This executive order is issued pursuant to Education Code
Sections 89035, 66028, 89711, 89712 and Board of Trustees Standing Orders,
Chapter II, subsection i.
California State University Fee Policy
This executive order updates the California State
University Board of Trustees policies that comprise the CSU Student Fee Policy,
incorporates a new voluntary Student Involvement and Representation Fee,
provides clarification and new requirements for student success fees, incorporates
the statutory requirements of the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and
Accountability Act, addresses reallocation of future Campus Mandatory Fees, and
identifies Cal State Online as subject to fee policy.
Involvement and Representation Fee (SIRF)
At the January 2015 Board of Trustees meeting, the
Trustees voted to establish a new voluntary systemwide fee, the Student Involvement
and Representation Fee, in an effort to expand opportunities for student
involvement and representation on issues of importance. As the first voluntary
systemwide fee, a new Category VI was created. Fee assessment commences in the fall of 2015. This fee will be managed
by the California State Student Association.
At the January 2015 Board of Trustees meeting, the
Trustees voted to make specific amendments to fee policy to incorporate clarification
and new requirements for student success fees (Category II). These changes followed the formation of a
working group to study the role, process, and enactment of category II
campus-based mandatory student success fees, including their notification,
accountability, and outcome reporting processes. The working group and subsequent fee policy
changes were incorporated in response to Senate Bill 860, Education Code
Section 89712, which required the chancellor to conduct a review of student
success fees during fiscal year 2014-2015 and make recommendations to the
trustees on changes to the fee policy.
Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act
In September 2012, the governor signed into law the “Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act,” Education Code Section 66028, which enacts specific requirements for increasing or establishing new mandatory systemwide fees (Category I). In March 2013, the Board adopted a list of factors for consideration when reviewing fee increases, which also have been included in the update.
Specified Future Campus Mandatory Fees
In September 2012 the governor also signed into law provisions for reallocation of campus mandatory fees (Category II). Education Code Section 89711 requires that any fee established by a majority vote of the student body after the effective date of this legislation must be brought back before the student body before it can be reallocated, unless the vote that established the fee authorized an alternative or automatic reallocation mechanism. Category II fees that do not fall under the purview of this law are exempt.
Cal State Online
At the January 2013 Board of Trustees meeting, the Trustees voted to make specific amendments to fee policy to incorporate Cal State Online into the nomenclature of Category V Fees, which are fines, fees and deposits paid to self-support programs.
Bureau of State
Audit Report on California State University’s Extended Education
To effectively monitor and ensure that the campuses set self-support fees in accordance with state law and fee policy, responsibilities for the campus chief financial officer and president regarding development and consideration of revenue and expenditure statements before making a determination on self-support extended education program fees were added. These requirements previously applied only to Category II and III fees, but have been expanded to Category V extended education fees. Consultation requirements between the president and extended education dean also were included. Additionally, annual reporting on Category V extended education fees was clarified.
Reference documents supplemental to this update of CSU Student Fee Policy, including an index of fees, historical documents, and State Education Code information are available at: calstate.edu/budget/student-fees/fee-policy.
THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT FEE POLICY
I. Fee Policy Statement
The CSU makes every
effort to keep student costs to a minimum. Fees listed in published schedules
or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate.
Therefore, CSU must reserve the right, even after fees are initially charged or
initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees. All listed fees, other than mandatory
systemwide fees, are subject to change without notice, until the date when
instruction for a particular semester or quarter has begun. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to
change upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the
Presidents, as appropriate. Changes in
mandatory systemwide fees will be made in accordance with the requirements of
the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act (Sections
66028 - 66028.6 of the Education Code).
II. Fee Category Definitions
- Category I – Systemwide
mandatory tuition and other fees that must be paid to apply to, enroll in, or
attend the university, or to pay the full cost of instruction required of some
students by statute.
- Category II – Campus
mandatory fees that must be paid to enroll in or attend the university.
- Category III – Fees
associated with state-supported courses. Specifically for materials and
services used in concert with the basic foundation of an academic course
- Category IV – Fees, other
than Category II or III fees, paid to receive materials, services, or for the
use of facilities provided by the university; and fees or deposits to reimburse
the university for additional costs resulting from dishonored payments, late
submissions, or misuse of property or as a security or guaranty.
