Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Why does CSUSM need a Student Success Fee?
  2. How will I benefit from the fee?
  3. What happens if the fee isn't implemented?
  4. Where will the funds generated by the fee go?
  5. Will we still have bottleneck courses?
  6. How much is the proposed fee?
  7. When would students start paying the fee?
  8. Are there similar fees at other CSUs? If so, which other CSUs have implemented this type of fee?
  9. Why is alternate consultation being used rather than a referendum?
  10. Who determines how the fee will be used? Will students be able to provide input about where fees should go?
  11. Who has oversight over the fee?
  12. Who determines when a change in the way the funds are being used is needed?
  13. Does the CSU Board of Trustees control this fee?
  14. Would the level of the fee be changed after it is phased in? Will the fee be in place forever?
  15. How will this affect my financial aid?
  16. How is information about the fee being communicated to students?
  17. How can I provide feedback about the proposed fee?

1. Why does CSUSM need a Student Success Fee?
CSUSM’s ability to provide the quality educational experience you deserve is at risk.  As a result of budget cuts, course sections have been reduced, unit limits have been put in place, and there are fewer academic options, less support services and fewer resources. The passage of Proposition 30 in November avoided a $5.4 million cut to CSUSM but it resulted in $4.1 million in tuition refunds. CSUSM’s budget is still $18 million less in state appropriations than it was in 2008. A Student Success Fee would protect the quality of education and the student experience on our campus, by ensuring that there is on-going funding for quality educational programs that facilitate time to graduation.

2. How will I benefit from the fee?
The fee would be used to provide more course sections, more academic support and recreation opportunities. By maintaining and enhancing access to advising and academic support programs we will help facilitate your on-time graduation. Although there will be a per semester increase in student fees, the increase can be more than recovered if you graduate on time or early.

3. What happens if the fee isn't implemented?
It will be impossible for the campus to maintain the high quality programs that are integral to our mission, vision, and values. Without adequate support services and educational programs student success and time to graduation could be negatively impacted.

4. Where will the funds generated by the fee go?
During the first year, the fee would be used to:

  • Provide additional course sections in areas where students' time to graduation could be delayed by a shortage of seats.
  • Expand library hours and library resources.
  • Expand academic support and career advising services.
  • Enhance and expand the Clarke Field House.

5. Will we still have bottleneck courses?
While using a portion of the fee to provide additional course sections is an option, the level of the fee is such that it is unlikely that all course bottlenecks would be completely eliminated.

6. How much is the proposed fee?
The fee will be phased in over a period of four years. The fee would be $125 per semester in the first year. In the fourth year, it would be $275 per semester and remain steady thereafter.

7. When would students start paying the fee?
If implemented, the fee would come into effect in fall 2013.

8. Are there similar fees at other CSUs? If so, which other CSU's have implemented this type of fee?
Yes. San Marcos is one of only two CSU campuses without a Student Success Fee. 

9. Why is alternate consultation being used rather than a referendum?
It has been determined that alternate consultation will provide the best opportunity for students to offer detailed feedback about the possible fee and how it might be used.

10. Who determines how the fee will be used? Will students be able to provide input about where fees should go?
The Student Fee Advisory Committee, made up of a majority of students, makes recommendations to the President. The President, in consultation with the President's Executive Council, makes decisions about how best to use the fee.

11. Who has oversight over the fee?
The President. The Student Fee Advisory Committee which includes a majority of student representatives may request an overview of how any student fee is being expended at any time.

12. Who determines when a change in the way the funds are being used is needed?
The Student Fee Advisory Committee can make recommendations to the President at any time. The President, in consultation with the President's Executive Council, makes decisions about how best to use the fee, including possible reallocations of funding among project areas.

13. Does the CSU Board of Trustees control this fee?
This is a local campus-based fee that would be controlled by CSUSM. The entire fee (100 percent) would be used to support academic excellence and student success.

14. Would the level of the fee be changed after it is phased in? Will the fee be in place forever?
The President has the authority to change, suspend or eliminate this fee at any time. The President would do this in consultation with the Student Fee Advisory Committee and the President's Executive Council.

15. How will this affect my financial aid?
While campus based fees, which would include the Academic Excellence and Student Success Fee, are not covered by State University Grants or Cal Grant tuition awards, the Academic Excellence and Student Success Fee would be included in the student's estimated cost of attendance. Thus, other types of aid, such as Pell Grant and federal loans, may be used to cover the fee.

16. How is information about the fee being communicated to students?
Information about the fee is being communicated primarily via open forums, focus groups, campus announcements, Facebook and this website.

17. How can I provide feedback about the proposed fee?
Through an Open Forum where you will learn more about the fee and have the opportunity to complete a survey.


Back to top