Generally, applicants will qualify for consideration for first-time freshman admission if they meet the following requirements:
- have graduated from high school, have earned a Certificate of General Education Development (GED) or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE);
- have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index (see Eligibility Index); and
- Have completed with grades of C or better each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirements also known as the “a-g” pattern (see “Subject Requirements”).
The eligibility index is the combination of the high school grade point average and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. Grade point averages (GPA) are based on grades earned in courses taken during the final three years of high school. Included in calculation of GPA are grades earned in all college preparatory “a-g” subject requirements, and bonus points for approved honors courses. Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last three years of high school, including up to two approved courses taken in the tenth grade can be accepted. Each unit of A in an honors course will receive a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.
A CSU Eligibility Index can be calculated by multiplying your grade point average by 800 and adding your total score on the mathematics and critical reading scores of the SAT. For students who took the ACT, multiply the grade point average by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score. Persons who are California high school graduates (or residents of California for tuition purposes) need a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. The Eligibility Index Table illustrates several combinations of required test scores and averages. The University has no current plans to include the writing scores from either of the admissions tests in the computation of the CSU Eligibility Index.
Persons who neither graduated from a California high school nor are a resident of California for tuition purposes, need a minimum index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). Graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries must be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section. An applicant with a grade point average of 3.00 or above (3.61 for nonresidents) is not required to submit test scores. However, all applicants for admission are urged to take the SAT or ACT and provide the scores of such tests to each CSU to which they seek admission. Campuses use these test results for advising and placement purposes and may require them for admission to impacted majors or programs. Impacted CSU campuses require SAT or ACT scores of all applicants for freshman admission.
The CSU Eligibility Index is subject to change on an annual basis. Admission as a first-time freshman may not be available for all semesters.
Cal State Fullerton is an impacted campus for all first-time freshmen. Impaction means that there are more eligible applications for a campus than can be accommodated. In order to ensure that capacity is not exceeded, more rigorous standards are applied to the freshmen applicant pool. This means that all freshmen applicants, whether in our local admissions area or outside of our local admissions area, must anticipate meeting higher levels of competition than the minimum eligibility index required by the non-impacted campuses of the CSU. The actual competition cannot be set until after the initial filing period has closed and we are able to assess the size and quality of the freshmen pool.
The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with grades of “C” or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A “unit” is one year of study in high school.
- two years of social science, including 1 year of U.S. history, or U.S. history and government
- four years of English
- three years of math (algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra)
- two years of laboratory science (l biological & 1 physical, both must have laboratory instruction)
- two years in the same foreign language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence)
- one year of visual and performing arts: art, dance, drama/theater, or music
- one year of electives: selected from English, advanced mathematics, social science, history, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts or other courses approved and included on the UC/CSU “a-g” list.
Provisional Admission for Freshmen
Cal State Fullerton may provisionally admit first-time freshman applicants based on their academic preparation through the junior year of high school and planned coursework for the senior year. The campus will monitor the final terms of study to ensure that admitted students complete their secondary school studies satisfactorily, including the required college preparatory subjects, and graduate from high school. Students are required to submit an official transcript after graduation to certify that all course work has been satisfactorily completed. Official high school transcripts must be received prior to deadline set by the University. In no case may documentation of high school graduation be received any later than the census date for a student’s first term of CSU enrollment. A campus may rescind admission decisions, cancel financial aid awards, withdraw housing contracts and cancel any University registration for students who are found to be ineligible after the final transcript has been evaluated.
Eligibility Index Table for California High School Graduates or Residents of California
Applicants will qualify for regular (non-provisional) admission when the University verifies that they have graduated and received a diploma from high school, have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index, have completed the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory “a-g” subjects, and, if applying to an impacted program or campus, have met all supplementary criteria.
The CSU uses only the ACT composite score or the SAT mathematics and critical reading scores in its admission eligibility equation. The SAT or ACT writing scores are not currently used by CSU campuses.
Transfer Policies of CSU Campuses
Most commonly, college level credits earned from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency are accepted for transfer to campuses of the CSU; however, authority for decisions regarding the transfer of undergraduate credits is delegated to each CSU campus.
