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How Are Refunds Calculated?

Regulations governing the refund of mandatory fees, including nonresident tuition, for students enrolling at the California State University are included in Section 41802 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations. For purposes of the refund policy, mandatory fees are defined as those system-wide fees and campus fees that are required to be paid in order to enroll in state-supported academic programs at the California State University. Refunds of fees and tuition charges for self-support, special session, and extended education programs or courses at the California State University are governed by a separate policy established by the university, available at

In order to receive a full refund (reversal) of mandatory fees, including nonresident tuition, and not owe any fees to the university, a student must cancel registration or drop all courses prior to the first day of the term.  Only on-time payment or timely withdrawal from all classes will exempt students from a debt to the University.

No student withdrawing or dropping classes after the 60 percent point in the term will be entitled to a refund of any mandatory fees or nonresident tuition.

For state-supported semesters, quarters, and non-standard terms or courses of less than four (4) weeks, no refunds of mandatory fees and nonresident tuition will be made unless a student cancels registration or drops all classes prior to the first day of the term in accordance with the university's established procedures and deadlines.

Fee Appeals

Students may also be entitled to receive a refund of mandatory fees, including nonresident tuition, under the following circumstances:

  • The tuition and mandatory fees were assessed or collected in error;
  • The course for which the tuition and mandatory fees were assessed or collected was cancelled by the university;
  • The university makes a delayed decision that the student was not eligible to enroll in the term for which mandatory fees were assessed and collected and the delayed decision was not due to incomplete or inaccurate information provided by the student; or
  • The student was activated for compulsory military service.

Students who are not entitled to a refund as described above may petition the university for a refund demonstrating exceptional circumstances and the Chief Financial Officer of the university or designee may authorize a refund if he or she determines that the fees and tuition were not earned by the university. All students must apply for an exception to fees charged through the University Fee Appeal form.

How Refunds Are Paid

Refunds are processed in the same manner in which you originally paid.

If you paid your balance with a credit card and are now due a refund, the funds will be returned to your credit card. Credit card refunds are processed weekly, after the end of add/drop period.

CSUSM also offers direct deposit for tuition and Financial Aid refunds, so you can sign up to have your refunds deposited directly into your checking or savings account.

If you do not sign up for direct deposit in MyCSUSM, a refund check will be mailed to your address on file with CSUSM. Make sure that your address is correct by logging into MyCSUSM and updating your personal information. This will ensure timely delivery of your refund. Refund checks are made payable to the student.

Financial Aid refunds are processed automatically once your aid has been authorized for disbursement by Financial Aid. If your aid is not reflected on your student account in a disbursed status, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to check the status.

Refunds via Direct Deposit

For the fastest, most secure refunding, please sign up for direct deposit in your online student center.  If you do not sign up for direct deposit a refund check will be mailed to the address on file with the Office of the Registrar (please check/update your address in your online student services center through MyCSUSM).  If  payment was made by a credit card, the refund will be applied to the credit card from which payment was made. 

To set up direct deposit, you need to have an active bank account, your routing number and your account number.

  1. Log on to your MyCSUSM Account.
    Log on to MyCSUSM
  2. Click on 'Student Center'.
    Click on 'Student Center'
  3. Under the Finance section on your Student Center, click on the 'Enroll in direct deposit' link.
    Under Finance Section, click 'Enroll in Direct deposit'
  4. Select Checking or Saving.
  5. Enter 'Routing number' and 'account number' of the account you wish to receive your deposit (This information is located at the bottom of your check as shown below or on your bank statement. Contact your bank for more information if needed).
    Enter routing number and account number of the account
  6. Accept the Terms and Conditions.
  7. Click 'Submit'.
    Click on 'submit'
  8. You are now enrolled in Direct Deposit.

If you have questions about setting up direct deposit, please call (760) 750 - 4490, or email

A $5.00 administrative charge will apply to all non-Financial Aid refunds.

Student Accounts Receivable Contact: 
Judy Sandmann
Phone: (760) 750-4495
Fax: (760) 750-3158