A college and its president do not have the authority to waive fees and tuition unless such waiver is pursuant to an established University policy or is otherwise specifically authorized by The City University of New York Board of Trustees. Although the list below indicates the waivers currently offered by CUNY, it may not be an all-inclusive list. New waivers may be added with the approval of the Board between Manual updates.

A. Application Fee Waivers

Students for whom application fee is a financial hardship

Application Fee Waivers are dependent on the following:

  • University Office of Admission Services (OAS) in conjunction with the University Budget Office determines, annually, the amount of money available for application fee waivers.
  • OAS allots each high school in New York State a number of application fee waivers proportional to their application rates from needy students, as measured by their financially eligible Special Program applicants.
  • High schools distribute application fee waivers to students who have applied for the Special Programs.
  • University Director of Admissions may waive the application fee in special cases.
  • Application fee waivers for degree students are not permitted unless submitted for Board approval through the University Budget Office, the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the Office of Internal Audit and Management Services.
  • Application fee waivers for non-degree and graduate students do not require the approval of the University Director of Admissions.
    • Individual non-degree and graduate student waivers will continue to be reviewed and approved by the college, on a case-by-case basis, for submission to the Board for approval.
    • Any waivers pertaining to a group of students must be submitted to the Board for approval.
    • Individual non-degree and graduate student waivers must also be submitted for Board approval before the college grants them.

Veteran’s Application Fee Waiver

Veterans are entitled to an application fee waiver based on eligibility. For more information about the Veterans Application Fee Waiver, contact the CUNY Office of Veteran’s Affairs.

B. Tuition Waivers

NYC High School Students

Colleges may apply for and receive Board approval to waive tuition for current New York City high school students taking college course(s) while completing their high school education.

  • These tuition waivers must be renewed every year.
  • The request for tuition waivers may include a request to waive application fees, student activity fees, the consolidated services fees, and the technology fee.
  • The amount of the tuition and/or fee waiver will be calculated utilizing the applicable senior or community college lowest undergraduate resident degree tuition rate/credit.
  • Tuition and fee waivers for high school students attending separately funded City or State programs, such as College Now, do not require Board resolutions.
  • For all colleges, tuition waivers for high school students will be considered unfunded waivers for revenue purposes.
  • Accounting procedures will keep track of these students by utilizing an OSIS number, a unique nine-digit number assigned to each student by the Department of Education. This number is easily obtained from the student’s high school permanent record and program card. A social security number should also be entered, or in the absence of an accurate number, the college should generate the number.

University Skills Immersion Program (USIP)

  • All tuition and fees are waived for USIP students. There is no TAP eligibility for USIP courses. Students enrolled in both USIP and non-USIP summer courses will be assessed tuition and fees for non-USIP courses.
  • The colleges will be required to report USIP enrollment data to the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, but the data must be properly identified as USIP enrollment data so that the FTEs are not included in the University Budget Office’s revenue projections. It should be noted that any USIP courses, that do not offer basic skills components and are only educational experiences, and do not generate credits or equated credits, will not be included in official college transcripts.

Macaulay Honors College University Scholars

  • University Scholars tuition is fully funded in the following order: Tuition is funded first from eligible TAP awards, followed by New York City Council scholarship funds and other tuition-only scholarships, and lastly through funded waivers provided by the University Budget Office.
  • The University Budget Office waivers for Macaulay Honors College students are at the resident rate of tuition.
  • Home colleges of University Scholars may supplement the Honors College scholarships through campus-based awards.
  • University Scholars register at their Home College and are billed through the CUNY administrative finance system. Waivers are recorded for tuition only. University Scholars pay fees.
  • Effective Fall 2013, out-of-state students accepted and subsequently enrolled at Macaulay will not be eligible for the Tuition Scholarship. Out-of-state students will be responsible for the total cost of their tuition. Currently enrolled out-of-state students will continue receiving the full Tuition Scholarship for the duration of their attendance.

