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Fee Waiver FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use work time to go to class?  Can I obtain Release Time from work?
  2. How many courses does the fee waiver cover?
  3. Does the fee waiver apply to any courses a CSU campus offers?
  4. Can you provide examples of courses that would prepare employees for "Career Advancement"?
  5. Can you provide examples of "Job-Related" courses that would improve the skills used in the employees' current position?
  6. I have a spouse or domestic partner that will be attending classes at a CSU campus, can I transfer the fee waiver benefit to them?
  7. What if the recipient of the fee waiver program fails a class or does not meet academic standards?
  8. Can two parents, who are employees, both transfer their fee waiver benefits to the same dependent?
  9. I have two qualifying dependents; should I transfer my fee waiver benefit to the undergraduate dependent or graduate student spouse?
  10. Are the course grades reviewed?
  11. Are there recommendations for supervisors as to how employees use state time for courses?
  12. Are all CSU employees eligible for the fee waiver program?
  13. Where do I find more detailed CSU information?
  14. If I'm in CSUEU and I have two part-time appointments, am I eligible for the fee waiver program?
  15. If I'm an employee eligible for the fee waiver, enroll in courses and then get a job off-campus in the middle of the semester, do I have to withdraw from my courses?
  16. What if I need to withdraw from courses?
  17. As an eligible employee for the fee waiver program, can I take any class I'd like using the program?
  18. Are there fee waiver options for doctoral programs?
  19. Can an eligible employee or dependent take courses during the summer using the fee waiver program?
  20. Can the fee waiver program be used for study abroad?
  21. Can the fee waiver be used by one person taking courses at two campuses during the same term?
  22. Can the fee waiver be used to cover out-of-state fees?


1. Can I use work time to go to class?  Can I obtain Release Time from work?

Go to Fee Waivers > Employee Eligibility > Release Time for more information.

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2. How many courses does the fee waiver cover?

A maximum of two (2) courses or six (6) units per semester, whichever is greater may be taken for a reduced fee, see Fees & Taxation.

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3. Does the fee waiver apply to all courses a CSU campus offers?

No.  Courses taken on the Fee Waiver Program must be taken for credit, not audited, and be General Fund (state supported) courses only.

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4. Can you provide examples of courses that would prepare employees for "Career Advancement"?

  • A Custodian, in preparation for applying for a Lead Custodian position, requests a course in Small Group Communication in order to improve communication skills.
  • An Administrative Support Coordinator, in preparation to apply for a Human Resources Administrator position, requests a course in Employment Law.
  • An Administrative Support Coordinator, in preparation to apply for an Analyst/Programmer position, requests a course in Operating Systems Programming.

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5. Can you provide examples of a "Job-Related" courses that would improve the skills used in the employees' current position?

  • An Administrative Support Coordinator working in the Educational Opportunity Program office requests a course in Ethnic and Race Relations in order to better understand and relate to the students from varied ethnic backgrounds the EOP department services.
  • An Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Mechanic requests a course entitled Computer Aided Construction in order to improve his or her ability to understand and solve problems that involve the construction of University buildings.
  • A Groundskeeper requests a course in Plant Science.

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6. I have a spouse or domestic partner that will be attending classes at a CSU, can I transfer the fee waiver benefit to them?

The Dependent Fee Waiver Program provides eligible employees in certain employee categories with the opportunity to transfer their fee waiver benefit to their eligible spouse, dependent child, or domestic partner to attend classes at CSU campuses at reduced rates.

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7. What if the recipient of the fee waiver program fails a class or doesn't meet academic standards?

Normal academic standards must be maintained by the Employee, spouse/domestic partner, or dependent child in order to continue participating in the fee waiver program.  The fee waiver cannot be used to retake a course that was failed.

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8. Can two parents, who are employees, both transfer their fee waiver benefit to the same dependent?

Yes, if both parents are employees eligible to transfer their fee waiver benefit to a dependent child, each employee may transfer the benefits. Therefore, it is possible for one child to receive both benefits and be eligible to enroll in up to four (4) courses or 12 units, whichever is greater, on a fee waiver basis. Alternatively, each employee could transfer his/her benefit to a different child, and each child will be entitled to two (2) courses or six (6) units of fee waiver eligibility.

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9. I have two qualifying dependents, should I transfer my fee waiver benefit to the undergraduate dependent or  the graduate student spouse?

Please review the information regarding fees and taxation before making a decision.  A spousal dependent fee waiver most likely would be eligible for taxation; not only will the spousal graduate student have to pay the balance of fees after the fee waiver is applied, but an additional amount will be deducted from the employee's pay when taxation is applied after the semester's census date.

If undergraduate programs are not taxed (like graduate programs), the employee may choose to transfer the fee waiver to the dependent undergraduate student - if the student is an eligible dependent (eligible age, and accepted/matriculating towards a degree, etc.).

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10. Are the course grades reviewed?

At the close of each term, a review is made of the grade(s) received for each course taken. Courses may not be taken for auditing purposes under the Fee Waiver Program. If the employee's performance in the course(s) is less than satisfactory, a review of the initial decision to use the program to meet specific training or development needs is conducted. In addition, a periodic review is made to determine whether reasonable progress is being made toward achievement of the goals outlined in the Career Development Plan.

UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE IN THE COURSE(S) OR LACK OF PROGRESS TOWARD THE GOALS OF A CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLAN MAY BE CAUSE FOR WITHHOLDING FURTHER APPROVAL FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM.

References: Education Code, Section 23763; Title 5 - California Administrative Code, Section 41804, Section 42703 (g); Fair Labor Standards Act.

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11. Are there recommendations for supervisors as to how employees use state time for courses?

A manager or supervisor may grant approval for an employee to enroll in a maximum of one (1) course per semester during working hours without loss of pay. The use of State time for this purpose will be granted only if the orderly functioning of the department to which the employee is assigned will not be adversely affected as determined by the supervisor.

Employees voluntarily enrolling in a course(s) outside the Fee Waiver program will not be granted time off with pay to attend such a course(s). The employee may be granted vacation leave or leave without pay to attend such course(s).

However, if the employee is directed to attend a course, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that the full amount of time required must be considered work time.

There is a reasonable sharing between the CSU and the employee of the time and expense to achieve the training objective. For the CSU this may include approval of the waiver and reduction of fees for enrollment. For the employee this may include dedication of personal time to attend classes and the payment of expenses beyond those fees waived pursuant to this Executive Order.

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12. Are all CSU employees eligible for the fee waiver program?

The California State University (CSU) Presidents or their designees have been delegated authority to waive and reduce fees for enrollment of eligible employees in job related or career development courses.

Units 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 - Full-time employees (i.e. Permanent, temporary and probationary), part-time permanent employees and full-time employees who are on an approved full or partial leave without pay.

Unit 3 - Tenured and probationary faculty unit employees, and temporary faculty unit employees (excluding coaches) with three (3) year appointments. Coaches must have at least six (6) years of full-time equivalent service in the department for enrollment in the CSU fee waiver program. FERP employees are considered tenured faculty and are eligible for fee waiver only during the semesters/quarters when they are actively employed.

Units 1, 8, Confidential(C99), Excluded(E99) and Executive(MPP and M98) - Full-time or part-time permanent employees and full-time probationary employees (no temporary). Excluded (E99) FERP employees are considered tenured faculty and are eligible for fee waiver only during the semesters/quarters when they are actively employed. Confidential (C99) and Excluded (E99) employees only attain permanent status in part-time positions as a result of completing a probationary period in a full-time position and subsequently reducing their timebase.

The Human Resources Office - Professional Development and Training must determine your eligibility.

The following employees are not eligible to participate: graduate assistants, student assistants, auxiliary organization employees, part-time temporary employees.

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13. Where do I find more detailed CSU information?


Go to Employee Eligibility information for links to more detailed CSU information.

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14. I'm in CSUEU and I have two part-time appointments, am I eligible for the fee waiver program?

For CSUEU eligibility, an employee in two part-time positions that sum to at least a 1.0 full-time position is eligible for fee waiver. If the employee subsequently loses one of the part-time positions, reducing the FTE below 1.0, eligibility for the program is lost forward going. Go to Employee Eligibility information for links to more detailed CSU information.

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15. If I'm an employee eligible for the fee waiver, enroll in courses and then get a job off-campus in the middle of the semester, do I have to withdraw from my courses?

Employees eligible for fee waiver at the beginning of a term may complete the current term, as the fees have been waived.  The eligibility ends when the job ends and the employee would be ineligible for the next term.

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16. What if I need to withdraw from courses?

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17. As an eligible employee for the fee waiver program, can I take any class I'd like using the program?

No.  The course must be job-related or part of a career development plan (used for the career development and career advancement options).

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18. Are there fee waiver options for doctoral programs?

Currently, eligible employees may use the CSU fee waiver program towards the CSU Ed.D. program.  Click on the links below to obtain more information and see what options may work best for you:

Other programs that are not related to the fee waiver program:

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19. Can an eligible employee or dependent take courses during the summer using the fee waiver program?

It depends.  The courses must be state-funded to qualify for the fee waiver program.  How do you find out if the courses are state funded?  At CSU, Chico go to the Class Schedule > select the summer term > and click “Limited State-Support Schedule” to find out which courses are state funded during the summer.  If they are not on this list, they are not state-funded.  For students at other campuses, we recommend the student ask the department offering the course whether or not it is state-funded.  If a course is offered through a campus’ continuing education program, it is not state-funded.

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20. Can the fee waiver program be used for study abroad?

For some locations, yes!  The Study Abroad office offers several international program options, some may qualify for the fee waiver, and others do not.  You are encouraged to contact the Study Abroad office, (530) 898-5415, for more information.

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21. Can the fee waiver be used by one person taking courses at two campuses during the same term?

No, the fee waiver program only allows one set of fees per employee or dependent student.  In other words, the fee waiver can only be used by an employee or dependent student for courses at one campus per term, not multiple campuses.

22. Can the fee waiver be used to cover out-of-state fee?

No.  Out-of-state-fees are not covered by the fee waiver program.

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