Fees and Payment FAQs
General Tuition and Fee questions
- What are the current tuition and fees?
Current tuition and fee information can be found online.
- How are non-resident fees assessed?
Non-resident tuition is assessed for non-resident students (out-of-state and foreign VISA students) in addition to mandatory campus fees. Non-resident tuition is charge on a per-unit basis (currently $396 per unit). For fee-assessment purposes, zero-unit courses are counted as one unit. In addition to the non-resident tuition fee, out-of-state students are also required to pay all tuition and mandatory fees that resident students pay, in accordance with published payment deadlines. Authority for the non-resident fee may be found in the Education Code, Section 89705.
- How are my fees impacted if I decide not to attend CSUSM?
Any student who decides not to attend must officially withdraw from the University for the term. You must drop all of your classes by 11:59 PM the day prior to the start of the term to avoid potentially owing a debt to the university.
- Can I appeal fees?
An appeals process exists for students who believe that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from published policy. Students can file an appeal to the refund policy or visit the Cashier’s Office located in Cougar Central (CRAVEN 3800). Petitions for refunds outside the scope of published policy are approved only when applicants can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, and the Chief Financial Officer or designee determines that the tuition and fees were not earned by the University.
- Does Extended Learning have different fees and deadlines?
Extended Learning fee, deadlines, and refund policies vary and differ from state university fees, courses, and programs.
- Why is there a convenience fee for making an online payment?
CSUSM utilizes a third party that provides a secure/trusted payment solution. The convenience fee is charged to cover the costs of the third party service and software. You can avoid the convenience fee by choosing to pay by e-check.
Payments, Financial Aid, and Due Dates
- How do I pay my tuition and/or fees?
Payments can be made online via your Student Center at MyCSUSM or in-person at the Cashier’s Office in Cougar Central (CRAVEN 3800). Students can learn how to make an online payment by following the online payment guide. Parents or guardians can learn how to make an online payment on behalf of a student by following the parent online payment guide.
- If I qualify for financial aid, how and when will I receive it?
If you are deemed eligible, all forms of financial aid (including student loans) are credited to your CSUSM student account to cover the cost of tuition and/or mandatory campus fees. Per federal regulations, the earliest funds can be credited to your account is no sooner than ten (10) days prior to the start of the term. CSUSM typically disburses Financial Aid a week prior to the start of each term.
- What fees will financial aid not pay?
Financial aid awards do not pay user fees such as parking fees, late fees, or fines.
- What are the enrollment requirements for financial aid eligibility?
Undergraduate students receiving student loan funds must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units at the time funds are paid to be eligible for disbursement. Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 units.
Any change in enrollment could impact the amount of aid you are eligible for. It is highly recommended to speak with your financial aid counselor prior to making changes to your enrollment.
- What if financial aid does not cover all fees?
If financial aid does not cover the full cost of fees, students are responsible for paying the outstanding balance prior to the deadline. Payments can be made online or at Cougar Central.
- What if my financial aid is more than what I owe?
If the amount of financial aid credited to your student account is greater than what is owed, you will receive a refund for the difference. Refunds resulting from financial aid over payments are processed within 10 days after the funds are applied to your student account. It is highly recommended that all students sign up for direct-deposit for the quickest way to receive refunds.
- My financial aid will disburse after the fees due-date, will my classes be dropped
Meeting all of the criteria below will exempt you from having your classes dropped due to non-payment:
- You have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and all required documents
- You have been awarded the current term and have received an official notice of eligibility from the Financial Aid and Scholarships office
- You meet SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)
- You have a “Financial Aid Applicant” indicator in your Student Center
Important: Being exempt from having classes dropped does not negate your responsibility for paying any balance still owed after aid is disbursed (nor does it change your due-date). If a balance is still owed 30 days past the due-date, your account will be considered past-due, and subject to late fees and having a hold placed on your account which will prevent any further registration.
- How will I know for sure that I’m exempt from having my classes dropped?
By virtue of having an indicator titled “Financial Aid Applicant”. You can confirm this by checking your “Holds” section of your Student Center. Be sure to click on the details link to confirm which term. You should also receive a communication from the Financial Aid Office that confirms your exemption.
- Why am I being allowed to be exempt from having my classes dropped?
Since aid is typically disbursed around the fees due-date, the exemption allows financial aid students to have their aid disburse, then determine what remaining balance (if any) is owed to the university. While the exemption does allow for this, please keep in mind your due-date does not change. If a balance remains after aid is disbursed, you must make a payment immediately. If a balance is still owed after the deadline, your account will be considered past-due and subject to having a hold preventing further registration and late fees.