Accelerated Studies in Associate Programs

  • Students participating in the ASAP program who are eligible for state or federal financial aid will be entitled to receive waivers for tuition and fees not covered by State and/or federal financial aid programs. ASAP students who are not eligible for State or federal Financial Aid programs must pay all tuition and fees assessed and will not receive any waivers.
  • The waiver amount will differ for every eligible student dependent upon the amount of financial aid applied to the tuition and fees assessed.
  • ASAP Program students are required to complete and file a Financial Aid Application (FASFA). Students who do not file the FASFA, or who are adjudged not eligible for aid will be required to pay the entire amount of tuition and fees.

Grants and Contract Students

CUNY General Policy

“Whenever funds are received by the University or an individual college from private, State or City sources specifically to cover instructional and other costs for a special program of study or for a clearly defined special group of students, the Board may waive any tuition and fees which would otherwise be imposed on the affected students.”

  • Tuition may be waived for students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate courses when they are enrolled in an identified grant or contract (G/C) program.
  • The terms of the G/C must provide for full payment of the costs of the program.
  • Student activity fees, Consolidated Services Fees, and technology fees may be waived upon submission of sufficient justification to the Board when courses are held off campus.
  • Application fee waivers for all UG degree students, even for those students admitted directly by the college, must be approved, in advance, by the University’s Director of Admissions
    • Waivers for other students (e.g., non-degree and graduate) may be submitted directly to the Board for approval.
  • Such blanket waiver shall not take effect until a resolution has been approved by the Board of Trustees and appears in the CHANCELLOR’S REPORT setting forth:
    a. The name of the sponsor
    b. The number of students affected
    c. The amount of the grant/contract
    d. The tuition and fees to be waived
  • In all cases, the total tuition and fees to be waived must be less than or equal to the amount of the grant/contract. If not, an adequate explanation/justification must be provided. Waivers granted by the college, which do not eventually appear in the Chancellor’s Report, are considered invalid and become the responsibility of the college.
  • Where funds received under grants or contract programs are deposited with the Research Foundation (RF) and the costs are paid directly by the foundation, the Board may waive tuition and fees.
    • RF should provide the college with funds to cover overhead costs.
    • The headcount and FTEs are reported appropriately in the Enrollment Report
  • Where funds received under grants or contract programs are deposited with the Construction Fund (CUCF) to cover tuition, no waivers are required inasmuch as third parties (grantor or contractor) make payments.
    • Either the third party or the student may pay fees.
    • The headcount and FTEs are reported appropriately in the Enrollment Report

Graduate Students

Senior college base budgets include amounts that are to be used to offset tuition waivers for graduate students, who could not otherwise afford the University’s tuition charges. These waivers should be administered in the following manner:

  • Waivers should be granted only to degree students who meet the financial need criteria established in the CUNY Needs Analysis System. No waivers should be granted to non-degree students.
  • Full-time degree students who are residents of New York State and apply for a tuition waiver on the basis of financial need are required to show evidence of application for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award or provide an adequate explanation for not being eligible for such an award.
  • Part-time graduate students may also be granted waivers if they meet the financial need criteria established in the CUNY Needs Analysis System, provided they are also taking a minimum of six (6) credits in the semester for which a waiver is granted.
  • The total tuition assistance provided, including the tuition waiver may not exceed tuition and other fees.
  • Tuition waivers granted to part-time students should not exceed 50 percent of tuition and other fees except in the case of unusual financial hardship.
  • Residents of the City or the State of New York should be given tuition waiver priority.
  • Out-of-State and foreign students are also eligible for awards up to the resident student tuition rate.
  • The maintenance of matriculation fee paid by graduate students who are not registered for any course or research credit may not be waived.
  • Doctoral candidates who have completed all requirements, except thesis, may audit graduate courses without paying tuition.

Cooperating Teacher

See “Special Programs and Special Situations”

  • Upon payment of the $40 application fee, cooperating teachers may be granted tuition waivers for up to 3 credits for any semester (including summer session)
    • Limited to a total of a maximum of 18 credits
    • Granted to residents and non-residents (up to the resident student tuition rate)
    • Waivers are applicable to undergraduate and graduate courses
    • Charges for excess contact hours may also be waived for courses in which tuition has been waived.
    • $25 Cooperating Teacher Fee, a Consolidated Services Fee, and a technology fee are charged to each student per semester.
    • Cooperating Teacher Waiver cannot be used for the Maintenance of Matriculation Fee.
    • Cooperating teachers who take credits in excess of those waived are required to pay tuition at the applicable rates for the additional credit and the $25 Cooperating Teacher Fee.
  • Cooperating teacher “students” are exempt from payment of the student activity fees. However, they must pay the Consolidated Services Fee and the technology fee, as well as any other-than-tuition charges (i.e., late registration, program change, etc.).


