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SBCTC Policy Manual
Chapter 5: Enrollment Reporting and Tuition and Fees

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This chapter contains policies related to enrollment reporting and tuition and fees in the state's two-year college system. Links are provided in the respective policy statements to RCWs, WACs, and procedures and guidelines that are relative to that specific policy

The State Board adopts the allocation of funds and associated enrollments annually prior to the start of each fiscal year as a method to ensure enrollment targets are met and that state appropriations are deployed strategically within the community and technical college system (See Definitions of Terms for Enrollment Reporting and Enrollment Targets and District Enrollment Allocation Base under Policy resources below).

  1. The rules identify the types of enrollments to be distributed during the coming fiscal year.
  2. The rules list the methods used to determine district share of the District Enrollment Allocation Base (DEAB) target in the allocation model.
  3. The rules list the methods used to identify Priority Enrollments for weighting in allocation model
  4. The rules identify state enrollment counting limits. This includes limitations on counting non-resident international students toward state enrollment target attainment.
  5. The rules establish methods for allocating program enrollments that are held in Safe Harbor (SH) as a proviso or earmark, including:
    1. Under what conditions a district will experience increases or decreases in the program
    2. How often adjustments to program targets will occur.

Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 16-06-34 District Enrollment Allocation Base Model 07/01/2016
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

There are three types of funding status categories for students and classes; state, contract, and self-support (student).

State-funded classes are those funded wholly or in part with state funds. Students in state-funded classes might be recorded as state enrollments or as contract enrollments (e.g. Running Start, High School Re-engagement, and International Contract). Tuition must be charged on all enrollments recorded as state. Enrollments can be counted as state-funded only if they are in state-funded classes. (Note that some students charged tuition will qualify for waivers)

Contract classes are funded solely through grants or through contracts with a separate entity. All students in classes fully funded by grants or contracts are reported as contract enrollments, EXCEPT in the case of Basic Education for Adults classes funded with federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds (these students are reported as state enrollments). Revenues from grants and contracts are recorded in the Grants and Contracts funds account.

Self-support classes are funded solely through fees paid by students in the class. All students in self-support classes are recorded as self-support enrollments. Students in self-support classes pay a fee in lieu of tuition (as defined above), and the college retains all of the revenue from the fee in the Dedicated Local funds account.

In addition to contract and self-support classes, the following types of classes are not eligible for state funding:

  • Intercollegiate, intramural sports participation classes.
  • Personal enrichment, entertainment or recreational classes.
  • Seminars or classes promoting commercial products or advocating conformance to a particular dogma, group affiliation, or religious, social, or political point of view.
  • Classes designed to provide personal or group therapy.
  • ROTC classes.

5.20.10 State-funded classes and enrollment

In order to be recorded as a state-funded student, the student must be enrolled in a class funded in whole or in part with state funds. However, not all students in state-funded classes can be recorded as state-funded students.

5.20.15 Determining whether a class is state funded

  1. Classes totally or partially supported by state funds must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. The class must be part of a course approved through the college’s formal curriculum process. A class syllabus must be on file by the census date of the class.
    2. The class must be taught by instructors with appropriate academic background and training who have been appointed by the college (whether paid or volunteer) and are officially assigned to the class. Instructors must meet the minimum personnel standards established by the local college and these standards must meet or exceed those set by the SBCTC (see RCW 28B.50.090(7)(a)WAC 131-16-080).
    3. The class must be part of a course with a descriptive title to reflect the course content and support transferability (where applicable).
    4. The class must be open to the public for those who meet any program and/or course conditions.
    5. Tuition must be charged or waived under an existing statute and in accordance with the college’s board –approved policies. (See exceptions below under “Type of Student”).

