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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Read the Law »
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 »
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.
Reference » AB 1000 (2015); SB 1171 Sec. 78 (2015)
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.
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).