- Category V – Fees paid to
self-support programs such as extended education, Cal State Online extended education
offerings, parking and housing including materials and services fees, user
fees, fines, and deposits. Self-support programs are defined as those not
receiving state general fund appropriations; instead, fees are collected to pay
the full cost of a program. Costs of self-support instructional programs
include support and development of the academic quality of the university.
- Category VI – Systemwide voluntary
- The Board of Trustees
provides policy guidance for all matters pertaining to student fees and has
authority for the establishment of Category I and VI fees, and oversight and
adjustment of Category I fees, pursuant to the Working Families Student Fee
Transparency and Accountability Act (commencing with Section 66028 of the
- The chancellor is delegated
authority for the establishment, oversight and adjustment of Category II, Category
III, and Category V Cal State Online fees extended education offerings. The
chancellor also is delegated authority for the oversight and inflationary adjustment
of the Category VI Student Involvement and Representation Fee. The allowance
for inflationary adjustments shall not be considered automatic on an annual
basis, but rather allowable should the chancellor deem it necessary following
consultation with the California State Student Association (CSSA). The
chancellor is not delegated authority for Category I fees, although the
chancellor may approve individual campus tuition fee rates that do not exceed
the maximum fee rates established by the Board of Trustees.
- The president is delegated
authority for the establishment, oversight and adjustment of Category IV and
Category V fees (with the exception of Cal State Online fees extended education
offerings), and for the oversight and adjustment of Category II and III fees.
The president is not delegated authority to establish Category I, or Category
II fees, or to adjust Category I fees. The president does have limited authority
to establish or adjust Category III fees only within a range established by the
chancellor as shown below in Section VI.C.6 of this fee policy.
- The president is responsible
for assuring that appropriate and meaningful consultation occurs prior to
adjusting any campus-based fee and before requesting that the chancellor
establish a new Category II or Category III fee.
- The president shall establish a Campus
Fee Advisory Committee comprised of student, faculty, staff, and administrative
representatives to provide advice to the president. Membership of the Campus Fee
Advisory Committee shall be established in consultation with the campus student
body association and the campus faculty senate and shall include the president
of the campus student body association and the chair of the campus faculty
senate or their designees. The president shall appoint the chair of the Campus
Fee Advisory Committee.
- The president shall appoint
members to the Campus Fee Advisory Committee, excluding the student
representatives who shall be appointed by the campus student body association.
Faculty members shall be appointed consistent with normal campus processes for
selecting faculty members to serve on similar committees.
- Students appointed by the campus student body
association shall constitute a majority of the voting members of the Campus Fee
- A statement of revenues and expenditures including a
minimum of two years of projected revenue and expenditures and one year of
actual costs for the fee revenue supported activity shall be developed by the
campus chief financial officer and considered by the president prior to
establishing or adjusting any Category II or III fee.
- The president shall consult with the Campus Fee Advisory
Committee before adjusting or requesting that the chancellor establish any
Category II or III fees (subject to his/her approval in writing).
- The Campus Fee Advisory Committee
shall consider proposals for the establishment and adjustment of Category II or
III fees, and shall then make a recommendation to the president.
- Appropriate and meaningful
consultation with campus constituencies regarding Category II fees and the use
of fee revenue is critical to assure that the delegated authority is exercised
in a manner that is consistent with policies adopted by the board.
- Appropriate and meaningful
consultation includes consultation with bodies such as the campus faculty
senate, the campus student body association and other constituencies affected
by any proposed increase in an existing fee or establishment of a new fee.
- The policy presumes that a student fee referendum
will be conducted before adjusting or establishing Category II fees. The
president may waive the referendum requirement (unless it is required by education
code or Student Success Fee policy Section VI.B) if he/she determines that a
referendum is not the best mechanism to achieve appropriate and meaningful
- If a referendum is not conducted prior to adjusting
Category II fees or requesting the chancellor to establish a new Category II
fee, the president must demonstrate to the fee advisory committee the reasons
why the alternative consultation methods selected will be more effective in
complying with this policy.
- An advisory student
referendum is expected in order to measure student support prior to adjusting a
Category II fee or requesting the chancellor to establish a new Category II fee
but is subject to the exception described in Section IV.B.2. The referendum may
be conducted by the campus or the student body association. For referenda
conducted by the campus, the following shall apply:
- The president in consultation
with the student body association and the faculty senate shall develop
guidelines applicable to the student fee referendum process designed to assure
that the referendum is open, fair, and objective.
