Student Frequently Asked Questions

Provided below are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) asked by students regarding the Bursar's Office.

General Information Questions

The Bursar’s Office provides financial services to all members of the campus community including, but not limited to, students and their relatives, faculty, staff, and University departments.

These services enable the campus community to more effectively pursue their mission of teaching, learning, research, and outreach.

This is one of the most frequent questions we hear. Here is one definition of the word, “Bursar.”

Pronunciation: ‘bər-sər, -sär’
Function: Noun
Etymology: Medieval Latin bursarius, from bursa
Meaning: An officer (as of a monastery or college) in charge of funds; Treasurer

Source: Merriam-Webster Bursar Definition

For current fee schedule, visit the current academic year page to see the tuition and fees for the corresponding semester.

Below is a breakdown of the mandatory local fees:

Mandatory Local Fees

Type of Fee


Student Body Center Fee

Established in 1969 to construct, maintain, and operate the Cesar Chavez Student Center (Student Union).

Recreation and Wellness Center Fee

The recreation wellness center fund will be used to construct, maintain and operate a facility where students can come together to focus on health, exercise and wellness.

Student Body Association Fee

Established in 1933 for use by the Associated Students Body.

Student Health Fee

Established in 1992, this fee covers services provided at the Student Health Center, Counseling & Psychology Services, and Health Promotions and Wellness unit. Visit the Student Health Services Department for more information about this fee.

Instructionally Related Activities Fee

Established in 1978 to support intercollegiate arts performances, media programs, etc.

Instructionally Related Activities Athletics Fee

Maintains athletics programs.

Health Facilities Fee

Maintains access to the Student Health Center facility.

Identification Card Fee

Established in 1974, the picture ID card provides access to campus services.

Student Involvement and Representation Fee (SIRF)*

Established in 2016, used to support the student leadership, involvement, governance, and advocacy programs managed by the California State Student Association (CSSA).

Gator Pass Fee

Established in 2016, used to provide each student with a transit pass as an added function to your Student ID card, valid for unlimited travel on Muni trains and buses and a discount on BART fares traveling to and from Daly City Station.

*The SIRF is the only non-mandatory fee, as it is an optional fee. Students can navigate through their Student Center (SF State Gateway) to "Opt Out" if they choose to do so.

A student financial services hold will remain on your student account and you will be unable to obtain services (including but not limited to registration) from the University until all past due balances are paid in full.

Student financial hold (negative indicator) are cleared within 24 hours.

When you register for a class, you are responsible for payment of the charges on that class, whether or not you attend.

To have all charges removed, you must drop the class(es) prior to the first day of semester/session.

Important Notice:

If you do not intend to attend the current term, you MUST drop all classes before the first day of instruction.

If you drop all your classes once instruction begins, you will owe pro-rata fees based on the date of withdrawal.

This also applies to students with financial aid fee deferments at the time of registration who later do not qualify for aid or decline aid.

Access your account information by logging into SF State Gateway:

Under the "Finances" tab, select "Account Inquiry."


If the amount of your pending financial aid is less than your "due now" or “future amount due”, you are required to pay the difference between your fees (due now/future amount) and the amount of your pending financial aid.

This amount must be paid no later than the published drop deadline to avoid an administrative fee of $20.

Please refer to the current academic year page on our website to get an estimate of the applicable tuition and fees for the corresponding semester.

Per federal privacy regulations, parents (or anyone else) are not allowed to receive specific information about a student’s bill, unless the student has granted access to the information by completing and submitting an Authorization to Release Information Form.

Prospective students who register for courses offered by the University are obligated for the payment of fees associated with registration of those courses.

Failure to cancel registration in any course for an academic term prior to the first day of the academic term gives rise to an obligation to pay student fees including any registration fees for the reservation of space in the class.

  1. Application Fee

  2. Credential Application Fee

  3. Orientation Fee

  4. Orientation Guest Fee

  5. Late Registration Fee

  6. Administrative Fee

  7. Dishonored Check Fee

  8. Installment Service Fee

  9. Course Fees (if associated course is not dropped before the first day of the academic term)

  10. Enrollment Deposits

Fee Payment Questions

You must pay your registration fees by the applicable published payment due date.

A $20 administrative fee and $25 late registration must be paid by students who register on or after the start of the semester/session.

