Fee Waiver Program FAQs

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Fee Waiver Program

  1. Are extended education courses available through the Fee Waiver Program?

    No, extended education courses are not covered through the Fee Waiver Program. However, many extended education courses are cross‐listed as regular University courses.

  2. Can I transfer the Fee Waiver Program benefit to someone else?

    The Dependent Fee Waiver Program allows eligible employees to transfer their benefit to a spouse, domestic partner or dependent child, in lieu of participation by the employee, subject to the following conditions:

    • Spouse, domestic partner or dependent child must be a regularly‐admitted student pursuing (matriculated toward) a degree or credential;
    • The course(s) enrolled in on a fee‐waiver basis must be for credit toward the degree or credential requirements;
    • The administration determines that there is space available in such course offerings for the spouse, domestic partner or dependent child;
    • Employees in class E99 are not eligible to transfer this benefit
  3. Can two of my dependents share the Fee Waiver Program benefit?

    Only one person is eligible per semester. You may, however, alternate the benefit between your dependents each semester.

  4. Fee Waiver Program: Can I take time off of work to attend classes?

    Yes, an employee may be granted reasonable release time for one course per semester that is taken through the Fee Waiver Program, provided that the supervisor determines that the operational needs of the department will be met. It may be necessary to arrange an alternative work schedule to satisfy the operational needs of the department.

  5. Fee Waiver Program: How many classes or units may I enroll in?

    The Fee Waiver program allows participants to enroll in a maximum of two classes or six units per semester, whichever is greater. If the individual is taking more than the maximum number of courses or units allowed through the fee waiver program, he/she will be required to pay the difference between the part‐time State University Fee and the full‐time State University Fee along with any other associated fees.

  6. Fee Waiver Program: what fees are waived or reduced?

    The fees that are waived or reduced are specific to your bargaining unit or employee class. The part‐time State University Fee is waived for all fee waiver program participants. In addition, the application fee is waived if the fee waiver participant is applying for admission to the University as a regular (matriculated) student during that term.

    For the list of fees assessed by Cal Poly Humboldt, please visit the fee section here:

    Fee Waiver Program

  7. For the Fee Waiver Program, what defines a dependent child?

    For the fee waiver program, a Dependent Child must be one of the following:

    • Child or stepchild who has never been married and is under age 25 (age 23 for Units 1, 8, and 10) through at least mid-point of the semester

    • Child living with employee in a parent-child relationship who is economically dependent upon employee, who has never been married, and is under age 25 (age 23 for Units 1, 8, and 10) through at least mid-point of the semester
    • Child or stepchild age 25 (age 23 for Units 1, 8, and 10) or above who is incapable of self-support due to a disability which existed prior to age 25 (age 23 for Units 1, 8, and 10).
  8. How often do I have to submit an application for the fee waiver program?

    You must submit a fee waiver application for yourself or your dependent each semester.

  9. If both parents are employees and wish to collectively transfer their Fee Waiver Program benefits to their dependent child, how will this affect the benefit?

    If both parents are employees and are eligible to transfer their fee waiver benefit, it is possible for one child to receive both benefits and be eligible to enroll in up to 4 courses or 12 units, whichever is greater.

  10. If I have not established residency in CA, will my dependent or I still qualify for the Fee Waiver Program?

    Yes, you or your dependent will still qualify for the Fee Waiver Program. Non-resident tuition fees may apply, unless you or your dependent is eligible through the Title 5, Section 41910 provision, to be determined at the time of admission to the fee waiver program.

  11. Is the Fee Waiver Benefit taxable?

    The Fee Waiver Benefit is taxable for 

    • domestic partners
    • spouses and dependent children taking post‐baccalaureate classes
    • employees taking graduate/doctoral level courses (see details below) 

    Beginning with the 2019 tax year (January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019), all graduate/doctoral level courses taken by employees (job-related or Career Development Plan) that exceed the threshold of $5,250 will be considered taxable income. The taxes will be withheld in a lump sum from the employee’s pay warrant following census each semester.  Census is generally mid-September for Fall term, and mid-February for Spring term on our campus.  The withholding amount would likely be deducted on the following pay warrant, but it can take up to 2 months to process.

