FEE REFERENDUM
ACADEMIC RECORDS FEE INCREASE

How to Vote

  1. Read the following fee referendum information.
  2. Return to your email.
  3. Click on the link to vote for one of the fee increase options.

After you vote, you will have a chance to enter the drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the University Book Store.

We appreciate your participation in helping the campus make an important decision regarding the Academic Records Fee (ARF) increase.    In an effort to help mitigate the rising costs of commencement, transcripts and diplomas, as well as the evaluation of students' final degree requirements, the Office of the Registrar is requesting a fee increase in the amount it charges for these services. This referendum is designed to give students a voice in choosing the preferred method for covering this increase.

Current Structure:

At the present time, students pay an ARF fee of $6 each semester of enrollment.  This fee covers commencement participation, unlimited official transcripts, graduation application, and diploma printing and mailing.   For financial aid recipients, this fee is covered under "tuition fees".

For Example:
Students entering CSUSM as First Time Freshman and attending 8 semesters will pay a total of $48 ($6 x 8 semesters).
Students entering CSUSM as Transfer Students or Master's Candidates who attend 4 semesters will pay a total of $24 ($6 x 4 semesters).

Proposed Options

Carefully review these options and decide whether you would prefer to pay a per term fee of $12 at registration (covered by Financial Aid because it is a mandatory fee) or pay a per service fee (not a mandatory fee, and therefore not covered by Financial Aid) for each of the following services: attending commencement, ordering official transcripts, and applying for graduation and diploma printing and mailing.

Option 1:

Increase the ARF to $12 per term. This increase would cover the cost of the commencement ceremony, unlimited official transcripts, graduation application and diploma printing and mailing.  For financial aid recipients, this fee is covered under "tuition fees".

For example:
Students entering CSUSM as First Time Freshman (8 semesters) will pay a total of $96.
Students entering CSUSM as Transfer Students or Master's Candidates (4 semesters) will pay a total of $48.

# of terms enrolled:
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ARF Fee
$36 $48 $60 $72 $84 $96 $108 $120

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Option 2:

Pay a PER SERVICE FEE as outlined in the chart below:  Paying a fee per service would mean that instead of a onetime fee every semester students would pay individually for services as needed.

For Example:

Year Commencement* Transcripts** Graduation*** Total Per Service Fees
2010
$76
$32
$45
$153
2011
$81
$32
$45
$158
2012
$87
$32
$45
$164

*Commencement: These are estimated costs. Actual fees would vary from year to year, based on previous year’s actual costs and increases to facility costs for the next year.  (In option 1, the ARF fee which students pay every term does not change, regardless of the actual cost, since it is prepaid.)


**Transcripts: Variable fee based on the number of transcripts ordered at one time.  Consistent with other campuses:  $4 for 1; $2 each for 2-10; $1 each for 11+  (Note:  $32 is based on 20 transcripts ordered at one time which is the average number ordered by students.) In the event that transcripts are ordered at varying times, the cost would be $4 per transcript.

***Graduation: This service fee which covers graduation application, final evaluation, and diploma printing and mailing.


Arguments For and Against Each Option

OPTION 1 – Increase from $6 to $12

For Option 1 Against Option 1
The ARF is covered by Financial Aid. Students cannot afford another increase.
Unlimited transcripts for a lifetime to allow for application to multiple jobs or graduate schools. Students who plan on transferring to another school may not want to assume the increase.
Students do not have to worry about any other fees related to commencement, graduation application process, transcripts.  

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OPTION 2 –Per Service Fee

For Option 2 Against Option 2
Allows students to be selective in which services to pay for, as they need them. This is not covered by Financial Aid, so it may be costly for students to pay a "per service fee."
This option works for students who do not plan on ordering many transcripts for jobs or graduate schools. For students who plan on graduating from CSUSM and participating at Commencement, the cost may range from $121 to $132 for the year in which they graduate.
Students who do not plan on graduating from CSUSM will not be required to pay the commencement fee or the mandatory graduation application fee.  

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Scenario 1: Freshman planning to transfer
I am a freshman with plans to transfer to another college in my Junior year; I don’t plan on graduating from CSUSM, what would my fees look like for both options?

Answer:
Under option 1, you would pay $24 for attending 2 years (excluding Summer). Under option 2, if you plan on transferring to other institutions which require ordering official transcripts, you may pay up to $32 (if you order up to 20 transcripts at one time).

Scenario 2: Masters or Transfer Student
I am working on my masters degree with plans to graduate from CSUSM in 2 years (6 semesters, including Summer), and no need for transcripts, what would my fees look like for both options?

Answer:
Under option 1, you would pay $72 for attending 2 years (including Summer). Under option 2, you would pay a total of $121: the commencement fee (variable, up to $76) and the graduation application fee ($45).