Glossary of Terms

This glossary is provided to explain various terms and phrases specific to the CSU that are used in this Resource Planning Process document, and/or to provide references to websites where additional information or explanations may be found.

The State of California's glossary of budget terms is an additional reference. However, some terms used therein may not be common jargon or applicable to the CSU.

Academic Year (AY)

For semester campuses, an academic year includes the fall and spring semesters. The college year includes summer, fall, and spring semesters.

Academic Year Full-Time Equivalent Students (AY-FTES)

The number of academic year full time equivalent students (FTES) at a semester campus is calculated by adding the student credit hours for the fall and spring semesters and dividing by 24 for graduate students and by 30 for all other students. It is the average enrollment over two semesters based on a full time equivalency of 12 credit hours per semester for graduate students and 15 credit hours per semester for all other students.

Base Budget

Base budget is a term used to distinguish the fixed amount of general fund resources allocated to the campus as compared to other variable, or non-recurring resources, also referred to as non-base budget. The amount of each campus’ general fund base budget allocation is reestablished each year as authorized by the CSU Board of Trustees in the Final Budget memo. The CSU Budget Office issues this memo when the Governor signs the Final Budget. In addition, the campus is responsible for reestablishing a base budget for its variable revenues that are collected in the general fund, by setting a minimum amount that it expects to collect.

The President establishes annual changes to the university’s base budget after review of recommendations from the Resource Planning Process Task Force.

The resources available for operating divisions during the annual Resource Allocation process in the fall are comprised of the state general fund allocation and campus revenue, such as State University Tuition Fees, non-resident tuition, application fees, etc.

Additional information may be found at:

Campus Physical Capacity

Campus physical capacity (CPC) is defined as the academic year FTES (or college year FTES) that can be accommodated by the capacity space currently available on a campus. CPC may be equal to or less than the enrollment ceiling approved for a campus.

Capacity of campus facilities is usually expressed in terms of student stations, annual FTE student capacity, or office space. Capacity is calculated using the appropriate utilization measures and space standards approved by the state. A campus cannot request capital outlay funding that will add physical space if the project will result in exceeding the campus’ physical capacity as published in its approved physical master plan.

As of Fall, 2021, CSULB had a campus physical capacity of 27,760 (lecture and lab only) Academic Year FTES.

Additional information may be found at:

See Campus Physical Master Plan.

Campus Physical Master Plan

The campus master plan describes the physical facilities approved for planning, design and construction on land owned by the Trustees as part of a CSU campus. Once initially approved, the Trustees must approve all additions to the campus physical master plan. The campus physical master plan also includes the enrollment ceiling approved for the campus based upon the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the site.

The Board of Trustees requires that every campus have a physical master plan, showing existing and anticipated facilities necessary to accommodate specified levels of enrollment, in accordance with approved education policies and objectives. Each campus master plan reflects the ultimate physical requirements of academic programs and auxiliary activities. A related element, adopted by the Board, separate from the physical master plan, is the campus enrollment ceiling that specifies the maximum FTE for each campus at build-out.

The Campus Master Plan was approved to increase campus facilities capacity to 31,000 FTES when additional future funding becomes available.

Additional information may be found at:

Campus Temporary Resources

Year-end balances held in university-wide programs are made available as a university contingency reserve to address deterioration in the budget or other emergencies that may arise. Any unspent amount at the end of a fiscal year will carry forward to address the next year’s budget needs. These funds are of a one-time, non-recurring nature and are attributable to savings from a variety of programs including benefits, compensation, utilities and general reserves.

Carryover Savings

The university is allowed to retain its unspent general fund budget balance at the close of the fiscal year. We refer to these balances that roll forward to the next fiscal year as carryover savings. Also referred to as division or university-wide reserves, carryover savings are published in the Internal Budget Document and are labeled as Division Carryover Savings.

Due to the Revenue Management Program (see RMP), the Chancellor’s Office has established a maximum threshold amount that a campus can roll forward to the next fiscal year.

