Campus Budget News

Student FAQ Spring 2011

Posted November 16, 2010 • Updated December 14, 2010

*NEW! President Koester's Message to Students for Spring 2011 (Video — December 13, 2010)


    1. I received a notice that registration fees were recently increased. What are the new fees and why have they been raised?

      On November 10, 2010, the Board of Trustees increased the State University Fee for the Spring 2011 semester in the amount of $105 for undergraduate students, $123 for credential program students, and $129 for graduate and post-baccalaureate students. These increased amounts apply to students taking 6.1 or more units. A lower fee amount will apply for students taking 6 or fewer units.  Cal State Northridge implemented these increases on November 13, 2010.  Note that the State University Fee is in addition to other campus-based fees. As you may know, student fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the California State University and are significantly influenced by the level of State appropriations to support higher education. The Board of Trustees has also set an additional fee increase of 10% to be implemented in Fall 2011.

    2. When are the new fees due and what do I do if I already have paid?

      1. Registered and paid: If you registered for classes and paid your total fees before the increase was implemented, you can expect to see the amount of the increase on your account (summary) under the charge type “Tuition and Fees.” The “Total Charges Outstanding” and “Current Balance Outstanding” will include the increase. Your Student Account history will display the increase as a separate line item, which will be due on December 6, 2010*, as indicated on your account. You should check your account regularly. For additional information on fee payments please go to and click on “Tuition and Fees Spring 2011” for due dates.

      2. Registered before November 13 but not yet paid: If you registered for classes before the increase was implemented but have not yet paid, your Student Account history will display the increase as a separate line item. You will have until December 6, 2010* to pay the “Current Balance Outstanding,“ which includes the increase. For additional information on fee payments please go to and click on “Tuition and Fees Spring 2011” for due dates.

      3. Registered after November 12: If you registered for classes after the increase was implemented, the increase will be incorporated in your total “Tuition and Fees” and not displayed as a separate line item on your Student Account history. You will have until the due date indicated on your account to pay the “Current Balance Outstanding. For additional information on fee payments please go to and click on “Tuition and Fees Spring 2011” for due dates.

      *Note that you will not be disenrolled solely for failure to pay the Board of Trustees approved Spring 2011 fee increase by the due date indicated on your account. However, students with outstanding account balances will be unable to register for the Summer or Fall 2011 semester until the Spring 2011 semester fees are paid in full.

    3. What is eRefund (direct deposit)?

      Students now have the option of electing to have their financial aid balance and/or student refunds electronically deposited to their bank account instead of waiting for a check to be mailed to them. It is fast and secure. In order to elect eRefund students must complete an application on line. For more information about eRefunds and how to apply, go to


  1. Has the budget affected course availability?

    Thousands of additional seats are being made available in Spring 2011 classes so that students may enroll in and complete additional coursework.  During the first phase of Spring 2011 registration (registration by appointment), students will be limited to a maximum of of 13 units.  However, during non-restricted registration (from December 9, 2010 through the third week of Spring classes) students will be able to add units, up to a total of 19.)  (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.

  2. I went into a class today and there were empty seats. But the instructor said she couldn't add anyone. Why not?

    The simple answer is that each course is assigned a maximum enrollment cap (the maximum number of students who can take the class). This cap is based on a variety of factors such as the type of instruction (e.g. lecture, seminar or laboratory) and the kinds of assignments that will be required (e.g. intensive writing, lab sessions). The cap is designed to maximize learning and is not related to room size. Rooms are often allocated on a space available basis, so large rooms may be given to courses with smaller permissible enrollments. So, while the room looks like it isn't full, the course is.

    The goal of our University is make sure that each student receives the best possible education. We do not want to diminish student learning by exceeding the enrollment caps that are thoughtfully constructed. To do so would be to shortchange students.

  1. Can I get on a waiting list for the next available seat?

    Each department makes its own decisions about how to add students as seats become available. Some departments create waiting lists; some allocate seats according to the number of units a student has earned, with graduating seniors getting preference; some give seats out on a first-come, first-served basis on the first day of class; and some leave the decision up to the individual instructor.

