Financial Aid

CSU Financial Aid

​Keeping in line with our student-centered mission, the CSU foregoes significant revenue to provide tuition assistance in the form of State University Grants. For 2017–18, the CSU projects over $733 million in grants and waivers will be awarded. Thousands of State University Grants are awarded each year to assist students who have the greatest financial need. The CSU also provides thousands of tuition waivers for eligible students under state and CSU programs. A summary of the total tuition waived due to grants and waivers from 2015–16 through 2017–18 is included in the Three-Year Budget Summary section.

State University Grant Program

The State University Grant (SUG) program is a critical source of financial assistance for CSU students. Since its inception in 1982–83, the SUG program has provided awards to offset the cost of tuition for resident students who have the greatest financial need.

Prior to 1992–93, the state provided the funds necessary to ensure adequate financial aid was available for the CSU’s neediest students. Since 1992–93, the CSU has continued this program by setting aside a portion of new tuition revenue generated through enrollment growth or changes in tuition rates.

The amount projected for 2017–18 SUG awards is $665.6 million, an increase of $4.0 million from 2016–17. The increase is due to a set-aside from tuition revenue derived from one percent enrollment growth ($1,094 per FTES). This $665.6 million of financial aid reflects tuition that is not collected—in effect, waived—thus decreasing total tuition revenue.

Tuition Waivers

Under current law, there are four state-mandated resident tuition waiver programs:

  • California Veterans Waiver for children of disabled/deceased veterans (Education Code 66025.3);
  • Alan Pattee Waiver for dependents of deceased law enforcement or fire suppression personnel
    (Education Code 68120);
  • The tuition waiver for California residents who were dependents of victims killed in the September 11, 2001
    terrorist attacks (Education Code 68121); and
  • The tuition waiver for the two students serving on the Board of Trustees (Education Code 66602).

In addition to state-mandated waiver programs, other programs include waivers for employees and employee dependents pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. Some optional waivers have been established by Board of Trustees policy and California statute including programs for high school students and California residents age 60 years and older, among others. The state has not provided General Fund support for any CSU tuition waiver programs since fiscal year 1992–93.

In the 2015–16 college year (fall, winter, spring, and summer), 14,404 tuition waivers were granted to CSU students. When tuition rates are applied to these waivers based on student enrollment status, it amounts to approximately $67.7 million in revenue foregone to the CSU.


​2015-16 Systemwide Tuition Waivers ​
​California Veterans​8,514
​Alan Pattee​34
​Employee and Dependants​3,180
​Other Discretionary Waivers​813
​HS Students in Special Programs​1,860