California Community Colleges and other authorized certifying institutions can certify up to 39 semester (58.5 quarter) units of General Education-Breadth (GE-Breadth) or 37 semester (55.5 quarter) units of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) for transfer students to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for any CSU campus prior to transfer.
“Certification” is the official notification from a California Community College or authorized institution that a transfer student has completed courses fulfilling lower-division general education requirements. The CSU GE-Breadth and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) certification course lists for particular community colleges can be accessed at assist.org.
CSU campuses may enter into course-to-course or program-to-program articulation agreements with other CSU campuses and any or all of the California Community Colleges, and other regionally accredited institutions. Established CSU and California Community College articulations may be found on assist.org. Students may be permitted to transfer no more than 70 semester (105 quarter) units to a CSU campus from an institution that does not offer bachelor’s degrees or their equivalents, for example, community colleges. Given the university’s 30-semester (45-quarter) unit residency requirement, no more than a total of 90-semester (135-quarter) units may be transferred into the University from all sources.
Applicants who have completed fewer than 60 transferable semester college units (fewer than 90 quarter units) are considered lower-division transfer students. Applicants who have completed 60 or more transferable semester college units (90 or more quarter units) are considered upper-division transfer students. Applicants who complete college units during high school or through the summer immediately following high school graduation are considered first-time freshmen and must meet the CSU minimum eligibility requirements for first-time freshman admission. Transferable courses are those designated for baccalaureate credit by the college or University offering the courses and accepted as such by the campus to which the applicant seeks admission.
Please note that former CSU students who are seeking readmission after academic disqualification must meet the GPA standards in place for their major at the time of reapplication.
Lower-Division Transfer Requirements
Generally, applicants will qualify for CSU admission consideration as a lower-division transfer if they have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all transferable units attempted.
- Will meet the freshman admission requirements (grade point average and subject requirements) in effect for the term to which they are applying (see “Freshman Requirements” section); or
- Were eligible as a freshman at the time of high school graduation except for missing college preparatory subject requirements, have been in continuous attendance in an accredited college since high school graduation, and have made up the missing subject requirements with a 2.0 or better GPA.
Applicants who graduated from high school prior to 1988 should contact the admission office to inquire about alternative admission programs.
Due to increased enrollment demands, most CSU campuses do not admit lower-division transfer applicants.
Cal State Fullerton does not accept applications for lower-division applicants.
Making Up Missing College Preparatory Subject Requirements
Lower-division applicants who did not complete subject requirements while in high school may make up missing subjects in any of the following ways:
- complete appropriate courses with a C or better in adult school or high school summer sessions;
- complete appropriate college courses with a C or better. One college course of at least three semester or four quarter units will be considered equivalent to one year of high school study; or
- earn acceptable scores on specified examinations, e.g., SAT subject tests.
Please consult with the CSU campus admission office, to which you are applying for further information about alternative ways to satisfy the subject requirements.
Due to increased enrollment demands, most CSU campuses do not admit lower-division transfer applicants.
Upper-Division Transfer Requirements
Generally, applicants will qualify for consideration for upper-division transfer admission if they meet all of the following requirements:
- Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all transferable units attempted.
- In good standing at the last college or university attended; and
- Completed at least sixty (60) transferable semester (90 quarter) units of college level coursework with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and a grade C or better in each course used to meet the CSU general education requirements in written communication, oral communication, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning, e.g. mathematics.
The 60 units must include at least 30 units of courses which meet CSU general education requirement, including all of the general education requirements in communication in the English language (both oral and written) and critical thinking and the requirement in mathematics/quantitative reasoning (usually 3 semester units) OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements in English communication and mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning.
Cal State Fullerton is an impacted campus at the transfer level. Impaction means that there are more applications for a campus than can be accommodated. In order to ensure that capacity is not exceeded, more rigorous standards are applied to the transfer applicant pool. Impacted criteria may include local vs. out of local area and major program impaction.
The local area for Cal State Fullerton includes all Orange County community colleges. Students must have earned their majority of units from an Orange County community college to be considered a local applicant. The GPA requirement for local and out of local area (from other than Orange County community colleges) applicants will be determined based on the number and quality of applications received and will not be determined until after the initial filing period is over.