CUNY employees are eligible for tuition waivers for undergraduate and graduate courses at any college of The City University of New York on a space available basis.

Employees requesting tuition waivers for any CUNY college must submit a CUNY Employee Tuition Fee Waiver Form, signed by the employee’s Director of Human Resources (or designee). Annually, the Bursar should receive a copy of the authorized signatories at each college from the University’s Office of Faculty and Staff Relations.

An employee tuition waiver covers either the resident or non-resident tuition rate. There is a 3-6 credit cap on graduate courses (dependent on title) per semester. Any credits taken above cap will be assessed at the applicable resident or non-resident tuition rate.

Employee Category Service Requirements Course Type & Credit Limits Summer Session Winter Session
Instructional Staff UG — 1 year
GR — None
UG – No Limit
GR – 6 Credits
No No
Classified Managerial UG — 1 year
GR — None
UG – No Limit
GR – 6 Credits
No No
Adjunct Teaching Titles 10 consecutive semesters 1 Course (UG or GR) No No
Gittleson Titles 6 months UG – No Limit
GR – 6 Credits
Yes UG Only No
Classified White Collar 1 year UG – No Limit
GR – 3 Credits
Yes UG Only No
Classified Blue Collar 1 year UG – No Limit
GR – 3 Credits
Yes UG Only No
Skilled Trades 1 year UG – No Limit
UG Only
Yes No

Police Officers

  • Members of the New York City Police Department who are enrolled in CUNY programs that lead to a baccalaureate or higher degree at a senior college are statutorily entitled to a one-time, one course tuition waiver (with no limit to the number of credits) pursuant to NYS Education Law § 6206 (7)(c).
  • The one-time course tuition waiver and does not extend beyond the semester in which the waiver is granted, and the course must be related to the officer’s employment with the Department.
  • To apply for the waiver, the Police Officer must present his/her NYC Police Department shield (badge) and department issued photo ID.
  • The Police Officer must complete a certification form stating that he/she serves in the rank of Police Officer and that he/she has never received this type of tuition waiver at any other CUNY College.
  • The waiver may apply to any semester, intersession or summer term*.
  • There is a specific code for this waiver. These are unfunded waivers as determined by the University Budget Office.

*Note: NYS Education Law § 6206 (7)(c) expires annually and must be renewed by the State Legislature. Before granting the Police Officer Tuition Waiver, confirm that the statute has been renewed for the year in which the Waiver is sought.

Inmates of Correctional Institutions

The City University of New York has agreed to waive the required tuition and fees (including the student activity fee, the consolidated fee, and the technology fee) for residents of the City of New York who are inmates of correctional institutions and enroll in courses offered by The City University of New York.

C. Fee In Lieu of Tuition

Senior Citizens

See Senior Citizen section in “Specific Programs & Special Situations”

The Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver is not actually a tuition waiver, but a fee in lieu of tuition. The City University of New York allows Senior Citizens to pay reduced fees when taking CUNY courses. The Senior Fee in Lieu of Tuition may differ as applied at Community Colleges and Senior Colleges. In order to qualify for a Senior Fee in Lieu of Tuition, a student must:

  • Satisfy New York City/State residency requirements.
  • Be 60 years of age or older as of the first day of classes.

Colleges must keep in mind the following with regard to these waivers:

  • Senior citizen enrollment may not be used to calculate minimum enrollment.
  • Senior citizens may enroll in undergraduate courses on a space available basis.
  • Senior citizens are charged a $65 administrative fee per session or semester.
  • Senior citizens must pay a consolidated services fee and a technology fee.
  • Senior citizens are not charged a student activity fee or application fee.
  • Senior citizens are liable for any compensatory fees they may incur.