Course Fees

Recommended By
Fee Advisory Committee
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Monday, June 15, 1998
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Effective Date
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Contact Office
Academic Affairs
Policy number


This policy and procedure shall be followed for the establishment and continuation of all campus-based course fees. 
The California State University (CSU) revised Student Fee Policy adopted by the Board of Trustees, effective April 2000, issued under Executive Order (EO) 740, supercedes Executive Order 661 (Fees, Rates, and Charges). EO 740 places miscellaneous course fees within a context of all CSU fees, but does not specifically describe course fees. The intent of this policy is to clarify the CSU Student Fee Policy as it pertains to implementation of miscellaneous course fees at Sonoma State University.

  1. Purpose of Course Fees
    Course fees may be approved and implemented if they meet any of the following condtions:
    1. They pay for the cost of activities related to a course (e.g. field trip, tickets to off-campus lecture or event);
    2. They provide students with an object or product of value (e.g. artwork, safety gear); or,
    3. They cover costs associated with specific courses (e.g. specialized equipment or materials, risk management, laboratory supplies or expendable products). 
      Course fees are not intended to replace general operating costs, which are to be paid from the general university fee.
  2. Procedures to Implement Course Fees
    1. When a new or revised fee is contemplated, the initiating unit is advised to consult with the CFO (or designee) to ensure that the fee is allowable under all California and CSU regulations.
    2. A proposal to implement a new course fee, or to increase an existing course fee, must first be approved by the school Dean, following consultation with the school's Student Advisory Council. (Approval and consultation are documented on the Agreement for Establishment or Continuation of a Trust Fund Account Form). Following approval at the school level, the proposal is forwarded to the Provost.
    3. If the Provost determines that the proposal meets standards established by the Board of Trustees, it will be placed on the agenda of the Fee Advisory Committee (FAC). Representatives from the proposing department will be requested to attend the FAC meeting when the proposal is considered. The FAC, at its discretion, may also invite affected students to make a presentation.
    4. The FAC will review the proposed fee for conformance with EO 740 and may also consider the following factors, among others: Is the fee for a required course, or an elective? How many courses in the proposing department already have fees? Is the size of the fee reasonable relative to the educational value?
    5. The FAC will forward its recommendation to the President for his consideration and consultation with the Chief Financial Officer. Only after Presidential approval and Chancellor’s approval (if required) will a course fee be implemented.
  3. Administration of Course Fees
    1. For each course fee Departments must have an approved "Agreement for Establishment or Continuation of a Trust Fund Account" on file with the University Controller before any monies may be collected or dispersed.
    2. Proceeds from course fees can only be used for the purposes specified to create the fee.
    3. Administrative re-titling or renumbering of courses will not require FAC review when academic departments document that the amount and purpose of fees is unchanged.
    4. Course fees will automatically expire for any course that has either been eliminated or not been taught for three or more years.

Updated July 7, 2004 by