- The campus shall fund costs associated with the
- The fee advisory committee shall issue a voter
pamphlet providing objective analysis of the proposed fee action and statements
solicited by the committee for and against the proposed fee action.
- The fee advisory committee shall determine the
specific statements that shall be included in the pamphlet.
- Copies of the voter pamphlet and ballot and
information regarding the dates, times, and polling locations shall be
available to students and published in the campus newspaper and in other public
locations around campus at least thirty days prior to the referendum.
- The results of a referendum shall be considered
favorable when a majority of students voting approve the fee action.
- The results of the referendum shall be advisory to
the fee advisory committee and the president, unless the Education Code or
Student Success Fee policy (Section VI.B) requires that the referendum pass.
- If it is determined that a referendum is not the
best mechanism for appropriate and meaningful consultation, and is not required
by the Education Code or Student Success Fee policy (Section VI.B), an
alternative consultation process may be utilized. The following shall
- The president, upon deciding that a referendum will
not allow for the best measure of student opinion, shall inform the fee
advisory committee of his/her intent to begin alternative consultation.
- Alternative consultation strategies shall be
developed with input from the student body association and the fee advisory
committee to ensure that the process is transparent and meaningful, and shall
solicit the input of a representative sample of the student body.
- A representative sample should include students in
leadership positions as well as students who are not involved in campus
leadership. Efforts should be made to include students from many aspects of
campus life regardless of the type of fee.
- Any written material regarding the new fee, or fee
increase should follow the same guidelines as the referendum voter pamphlet
(Section IV.C above) to provide objective analysis of the fee or fee increase.
- Results of the alternative consultation process
should be summarized and put in writing and used as additional advisory
material to be taken into consideration by the fee advisory committee and the
- If a Category II fee for a capital project (e.g.,
university union building or health services building) must be raised to meet
minimum debt service revenue bond requirements that were not required when the
fee was established, the president can make that adjustment without a full
alternative consultation process, but must present the debt service
requirements and revenue projections to the fee advisory committee prior to
making the adjustment.
established prior to January 1, 2013, Category II fees established through an
affirmative vote of the majority of the student body voting on the fee, but not
specifically authorized by statute, shall not be reallocated to alternative
purpose(s) without an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of either
the student body or Campus Fee Advisory Committee voting on the reallocation.
Category II fees established on or after January 1, 2013 through an affirmative
vote of the majority of the student body voting on the fee, but not
specifically authorized by statue, may be reallocated without an affirmative
vote of a majority of the members of either the student body or Campus Fee
Advisory Committee voting on the fee if the vote that established the fee
authorized an alternative or automatic reallocation mechanism for that fee.
- The president shall consider
revenue and expenditure statements reviewed and approved by the campus chief
financial officer prior to making determinations on Category V extended
- Prior to making a
determination on Category V extended education fees, the president shall
consult with the dean of extended education, including consideration of revenue
and expenditure plans developed by the dean or designee and in consultation
with the campus chief financial officer.
- The president shall notify
the Campus Fee Advisory Committee of his or her decision.
- The chancellor shall consult
with the CSSA prior to any Category VI Student Involvement and Representation
Fee adjustments. Any decision to adjust the fee shall be reported to the Board
of Trustees prior to its scheduled adjustment.
- The campus president shall
provide to the fee advisory committee a report of all fees in Categories II,
III, IV and V. New fees, fee increases, total revenue and unexpended balances
should be included.
- Each campus shall report annually to the chancellor,
for the most recently completed fiscal year, a complete inventory of all fees
in categories II, III, IV and V, including current year fee rates, the total
revenue collected in the past year for each fee, and the remaining balance for
each fee. This reporting requirement includes a separate detailed report on
Category V extended education fees. The Category II fee report shall be
presented to the board by the chancellor to allow the board to consider the
level and range of campus mandatory fees charged to students.
- The CSSA shall prepare an annual report for the
chancellor that includes information on how revenue from the Category VI Student
Involvement and Representation Fee has been used to provide additional funding
support for the development of student policy recommendations; participation in
system, state, and national governance; involvement in leadership development
activities; and, program support through student and professional staff
administration. The annual report shall be provided by October 1.
VI. Additional Policy Regarding Specific Fees
- Graduate Business Professional Fee (Category
- The Graduate Business Professional Fee shall be charged on a per-unit
basis for all required courses in state-supported professional master of business
degree programs that are subject to accreditation by the Association to Advance
Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) and that are
authorized by the trustees or chancellor to assess such fees.
