Student Success Fees are campus-defined fees designed to enhance the quality of academic programs and the experience of students on a specific campus. Per the California State University Fee Policy - Executive Order 1102 (revised in July 2015), the fees are designed to enhance academic programs, improve the availability of courses and facilitate student progress toward degree completion.
The revenue from the state and tuition pays for access to CSU campuses, not quality enhancements to academic programs or the learning environment. These enhancements cannot be funded through the projected allocation from the state. These fees are initiated and recommended by the campus community, must be approved by student referendum and approved by the president and Chancellor. The fee revenue is used for a wide range of purposes as determined by the campus community.
Student Success Fees are mandatory at the 12 campuses where they exist. The fees must be paid before a student can enroll at a CSU campus.
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.
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. All students who are eligible to vote in student government elections are eligible to vote on Student Success Fee proposals.
As of September 2018, 12 campuses have Student Success Fees that range from $171 to $814.
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.
Student Success Fees will remain in place for at least six years following implementation. The Campus Fee Advisory Committee can vote to amend or repeal the Student Success Fee after that time. If the committee votes to amend, increase or repeal the fee, any action must be approved by a binding student vote by referendum with final approval from the campus president and Chancellor.
The Chancellor is not eager to approve additional student fees and has been urging the Governor and state lawmakers for more funding. However, when a campus makes a compelling case for a fee, demonstrates the need for the fee revenue, and has provided documentation showing an affirmative student vote, the Chancellor may approve the fee. This is also in accordance with the Fee Policy, Executive Order 1102.