Campus Budget News

Student FAQ Spring 2012

(posted November 15, 2011 / updated November 18, 2011)

 NEW for January 30, 2012: For updated information about 2012 spring enrollment, visit the new enrollment FAQs.

Please note that newly added information is denoted by an asterisk (*).

Advocate for the University and Public Higher Education

The University advocates for CSUN students and for funding levels for public higher education at the state and federal levels, but we can't do it alone. Please join the University's Legislative Network to stay posted on latest budget news from Sacramento and to advocate for CSUN students. (Added 3/12/2012)

Registering for Classes

Q: Has the budget affected course availability?

California continues to experience significant financial challenges. As a result, the California State University system has experienced a significant budget reduction. Over the past several years, Cal State Northridge has managed these fiscal challenges by taking a variety of measures to balance budget constraints with the needs of students. Unfortunately, the economy has not rebounded as we had hoped at the start of the academic year, and the need to prioritize and reduce course offerings has now become a reality.

We share your disappointment that the University is forced to reduce courses, and we remain committed to offering students the opportunity to enroll in a full course load. As you prepare to register, please consult with your advisor and review the classes that you need to take to make progress toward the attainment of your degree.

You will be able to get a full load of courses, but you need to be thoughtful and targeted in what you register for first.

During the first phase of Spring 2012 registration (registration by appointment), students are limited to a maximum of 13 units.  However, during non-restricted registration (from December 11, 2011 through the third week of Spring classes) students will be able to add units up to a total of 15.)  (Note:  Graduating seniors and students enrolled in certain cohort programs are exempt from these restrictions.)  For more information about unit limits, individual course waiting lists, permission numbers and other related issues please visit the Office of Undergraduate Studies’ Policies to access important information about these policy changes.

Fees and tuition

Q: I know fees were increased in Fall 2011.  Did they increase again for Spring 2012?  What are the new fees and why have they been raised?

Spring 2012 fees are the same as Fall 2011 fees.

At its July 12 meeting, the CSU Board of Trustees increased tuition by an additional 12 percent effective in the Fall 2011 term. The Board’s action was precipitated by legislative passage of a final state budget that cut state funding to the CSU by $650 million for 2011-12. The legislature had already approved a $500 million cut to the CSU in March 2011 and reduced the budget by another $150 million when the Governor could not get the support needed to extend several temporary taxes that expired June 30, 2011.

Fall 2011 tuition fees were increased by $294 for undergraduate students, $339 for credential program students, and $360 for graduate and post-baccalaureate students. These increases apply to students taking 6.1 or more units. Lower tuition fee increases apply to students taking 6.0 or fewer units. The tuition fee was not increased for Education Doctorate students. A complete schedule of all fees, including campus based fees, is at

The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum. However, fees listed in published schedules and student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. The CSU has reserved the right, even after initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify listed fees without notice until the date when instruction for a particular semester has begun.

Below are links to the messages that were sent to students on July 15 and 19, 2011, regarding the recent fee increases. They have been included here as additional information regarding the fee increases.

Q: Will there be additional student fee increases?

UPDATED 11/18/11: At their November 16, 2011 meeting, the CSU Board of Trustees approved (by a vote of 9 to 6) a tuition fee increase effective for fall 2012. This increase raises tuition fees by $249 per semester (approximately 9.1 percent) for full-time undergraduate students, $291 per semester for full-time credential students, and $309 per semester for full-time graduate students. Fall 2012 CSU tuition fees will be $2,985 per semester for full-time undergraduate students, $3,465 per semester for full-time credential students, and $3,678 per semester for full-time graduate students.

The CSU Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition for students in Education Doctorate programs to $5,559 per semester (from $5,250).

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed stated, "While there is still much uncertainty in the state's fiscal condition, we wanted to provide students and parents with as much notice as possible that tuition will go up in the fall. That said, we must all work with state leaders to restore the funding needed to maintain access and quality for CSU students."

This follows a 12 percent tuition fee increase effective for the fall 2011 semester which was approved at the July 2011 Board of Trustees meeting, which followed a previous 10 percent increase for fall 2011 approved by the Board of Trustees at their November 2010 meeting.

One-third of the revenue from the tuition fee increase will be allocated for financial aid. Nearly half of all CSU undergraduates will be fully covered for the tuition fee increase due to this provision and other grants and fee waivers.

For more information about the budget, visit the Campus Budget FAQs.

Academic Policies

Q: Has the current budget environment affected academic policies?

No. However, changes have been made in a number of policies such as registration unit limits, eligibility to repeat a class, academic probation and disqualification, adding or changing majors and/or minors and disenrollment. Please familiarize yourself with these changes and others related to academic progress by visiting the Office of Undergraduate Studies' Policies website or the Campus Budget News page.

Q: Why do I have to wait until the Thursday before the start of classes (January 19, 2012) to add a class that I want to repeat?

The new repeat policy allows every student to have one chance in a class before any student has multiple chances. This Spring 2012, classes will begin on January 23, 2012. Students who want to repeat courses must wait until January 19, 2012 to enroll in a class they wish to repeat. Enrollment may be done in SOLAR without permission numbers until the semester begins. After January 23, permission numbers will be needed.