About Student Success Fees

Background Info


10 Things to Know
  1. Student Success Fees are campus-defined fees designed to enhance the quality of academic programs and the student experience on a campus. Per the California State University Fee Policy (Executive Order 1102), the fees are designed to enhance academic programs, improve the availability of courses and facilitate student progress toward degree completion. They may sometimes be referred to as "Campus Quality Fees" or "Academic Access, Enhancement and Excellence Fees,"
  2. Twelve campuses currently have Student Success Fees that range from $171 to $814.
  3. For those campuses with Student Success Fees, the fees are mandatory and must be paid before a student can enroll at that school.
  4. The fees are initiated and recommended by the campus community.
  5. The fee revenue may be used for a range of purposes determined by the campus community. 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 and more.
  6. Students who are eligible to vote in student government elections are eligible to vote on Student Success Fee proposals.
  7. According to Executive Order 1102, a rigorous consultation process will be undertaken with students prior to a binding student vote by referendum to ensure that students are well informed on the proposed uses, impact and cost of the Student Success Fee proposal.
  8. Student Success Fees will remain in place for six years following implementation.
  9. Once approved, the fees and fee revenue are administered by the President through the Campus Fee Advisory Committee.
  10. In most cases, Student Success Fees are phased in over a period of time to allow students to plan for the additional expenditure.
Student Success Fees Are Not Tuition

Tuition rates are set at the system level. All CSU campuses charge the same base tuition rate annually, but each campus varies in what it charges for its mandatory campus-based fees. Students must pay both the systemwide tuition and campus fees to enroll.

Campus-based fees are 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.

Campus-based mandatory fees fall into four main types:

  1. fees required to enroll or attend a campus
  2. fees associated with specific courses
  3. fees for materials, services or use of campus facilities
  4. fees for self-supported activities (e.g., parking)

Student Success Fees fall under 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.

Student Success Fees enhance the learning experience beyond the basic level of access ensured by state and tuition funding. They may cover mental-health programs, peer-to-peer advising, library resources or career programs. They 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.

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.

Student Success Fees Originate 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.

About the Student Success Workgroup

The California State University Student Success Fee Working Group held a series of forums at campuses across the state to gather feedback from students, faculty and the public on the implementation of Student Success Fees. These forums were live streamed to the public and are available for viewing below.

This Charge from Board of Trustees Chair Lou Monville (PDF) presents the responsibilities of the Student Success Fee Working Group to examine the role, process and enactment of student success fees.

Notices/Agendas

Video Recordings

How Student Success Fees are Governed


State Law — 2014-15 Moratorium and Required Chancellor's Review

State law suspended the creation of new Student Success Fees between June 2014 and December 2015. It also required the Chancellor to review the approval process for Student Success Fees, the means to improve

Education Code Section 89712 (Ending December 31, 2015)
  1. A campus of the California State University, or the Chancellor of the California State University, or both, shall not approve a student success fee, as defined in subdivision (d), before January 1, 2016.
  2. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Chancellor shall conduct a review of the California State University Student Fee Policy relating to student success fees and recommend to the trustees changes to the fee policy. In conducting the review and preparing recommended changes to the fee policy, the Chancellor shall consider all of the following:
    1. The approval process for student success fees, including, but not limited to, the benefit of utilizing a student election or the consultative process in the approval process.
    2. The need for statewide policies governing a student election, the consultative process, or both, for approving a proposed student success fee, including, but not necessarily limited to, policies requiring campuses to issue a voter pamphlet, or other informational document, or both, that provides an objective analysis of the proposed fee, a detailed description of the proposed fee uses, statements for and against the proposed fee action, and a notification to students regarding the dates, times, and locations available to either vote, for purposes of a student election, or confer with campus leadership, for purposes of the consultative process, regarding a proposed fee.
    3. The means to improve transparency and accountability regarding a campus' use of student success fee funds for the benefit of members of the campus' community, including, but not necessarily limited to, students, faculty, staff, and the general public.
    4. The development of an annual report describing the use of student success fee funds by each campus in the prior academic year, to be posted on each campus' Internet Web site.
    5. The approval of a statewide policy to prohibit a campus from implementing a student success fee for a period exceeding five years unless a continuance of that fee is approved by an affirmative vote of the majority of the student body voting, or through the consultative process. Approval to continue an approved fee shall be required every five years.
    6. The impact of student success fees on campuses' academic programs and services available for students, including, but not necessarily limited to, low-income students.
    7. A provision for financial assistance to offset the cost of the fee for low-income students.
  3. (1) The Chancellor shall report to the Department of Finance and the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, on or before February 1, 2015, regarding the Chancellor's proposed revisions to the California State University Student Fee Policy related to student success fees.

Read the Law »

January 2015 Trustees Resolution

The Board of Trustees passed a resolution during the January 27-28, 2015 meeting approving specific policies for Student Success Fees and addressing the implementation of a transparent process of accountability for all campus Student Success Fees.

...BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, 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. All campuses shall be held to this standard for any existing and new student success fees imposed in the future...
Read the full Resolution »

State Law - Codification of Trustees Resolution

In late 2015, State law repealed the Student Success Fee moratorium, the Chancellor's required review, and replaced that section of law with new requirements related the Student Success Fees. These new statutory requirements closely align with the policies articulated by the Trustees resolution adopted in early 2015.

Education Code Section 89712 (Beginning January 1, 2017)
  1. Neither a campus of the California State University, nor the Chancellor of the California State University shall approve a new student success fee or an increase to an existing student success fee, as defined in subdivision (g), before all of the following requirements are satisfied:
    1. The campus undertakes a rigorous consultation process that informs and educates students on the uses, impact, and cost of any proposed student success fee or student success fee increase.
    2. The campus informs its students of all of the following circumstances, which shall apply to these fees:
      1. That, except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), a student success fee may be rescinded by a majority vote of the students, as specified in subdivision (c).
      2. That a student success fee shall not be rescinded earlier than six years following the vote to implement the fee.
      3. If any portion of the student success fee is committed to support a long-term obligation, that portion of the fee shall not be rescinded until the obligation has been satisfied.
    3. The campus shall hold a binding student election on the implementation of any proposed student success fees, or any increase to an existing student success fee, and a majority of the student body voting on the fee must vote affirmatively.
    1. Implementation of a fee supported by a majority of the campus student body voting on the fee is contingent upon the final approval of the Chancellor of the California State University.
    2. A student success fee proposal shall not be brought before the student body more frequently than once per academic year.
  2. A student success fee in place on January 1, 2016, may be rescinded by a binding student vote under the procedures authorized in subdivision (c) only after at least six years have elapsed following the implementation of the fee.
  3. (1) Student success fees may be rescinded with a binding student vote if a simple majority of those students voting vote to rescind the fee. The student vote shall comply with all of the following:
    1. A campus decision to vote is formally approved by the recognized student government.
    2. Rescission vote proposals shall not be brought before the student body more frequently than once per academic year.
    3. In the process of reconsidering a student success fee, and before the student vote occurs, the students shall be informed, if a portion of the fee is supporting a long-term obligation, the dollar amount of that portion, and the date on which the long-term obligation would be satisfied.
    1. A new contractual or other obligation that would be supported by the rescinded student success fee shall not be entered into following a vote to rescind the fee.
  4. The Chancellor of the California State University shall ensure that all of the following occur on each campus:
    1. There is majority student representation in campus student success fee allocation oversight groups.
    2. There is an annual report from each campus to the Chancellor on student success fees.
    3. There is uniform, transparent, online accountability in the decision making process for, and a detailed accounting of, the allocation of student success fees.
  5. The Chancellor of the California State University shall establish appropriate reporting procedures to ensure that a campus is in compliance with the requirements of this section.
  6. The Chancellor shall report, by December 1 of each year, to the Department of Finance, and the Legislature pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, a summary of the fees adopted or rescinded in the prior academic year, and the uses of proposed and currently implemented fees.
  7. For purposes of this section, a “student success fee” is a type of category II campus-based mandatory fee that is required to be paid by a student before that student may enroll or attend a campus of the California State University, as determined by that campus or the Chancellor of the California State University.

Reference » AB 1000 (2015)SB 1171 Sec. 78 (2015)

Executive Orders Authorizing Student Success Fees

Systemwide

  • EO 1102 - California State University Student Fee Policy

Campus

  • EO 1094 - Student Success Fee (Dominguez Hills)
  • EO 1093 - Student Success Fee (San Diego)
  • EO 1086 - Academic Excellence and Student Success Fee (San Marcos)
  • EO 1085 - Student Success Fee (Pomona)
  • EO 1078 - Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee (San José)
  • EO 1075 - Student Success Fee (San Luis Obispo)
  • EO 1070 - Student Success Fee (Los Angeles)
  • EO 1066 - Academic Access, Enhancement and Excellence (A2E2) Fee 
    (East Bay)
  • EO 1060 - Student Success, Graduation and Career Placement Fee 
    (San Bernardino)
  • EO 1055 - Student Excellence Fund/Mandatory Materials, Services and Facilities Fee (Long Beach)
  • EO 1035 - Mandatory Materials, Services and Facilities Fee (Northridge)

This Charge from Board of Trustees Chair Lou Monville (PDF) presents the responsibilities of the Student Success Fee Working Group to examine the role, process and enactment of student success fees.

Notices/Agendas

Video Recordings

Board of Trustee Meeting Reports

The following reports provide an overview of Student Success Fees and an evaluation of their impact. The reports also include responses from campus constituents and students and recommendations on addressing those responses.

September 2014

November 2014

January 2015

Chancellor's January 2015 Report to Capitol

The Chancellor's Report summarizes the findings of the Student Success Fee Working Group and the recommendations to the Board of Trustees and their alignment with Education Code Section 89712(b).