    The best way to find out how available seats will be allocated in the class you want is either to email the instructor or attend the first day of class and ask for the procedures that will govern "adds" in the class you want. A permission number will be required to add any class on or after the first day of instruction.

  1. What's a permission number and how do I get one?

    Permission is required to add restricted classes at all times. Some classes are restricted before instruction for a term begins; all classes are restricted after instruction begins. Restricted classes display the Class Note "Department or Instructor Consent Required" in SOLAR Class Search.

    To obtain permission to add a class, contact the department or the instructor of the course (see #3 above). You may receive either a permission number or a student specific permission. Either kind of permission is valid until you successfully enroll in the class, until it expires, or until the end of the third week of a semester—whichever comes first. See the Late Registration/Schedule Adjustment deadlines.

    Use permissions for the Spring 2011 semester on or before February 11, 2011. After that date, classes can be added only for serious and compelling reasons, and a Late Change in Academic Schedule form must be completed. The form can be downloaded here. Learn more with the tutorial, "Add a Class Using a Permission Number."

  1. If I get a permission number and I find I can't use it, can I give it to a friend or trade it for a seat in a different class?

    Absolutely not. Permission numbers may not be given to or exchanged with other students. A permission number is a permit given to a specific student for a specific seat in a specific class. It is regarded as academic dishonesty to sell, give or trade permission numbers or to use a permission number given to another student.

    Class rosters are audited to make certain that students who register in restricted classes are only those for whom a specific permission number was issued by a department office or instructor. A registered student who either has given or obtained a permission number that was not authorized by the department will be subject to academic discipline as well as dismissal from the class.

  1. I can't get into a certain class I need to graduate or to meet a prerequisite. What can I do?

    Make an appointment with your department chair/department advisor to explore options. Sometimes, if accreditation permits substitutions or equivalencies, the department will suggest alternative ways to meet department graduation requirements. You may be able to take needed classes at community colleges, other CSUs or online at other 4-year universities.

    Check with to see if a course offered at another institution has been approved for transferability to CSUN. If not, get a copy of the catalog description of the class you want to substitute. If you think the course description closely matches that of the CSUN class, submit the description to your department chair who will advise you on whether it is an acceptable alternative.

    Beware that this option may not be possible because of accreditation or related academic issues that require certain courses to be taken only at CSUN.


  1. Is there financial aid to cover the increase in fees?

    1. If you are a Financial Aid recipient, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department will adjust your 2010-11 financial aid Cost of Attendance to reflect the newly established fees.

    2. Students with State University Grant (SUG) awards will see their grant adjusted to reflect the new State University Fee. Students will receive an updated award letter before the start of the Spring semester.

    3. It is not yet known whether the additional increase in fees will be covered by the Cal Grant award.  The California state budget process will determine the amount of Cal Grants for the CSU.  If a change occurs in the Cal Grant award students will receive an updated award letter at the time the change is implemented. Students who have been awarded only loans may see a change in their award package due to the adjustment to their Cost of Attendance. Students will receive an updated award letter if changes occur. Students do not need to contact the Department of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

    4. Students who have not yet been awarded will have all adjustments reflected in their future award packages.

  2. Is it too late to apply for financial aid?  

    Students may apply for 2010-11 financial aid at any time before the last day of the Spring 2011 semester, or the last day of Fall 2010 semester if only attending in Fall. Obviously, the sooner you apply the better. For information on applying for financial aid go to /financialaid/apply.html.  


  1. 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.

  1. Why do I have to wait until the Thursday before the start of classes (January 20) 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 2011, classes will begin on Monday, January 24. Students who want to repeat courses must wait until January 20, 2011to 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. See questions 4 and 5 in the section above on "Registering for Classes" for additional information.


  1. Can I buy a parking permit on-line?

    Student residential, semester, and academic-year parking permits will be available for purchase online. This fast, easy and convenient process can be accessed through “my Northridge Portal” on the Cal State Northridge website.  Please note that no additional 2.9% credit card convenience fees will be charged for purchasing online parking permits. Permits will be mailed out within 10 business days to your address on file.

