Student Success Fees

What is a Student Success Fee?

A Student Success Fee is a campus-based, campus-driven, campus-controlled fee designed to enhance the quality of academic programs and the student experience on a specific campus. Each fee reflects the priorities of the campus where it is adopted and is controlled locally. Therefore, each fee is unique and not identical to any other campus.

A Student Success Fee is not Tuition

All fees are governed by policy, with every effort made to keep student costs to a minimum. Financial aid may be available depending on the individual needs of the student.

Most students are familiar with tuition. Tuition revenue and state support cover the majority of the CSU's operating costs—from paying a professor's salary and benefits to keeping the lights on in buildings. Tuition revenue (augmented by an approximately equal amount of state support) provides basic student access to a CSU education. Tuition rates are set at the system level.

Students also pay a variety of campus-based fees, assessed at the recommendation of the campus. These funds are paid, held and managed at the campus for local priorities and can fund student government and advocacy, student union facilities, recreation centers, health services, scholarships and student research grants, among others.

These fees go into four areas: fees required to enroll or attend a campus; fees associated with specific courses; fees for materials, services or use of campus facilities; and fees for self-supported activities (e.g., parking).

A Student Success Fee is in the category of materials, services or use of campus facilities to enhance academic programs, improve the availability of courses, facilitate student progress toward degree completion and enhance the quality of the campus experience for students.

A Student Success Fee Pays for Quality

A Student Success Fee enhances the learning experience, beyond the basic level of access ensured by state and tuition funding. It may cover mental-health programs, peer-to-peer advising, library resources or career programs. It may even provide for essential amenities—like a study space with internet connectivity.

Other examples include: expanding library hours, expanding services for disabled students and veterans, hiring additional faculty and academic counselors, adding and outfitting additional laboratory space, enhancing the technology infrastructure, and funding capital improvements including library expansion projects.

A Student Success Fee Originates at the Campus

The campus community determines the need for a Student Success Fee and how the fee revenue may be used to improve the quality of academic programs or the student experience.

Student Success Fee proposals are brought before the student body for rigorous consultation and then approved by the students with a binding student vote by simple majority. If the proposed Student Success Fee is accepted by the majority of the students voting, it is then passed to the campus president for approval, and the chancellor for final approval.

The Chancellor takes all things into consideration, including the anticipated state budget and the services the fee will provide.