    Full Time Example:*

    Total value of Fee Waiver (total tuition waived in a calendar year) = $9,098
    $9,098 - $5,250 (threshold) = $3,848 in tuition waived beyond the threshold
    Flat Tax Rate = 36.25%
    Total taxes withheld from employee’s pay warrant = $1,394.90 

    Part Time Example:

    Total value of Fee Waiver (total tuition waived in a calendar year) = $5,644
    $5,644 - $5,250 (threshold) = $394 in tuition waived beyond the threshold
    Flat Tax Rate = 36.25%
    Total taxes withheld from employee’s pay warrant = $142.83

    The tax withheld for fee waiver is in addition to any other taxes the employee is subject to have withheld form their pay warrant.  The Flat Tax Rate of 36.25% represents 22% federal withholding, 6.6% state withholding, and 7.65% Social Security and Medicare.

     Please Note:

    • Employees, in consultation with a personal income tax advisor, can evaluate whether their fee waiver qualifies for the “job related” fringe benefit exception to taxation in Internal Revenue Code § 132(d), and if applicable, claim the deduction on an individual income tax return.
    • Undergraduate fees for employees will remain nontaxable pursuant to IRC § 117(d).
    • Graduate/ Doctorate fees for employees will also remain nontaxable if expenses do not exceed $5,250 (in a calendar year) pursuant to IRC § 127. 

    *Tax Rate Information is current as of posting, June 5, 2020.

  12. Is the Fee Waiver Program also accepted at UC campuses?

    No, the Fee Waiver program is available for courses at CSU campuses only.

  13. Is there a deadline for submission of the fee waiver or dependent fee waiver application?

    Fee Waiver Forms should be submitted to Human Resources at least three weeks prior to the first day of instruction each term. Humboldt and other CSU deadlines may affect you or your dependent's ability to register for classes. For this reason, we encourage you to view the calendar of activities and deadlines at the campus of attendance.

  14. What is the CSU Fee Waiver Program?

    The California State University offers eligible employees the opportunity to enroll in the CSU Employee Fee Waiver and Reduction Program. This program provides for the waiver or reduction of certain fees for employees who enroll in work‐ related courses offered by the CSU for the purpose of improving skills for existing jobs, or advancement in accordance with a career development plan. This program also provides eligible employees with the option of transferring their fee waiver benefit to an eligible dependent.

  15. Who do I contact if I have questions about the Fee Waiver Program, or if I think there is a problem with how my benefit has been applied?

    If you have any further questions regarding the fee waiver program, please contact:

    Nancy Olson
    Fee Waiver Coordinator
Human Resources

  16. Who is eligible for the Fee Waiver Program?

    Eligibility for the Fee Waiver Program differs by employee bargaining unit/class (see below). Please note that employees who are on an approved full or partial leave of absence with or without pay remain eligible.

    • Unit 1 (Physicians):
      • All members
    • Units 2, 5, 7, 9 (CSUEU), Unit 4 (Academic Professionals), Unit 6 (Skilled Trades), Unit 10 (IUOE):
      • All full-time employees (i.e. permanent, temporary, and probationary)
      • Part-time permanent employees
    • Unit 3 (Faculty):
      • Tenured and probationary faculty (Please note: Faculty participating in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) are eligible for the fee waiver benefit only during the semesters when they are actively employed.)
      • Temporary faculty with three-year appointments (pursuant to Article 12 of the CBA)
      • Coaches with at least six years of service in the department
    • Unit 8 (Public Safety), C99 (Confidential), E99 (Excluded), M98 (Executive):
      • Full-time or part-time permanent employees
      • Full-time probationary employees
      • Temporary employees are not eligible
      • Please note: class E99 is not eligible to transfer the benefit to a dependent spouse, child or domestic partner
    • M80 (MPP)
      • Full-timeemployees(includes temporary)