We’re committed to providing access to all qualified applicants, regardless of their income and background. As part of that commitment, we offer application fee waivers and enrollment deposit deferrals when payment presents a financial hardship that could otherwise prevent a student from enrolling at CSU. In some cases, students affiliated with key CSU partnership programs may be offered a fee waiver by invitation.
What’s an application fee waiver?
All applicants to degree-seeking programs are required to submit an application fee unless they qualify for a fee waiver. A waiver means that the fee is no longer required to complete an application. There’s no later point in time when the application fee becomes due. Typically, waivers are granted when the fee presents a financial hardship. How you will submit your waiver request is dependent upon which type of application you fill out:
- The freshman application
- Freshman/First-year applicants will request a waiver within the Common Application.
- The transfer application
- Transfer applicants will request a waiver after submission of your CSU Application.
What’s an enrollment deposit deferral?
All freshmen and transfers admitted to on-campus programs are required to submit an enrollment deposit. A deferral, granted in cases of financial hardship, allows a student to complete Ram Orientation and other enrollment steps without paying the deposit. Instead, the charges are deferred, or pushed back to be due with the student’s first semester bill after financial aid has been disbursed. In this way, students don’t pay the deposit out of pocket.
You can request an enrollment deposit deferral through RAMweb when you tell us your plans. You’ll automatically qualify for an enrollment deposit deferral if you’re granted a need-based application fee waiver. In addition, students who are granted a need-based enrollment deposit deferral automatically qualify for one complimentary guest at Ram Orientation and a waiver of the housing deposit for on-campus housing.
What counts as financial hardship?
To qualify for a fee waiver or enrollment deposit deferral, students generally fall into one or more of these federally defined categories:
- Ward of the state
- Live in a foster home or in foster care
- Receive public assistance/public benefits (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, etc.)
- Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
- Eligible for or participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program (FRLP)
- Participate in a federally funded TRIO program (i.e., Talent Search, Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Center)
- Awarded Pell Grant as part of a financial aid package
- Student (if emancipated) or family income meets federally established guidelines for support
If your testing fee was waived for the ACT or SAT, you meet the guidelines to qualify for an application fee waiver and/or enrollment deposit deferral. We recognize that students and their families also may experience short-term or unexpected circumstances that create a financial hardship that don’t fit into the categories above. Students in these situations also are encouraged to request a waiver or deferral.
If you have questions about whether your circumstances may qualify you for a fee waiver or deposit deferral, be sure to contact your admissions counselor.
Our top tips
- Students who will have their full cost of attendance covered by a third party, such as international sponsorship or GI Bill benefits, may qualify for an enrollment deposit deferral.
- Students who qualify for application fee waivers also may qualify for event fee waivers.