Course Materials and Services Fees Review Schedule

Course Materials and Services Fee (CMSF) requests are reviewed annually in February for implementation in the following academic year. All requests to establish, or adjust, a CMSF must follow the steps below.

CMSF review schedule visual

During July to November the department/school develops a Course Materials and Services Fee (CMSF) proposal by preparing:

The proposal should adhere to appropriate policies, internal review, student consultation, and include the following:

  1. A three-year cost analysis (Attachment A ) multi-tab template.
  2. A line-item budget showing how the CMSF revenues will be used (the budget should be descriptive enough for reviewers to understand what goods and services will be purchased with the revenue).
  3. Any backup documentation with price lists or price quotes that show how the proposed CMSF was developed.
  4. A written narrative including at a minimum:
    1. The name, description, and course number(s) of the applicable course(s).
    2. The background, rationale/need including, but not limited to:
      • What the school/department has done to contain costs administratively before considering a CMSF.
      • What other fund sources have been considered to cover the course costs.
      • How there is a reasonable relationship between the fee and the benefit to the student (how the educational experience will be enhanced).
      • How the educational experience be diminished without the CMSF.
    3. The purpose and proposed use for each CMSF (i.e., describe materials, supplies, tools, equipment, course management software, etc.).
    4. A description and results of the student surveys and consultation conducted:
      • Attach results and samples of questionnaire responses or other summary feedback (i.e., verbal feedback if forums/town halls are part of the consultation process).
      • The information provided to students during the consultation should be clear in regard to why the fee is needed and the cost and description of materials/services purchased with CMSF revenue.
      • The student consultation must be recent consultations specifically for the CMSF being proposed; general student exit survey information is not adequate for the purposes of aa CMSF proposal submission.
    5. A comparison analysis of similar CMSF for similar courses that are assessed at other UC campuses (if such courses exist).
    6. Whether a portion of the fee will be set aside for aid. If the CMSF proposal includes a substantial fee, or if students in a particular program are required to take multiple courses with CMSF, the program should consider a return-to-aid component in their CMSF.
    7. Any other information, details, and/or explanations that will give added rationale to the justify the need for the CMSF.
  5. A cover memo from the school's dean to the Provost confirming the dean has reviewed the proposal and concurs with the request.

In December the relevant director/dean endorses the proposal and forwards it to the Budget Office for review.

  1. From January through February, the Student Fee Advisory Committee reviews the CMSF proposal.
  2. The committee forwards its recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor via the Budget Office.
  3. The Budget Office handles the CMSF proposal by:
    • resolving any issues with the department
    • completing the review and
    • forwarding its recommendations to the Chancellor and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for approval
  1. During March to June the department/school receives final approval for CMSF from the Budget Office.
  2. It publishes the CMSF in the schedule of classes and in the catalogue.
  3. Together with the Budget Office, Accounting & Financial Services, the department/school establishes the accounting procedures for the CMSF income and its:
    • collection
    • distribution and
    • reconciliation
  1. By September of each year, departments must provide the Budget Office with an annual year-end report on the prior year’s CMSF income and expense (Attachment B and Attachment C ).
  2. Departments should fully and accurately document the cost of:
    • supplies
    • consumables
    • support services associated with each course
  3. Departments must ensure that fee revenue is expended only for approved course materials.
  4. In addition to completing the attachments, if any CMSF has a carry forward balance greater than 15% of the annual fee expenditures, units should provide a plan for how the balance will be spent down.
  5. If the school did not assess any CMSF for the previous fiscal year, but recorded expenditures on the CMSF funds, the report should still include the expenditures and fund balances.
  6. If the school did not assess any CMSF and did not incur any expenditures on the CMSF funds during the previous fiscal year, the school will not need to submit a report. However, the school should send the Budget Office an email confirming there were no CMSF assessments or expenditures and should include a list of CMSF that were not assessed.
Important: Departments must apply a test of reasonableness for the fee and its purpose. Refer to Allowable Costs for CMSF.