Warwick University has said that rent rises of up to £5 a week to pay for internet access in student residences do not constitute a form of top-up fee.
After the rises are finalised, students will pay £150 more a year to live in university halls, an increase of about 10 per cent.
Student union campaigns coordinator Chris Price said: "The students see this as a top-up fee. It's a compulsory charge, whether students can take advantage of the facility or not."
A university spokesman said student representatives on university committees had already accepted the need for a rise.