Student Tuition Recovery Fund

The STRF is a fund administered by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (Bureau) that relieves or mitigates economic loss suffered by a student while enrolled in a qualifying institution – generally, one that is approved or registered by the Bureau. At the time of his or her enrollment, the student must have been a California resident or enrolled in a California residency program, prepaid tuition, and suffered economic loss.

Effective February 8, 2021, the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) assessment rate changed from zero ($0) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges to fifty cents ($.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges. (5, CCR Section 76120)

The 1st quarter 2021 STRF Assessment form (reporting period from Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, 2021) will include additional fields to account for students enrolled before and after February 8, 2021.

STRF Requirements

Institutions approved or registered with the Bureau are required to comply with the following STRF requirements:

  • Include STRF disclosures on both its enrollment agreement and school catalog (5, CCR Section 76215)
  • Collect STRF assessments (if applicable) from enrolling students (5, CCR Section 76120)
  • Complete and submit quarterly STRF Assessment Reporting Form to the Bureau (5, CCR Section 76130)
Quarter Submission Deadline
1st April 30th
2nd July 31st
3rd October 31st
4th January 31st

Sample 1st Quarter 2021 STRF Assessment Reporting Form:

Sample 1st Quarter 2021 STRF Assessment Reporting Form

Find instructions for completing the Student Tuition Recovery Fund Assessment Reporting Form 2/21 here: 1st Quarter 2021 STRF Assessment Reporting Form Instructions

FAQ

Q: When did the STRF Assessment Fee change?

A: The fee changed from zero ($.0) to fifty cents ($.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges on February 8, 2021. All students who enrolled on or after February 8, 2021 are required to pay the STRF Assessment Fee.

Q: How should an institution collect and report the STRF Assessment Fee for students who do not prepay?

A: 5, CCR 76130. Collection and Submission of Assessments. (a)(1) A qualifying institution shall collect the assessment from each student in an educational program at the time it collects the first payment from or on behalf of the student at or after enrollment. The assessment shall be collected for the entire period of enrollment, regardless of whether the student pays the institutional charges in increments.

Q: When should an institution collect the STRF Assessment Fee from a student?

A: 5, CCR 76130. Collection and Submission of Assessments. (a)(1) A qualifying institution shall collect the assessment from each student in an educational program at the time it collects the first payment from or on behalf of the student at or after enrollment. The assessment shall be collected for the entire period of enrollment, regardless of whether the student pays the institutional charges in increments.

Q: How does an institution collect the STRF Assessment from students who leave a program and then re-enroll at a later date? (I.E. military students returning from deployment)

A: 5, CCR 76130. Collection and Submission of Assessments. (a) (2) The assessment to be collected from a re-enrolling student shall be limited to any amount that is due after crediting any prior assessment amount paid by the student. The enrollment agreement shall clearly identify any prior STRF assessment paid by the student.

Q: Does the STRF Fee apply to students whose tuitions and fees are covered 100% by VA or other state sources? If charges are being paid by a third party, who pays the STRF Fee?

A: 5, CCR 76020. Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF). (a) The fund exists to relieve or mitigate economic losses suffered by a student while enrolled at a qualifying institution, who at the time of enrollment is or was a California resident or was enrolled in a California residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution and the student or a third-party payer , prepaid tuition, paid or is deemed to have paid the assessment and suffered economic loss as a result of any of the conditions specified in section 94923 of the Code or due to an institution losing its eligibility to receive a third-party payer benefit such as Cal Grant, Pell Grant, or veterans’ financial aid programs under Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations; 5, CCR 76130. Collection and Submission of Assessments. (a)(1) A qualifying institution shall collect the assessment from each student in an educational program at the time it collects the first payment from or on behalf of the student at or after enrollment. The assessment shall be collected for the entire period of enrollment, regardless of whether the student pays the institutional charges in increments.

Q: Do we need to change our course catalog to state that the STRF Assessment Fee is $0.50?

A: CEC 94909. Minimum Requirements for School Catalog (a)(14) A description of the student’s rights and responsibilities with respect to the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. This statement shall specify that it is a state requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. This statement shall also describe the purpose and operation of the Student Tuition Recovery Fund and the requirements for filing a claim against the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. (Also refer to 5, CCR 71810. Catalog)

Q: We offer tuition at a discounted rate for students who meet certain requirements. How do we calculate their STRF fee?

