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Fees and Payment FAQs

General Tuition and Fee questions

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 (Administrative 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 for non-payment?

    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 or in-person at the Cashier’s Office in Cougar Central (Administrative 3800).

    NOTE: Extended Learning (EL) classes may have a different fee structure and drop/refund policies.

Student Financial Responsibility

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.