Tuition Waiver Program FAQ

Introduction

This informational guide is to provide answers to frequently asked questions for the Employee Fee Tuition Waiver benefit. Please direct questions to the Payroll & Benefits Office at 707-664-2793 or fax 707-664-2024. Individuals in need of a telecommunications relay service may contact the California Relay Service (TTY) at (877) 735-2929.

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The Tuition Waiver Program provides the opportunity for eligible staff, faculty, dependent children, spouses or domestic partners to take classes at any CSU campus at significantly reduced rates, during the current academic semester.

The following employees or their dependent children, spouses or domestic partners are eligible to participate:

  • Full-time permanent, tenured or probationary employees
  • Full-time temporary and probationary employees, if permitted by collective bargaining contract
  • Permanent part-time employees
  • FERP employees only during the semesters when they are actively employed
  • Temporary faculty employees (excluding coaches) with three (3) year appointments
  • Coaches must have at least six (6) consecutive years of service in one department for enrollment in the CSU fee waiver program subject to the provisions of this Article.
  • Full-time Management Personnel Plan (MPP) employees including temporary
  • Confidential Employees

Yes, if otherwise eligible.

Complete a CSU Application for Admission along with the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form. Submit the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form to Payroll and Benefits for approval. Once approved, the form will be returned to the employee. The form should then be attached to the CSU Application for Admissions and submitted following the instructions on the CSU Application for Admissions. If you apply for admission online, physically submit the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form to Admissions and Records at about the same time as your digital admissions application submission.

After you are admitted and registered in classes, complete and submit the Tuition Waiver Application form. There may be additional paperwork necessary for admission to a campus. For additional information on the application process, contact Admissions and Records at the campus at which classes will be taken.

Each employee is entitled to one Tuition Waiver per semester for use by the employee, dependent children, spouse or domestic partner.

An employee or his/her dependent child, spouse or domestic partner may enroll in a maximum of two classes or six units, whichever is greater, per term. Students taking courses in addition to the fee waiver courses shall pay any difference in fees, per applicable collective bargaining agreement or Executive Order 712. All other fees shall be at the regular rate.

Yes, the Application Fee is waived once the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form is approved and submitted with the application for admissions.

Each employee or dependent child, spouse or domestic partner is entitled to one CSU Application Fee Waiver per degree.

Yes, it can be used at any CSU campus. Enrollment at other CSU campuses requires completion of enrollment and tuition waiver forms available from the campus chosen by the employee, dependent child, spouse or domestic partner. Payroll and Benefits will forward the approved paperwork to the campus to be attended. Application and registration deadlines vary from campus to campus.

After you are registered in classes. This form must be completed every semester the tuition waiver benefit is to be used.

Deadlines depend on the registration schedule at each CSU campus. You should immediately submit your Tuition Waiver Application Form after you have registered. To view SSU’s registration schedule, go to http://www.sonoma.edu/ar/index.shtml

Yes. Only courses in regular academic programs may be taken under the tuition waiver program. Tuition waiver is not applicable to courses offered through Extended Education. Tuition Waiver for Summer Session is available only at certain CSU campuses, Sonoma State is not among them. Auditing a course is not permitted.

A dependent child is defined in the same manner as the term is used for other CSU benefit programs, namely:

  • your child or stepchild under age 23 who has never been married
  • dependent children of CSUEU (Units 2, 5, 7 & 9) or SETC (Unit 6) employees may participate in the Fee Waiver Program up to age 25
  • a child living with you in a parent-child relationship who is economically dependent upon you, under age 23 and has never been married
  • or your child or stepchild age 23 or above who is incapable of self-support due to a disability which existed prior to age 23.

The Education Code and Collective Bargaining Agreements forbid waiving or reducing certain fees for non-employees.

Work Related
Work related courses are taken for the purpose of improving the level of skills needed to perform existing duties and responsibilities, or acquiring additional skills needed to perform newly assigned duties. Work Related Tuition Waiver participants must complete the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form every semester.
Career Development
Courses that are to be taken must be linked to the present and future needs of the CSU. An Individual Career Development Plan must be completed by employee and approved by the employee’s Appropriate Administrator. Career Development Tuition Waiver participants only need to complete the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form the initial semester of participation.

All CSU Bargaining Units need to obtain the Appropriate Administrator and Dean or Department Head signatures except for CSUEU Units 2, 5, 7 & 9, for which only the Appropriate Administrator’s signature is required.

No, release time is granted at the supervisor’s discretion.

If release time is not granted, an adjusted work schedule may be authorized. An adjusted work schedule is a temporary schedule that allows the employee to take classes during normal work hours by making up class time. The supervisor approved adjusted work schedule must be attached to the Tuition Waiver Application form.

  • It is always taxable for domestic partners.
  • It is taxable only for Post Baccalaureate classes for spouses and dependent children.
  • It is never taxable for employees using the benefit on their own behalf.

Forms are available at the Sonoma State University Payroll & Benefits web site. For easy access to a particular form, click on the link for that form where you find it mentioned in this FAQ. These forms are also available in hard copy at the Payroll & Benefit office.