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Employee Fee Waiver Guidelines


  • Fees are waived for a maximum of two (2) classes, or 6 units, whichever is greater. Exceptions to this limitation are made for employees on leave. For more information please see Technical Letter HR Benefits 2018-20.
  • If the unit/course limitation is exceeded, the employee must pay the difference in fees.
  • All classes must be taken for academic credit and meet normal academic standards.
  • Classes may NOT be audited.
  • Fees cannot be waived for courses taken through Extended Education, Open University and Special Session. Summer term courses offered through Cal Poly, SLO are offered ONLY through Extended Education.
  • Enrollment in physical education, activity or recreation leisure courses as "work-related" for stress management or fitness purposes, while beneficial, are not eligible for fee waiver.
  • Eligible employees enrolled in a Doctoral program are eligible for a partial fee waiver equivalent to the part-time Graduate Tuition fee. Employees are responsible for paying the difference between the applicable Doctorate fee and the part-time Graduate Tuition fee.
  • MPP or C99 doctoral fee waivers shall be in compliance with respective CSU policy.
  • An Employee Fee Waiver Application must be submitted for each term of attendance utilizing the fee waiver benefit.
  • Fee waiver submission deadlines are determined by each CSU campus. Contact the appropriate campus of attendance for specific requirements.
  • An Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP) must be completed by all new participants in the fee waiver program and revised whenever there is a change in career development objectives.

Enrollment Options

Fees may be waived for classes that are either work-related or part of an employee's career development plan. Work-related courses are taken to improve skills required to perform the employee's current job duties. Career development courses are taken for professional development and may assist the employee in meeting the educational or equivalent requirements for another job classification within the CSU.

An Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP) is a formal plan of course work and/or development activities. It is also a written record of understanding between the employee and the university and is intended to assist the employee in reaching short- or long-term career development goals. An CDP must be completed by all new participants in the fee waiver program and revised whenever there is a change in career development objectives.

Release Time for Class Attendance

"Release time" means that an employee has supervisory or managerial approval to attend a class during the employee's normal work hours. An employee may be given release time to attend one course per quarter, if the supervisor/manager determines that the operations of the department will not be adversely affected by the employee's absence.

Intercampus Enrollment

Employees may enroll in classes on their own time at other CSU campuses. Human Resources will provide the other campus with verification of the employee's fee waiver eligibility. The campus of enrollment will provide guidance to the employee regarding appropriate admission and registration procedures, as well as, deadlines.

Student Services

Except for instructional services, the university may reduce the level of student services provided to employees enrolled in classes under the fee waiver program. For example, employees are not entitled to use student health services (except for work-related injuries), obtain student status for ASI or Recreational Sports activities/membership, or work as a student assistant.

Taxable Educational Benefits

Under current IRS regulations, effective January 1, 2002 fees waived for employee undergraduate or graduate coursework are non-taxable up to $5,250 annually.

In-State Residency Requirement

Employees who do not meet established in-state residency requirements must pay non-resident tuition.