- The Graduate Business Professional Fee shall apply to required courses
in the following degree programs: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.);
and Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Accountancy, Business Administration,
Health Care Management, Business and Technology, Information Systems, and
- Students in conditionally classified admission status in graduate
professional programs shall be charged the Graduate Business Professional Fee
on a per-unit basis for each prerequisite course taken in fulfillment of
graduation requirements for these fee-authorized programs.
- Assessment of Fee
This fee shall be in addition to the
systemwide tuition fees, applicable non-resident tuition, and any campus-based
- Fee Waivers
Employee fee waivers and other fee waivers are
authorized by statute. The terms of authorized employee fee waivers are subject
to change and are agreed upon as outlined in collective bargaining contracts.
Please consult current Human Resources Technical Memoranda.
- Establishing Fees in Applicable Programs
Upon request of a campus president, the
chancellor is authorized to approve the assessment of a Graduate Business
Professional Fee upon students enrolled in state-supported professional
master’s degrees in business that are subject to accreditation by the Association
to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and that are not
included in the original roster of fee-authorized programs.
- Fee Revenue
In accordance with Education Code Section
89721(l), revenue collected from all higher education fees shall be deposited
in a local trust unless otherwise specified.
- Provision for Financial Aid
Presidents are directed to set aside a minimum
of 25 percent and not more than 33 percent of the Graduate Business
Professional Fee revenue for need-based financial aid, with such funds to be
used first to meet the demonstrated financial need of students in affected
campus professional graduate degree programs in business; and that any part of
the revenue that is not awarded to professional business master’s degree program
students be made available to meet demonstrated financial need of any other
undergraduate or graduate students on the campus.
- Modification of Existing Fees
For each adjustment made by trustee action to
the tuition fee for graduate students, an equal adjustment will be made to the
Graduate Business Professional Fee.
- Student Success Fees (Category II)
- A binding student vote shall be taken on implementation of any
proposed new student success fee. All students who are eligible to vote in
student government elections shall be eligible to vote on such student success
fee proposals. A rigorous consultation process shall be undertaken to inform
and educate students on the uses, impact and cost of any proposed student
success fee prior to the binding student vote.
- In the process of establishing new student success fees, and before
the student vote occurs, it must be made clear to the students that if a
portion of that fee is intended to support ongoing and/or long-term
obligations, that portion of the fee will remain in place until the obligations
are satisfied regardless of any subsequent vote to rescind the fee.
- All student success fees enacted prior to January 28, 2015 shall
remain unchanged, including any previously established increments. However, a
campus that considers a net new addition to an existing student success fee
shall proceed as described in paragraphs VI.B 1 and 2 above.
- Any campus proposing a new student success fee or an increase not
already scheduled to an existing student success fee will consult with the
chancellor and must receive approval on the process that will be followed to
obtain approval for the fee before proceeding.
- Student success fee proposals may not be brought before the student
body more frequently than once per academic year.
- If the proposed student success fee is accepted by a simple majority
of the students voting, imposition of the fee shall still be contingent on
approval by the campus president and chancellor. If the proposed student
success fee is for direct instructional purposes that historically were covered
by tuition and state funding, then the chancellor shall consult with the chair
of the Board of Trustees before final approval is granted.
- Student success fees enacted after January 28, 2015 shall be in force
for at least six years. Student success fees may be rescinded at any time after
six years with another binding student vote wherein a simple majority of those
students voting vote to rescind the fee. The campus decision to have a vote
shall be made by the recognized student government. Rescission vote proposals
may not be brought before the student body more frequently than once per
- If a vote to rescind passes, the chancellor, in consultation with the
chair of the Board of Trustees and the president, shall ensure that no ongoing
contractual or other obligation/liability exists which will remain unsatisfied
if the student success fee is rescinded. If any such obligations exist, that
portion of the student success fee funding the obligations shall remain in
effect and the obligations shall continue to be funded by the student success
fee until the obligations are satisfied. No new contractual or other obligation
which would be supported by the rescinded student success fee may be entered
into following a vote to rescind the fee. In the process of reconsidering a
student success fee, and before the student vote occurs, it must be made clear
to the students that if a portion of that fee is intended to support ongoing
obligations, that portion of the fee will remain in place until such time as
the obligations are satisfied.