The major that an applicant applies and to which they are accepted must be their major for a minimum of two semesters. Applicants will be unable to move between majors without meeting the initial impacted major GPA requirement. Change of major is not permitted after an applicant submits an application for fall or spring consideration. CSU Fullerton does not use alternative major for admission consideration.
CSU general education requirements (“Golden Four”) are designated as Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning. Transfer applicants applying for fall term must complete the Golden Four courses no later than the end of the spring term. Transfer applicants applying for the spring term must complete the Golden Four courses no later than the end of the summer term. Applicants applying to impacted majors will be considered for admission based on meeting minimum CSU criteria and the supplemental criteria for the specific major. Former CSU students who are seeking readmission after academic disqualification must meet the GPA standards in place for their major at the time of reapplication.
CSUF is an impacted campus both by major and location.
Associate Degrees for Transfer (AA-T or AS-T) established by the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act (SB 1440)
The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) degrees offered at the California Community Colleges (CCC) are designed to provide California Community College students a clear transfer preparation and admission pathway to those CSU degree majors deemed similar. Those students who complete these transfer degrees and who are admitted to a similar CSU major program or option for that discipline will be able to complete the Baccalaureate Degree within 60 semester or 90 quarter units providing that all remaining required courses are completed successfully without a break in attendance and providing that no supplemental courses for minors or areas of emphasis are undertaken.
California Community College students who earn an associate degree for transfer (AA-T or AS-T) are guaranteed admission with junior standing to the California State University but not to any particular campus or program. Because several CSU campuses are receiving more transfer applications from eligible students than can be accommodated, these campuses have declared impaction resulting in higher admission criteria. See more on impaction at www.calstate.edu/SAS/impactioninfo.shtml. However, transfer students who earn the AA-T or AS-T degrees, are given priority admission over other transfer applicants when applying to a non-impacted CSU campus or to a non-impacted program from a community college within the local admission area of the campus. These students are also given priority admission consideration when applying from a community college that is outside the local admission area of an impacted CSU campus or when applying to a similar program that is impacted at any CSU campus. A current list of CSU degree programs that have been deemed similar to the associate degrees for transfer can be found at www.calstate.edu/transfer/adt-search.
Those students who earn associate degrees for transfer and apply to a CSU campus but cannot be admitted due to impaction will be redirected to another CSU campus and offered admission for the same term. In order to qualify for the priority admission guarantee, transfer applicants must be conferred an approved Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) by a California Community College, must apply for admission to California State University campuses for an open term by the published deadline, submit all requested transcripts and documents, meet CSU admission eligibility requirements for the campus and/or program, and must comply with any other prescribed admission requirements. It is the responsibility of these transfer students to provide documentation about the completion of the degree to each CSU campus that has received an application for admission.
Applicants to Cal State Fullerton who are earning a community college transfer associate degree (AA-T or AS-T) must file an application during the initial filing period. Because of impaction, they will be given a 0.1 GPA advantage when determining admission eligibility.
Provisional Admission for Transfers
Cal State Fullerton may provisionally or conditionally admit transfer applicants based on their academic preparation and courses planned for completion. The campus will monitor the final terms to ensure that those admitted complete all required courses satisfactorily. All accepted applicants are required to submit an official transcript of all college level work completed. Campuses may rescind admission for any student who is found to be ineligible after the final transcript has been evaluated. In no case may such documents be received and validated by the University any later than a student’s registration for their second term of CSU enrollment.
Freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit are strongly encouraged to submit scores, unless exempt (see “Eligibility Index”), from either the ACT or the SAT of the College Board. Persons who apply to an impacted program may be required to submit test scores and should take the test no later than November or December. Test scores also are used for advising and placement purposes. Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office at 657-278-3838. Or students may write to, call or email:
The College Board (SAT)
Registration Unit, Box 6200
Princeton, New Jersey 08541
ACT Registration Unit
P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
English Language Requirement
All undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full-time where English is the principal language of instruction, must present a score of 500 or above on the paper-based version, or 61 on the Internet-based version on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some majors and some campuses may require a higher score. A few campuses may also use alternative methods of assessing English fluency: Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP). Each campus will post the tests it accepts on its website and will notify students after they apply about the tests it accepts and when to submit scores.
