Updated 7:44 p.m. Elis will find a bit of a surprise when they look at their Yale account statement today: The optional student activities fee has been increased from $50 to $75 for the next school year.

The Yale College Dean’s Office said in April that it was considering raising the fee, which provides about two-thirds of the YCC’s budget, in order to help the YCC balance its budget after University-wide cutbacks forced the Dean’s Office and the President’s Office to decrease their contributions to the organization. At the time, administrators indicated they were inclined to raise the fee but said no official decision would be made until the summer.

It does not appear that students received any notification of the fee increase until it popped up on their account statements today. For at least the past two years, undergraduates have received an explanatory e-mail message from Student Financial Services at the time the fee was charged. The message provided details on how students could opt out of the fee if they so desired. (The option to opt out of the fee is still available on the Student Information Systems Web site.)

No such message has been sent this summer. However, an explanatory paragraph has been posted to the Student Financial and Administrative Services Web site, which is linked from SIS:

Yale College students will find the annual Student Activities Fee of $75 on their July student account statements.  The Yale College Student Activities Fee benefits all undergraduate students.  It ensures adequate funding for student organizations, club sports, and student events.  The quality of special events such as Spring Fling, Fall Show, Iron Chef Yale, Community Service Week, and cultural shows all rely on participation in the Student Activities Fee.  Services such as the YCC Bass DVD Library, the UOFC capital equipment project, and the new YCC Bike Share program also draw from Student Activities Fee funding.  Funds will be managed by the Yale College Dean’s Office with significant input from undergraduates.  Participation in the optional Student Activities Fee program will ensure a more robust offering of activities for all undergraduates.  If desired, students may opt out of paying the Fee by logging into the Student Information Systems web site (http://www.yale.edu/sis/) and then selecting the Student Activities Fee Waiver button on the Main Menu.  This must be done prior to 5:00 p.m. on September 15.

Acting Dean of Yale College Joseph Gordon referred a request for comment to Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry, who administers the fee. Gentry was out of the office Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Divya Subrahmanyam contributed reporting.