A: The STRF fee is based on institutional charges. If a student is paying a discounted rate, then the STRF assessment fee will be charged according to the institutional charges reflected in the enrollment agreement.

Q: What is the current STRF Assessment rate?

A: 5, CCR 76120. Amount of STRF Assessment. (a) Each qualifying institution shall collect an assessment of fifty cents ($0.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, from each student in an educational program who is a California resident or is enrolled in a residency program. For institutional charges of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less, the assessment is zero dollars ($0).

Q: Can a school pay the STRF Assessment Fee on behalf of the student?

A: 5, CCR 76120. Amount of STRF Assessment. (a) Each qualifying institution shall collect an assessment of fifty cents ($0.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, from each student in an educational program who is a California resident or is enrolled in a residency program. For institutional charges of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less, the assessment is zero dollars ($0).

Q: Where can I find the Enrollment Agreement Requirements?

A: CEC 94911 Minimum Requirements for Enrollment Agreement and 5,CCR 71800 Enrollment Agreement

Q: What is considered an Institutional Charge?

A: CEC 94844 Institutional Charges. “Institutional charges” means charges for an educational program paid directly to an institution.

Student Tuition Recovery Fund Definitions

CCR Section 76000. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) "California resident" means a person who resides in California at the time the enrollment agreement is signed or a person who receives lessons at a California mailing address from a qualifying institution offering distance education.

(b) "Closed institution" means an institution at which a closure has occurred.

(c) "Economic loss" means pecuniary loss, as defined in section 94923 of the Code. Economic loss also includes any "educational opportunity loss".

(d) "Educational opportunity loss" means a loss of eligibility for third-party payer benefits that is suffered by a California resident or a person enrolled in a California residency program because they are unable to complete an educational program due to the institution’s closure or due to the institution losing its eligibility to receive third-party payer benefits and no replacement of that benefit is available from the third-party payer.

(e) "Fund" means the Student Tuition Recovery Fund.

(f) "Prepaid" describes any amount of money that an institution accepts in advance of rendering educational services.

(g) "Qualifying institution" is an approved institution that is subject to the provisions of Article 14, commencing with section 94923 of the Code, including out-of-state institutions registered with the Bureau pursuant to section 94801.5 of the Code.

(h) "Residency Program" means an educational program as defined in section 94837 of the Code at qualifying institution of which some portion of the instruction occurs as direct instruction as defined in section 71715(c).

(i) "STRF" means Student Tuition Recovery Fund.

(j) "Student Tuition Recovery Fund assessment" or "STRF assessment" means a state-imposed charge to fund this chapter that is required to be paid by a California resident student or a student enrolled in a residency program, who pays tuition to an institution.

(k) "Teach-out institution" means the institution offering a teach-out to a former student of an institution that has ceased to operate.

(l) "Third-party payer" means an employer, government program, or other entity that pays a student’s charges when no separate agreement for the repayment of the charges exists between the third-party payer and the student.

Other Applicable Laws & Regulations:

California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009*(CEC) California Code of Regulations (CCR) Division 7.5 Private Postsecondary Education**(5,CCR)
  • Section 94801.5
    Out-of-State Institution Registration
  • Section 94923
    Purpose and Administration of the STRF
  • Section 94924
    Assessments and Continuous Appropriation
  • Section 94925
    Limits on Amount in STRF Account
  • Section 71800(e)(11)
    Enrollment Agreement
  • Section 76020
    Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)
  • Section 76120
    Amount of STRF Assessment
  • Section 76130
    Collection and Submission of Assessments
  • Section 76140
    Record-Keeping Requirements
  • Section 76215
    Student Tuition Recovery Fund Disclosures
  • Section 76240(b)(2)
    Required Notices and Teach-Out Plan

* https://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsregs/ppe_act.pdf
** https://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsregs/regs.pdf

Contact Information:

All STUDENTS who have STRF- related inquiries, please email STRF@dca.ca.gov or call (888) 370-7589, press 5 when prompted

All INSTITUTIONS who have STRF Assessment-related inquiries, please email BPPE.STRFAssmntFee@dca.ca.gov