CSU minimum TOEFL standards are:
CSUF minimum TOEFL standards are:
|Graduate (depending on major)
IELTS minimum standards are:
|Graduate (depending on major)
Test results submitted must not have been earned more than two years prior to the desired enrollment date. Institutional TOEFL tests administered outside of CSUF are not acceptable.
As circumstances warrant, minimum TOEFL scores may be changed. Current information is available at csumentor.edu.
Intensive Academic English Program
International students who need to improve their TOEFL or IELTS scores may enroll in the American Language Program (ALP), an intensive academic English program that provides preparation for study at an American college or university. Conditional admission to Cal State Fullerton is available for qualified students. For more information, go to alp.fullerton.edu or call 657-278-8293.
All entering students are expected to be knowledgeable in the use of a personal computer (PC or Macintosh) prior to being admitted to the University. Entering students should have 1) the ability to use a PC to locate, create, move, copy, delete, name, rename, and save files and folders on hard drives and on secondary storage devices; 2) the ability to use a word processing program that runs on a PC or Macintosh computer to create, edit, format, store, retrieve, and print documents; 3) the ability to use an electronic mail system to receive, create, edit, print, save, and send an email message with and without an attached file; and 4) the ability to use an Internet browser. Students who feel they do not meet the expected level of competency, should contact the Academic Advisement Center at 657-278-3606.
The CSU requires that each entering undergraduate, except those who qualify for an exemption, take the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrollment. These placement tests are not a condition for admission to the CSU, but they are a condition of enrollment. These examinations are designed to identify entering students who may need additional support in acquiring college entry-level English and mathematics skills necessary to succeed in CSU baccalaureate-level courses. Undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills both in English and in mathematics will be placed in appropriate remedial programs and activities during the first term of their enrollment. Students placed in remedial programs in either English or mathematics must complete all remediation in their first year of enrollment. Failure to complete remediation by the end of the first year may result in denial of enrollment for future terms. Students register for the EPT (csuenglishsuccess.org/ept) and/or ELM (csumathsuccess.org/elm_exam). Campus may establish deadlines by which new students must register for and/or take placement exams as a requirement for enrollment.
English Placement Test (EPT)
The English Placement Test (EPT) is designed to assess the reading and writing skills of students entering the California State University. The CSU EPT must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 147 or above on the EPT will be placed in college-level composition classes.
Exemptions from the EPT are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:
- A score of 500 or above on the critical reading section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
- A score of 22 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) English Test
- A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program
- Completion of a course that transfers to a CSU and satisfies the requirement in Qualitative Reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
- A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in English on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam
The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved English course with a grade of C or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.
- 460-490 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT Reasoning Test
- 19-21 on the English portion of the ACT Test
- A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in English on the CAASPP exam
California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) has established the following policy regarding compliance with this regulation:
All new and continuing undergraduate students who have not taken the EPT and who are not otherwise exempt must take the test prior to registering for their first semester of enrollment at CSUF. Students must take the EPT exam unless otherwise exempt by no later than early May preceding the fall start of classes. Students can only take the EPT exam once.
Students who have taken the EPT exam but have not been placed in English 101 or conditionally exempt and are not meeting their conditions must remediate their English skills by taking Developmental Writing. Students must complete the remediation coursework during or prior to their first semester of enrollment. If they are not able to pass the remediation course, they must retake it during their second semester. Failure to complete remedial coursework within two terms will jeopardize a student’s continued enrollment in the University.
Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Test
The Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Examination is designed to assess and measure the mathematics skills acquired through three years of rigorous college preparatory mathematics coursework (Algebra I and II, and Geometry) of students entering the California State University (CSU). The CSU ELM must be completed by all non-exempt entering undergraduates prior to enrollment in any course, including developmental courses. Students who score 50 or above on the ELM will be placed in college-level mathematics classes.
