When you apply for admission to the CSU through Cal State Apply you are automatically considered for an application fee waiver based on the information entered in the application.
You must fully complete the application before fee waiver eligibility is determined. An application is fully complete when all four quadrants turn green (Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials), indicating you have answered all questions, including the fee waiver-related questions
If you are eligible for a fee waiver, you will see a Check My Fee Waiver Status link on the Submit Application page (see screenshot below). Click Check My Fee Waiver Status for more information. If you do not see the link, you are not eligible for a fee waiver. Visit CSU's Application Fee Waiver page for more information.
Eligibility Criteria for Fee Waivers
To be considered for the application fee waiver, you must be:
- An undergraduate student (you cannot be in an extension program),
- A California resident for more than one year, and
- A US citizen or someone without lawful immigration status who qualifies for an AB540 non-resident tuition exception.
Applicants who are eligible for the application fee waiver may apply to up to four CSU campuses per application term (i.e., fall, spring).
Approved waivers are not transferrable to a future or past application term.
Mistakes to Avoid
Be aware that the following common errors may cause an eligible applicant not to receive an application fee waiver:
- If you report yourself as a dependent applicant with a family size of one.
- If you report the same dollar amount in the Adjusted Gross Income field as well as in the Untaxed Income field.
- If you select "none" in answer to "What U.S. State/Possession do you regard as your permanent home?"
Applicants who incorrectly report any of the items above will not be granted an application fee waiver.
See the Application Fee Waiver Checklist (PDF) for more guidance on how to avoid common errors.
The CSU does not accept College Board fee waivers, nor any other external waiver form.
Fee Waiver Appeals
If you or your family have experienced a significant change in income, you may qualify for an application fee waiver appeal. Fee waiver appeals are handled by individual California State University campuses. You must submit a Fee Waiver Appeal form to each campus you are interested in applying to. The campus will determine if you qualify and provide further instructions. For more information, contact your campus(es).
- 2023-2024 (Fall 2023, Spring 2024) Fee Waiver Appeal Form
- 2024-2025 (Fall 2024, Spring 2025) Fee Waiver Appeal Form
Application fee waivers and appeals are provided only to undergraduate first-time freshman and transfer applicants who qualify and consider California their permanent home.