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California Veteran College Fee Waiver


The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at Cal Poly.

  • This program does not cover the expense of books, parking, summer classes at Cal Poly or room and board.
  • Students will be responsible for paying Cal Poly specific fees (approx $1400-1500 per quarter).
  • Students apply for the waiver through their local county Veterans Service Office. 
  • Once the waiver has been approved, students are responsible for submitting the county approval letter directly to the Center for Military-Connected Students using the link above. Although your VSO might mail Cal Poly a copy of the letter, follow this step to ensure it is correctly credited to your account.  
  • The fee waiver approval letter must be submitted to Cal Poly each academic year. Waivers cannot be credited retroactively for previous academic years. 
  • Some academic programs are considered self-supported because these courses, degrees, and certificates are neither funded by the state nor are they system-wide programs. These programs or classes are not eligible to have fees waived by the waiver. Currently, summer courses at Cal Poly are self-supported, as are programs under the Extended Education Program. More information is available here. Students can use their waiver at other state institutions for summer courses. 

Applying for the California College Fee Waiver Program with your local county Veterans Services Office:

In gratitude for their service, the CAL-VET California Department of Veterans Affairs College Fee Waiver (CCFW) Program provides higher education benefits to the dependents of service-connected disabled or deceased veterans.


Eligible CCFW benefit recipients include dependent children, a spouse, Registered Domestic Partner (RDP) or the un-remarried surviving spouse or RDP of a veteran with a service-connected disability or of a deceased veteran whose death was service connected.

Eligible students are:

  • Residents of the State of California,
  • Awarded benefits on an academic year basis; and
  • Required to reapply each year for continued benefits.


Students must meet all of the requirements of at least one of the following three plans:


Plan Eligibility Income Age Other
A Child, spouse, Registered Domestic Partner (RDP) or un-remarried surviving spouse or RDP of a veteran who is disabled or has died of service-related causes during a qualifying war period. No income restrictions The child must obtain eligibility before the age of 21, be over 14 years old and under 27 years old unless the child is also a veteran, then the period is extended to age 30. No age limit for a spouse, RDP, or un-remarried surviving spouse. A student cannot receive U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Chapter 35 and CCFW benefits during the same academic year.
B Child of a veteran who has a service-connected disability or has died of service-related causes. Child's annual income cannot exceed $13,300* for the school academic year 2020-21. No age limit *Defined as the total of adjusted gross income plus the value of parental support during the previous year. The amount is changed each academic year, call (805) 477-5155 to obtain the current amount or go online to CAL-VET California College Fee Waiver Program.
C Any dependent, spouse, Registered Domestic Partner (RDP), or un-remarried surviving spouse of a member of the California National Guard who is permanently disabled, died of a disability resulting from an event that occurred while in active service or has died while in active service of the state. No income limit. No age limit. Active service of the state means a member of the California National Guard activated under Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code.

Application & Required Forms

To apply for the California College Fee Waiver program, the student must submit a completed application along with the following forms:

  • Proof of relationship between veteran and student/dependent, e.g. birth certificate or marriage certificate
  • A copy of the veteran’s Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense award letter

For students applying for Plan A, B, C, or D benefits:

  • Previous year’s federal income tax form 1040 or state form 540
  • If the student is married, a copy of the joint tax return and copies of the student’s W-2s and/or 1099s must be provided to show the dependent’s income does not exceed the income limit where applicable
  • If the student reports an Adjusted Gross Income of $0 and a Value of Support of $0, a written statement explaining how the student is supporting themselves must be provided
  • If the student had no reportable income and did not file a tax return, you may need to request the Verification of Non-filing Letter form, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a statement from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).
  • To obtain statements call:  Local IRS Office (805) 445-4771, IRS (800) 829-1040, FTB (800) 829-4059



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