Discussions on next year’s tuition fee increase (TFI) have commenced after the Multi-Sectoral Committee on Student Fees (MSCSF) held its first meeting last December 8.
The meetings held by the MSCSF are conducted in compliance with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 3 and 8, Series of 2012, on “Enhanced Policies, Guidelines and Procedures Governing Increases in Tuition and Other School Fees, Introduction of New Fees, and for Other Purposes.”
According to the memorandum, all higher education institutions that intend to increase their tuition and other school fees must conduct consultations with different stakeholders of the institution. The University’s MSCSF is composed of representatives from the Parents of University Students Organization (PUSO), Faculty Association (FA), Employees Association (EA), University Student Government (USG), and the administration, headed by the Vice Chancellor for Academics. During the meetings, a representative from the Accounting Office is also present to interpret financial statements.
The need for TFI
As a non-stock, non-profit educational institution, DLSU’s main source of revenue is the tuition fees collected from its students. Every year, consultations are held to deliberate on the TFI rate that will be imposed the following academic year.
In such meetings, the USG and PUSO traditionally bargain for 0 to 3 percent TFI. Meanwhile, the FA and EA usually seek for higher percentages, ranging from 7 to 9 percent or as high as 11 percent in some cases, for higher salary compensation.
As previously reported by The LaSallian, in recent history, the University employed 3 percent (2010), 3.5 percent (2011, 2012), 4 percent (2015), and 5 percent (2009, 2014) TFI for all its students. However, in 2013, DLSU had a 5 percent TFI for freshmen, 4 percent for upperclassmen, and 3 percent increase in miscellaneous fees.
Reasons for the TFI in the past few years included the integration between the Manila campus and DLSU – Science and Technology Complex in Laguna, leasing for the DLSU Rufino Campus in Bonifacio Global City, and more commonly, across-the-board salary increase for faculty and employees. Recently, DLSU has also increased its tuition fee to buffer the negative impact of the K-12 implementation on DLSU’s revenue.
As of press time, for its part as the student body’s representative to the MSCSF, the USG Office of the Executive Treasurer has been circulating an online survey to obtain student opinions regarding the TFI. An open forum on the matter will also be held on January 6, 2016.
As per the CHED memorandum, the MSCSF has until February 28 to convene and complete consultations on the TFI for academic year 2016-2017.