If the above conditions are met, the class funding source can be one of the following types:

  1. State-funded: A class is considered state funded if the above conditions are met and direct instructional costs are paid with state funds only.
  2. If direct and indirect costs of the class are funded with both state funds and grant funds, some or all of the enrollments in the class might be considered state-funded enrollments as follows:
    • Supplemental funding: If the college spends at least as much state funding on the direct and indirect costs of the class as the college spends on other state-funded classes on average, all of the enrollments (except certain international enrollments and Running Start enrollments) in the class can be recorded as state. The class funding type is called “supplemental funding” (see RCW 28B.50.140(17)WAC 131-32-010).
    • Shared funding: If the college spends less state funding on the direct and indirect costs of the class than the college spends on other state-funded classes on average, enrollments in the class can be recorded as state in the same proportion as state funds are to total funds spent on the direct and indirect costs of the class. The class funding type is called “shared funding”. As in other classes funded in whole or part with state funds, Running Start students and certain international students in such courses must be recorded as contract (see RCW 28B.50.140(17)WAC 131-32-020).

5.20.16 Determining the type of student FTE/headcount in state-funded classes

State Enrollments: Most students in state-funded classes will be recorded as state enrollments and all students recorded as state enrollments must be charged tuition (some may be eligible for a waiver).

  1. The following types of students in state-funded classes cannot be reported as state enrollments:
    1. International Contract: International students in state-funded classes can be recorded as state enrollments within certain limits established by the State Board.  All other international students in state-funded classes, except those qualifying for residency, must be recorded as International Contract. Students recorded as International Contract pay a fee in lieu of tuition at the non-resident rate, and the fee is deposited into the Grants and Contracts funds account. “International Contract” is a type of contract enrollment.
    2. Running Start: Running Start students must be recorded as contract enrollments even though they enroll in state-funded classes. State funding for Running Start students is not provided directly in the community and technical college state budget. Instead, the Legislature funds Running Start students through the K-12 appropriation: Local K-12 districts receive the funding from the state and reimburse colleges for each Running Start student based on the student’s college credit load. The reimbursement is deposited into the Grants and Contracts funds account. NOTE: A portion of a Running Start student’s credits may be recorded as state if the student’s credit load exceeds the limits as established in rules.  The Running Start student must pay tuition for the credits recorded as state-funded unless qualifying for a waiver.
    3. High School Re-engagement: Similar to Running Start students, students enrolled in high school re-engagement programs (OSPI funded high school programs, Open Doors, Gateway to College, Drop Out Retrieval) must be recorded as contract enrollments even though they may be enrolled in state-funded classes. Funding for the students in high school re-engagement programs is provided to colleges from the K-12 district high schools.
    4. Students using any one of the following waivers

5.20.17 State-funded classes specific conditions

Specific conditions exist for the following state-funded classes:

  1. Short classes must adhere to contact hours and credit equivalent standards as established in credit value and credit equivalency determinations.  An exception to this rule is granted for refresher classes in Industrial First Aid where one credit has been set for eight hours of instruction and two credits for 18 hours of instruction.
  2. Applied Psychology classes must be drawn from a theoretical framework based on recognized research in psychology and related fields, have a written syllabus containing class goals and measurable objectives available to students, and utilize textbooks and/or written materials that supplement class lectures and discussions.
  3. Visual arts classes must cover theory as well as practice, be designed to foster originality, creativity, and an understanding of the visual arts in general as well as specific mediums, and have appropriate intellectual content.
  4. Independent study is a mode of instruction whereby a student enrolls for a class with a regular faculty member and the time for the class is arranged. Classes must be approved by the appropriate academic officer, assigned a CIP code and be based on a learning contract between the student and the instructor that is filed with the appropriate administrative office on or before the last instructional day of the class or quarter. The contract must include a statement of the subject content, objectives to be achieved, learning tasks to be completed, and effort to be expended by the student, and recommended credit.
    Note: If the subject matter of an independent study is the same as an already established course, credit will be assigned accordingly. If the subject matter or study activity is unique, credits awarded must correspond to credit ratio standards used to calculate equivalent credit values.
  5. High school completion classes are offered for students 19 years of age and older, seeking to complete a high school diploma at a community college. The State Board of Education sets graduation requirements (see WAC 180-51).
    Note: Credits earned in college-level classes that apply toward high school diploma completion may also be used to satisfy requirements for associate degrees or other completion certificates.

