CSU Fee Waiver and Reduction Program


The California State University offers eligible employees the opportunity to enroll in the CSU Employee Fee Waiver and Reduction Program. This program provides a waiver or reduction of certain fees for employees and eligible dependents.  Employees may enroll in job-related courses offered by the CSU for the purpose of improving skills for existing jobs, or advancement in accordance with a career development plan. Applicants must meet all university admission requirements. Admission to a CSU campus is not guaranteed.


Please note: Fee Waivers has moved to Risk Management and Shannon Ledoux is the new contact. See contact information on the bottom of this page.


What is fee waiver?


Employee Fee Waiver is a tuition reduction program for eligible CSU employees to take work-related courses or to pursue a degree in support of CSU career goals.


Additionally, the Fee Waiver and Reduction Program provides eligible dependents of CSU employees the opportunity to attend classes at any CSU campus at reduced rates. All eligible non-represented and represented employees may enroll in a maximum of two (2) courses or six (6) units, whichever is greater per term.






Employees of the CSU and their dependents may apply for the fee waiver reduction program. View employee and dependent eligibility requirements before applying.




How to Enroll


Enrollment Overview

The following procedures apply to new fee waiver participants.

Step 1
Submit an application. You have 2 options to complete an application to CSUF. Please choose 1 of the following. 
1.   Apply online for admission to the University and choose a degree program.

  • You must meet all admission requirements for the term you are applying to, including meeting all deadlines. 
  • Application filing period: 
    • Fall October 1-November 30 
    • Spring August 1-August 31


2.   Submit the CSU Employee Short Application to complete job-related courses as a transitory student. How to acess AEM forms.

  • A new Short Application must be submitted for each term you wish to attend courses.
  •  Application filing period:
    • Fall June 1-August 1
    • Spring  November 1-January 2


Step 2
Submit a completed Fee Waiver Request Form to the Department of Risk Management. How to acess AEM forms.

  • A Fee Waiver form must be submitted for each term.


Step 3
Submit a completed Career Development Plan (if pursuing a degree) to Risk Management. How to acess AEM forms.
Step 4
Register for your selected course(s).

  •  An email notification will be sent to you once your request has been approved by Risk Management.


Additional Enrollment Information

  • Registration completed during the late registration period will generate a late fee. The late fee will NOT be covered by the fee waiver benefit.
  • It is common practice for an employee or dependent to apply to more than one CSU campus. However, each campus collects an application fee to apply. Under the Fee Waiver Program, only one set of fees is waived at the campus in which the employee/dependent enrolls. This includes only one waiver/reimbursement of one application fee regardless of the number of applications.





Employees of the CSU and their dependents are subject to certain fees with the use of the fee waiver reduction program. View details on employee and dependent fees.






Courses: Taxable and Non-Taxable


Generally, undergraduate fees for employees are nontaxable. Graduate/Doctorate fees for employees are nontaxable if expenses do not exceed $5,250 (in a calendar year) pursuant to IRC 117(d) and 127.


The table below summarizes taxable and non-taxable courses.

Eligible Participant

Course Level

Tax Status





Nontaxable up to $5,250

Employee’s Spouse or Dependent Child






Campus Fee Waiver coordinators were previously responsible for determining whether graduate courses taken by employees under the Program were job related under IRC Section 132(d). When the value of graduate-level education exceeded $5,250, some employees qualified for the working condition fringe benefit to be excluded from their W-2 wages.


Effective with the 2019 tax year, commencing with the spring 2019 academic term, all graduate/doctorate level courses taken by employees exceeding the $5,250 threshold will be taxable and withheld from the employee’s pay warrant. Employees may consult a personal tax advisor to determine if courses taken are job related pursuant to IRC Section 132(d) and submit the deduction on their personal tax return.




Conditions and Limitations of Benefits


  • The State University Fee for dependents is waived only for two courses or six units, whichever is greater. A dependent taking CSU courses in addition to those courses covered by the fee waiver shall pay the difference between the part-time State University Fee and the full-time State University Fee.
  • The spouse, dependent child, or domestic partner (hereinafter referred to as "dependent") must be matriculated toward a degree or the attainment of a credential in the CSU and the course(s) enrolled in on a fee waiver basis must be for credit toward completion of that degree.
  • The dependent fee waiver benefit applies only to certain fees incurred by California residents. Dependents who do not meet established in-State residency requirements (and who do not qualify for classification as residents in accordance with the provisions of Section 41910, California Code of Regulations) will be responsible for paying non-resident tuition charges based upon the total number of units in which they are enrolled.
  • Graduate-level courses taken by dependents are subject to taxation for the employee; undergraduate and graduate-level courses taken by domestic partners are subject to taxation for the employee.
  • The fee waiver program applies to courses supported by the CSU general fund. Self-support programs (e.g., College of Extended Learning courses) are not covered
  • Courses taken under the fee waiver program must be taken for grades or credit / no credit; they may not be audited.
  • This benefit applies to all CSU campuses. However, admission to any CSU campus is not guaranteed. Applicants must meet all university admission requirements.
  • Campus administration will determine that space is available in a particular class.
  • A new dependent fee waiver form must be submitted for each term (quarter or semester).
  • Fee waiver eligibility may be transferred to only one person at a time, regardless of whether that individual uses the full entitlement of 2 courses or 6 units.
  • Staff employees may be granted release time to attend one course per term on campus during scheduled working hours provided that the operational needs of the department are met (as determined by the area administrator). Approval of the area administrator and supervisor is required for all such arrangements.
  • Normal academic standards shall be maintained. This may include a review of the grades received for the courses taken. Unsatisfactory performance in the courses or lack of progress toward the goals stated in a Career Development Plan may be cause for withholding further approval for participation in the Fee Waiver Program.




Fee Waiver Options


Job-Related Courses or Work-Related Courses

These are courses that directly improve skills or enhance knowledge for performing duties in an employee's current position. An employee may also take courses to acquire new skills needed to perform newly assigned duties and responsibilities. Enrollment may be voluntary or at the direction of the employee's supervisor or manager. Employees can take job/work related courses without being a matriculated student, in this case a “Short Application” is required with the Fee Waiver application. To continue taking job/work related courses, the “Short Application” along with the Fee Waiver application are required every semester.


Career Development Courses

For courses that are not job-related, there must be a current Career Development Plan (CDP) on file. CDPs generally cover established programs such as degrees, certificates, or credentials. The primary responsibility for career development rests with the employee. While job promotions are not guaranteed as a result of completing career development courses, an employee may be better prepared and more competitive for job vacancies as a result of having completed specific courses or a degree program. The CDP should be updated whenever there is a change in degree program or objective.