  2. Do I have to have a parking permit on the first day of class?

    Yes, a parking permit is required at all times. Parking without a permit may result in a parking violation fine. If you have not purchased a residential, semester, or academic year parking permit, you can get a daily parking permit from a parking permit dispenser or from one of three information booths located at: the corner of Prairie and Darby; Nordhoff and Lindley; and Lot G4 on Zelzah. Daily parking permits purchased from permit dispensers are only valid in student parking lots or spaces.

  3. How difficult is it to find parking on campus?

    During the first several weeks of the semester traffic is at its heaviest and parking spaces on the west side of campus ("B" lots) fill up quickly. Students are encouraged to utilize the new G3 parking structure located off of Zelzah Ave and Prairie St.


  1. What is "Intent to Register"?  

    In order to monitor the number of students attending CSUN, the university requires that all first-time students electronically indicate their Intent to Register.

  2. What is the deadline for students to indicate their Intent to Register? 

    November 1, 2010  is the DEADLINE for first-time transfer students to indicate their Intent to Register through the myNorthridge portal. Learn more at

  3. What if I didn't comply with this requirement by the deadline?

    You will not be able to attend CSUN in Spring 2011.

  4. What is Transfer Student Intent to Register?

    To enroll in the Spring 2011 semester, transfer students are also required to file an electronic Intent to Register by Monday, November 1, 2010.

  5. Can I appeal this decision?

    No, the deadline to file the Intent to Register is absolute. University policy and practices have made deviation from the transfer student deadline of November 1, 2010 impossible.

  6. I was never told about this requirement. It's not fair to hold me to this deadline.

    The requirement to file the Intent to Register was communicated to all freshmen and transfer applicants in many forms: in the Admission Brochure packet mailed to all provisionally-admitted first-time students, in the online myNorthridge admissions status checklist, in various letters and e-mail communications reminding students to monitor their application status online for incomplete tasks, and on websites such as “I Have Been Admitted” at

  7. What are my options if I didn't file an Intent to Register by the deadline? 

    Transfer students can ask CSUN to move their application from Spring 2011 to another term beginning Fall 2011. In order to make this request, complete the form at Please note that a request to forward your application to a future term is not a guarantee of admission.

  8. Can I reapply/apply to CSUN for Fall 2011?

    Please check the Admissions and Records website below for additional information as it becomes available: /admissions-records/admissions-calendar.


  1. What are the EPT/ELM tests?

    The California State University system requires that each entering First Time Freshman, except those who qualify for an exemption, take these CSU placement exams prior to enrollment in classes. They are a condition of enrollment. Learn more at:

  1. When can I take the test(s)?

    The EPT/ELM tests are offered year-round at various CSU campuses and at ALL CSU campuses in March, May and June. The specific test dates and registration deadlines for each campus are listed online along with the addresses and phone numbers of the individual Testing Offices. For a complete listing, check the CSU EPT/ELM Information bulletin ( Pay close attention to the registration deadline listed by each test date since your registration must reach the testing office by the registration deadline.

    Students may take the test at the most convenient CSU campus. Online registration is available at most campuses. If you wish to take the EPT at CSUN, online registration is available ( May 07, 2011 is the DEADLINE for completing the EPT/ELM requirement. Results from EPT/ELM tests taken after May 07, 2011 will not be accepted at CSU Northridge for the Fall 2011 semester.

  1. What happens if I missed the deadline?

    You will not be able to attend CSUN in Fall 2011 as a First-Time Freshman unless you were exempt from the test(s) because of high SAT or ACT scores, AP tests or completion of certain EAP courses in high school.

  1. I never heard about the EPT/ELM requirement. Why can't I take it later?

    There are numerous opportunities to take these placement exams throughout the application cycle. The requirement to test and the deadline to test are communicated to all prospective freshmen in many forms-- letters, email, websites, etc.

  1. What are my options if I missed the EPT/ELM test?

    You may want to consider attending a community college. You can transfer to CSU Northridge after you have earned 60 units and after you complete your basic subjects and lower division general education courses OR

    You can request CSU Northridge to move your application from Fall 2011 to another term. To make this request, complete the form at:

    Note that a request to forward your application to a future term is not a guarantee of admission.