defense in the suit, UC officials said that all literature included disclaimers indicating that fees were subject to change.
However, Warren ruled that the disclaimers were less important than the statements that fees would not be increased.
UC plans to appeal the ruling (Los Angeles Times, 3/7).
The ruling also could have ramifications for undergraduate students enrolled at UC-Berkeley or UCLA in spring 2003 (Contra Costa Times, 3/6)
About 1,300 students -- mainly medical, pharmacy and veterinary students - still are enrolled at UC, but most other students included in the settlement have graduated (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/7).