April 3, 2023 (4:39 PM)

3 min read


With the seven percent (7%) increase in tuition and six percent (6%) increase in miscellaneous fees for the next academic year, Ateneans have expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement of a Tuition and Other School Fee Increase (TOSFI).

Previously, university president Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. stated in his blog post entitled, “Concerns and Conversations in a VUCA World” that on top of the high inflation rate in Davao City, the investment in Hybrid Implementation Strategy using a FLEXible modality (HISFlex) has also become more expensive.

“…the heaviest effect of inflation is on our teachers, students, staff members, and administrators in their families,” he said.

Prior to the TOSFI announcement, Fr. Tabora, S.J.  narrated that together with Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jimmy Delgado, they prepared to recommend an increase in tuition in all units by seven percent to the Board of Trustees.  

“If approved, this will allow us to effect an across-the-board increase in salaries by seven percent. The University is only required to allocate 70% of a tuition increase to the salaries and benefits of its personnel. But appreciating the inflation, we will allocate the entire seven percent to a general wage increase,” he stated.

The announcement has received negative comments across social media platforms, expressing the dismay of students over the increase. Atenews has also talked to some students, who prefer to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, regarding their reactions to the increase in fees.

“The recent announcement of a tuition and miscellaneous fee increase has left me feeling frustrated, especially since the previous fees were already quite expensive,” a Secondary Education student stated.

Still, they collectively called the need for transparency in the TOSFI to be considered ‘justifiable.’

“…I believe that one of the most obvious and effective method of justifying this increase would be a rundown of the proposal. This lets the people involved learn key information about the increase, such as where the additional budget is/are allocated to,” a Chemical Engineering student said.

A Psychology student and scholar stated that their family needs to create adjustments because of the abrupt changes.

“As a scholar, this greatly affected me because as a part of a family who is barely keeping up with the rising prices of the daily needs of a family, from the previous education budget plans we have, we need to readjust our budget again just to compensate for this increase.” 

Non-scholars also conveyed that it would leave a significant impact on their finances.

“This is really concerning because I am not the only college student in my family, and my parents are already struggling with significant debt as they try to cover all of our school fees and make ends meet,” the Secondary Education student said.

“As my mother is a single parent, this will affect her the most. The high cost of education and related expenses has been a struggle for our family,” an Interdisciplinary Studies student expressed.

Atenews tried to contact the Finance office for the breakdown of the increase but has not received a response yet. As of writing, the Tentative Schedule of Tuition and Other Fees for SY 2023-2024 is yet to be posted on the university bulletin boards as promised by the memo.

End the silence of the gagged!

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