- Student success fees enacted prior to January 28, 2015 may also be
rescinded by a binding student vote under the same procedures described above
for rescinding a fee, but no such student vote may be held until after January
1, 2021. If a vote to rescind passes, the chancellor, in consultation with the
chair of the Board of Trustees and the president, shall ensure there are no
ongoing, contractual or other obligations which will remain unsatisfied if the
student success fee is rescinded. If any such obligations exist, that portion
of the student success fee funding the obligations shall remain in effect and
the obligations shall continue to be funded by the student success fee until the
obligations are satisfied. No new contractual or other obligations which would
be supported by the rescinded student success fee may be entered into following
a vote to rescind the fee.
- Each campus shall be required to have a transparent, online accountability
protocol that clarifies the decision process and allocation of student success
fees, with annual reporting to the chancellor and public by October 15 each
year. All campuses shall be held to this standard for any existing and new
student success fees imposed in the future.
- Miscellaneous Course Fees (Category III)
- Miscellaneous course fees are defined as fees collected for materials,
services or use of facilities used in concert with the basic complement of
supplies needed for state-supported instruction. Miscellaneous course fees can
only be charged for the actual cost of providing exceptional instructional
materials, services or use of an off-campus facility. Students must have the
option of attaining the materials or services required through alternative
means; however, in cases where such alternative means are unavailable, students
cannot opt out of utilizing the required material or service and must pay the
miscellaneous course fee.
- The following rules apply when determining if miscellaneous course
fees can be charged for exceptional materials or services in the classroom:
- Miscellaneous course fees
can only be charged for the actual cost of the material, service or use of
facility being provided.
- A miscellaneous course
fee cannot be charged for the basic complement of classroom supplies and materials
required for instruction. These include but are not limited to: chalk, erasers,
paper clips, pointers, classroom instructional equipment such as projectors
(slide, overhead, computer, etc.) and associated supplies (bulbs,
transparencies, software, etc.), or any other supplies deemed necessary to
equip the instructional space for courses.
- A miscellaneous course
fee cannot be charged for the basic complement of laboratory supplies and instructional
equipment necessary for classroom lab requirements identified in the course
description. These include but are not limited to equipment, test tubes, work
stations, computers or any supplies necessary to equip laboratory space to
complement classroom course instruction.
- Administrative charges
and inflationary factors cannot be added to miscellaneous
course fees. Only the actual cost of the material, service or use of a facility
can be charged.
- A miscellaneous course
fee cannot be charged to fund the basic cost of instruction. Instructional costs are funded through
marginal cost dollars, tuition fee revenue, and permanent base budget
- Requests to establish
fees above the approved ranges and requests to increase existing fees to an
amount above the approved ranges must be forwarded to the chancellor’s office
for approval. If the requested fee or fee adjustment meets the policy
guidelines, a coded memorandum shall be issued to authorize the campus to
charge the fee.
- Campuses must review all
current miscellaneous course fees to ensure each one meets the requirements of
the above described rules. If existing course fees exceed the approved ranges,
campuses should review recent revenue and expenditure plans for that fee to
ensure that the fee level is appropriate and make adjustments as necessary. All
fees, including those that surpass the approved ranges that were previously
approved by executive order prior to issuance of Executive Order 1034 in 2008
are grandfathered into this policy as long as they meet the policy guidelines
above. Fees that do not meet the guidelines must be revised or eliminated.
- CSU student fees are
authorized, deposited, and refunded in accordance with applicable CSU policy,
provisions of the law, and revenue bond indentures which may be outstanding.
- Approved Fee Ranges:
$0 – $150
supplement the basic complement of classroom and laboratory instruction by
providing materials and services that would otherwise be unavailable to
students, and which allow students to meet the educational objectives of a
$0 – $3,000
Fees for courses
that require field trips or travel off-campus in order to meet the
educational objectives of a given course.
Involvement and Representation Fee (Category VI)
- Collection of the fee
shall occur twice annually in the fall and spring academic terms, starting with
the fall 2015 term.
- Each time the fee is
assessed, students shall be provided a clear and unambiguous means to decline
the payment of the fee.
Additional CSU student fee policy references
including fee related laws and policies such as “Quality and
Affordability: Policies for Pricing,
Strategies for Paying” and “List of Factors for Future Considerations of Fee
Changes,” index of fees, definition of terms, and frequently asked questions
can be found online at calstate.edu/budget/student-fees/fee-policy.