Failure to pay by the published due date will result in late fees and/or dis-enrollment from all classes.

If payment is not posted on your account on time, the consequences include the possibility of being dropped from all of your classes, a late fee of $25 and an administrative fee of $20, and a hold on your student account preventing enrollment and/or receiving other campus services.

Payments may be made online by electronic check (NO fee) or credit card (MasterCard, VISA and American Express) through SF State Gateway.

Credit cards are accepted with a 2.65% un-refundable service fee retained by our third-party credit card service provider.

You may pay by cash or check, in person at either ADM 155 windows on campus.

Checks may be mailed to:

Bursar’s Office, ADM 155, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132

Yes, but to avoid late fees and/or disenrollment, payment must be received by the Bursar/Cashier’s Office by the published due date/time.

Postmark dates are not honored.

You may make international payments via Flywire.

Options include bank transfer, debit/credit cards, or other local payment options, depending on the country.

View the international students page to learn more.

The CSU offers a deferred installment payment plan to assist non-financial aid students.

View all payment options and processes.

Please note: 

Installment Payment Plans are only available during the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters and have a set list of predetermined dates that cannot be modified or adjusted.

Students enrolling into Installment Payment Plans will be asked to pay a non-refundable service fee. Should a student cancel an installment plan, they will still be obligated to pay that service fee.

The Bursar/Cashier’s Office will not bill you.

You must retain a copy of your signed contract to know when payments are due and you should be checking your account by logging into SF State Gateway.

If you are not enrolled in classes, your student center will show the following:

no outstanding charge message in student center

You can still pay by navigating to the Student Center.

In the center of the page in the “Finances” section, click the "Make a Payment" button in your Student Center.

Once in CASHNet, select the second "Payment on Account" button and manually enter the amount you need to pay based on the fee schedule (fee schedules can be found on the current academic year page for the corresponding semester).

For each dishonored payment (check, e-check or credit card), a $20 dishonored check fee will be assessed to your account.

A dishonored check or credit card is the same as no payment in terms of completing your registration.

You must pay by cash, money order, or credit card if your payment was dishonored.

Financial Aid Questions

The University is disbursing financial aid and/or scholarship balance payments to students through electronic file transfer (EFT).

Electronic file transfer, more commonly known as direct deposit, is consistent with the CSU policy of adapting a safe, efficient, and cost-effective method of payment.

In addition to SF State University's commitment to and support of environmental initiatives, direct deposit is greatly beneficial for students because it is faster and more secure than the paper check process.

Direct Deposit refunds are processed at least weekly, with credit to your bank account within two business days.

If you have not enrolled in Direct Deposit, a check will be printed and mailed to the mailing address on your student account. Refund checks will be processed every other week.

student center visual aid to enroll in direct deposit

Direct Deposit sign up is fast and easy. Log into the SF State Gateway

In the Student Center:

  • Look for the "Finances" tab

  • Under "My Account", click on "Enroll in Direct Deposit"

If a student has anticipated aid on his/her account, the tuition and fees payment are deferred.

If the anticipated aid does not cover the entire balance, the student is responsible for paying the remaining amount by the published due date according to when he/she registered.

A late administrative fee of $20 will be assessed.

Refund Questions

Yes, however, a refund processing fee of $20 will be deducted from the refund amount.

Classes dropped on or after the first day of the semester are subject to a pro-rated refund up to the 60% point in the semester (less a $20 refund processing fee) if you official withdraw and notify the Registrar’s Office, and submit a completed Refund Request Form to the Bursar’s Office.

Fees will NOT be reversed or waived for courses dropped after that date except for students who are unable to continue a course because of a university error or campus initiated course cancellation, or compulsory military service.

A student who fails to drop classes prior to the end of the campus drop period, or fails to officially withdraw from the campus, shall not be entitled to any refund of registration fees or mandatory fees.

No, a refund can only be issued in the name of the student whose account reflects the credit, regardless of who paid the fees.

You should expect a check within two to three weeks after submitting the Refund Request Form to the Bursar's Office. (See Refund Guidelines for more specific refund information).

Otherwise, for unofficial withdrawals and/or cancellation of classes, refund checks will not be processed until after the 60 percent of the attendance period, unless the Refund Request form is submitted to the Bursar’s Office.