5.20.18 Ungraded courses

An ungraded course is designed to meet the unique educational needs of a specific category or group of students.  Ungraded courses are designated by the Board. These courses may be offered at tuition rates that differ from the standard rates set by and require the assignment of special codes, fees, and/or credit restrictions. These courses may be run as graded or ungraded (see WAC 131-28-026 and WAC 131-28-025). 

Ungraded courses are defined as courses that do not earn credit or grade points on the student’s transcript.  The credit is used to calculate FTE only. Credits and grade points associated with ungraded courses do not apply to program requirements that lead to a degree or certificate nor are eligible for federal or state financial aid.  The State Board has authorized community colleges to set their own rates for ungraded courses.

These ungraded courses include:

  1. Retirement courses specifically designed to provide skills and understandings particularly related to the problems of retirement and advanced age. These courses must meet the cultural and intellectual needs of older adults desiring to become knowledgeable in the areas of financial, health maintenance and sociological issues related to retirement, psychology of aging and the historical recollection of people of advanced age. Retirement ungraded courses are limited to three percent of the district’s annual full-time equivalent student enrollment allocation.
  2. Industrial first aid courses are offered to satisfy WISHA first aid certification requirements and must be Department of Labor and Industries approved.
  3. Parenting Education courses help prepare individuals to create supportive and caring environments and acquire the skills needed to foster children’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
  4. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and paramedic continuing education If 81 clock hours in length, the credit value is 6 credits. If 110 clock hours in length, the credit value is 8. If 132 hours, the credit value is 9. The decision on which of the courses should be offered rests with the local Emergency Medical Service Council.
  5. Ungraded Farm management and small business management are designed to meet the educational service needs of individual small businesses and farms. The education plan is identified jointly by the small business or farm owner and the college instructor-coordinator. These courses are considered supplemental vocational instruction offered to enable small business and farm owners to stay in business. This allows colleges to offer courses, workshops, and seminars for less than two credits when it is determined that this is the best method of instructional delivery.
  6. Journeypersons courses provide advanced training and skill maintenance for journeypersons in cooperation with joint apprenticeship and training committees.

Hobby, recreational, craft or similar courses do not meet the guidelines for ungraded courses

Graded courses are defined as courses that earn credit or grade points on the student’s transcript.   Credits and grade points associated to these courses apply to program requirements that lead to a degree or certificate, are usually eligible for federal or state financial aid, and are therefore subject to satisfactory academic progress rules. 

These graded courses include:

  1. Apprenticeship courses offered for the purpose of satisfying related or supplemental educational requirements for apprentices while indentured with the Washington State Apprenticeship Council or Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
  2. Farm management and small business management courses are designed to meet the educational service needs of individual small businesses and farms. The education plan is identified jointly by the small business or farm owner and the college instructor-coordinator. These graded courses are taught for preparing individuals to enter the job market as small business or farm operators, or apply toward a related certificate or degree.

Graded courses defined as Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) programs, Adult Basic Education (ABE), English Language Acquisition (ELA), and High School Equivalency (HSE); teach foundational skills — reading, writing, math, technology and English language. These programs are designed for adults with academic skills below high school completion or who need to improve their English language skills. These courses do not earn credit or grade points on the student’s transcript, and are not subject to federal or state financial aid satisfactory academic progress rules.

The State Board has set a rate per student per quarter for Adult Basic Education (ABE), English Language Acquisition (ELA) High School Completion (HSC), and High School Equivalency (HSE). 

Note: Certain U.S. visa holders are not eligible for enrollment in BEdA courses per federal law.

These graded course offerings include:

  1. Adult Basic Education (ABE)ABE courses are designed to develop competencies for students who are at or below college level.
  2. English Language Acquisition (ELA) courses are designed for students who need to improve their English language skills.
  3. High School Completion (HSC) courses are designed to assist students to complete a Washington state High School Diploma,
  4. High School Equivalency (HSE) courses are designed to assist students 16 years of age and older to prepare for the High School Equivalency test.