Exemptions from the ELM are granted only to those who present proof of one of the following:
- A score of 550 or above on the Mathematics section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
- A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
- A score of 23 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) Mathematics Test
- A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam
- A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics examination
- Completion and transfer to CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
- A result of Standard Exceeded: Ready for CSU college-level coursework in mathematics on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam
The following Conditionally Ready statuses require students to continue their preparation in the 12th grade by completing an approved math course with a grade of C or better. Students that do not meet the conditional requirement will need to participate in the CSU’s Early Start Program, unless exemption was met through another pathway.
- 490-540 on the Mathematics portion of the SAT Reasoning Test
- 20-22 on the Mathematics portion of the ACT exam
- A result of Standard Met: Conditionally Ready for college-level coursework in mathematics on the CAASPP exam
Requirement To Take The ELM Test
All new and continuing undergraduate students who have not taken the ELM test and who are not otherwise exempt must take the test prior to registering for their first semester of enrollment at CSUF. The deadline to take the exam is early May prior to the fall start of classes. However, for maximum registration date choices, students are encouraged to take the placement test in March or April. Students who fail to comply with this policy will not be permitted to register for classes. Students who do not pass the test must complete required remediation coursework during or prior to their first semester of enrollment. If they are not able to pass the remediation course, they must retake it during their second semester. Failure to complete remedial coursework within two terms will jeopardize a student’s continued enrollment in the University.
Students Who Have Taken But Not Passed The ELM Test
Students who have taken but failed to pass the ELM test or conditionally exempt and are not meeting their conditions must take a remedial math course(s). Intensive Learning Experience is responsible for monitoring compliance with this provision and for certifying the appropriateness of the course in which the student wishes to participate. Students who fail either of the placement tests should consult with Intensive Learning Experience Office (University Hall 234) concerning specific requirements and services.
Students register for the EPT at (csuenglishsuccess.org/ept and/or ELM at (csumathsuccess.org/elm_exam). The campus may establish deadlines by which new students must register for and/or take placement exams as a requirement for enrollment. Questions about test dates and registration materials may be addressed to Admissions and Records Service Center at 657-278-7601 or Testing Services at 657-278-3838.
Early Start Program
All entering resident freshmen who are not proficient in math or English will need to start the remediation process before their first regular term.
The goals of the Early Start Program are to:
- Better prepare students in math and English, before the fall semester of freshman year;
- Add an important and timely assessment tool in preparing students for college; and
- Improve students’ chances of successful completion of a college degree.
Entering CSU students are required to present proof of the following immunizations to the CSU campus they will be attending before the beginning of their first term of enrollment.
Measles and Rubella Immunizations
All new and readmitted students must provide proof of full immunization against measles and rubella prior to enrollment.
The campus shall notify certain students born after January 1, 1957, of the CSU requirement to present proof of measles and rubella immunizations by the beginning of the second term of enrollment. At the beginning of the next term of enrollment, those so notified who have not presented acceptable proof of the immunizations shall be notified further of the need to comply before receiving registration materials to enroll for the succeeding term. This is not an admission requirement.
Persons subject to these health screening provisions include:
- New students enrolling fall 1986 and later
- Readmitted students reenrolling fall 1986 and later
- Students who reside in campus residence halls
- Students who obtained their primary and secondary schooling outside the United States
- Students enrolled in dietetics, medical technology, nursing, physical therapy; and any practicum, student teaching or field work involving preschool-age children, school-age children, or taking place in a hospital or health care setting
The Student Health and Counseling Center shall provide immunizations without cost to those students unable to obtain acceptable proof of immunizations.
All new students who will be 18 years of age or younger at the start of their first term at a CSU campus must provide proof of full immunization against Hepatitis B before enrolling. Full immunization against Hepatitis B consists of three timed doses of vaccine over a minimum 4 to 6 months period. If you need further details or have special circumstances, please consult the Student Health and Counseling Center.
The CSU Chancellor’s Office requires that every student aged 18 and younger on September 18, 2000 be vaccinated against Hepatitis B or provide documentation that proves immunity due to previous vaccination. Students will not be allowed to enroll in their second semester unless they have begun the immunizations during their first semester or provided the Student Health and Counseling Center with the documentation of previous immunization.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver that can cause serious illness and even death. The vaccination is safe. You cannot get hepatitis B from the vaccine. The immunization requires three shots; 1st shot, another one in 30 days (2nd shot), and another one in 6 months (3rd shot). You must complete all three shots for full immunization in order to register for your third semester.