Common Financial System (CFS)

In an effort to increase administrative efficiency systemwide, the CSU has created a Common Financial System (CFS), which is available to all campuses and auxiliary organizations. Incorporating campus financial systems into a single database reduces incompatibilities between campuses and minimizes the time and effort spent maintaining disparate systems.

Common Management System (CMS)

The mission of the Common Management Systems (CMS) is to provide efficient, effective and high quality service to the students, faculty and staff of the 23-campus California State University System (CSU) and the Office of the Chancellor. Utilizing a best practices approach, CMS supports human resources, financials and student services administration functions with a common suite of Oracle Enterprise applications in a shared data center, with a supported data warehouse infrastructure.


To recognize the salary increase commitments of the CSU collective bargaining agreements and CSU’s Management Personnel Plan, the Resources and Requirements plan projects the amount of incremental cost of negotiated salary increases that go into effect during a given fiscal year.

Division Reserves

Same as Carryover Savings.

Enrollment Target

The enrollment target is the total number of full-time equivalent students that a campus receives base budget funding for during a college year. The Board of Trustees will establish enrollment targets during the budget process with the intent to publicize campus enrollment targets ten months prior to the beginning of the academic year


Ensure that costs incurred by the CSU Operating Fund for services, products, and facilities provided to other CSU funds and to Auxiliary Organizations are properly and consistently recovered with cash and/or a documented exchange of value. Allowable direct costs incurred by the CSU Operating Fund shall be allocated and recovered based on actual costs incurred. Allowable and allocable indirect costs shall be allocated and recovered according to a cost allocation plan that utilizes a documented and consistent methodology including identification of indirect costs and a basis for allocation.

Final Budget

Final Budget refers to the final enacted state budget and CSU allocations. Differentiated from the preliminary budget that is developed after the Governor’s Budget and May Revision and the Legislative Budget Recommendations received by the Governor in June. See Governor’s Budget

General Fund

The General Fund has existed since the beginning of the state as a political entity. It is the government's major source of funds used for most of its activities. Under this fund, various special accounts are created and reserved for particular activities. Chapter 942/77 provides for the treatment of these accounts as other governmental funds for Accounting and Budgeting purposes effective July 1, 1978.

Usage of this fund varies in accordance with legislative authorizations and governing statutes. Except for various constitutional and statutory authorizations without further legislative action, the General Fund is appropriated on a yearly basis. Income to the fund varies in accordance with the governing statutes. A detailed listing is contained in the Governor's Budget and the Controller's Annual Report.

General Fund Allocation

The amount of each campus’ State General Fund Budget allocation is established each year as authorized by the CSU Board of Trustees in the Final Budget Memo. The CSU Budget Office issues this memo when the Governor signs the Final Budget.

See also Base Budget.

Governor's Budget (January)

The State Constitution requires that the Governor submit a budget to the Legislature by January 10. It provides for a balanced budget in that, if the proposed expenditures for the budget year exceed estimated revenues, the Governor is required to recommend the sources for the additional funding.

The budget process for California defies a simple concise definition. It is a process rather than a product. It is not the development of the Governor's Budget, the Legislature's enactment of a budget, or the executive branch's administration of the budget. Rather, it is the combination of all of these phases with all the ramifications and influences of political interactions, relationships with federal and local governments, public input, natural events, legal issues, the economy, initiatives and legislation, etc. Although the size and complexity of California and the dynamics of the process make it difficult to establish and maintain an orderly process, these very reasons necessitate an orderly formalized process.

By constitutional requirement, the Governor's Budget must be accompanied by a Budget Bill itemizing recommended expenditures that shall be introduced in each house of the Legislature. The Constitution also requires that the Legislature pass the bill by June 15. It is not uncommon for the Legislature to miss this deadline.

The following web reference summarizes the major steps and procedures of California's budget process:

Budget - California Department of Finance

Health Benefits

To recognize the costs required to cover health benefit costs for employees who are compensated from general fund accounts, the Resources and Requirements plan projects the incremental amount of funding necessary to cover the cost of employer-paid benefits that will go into effect in a given fiscal year. Health care benefit rate increases are determined by the number of CSU employee participants and the difference between the old and new employer-paid contribution rates.

