The CSU is committed to helping servicemembers, veterans, and their dependents navigate the campus. We have dedicated staff ready to help you with the campus admission process, financial aid, and campus resources.
BackgroundSeveral state and federal laws provide exemptions from paying nonresident tuition for current and former members of the U.S.
Armed Forces and their
dependents. While these fee exemptions ensure students do not pay more than California residents, they do not establish California residency or establish eligibility for state benefits that require residency.
To meet this exemption, the student must reside in California. However, they are not required to meet physical presence by the Residence Determination Date, intent, or financial independence residency requirements. The student is responsible for submitting the
CSU Residence Questionnaire with supporting documents by the last day of the term. Any documents received after the last day of the term will be processed for the following term.
Servicemembers A member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed in the state shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition. (Note: California Education Code provides an expanded definition of “member of the Armed Forces of the United States" for this section (see Military Definitions below).
California law does not provide a nonresident tuition fee exemption to servicemembers on temporary military orders to attend a state-supported institution of higher education.
The following documents must be submitted to show evidence of eligibility:
Exemption from paying nonresident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. The exemption continues even if the servicemember retires or is transferred to a different state for military duty.
Dependents of Servicemembers
dependent of an active duty
servicemember who meets either of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition.
servicemember is on active duty and stationed in California.
A statement that the student is a dependent of the servicemember and was claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. (2) The student has received transferred benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, resides in California, and is the
dependent of an active duty
servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces who may be stationed anywhere.Document Required
Exemption from paying nonresident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. The exemption continues even if the servicemember retires or is transferred out of California for military duty.
A veteran who meets any of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition.
(1) The veteran was stationed in California on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged. Note: This is a one-year exemption that must be used within two years of discharge, which requires the veteran to file an affidavit with the campus stating an intent to establish residency in California as soon as possible.Documents required
(2) The veteran is eligible for either the Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty (MGIB – AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill®
Must reside in California
(3) The veteran is eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation.
Dependents of Veterans
A dependent of a veteran who meets either of the following criteria shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition.
The student is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance program (Chapter 35) and must reside in California
(3) The student is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, resides in California, and is the dependent of a servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.
Exemption from paying nonresident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution.
Enrollment in ROTC courses does not automatically qualify a student for a nonresident tuition exemption. Students can enroll in these courses without entering military service or incurring a service obligation. At the point a cadet becomes a member of the armed forces, he or she becomes qualified for a nonresident tuition exemption. See rules for Servicemembers above. Documents used to show membership in the armed forces may include a Department of Defense ID card and/or an enlistment contract or orders.
NOTE: Membership in or a contract for the Delayed Entry Program is not acceptable as the student has not yet entered into the service.
Military DefinitionsActive Duty- full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training. Includes service as a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. (Does not include full-time National Guard duty.)
Active Duty for Training– full-time duty in the Armed Forces performed by members of the reserve component of the Armed Forces for training purposesActive Guard and Reserve Duty– means active duty performed by a member of a reserve component of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, or full-time National Guard for a period of 180 consecutive days or more.
Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – a letter from the US Department of Veterans Affairs showing a student's eligibility for G.I. Bill benefits, and the number of days of that benefit the student has available. Students who retrieve this information from the VA's eBenefits web portal may provide a document with this information in lieu of a COE.
Continuously Enrolled– enrolled for at least the fall and spring semesters of an academic year, or for at least three quarters in an academic year (the academic year does not include summer or other intersessions).
DD-214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. This document is provided to servicemembers at the time they are discharged from military service. Member Copy 2 or 4, showing the discharge date, type of discharge, and character of service, must be provided.
Dependent - a servicemember's spouse or child (natural or adopted child or stepchild)
Servicemember– A current member of the United States Armed Forces
Veteran– a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
Armed Forces of the United States– Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, and the reserve components of each of those forces, the California National Guard, the California State Guard, and the California Naval Militia.
Contacting the Campus Veteran's Program
Veterans Success Centers (also called Veterans Resource Centers) are the hub of information and support for military-connected students on CSU campuses.
Please contact the campus for further information on campus support.
Federal Student Aid (Completing the FAFSA)
Free Application for Federal Aid, known as the FAFSA, determines a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college based on their financial situation. Federal financial aid may include federal grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Also, the FASFA is used to award State and Institutional grants and scholarships.
It is encouraged for students to review the eligibility requirements and seek financial aid advice from the campus
Financial Aid Office to learn more about the FAFSA. FAFSA applications open on October 1 every year, and the priority deadline is March 2.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at