Options for obtaining this series of vaccinations include:
- A private physician,
- The Public Health Department,
- CSUF Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC), once you have enrolled and paid your fees.
The SHCC shall provide immunizations without cost to students. You may bring your documentation of a previous vaccination to the Student Health and Counseling Center or fax it with your name, telephone number and student identification number and address (doctor’s records, school records, public health records or letter from your doctor). The SHCC fax number is 657-278-3069.
You may request a waiver based on religious or personal beliefs. You must fill out a form to request this waiver at the Student Health and Counseling Center and bring it to the director’s office. Waivers are accepted only during your first semester at CSUF.
If students fail to comply with the immunizations/documentation requirement, i.e., do not begin the series of vaccinations before the start of their second semester or provide documentation of full immunization, a hold will be placed against their records so that future registration will be prevented until the immunization/documentation requirement is met.
Meningococcal Disease Information
Each incoming freshman who will be residing in on-campus housing will be required to return a form indicating that they have received information about meningococcal disease and the availability of the vaccine to prevent contracting the disease and indicating whether or not the student has chosen to receive the vaccination.
The immunization requirements are not admission requirements but are required of students as conditions of enrollment in CSU.
Determination of Residency for Tuition Purposes
University requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes are independent from those of other types of residency, such as for tax purposes, or other state or institutional residency. These regulations were promulgated not to determine whether a student is a resident or nonresident of California, but rather to determine whether a student should pay University fees on an in-state or out-of- state basis. A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residency Requirements. These laws governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University are California Education Code sections 68000-68085, 68120-68133, and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900- 41916. Residency material can be viewed on the Internet by accessing the website at www.calstate.edu/sas/residency.
Each campus’ Admissions Office is responsible for determining the residency status of all new and returning students based on the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, Reclassification Request Form, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for resident classification will be classified as a nonresident.
Generally, establishing California residency for tuition purposes requires a combination of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely. An adult who, at least 366 days prior to the residency determination date for the term in which enrollment is contemplated, can demonstrate both physical presence in the state combined with evidence of intent to remain in California indefinitely may establish California residency for tuition purposes. A minor normally derives residency from the parent(s) they reside with or most recently resided with.
Evidence demonstrating intent may vary from case to case but will include, and is not limited to, the absence of residential ties to any other state, California voter registration and voting in California elections, maintaining California vehicle registration and driver’s license, maintaining active California bank accounts, filing California income tax returns and listing a California address on federal tax returns, owning residential property or occupying or renting a residence where permanent belongings are kept, maintaining active memberships in California professional or social organizations, and maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.
Nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire that includes questions concerning their financial independence. Financial independence is required, in addition to physical presence and intent, to be eligible for reclassification. Financial independence is established if in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years preceding the reclassification application the student:
- Has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes by his/her parent;
- Has not and will not receive more than seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) per year in financial assistance from his/her parent; and
- Has not lived and will not live longer than six (6) weeks in the home of his/her parent.
A nonresident student who has been appointed as a graduate student teaching assistant, a graduate student research assistant, or a graduate student teaching associate on any CSU campus and is employed on a 0.49 or more time basis is exempt from the financial independence requirement.
Non-citizens establish residency in the same manner as citizens, unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing domicile in the United States.
Exceptions to the general residency requirements are contained in California Education Code sections 68070-68085 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41906- 41906.6, 41910 and include, but are not limited to, members of the military and their dependents, certain credentialed employees of school districts and most students who have attended three or more years of high school (grades 9-12) in California and graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of graduation. Whether an exception applies to a particular student can only be determined after the submission of an application for admission and, as necessary, additional supporting documentation. Because neither campus nor Chancellor’s Office staff may give advice on the application of these laws, applicants are strongly urged to review the material for themselves and consult with a legal adviser.
Residency determination dates are set each term. They are:
Students classified as nonresidents may appeal a final campus decision within 120 days of notification by the campus. A campus residency classification appeal must be in writing and submitted to:
The California State University
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210
The Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review. Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is also subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify the Admissions Office. Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residency for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residency determination date. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above.