- What if I have applied for financial aid, but don’t have an exemption?
Students who have applied for financial aid, but do not show an exemption in their Student Center (example: students who apply for aid within 10 days of the fees due date), must pay any balance owed in full by the appropriate deadline to avoid having all of their classes dropped. In the event that a student who has paid fees and later becomes eligible for financial aid, a refund will be processed. It is highly recommended that all students sign up for direct-deposit for the quickest way to receive refunds.
- I’m not receiving financial aid, am I exempt from having my classes dropped?
You may be exempt if you are a student that has federal or state authorized tuition assistance, a student receiving CSU dependent or employee waiver, or any student who expects all or a portion of their feed to be paid by a third party.
- When are refunds processed?
Refunds for credit balances related to payments made by cash, check, or credit/debit cards are typically processed after the add/drop period. Refunds for credit balances resulting from financial aid payments are typically processed withing one week of disbursement.
- Will I have to make a payment if I am exempt from having classes dropped?
You are responsible for any balance owed to the university. Exemptions may be removed if a student is determined to be ineligible for aid. Make sure you complete and submit all required documentation in a timely fashion to ensure disbursement of your aid and stay up to date with your financial aid status in your Student Center. Students whose financial aid awards do not cover the tuition and fees in full for a term are responsible for paying the remaining balance. Outstanding balances that remain after the fee deadline will be considered past-due and subject to late fees, holds, and collection proceedings.
- Are payment plans available?
CSUSM is pleased to offer students and families interest-free installment payment plans. There is a non-refundable $25 service fee for each term a payment plan is utilized. Installment payment plans are made up of a down payment (mandatory campus fees) and three installments (tuition and course/class fees). Learn more about installment payment plans.
- What if I fail to pay my tuition and/or fees?
If all fees and tuition are not paid in full by the published due-dates, you risk having all of your classes dropped (unless you are exempt). Failure to drop all classes by 11:59 pm prior to the term start may result in owing a debt to the university. Having a past-due balance to the university may result in having a hold on your account, incurring late fees, and collection agency proceedings.
- What if I make a payment that is returned for insufficient funds?
A dishonored check or disputed credit card charge:
- Will result in the university no longer accepting payment for any services by personal check
- Will result in the student being required to make payments in the form of cash, money order, or Cashier’s check
- Will result in a financial hold of the student’s records and denial of services until full payment is received
- Will result in a $20 dishonored check/disputed credit card fee
- May result in a $15 administrative late fee if a dishonored item is not paid within 7 days
- May result in having all of your classes dropped
- What happens if I owe a debt to the university?
Should a student, or former student, fail to pay a debt owed to the university, the university may withhold permission to register, revoke eligibility to use facilities or various services until the debt is paid (see Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 42380 and 42381). If a student believes that he or she does not owe all or part of an unpaid obligation to the university, the student should contact Student Financial Services at (760) 750-4490 or email@example.com or in-person at the Cashier’s Office in Cougar Central (CRAVEN 3800).
NOTE: Extended Learning (EL) classes may have a different fee structure and drop/refund policies.
Student Financial Responsibility
- What is the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement?
The agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the financial responsibilities and obligations associated with attending CSUSM. Student Financial Responsibility Agreement.
- Am I required to review and accept the agreement?
All students are required to review and accept the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement prior to registration.
- What is the purpose of the agreement?
The purpose of the agreement is to make all students aware of their financial obligations and responsibilities associated with their enrollment.
- How do I complete the Financial Responsibility Agreement?
After logging on to MyCSUSM, access your Student Center and you will see a pop-up message that will allow you to review the terms and conditions. After reviewing, click the 'Accept' button. Upon accepting the terms and conditions, the registration hold will be removed from your account.
- Someone else is paying my tuition, do I have to accept the agreement?
Yes. While payments by a third party are acceptable, it is the enrolled students who are ultimately financially responsible for their tuition and fees, and therefore, must agree to the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement.
- I have scholarships/aid that is covering my tuition and fees, do I have to accept
Yes. Because certain eligibility is required and must be maintained for various forms of financial aid, all students must acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility agreement.
- I accepted the Agreement, but still cannot register. What should I do?
First, check your "Holds" section in your Student Center to be sure there are no other registration holds that require your attention. If no other holds exist, please contact Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-750-4490.
- Where can I review the terms and conditions of the Student Financial Responsibility
A copy of the agreement is saved in the "Completed Messages" section of your Communication Center.
Regulations governing the refund of mandatory fees, including nonresident tuition, are included in Section 41802 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations. For purposes of the refund policy, mandatory tuition 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.