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CWUR 5-10-010 Waiver of Tuition and Fees

This university procedure is established for the purpose of directing the actions of university officials in awarding discretionary tuition and fee waivers pursuant to applicable state laws and CWUP 2-20-090.

Central Washington University uses discretionary tuition waivers to advance the goals of the University’s Strategic Plan. The criteria for determining types and amounts of waiver awards shall be based on the University’s Strategic Plan, specifically as stated in the CWU Mission statement, vision and core values that guide our work, and the Enrollment Management Plan.

(1) General Guidelines

The vice president of business and financial affairs (VPBFA) and the vice president of enrollment management (VPEM) shall develop an Annual Tuition Waiver Plan, including budget and award criteria, in the academic year prior to the plan implementation year.  The Annual Tuition Waiver Plan sets out waiver categories, criteria for award, awarding authority, budget, and information relevant to adoption of the plan and its successful implementation during the plan year.

The Annual Tuition Waiver Plan shall be presented to the BFC for its review at the September meeting of the BFC. The BFC shall make recommendations to the president and cabinet during the month of October after fall census data is available for assessment of outcomes. The president has final approval authority.

Funding for university discretionary waivers will be jointly determined by the vice president of business and financial affairs and the vice president of enrollment management, in consultation with the president and cabinet and guided by the budget and finance committee (BFC).

(2) Waiver Authority

(A) Sections 910 and 915 Waiver Authority

1. Section 910 - CWU may waive up to  the amount listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operating fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.910(2).

2. Section 915 - CWU may waive up to the amount listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.915.

(B) Section 615 and Section 014 Waiver Authority Programs

1. Section 615 - Resident Graduate Assistant Waivers
CWU may waive up to the percent listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.615. Eligibility shall be authorized by the dean of graduate studies and research with responsibility for award processing and monitoring by the director of financial aid.

2. Section 014 - Non-resident Graduate Assistant (Non-resident Tuition Differential) Waivers
CWU may waive up to the percent listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.014. Eligibility shall be authorized by the dean of graduate studies and research with procedures created and monitored by the director of financial aid.

(C) Section 740 Waiver Authority

1. Need-Based Tuition Waivers:

CWU may waive up to the percent listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.740 for need-based waivers for residents of Washington State. In the aggregate, section 740(1) waivers for needy resident students should be based on the Student’s Free Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) documented need as expressed by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and/or Washington State Need Grant eligibility criteria. These waivers must be within available funding as determined by VPBFA. . The director of financial aid will monitor and process the award. The funding for need- based tuition waivers will normally be equal to or greater than the aggregate of funding for "merit" awards made under Section 740(1), subject to the overall 10% limit under Section 910

2. Mandatory and Other Student Waivers:
CWU may waive up to the percent listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.740. This amount may vary dependent on legislation and available funding as determined by VPBFA, and monitoring and award processing by the director of financial aid.

3. Institutional Error Waivers:
Institutional error waivers will be authorized by the VPEM.

4. Athletics Gender Equity Waivers:
CWU may waive up to the percent listed in the Annual Tuition Waiver Plan of total gross operation fee revenues under the specific statutory tuition and fee waiver programs set forth under RCW 28B.15.070.  Awarding by the athletic director will be in coordination with the director of financial aid.

(D) Section 915 (West) Waivers Within available funding as determined by VPBFA and VPEM,  and monitored by the director of financial aid, CWU may waive up to 100% of the operating fee portion of undergraduate or graduate student tuition for any student who meets the published criteria, or who qualifies due to personal circumstances or institutional need. Awards may be granted for new and continuing students. This requires a minimum of an annual 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA, or an annual 3.0 cumulative graduate GPA to automatically maintain quarterly merit eligibility. The director of financial aid, with approval by the VPEM t and/or program directors may waive GPA and satisfactory academic progress criteria based on professional judgment.

Institutional Merit Awards

(1) Presumptive eligibility for institutional merit awards will normally be based on admission index ranges (AI), or similar objective criteria, for first-time students applying for admission to a matriculated program, and are subject to application deadlines and available funding. Presumptive eligibility for merit awards will normally be based on cumulative college-level coursework GPA for transfer students applying for admission to a matriculated program, and are subject to application deadlines and available funding.

Awards may be made outside the AI or GPA ranges, and/or for late applying students, in the exercise of “professional judgment” for such purposes as attaining enrollment goals, which may include diversifying the student body, strengthening specific academic or co-curricular programs, or achieving equity in recognition of extenuating individual circumstances. Extenuating individual circumstances may include factors that may reasonably be considered to have adversely affected a student’s AI/GPA, such as a personal or family illness, homelessness, English as a second language, or similar considerations. Evidence of academic challenge and persistence may also be considered—for example, a student who might reasonably be expected to have achieved a higher AI/GPA had the student attended a more challenging high school or had the student taken a substantially less rigorous schedule of high school courses.

Professional judgment will be exercised in a manner similar to the professional judgment authorized under the Higher Education Act (HEA) for purposes of adjusting a student’s level of eligibility for Title IV funds.  The reason for the adjustment must be documented in the student’s file and must relate to the special circumstances that differentiate that particular student from other students. Adjustments must be made on a case by case basis, not by establishing automatic categories of special circumstances and providing identical outcomes to all students in those circumstances. Such adjustments must be approved in writing by the VPEM and may not be made to circumvent regulations or eligibility requirements applicable to other financial aid programs.

[Responsibility FY 17: VPs of BFA and Enrollment Management; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Business and Finance Committee (08/15/13); VPBFA Business and Finance (10/15/13); Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/05/2014; 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]           

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