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'Hidden' ID card fee frustrates some students

Andy Williams   ||   Oct 25, 2012  ||   

Members of the Associated Students of Santa Monica College in California can get free bus rides, discounts on selected movie and theme park tickets and free admission to college athletic events for an advertised fee of $19.50. What isn’t mentioned though is an additional $13 “student ID card fee” that the students also have to pay.

The $19.50 fee is used by Associated Students to fund campus clubs through the Inter Club Council and other programs aimed at promoting student life activities. The extra $13 fee is needed to activate the mag-stripe on the card in order to gain access to campus resources.

According to Jesse Ramirez, Associated Students publicity director, information from the Auxiliary Services department provided a breakdown of the $13 fee: “$3 goes to the ID card, $5 goes into technology, and $5 goes into transportation,” he said.

While both fees are optional, students can’t pay for one without having to pay for the other. “A student cannot opt out of ID card fees if they want to keep Associated Students benefits,” said a college administrator.

Ramirez is concerned that signs that advertise the $19.50 membership fee are misleading students because they omit the additional $13 fee.

Read more here.

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