Mandatory Costs

A typical cost of doing business that is unavoidable is referred to as mandatory. These costs normally include negotiated compensation increases, benefit costs, energy and utility cost increases, insurance premiums, worker’s compensation, contributions to the CSU risk pool, and maintenance costs of new building space.

May Revision

The May Revision is an annual update to the Governor’s Budget containing a revised estimate of General Fund revenues for the current and ensuing fiscal years, any proposals to adjust expenditures to reflect updated revenue estimates, and all proposed adjustments to Proposition 98, presented by the Department of Finance to the Legislature by May 14 of each year.

2022-2023 May Revision of Governor's Budget

Non-base Budget Allocations

Non-base budget is a term to distinguish one-time temporary resources which are not added to base budgets. Carryover savings are a type of non-base budget allocation.

Non-resident Tuition (NRT)

The additional fee assessed to students who do not meet the State of California residency requirement. Students need to meet particular requirements to pay in-state tuition (SUF), which is significantly lower than out-of-state tuition (NRT). The requirements are listed in the link below.

If students are without lawful immigration status, they must also file an affidavit with a CSU campus stating that they have filed an application with the INS to legalize their immigration status or that they will do so as soon as they are eligible. The link below identifies current residency requirements:

One-Time, Temporary Resources

See Non-base Budget Allocations.

PERS Retirement Rate

CalPERS uses contributions from the employer, the employee, and income from investments to pay for employee retirement benefits. Employee and employer contributions are a percentage of applicable employee compensation. The employer contribution is set annually by CalPERS based on annual actuarial valuations. The employee contribution is 5% of salary for Miscellaneous Tier 1 members hired prior to 01/15/2011, and 6% of salary for Miscellaneous Tier 1 members hired on or after 01/01/2013. For Peace Officer/Firefighter members the employee contribution is 6% for members hired prior to 01/15/2011, and 9% of salary for members hired on or after 01/01/2013.

CSU Contribution Rates for CalPERS Retirement Coverage – Fiscal Year 2016/17

Effective July 1, 2016 the CSU retirement contribution rates for employees covered by the following CalPERS member Categories are as follows:

Revenue Management Program (RMP)

The Governor’s Budget enacted RMP in 2006-2007. The CSU has re-engineered substantial financial and reporting changes for cash flows and modified the accounting procedures for all campuses. The new RMP initiative has reduced our dependency on the State of California for fiscal tasks, increased working efficiencies and reduced delays to the year-end closing process. The CSU has new responsibilities to monitor and manage the cash flows and any potential earnings that may arise from fee collections to support campus operations. Ongoing changes as a result of new directives and best methods approach along with campus standardization of activities will continue to be issued to enhance financial operations.

State University Tuition 

State University Tuition is the amount a resident student pays to attend the California State University. 

CSULB Tuition and Mandatory Student Fee information

Non-resident students pay the State University Tuition, non-resident fee, and campus fees. 

Tuition Discounts (also known as State University Grants (SUG)

The Tuition Discount Program was established by the State of California under the Budget Act of 1982, Chapter 326. Its creation was consistent with legislative intent and recommendations contained in the Report of the Chancellor's Task Force on a New Student Fee and Financial Aid Program (December, 1981).The Tuition Discount program is budgeted in the General Fund. The amount of Tuition Discount funds is increased annually by one-third of the marginal cost revenue estimated for enrollment growth, or one-third of the revenue attributable to a Tuition rate change. Campuses receive an allocation based on enrollment targets and student need.

Additional information may be found at:

University Wide Budgets

Resources that are held centrally to cover mandatory costs that benefit the entire campus and/or campus reserves are referred to as “University Wide.” These funds are administered by various division managers who have fiduciary responsibility and accountability for the budget. Any unspent balances at year-end are returned and made available to the entire campus.