5.20.20 Contract classes and enrollment

All enrollments in classes funded wholly by grants or contracts are reported as contract funded enrollments. The grant or contract must cover the direct and indirect costs of the class. (RCW 28B.50.140(16)WAC 131-28-027)

Classes created for high school students and funded through grants from the K-12 system, such as College in the High School and some Gateway to College classes, are contract classes and the enrollments are recorded as contract.

Enrollments in classes funded in part by grants/contracts and in part with state funds might qualify to be counted as state-funded enrollments.

Additionally, certain enrollments in state-funded classes must be recorded as contract enrollments.

5.20.25 Department of Corrections classes 

All enrollments in classes offered in Department of Corrections facilities funded wholly by contracts are reported as contract funded enrollments. These contract classes must cover the direct and indirect costs of the class. (see RCW 28B.50.140(16); WAC 131-28-027; Department of Corrections Student Coding and Reporting Guidelines under “Policy resources” below).

All classes offered in Department of Corrections facilities and funded wholly by students receiving the Washington College Grant, and/or a federal Pell Grant, and/or external scholarship foundation funds, are reported as self-support funded enrollments.  

All enrollments in self-support classes are counted as self-support. Students counted as self-support pay a fee in lieu of tuition, and the fee must be sufficient to cover the direct and indirect costs of the class. All revenues from the fee are retained by the college and deposited into their local fund account (see WAC 131-28-029).

5.20.30 Self-support classes and enrollments

All enrollments in self-support classes are counted as self-support. Students counted as self-support pay a fee in lieu of tuition, and the fee must be sufficient to cover the direct and indirect costs of the class. All revenues from the fee are retained by the college and deposited into the Dedicated Local funds account (see WAC 131-28-029).

Leisure and hobby classes must be provided as self-support. Leisure and hobby classes do not meet the criteria for state-funded classes.

Additionally, colleges may offer for-credit classes and degree programs as self-support if the college determines it could not otherwise offer the class or program within state funds.

5.20.35 State and grant funded enrollments

Grant and contract dollars are sometimes combined with state dollars to cover direct and indirect instructional costs of certain courses. The statutes and administrative rules allow such enrollments to be counted, in whole or in part, as state enrollments under certain circumstances (see Appendix E Counting Enrollments in Courses Supported By Both State and Grant Funds and RCW 28B.50.140 (17) and WAC 131‐32‐010 and WAC 131‐32‐020).

5.20.40 International student enrollment reporting

International students in state-funded classes may be coded as state-funded or as International Contract within the limits and requirements set out below and in 4.70.30 International Contract Students. Students in International Contract programs are reported as contract enrollments and are excluded from calculations of enrollment target attainment and state allocations.

Effective fall quarter 2016, the number of international students a district can record as state-funded is limited to the lesser of 2 percent of the district’s enrollment target or the full-time-equivalent students (FTES) needed to reach 100 percent of the district’s enrollment target. Any international students counted as state-funded in excess of these limits will not be recognized for purposes of calculating target attainment or allocating state funding. International students meeting residency requirements are excluded from the 2 percent limit.

5.20.50 Western Undergraduate Exchange

Colleges participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program may do so within the limits and requirements set by RCW 28B.15.915. Colleges may rely on this authority to accomplish the same result as the WUE differential fee waiver authority contained under RCW 28B.15.544. The WUE requirement under this section authorizes institutions to waive the differential between 50% of resident “tuition and fees.”

The phrase “tuition and fees” includes all of the mandatory fees: the operating fee, the building fee, and the S&A fee.  Using the non-resident operating fee waiver authority, a college would have to achieve the same result by waiving only the operating fee differential. Thus a college may have to waive a greater portion of operating fees to achieve the result of ensuring out-of-state students pay no more than of 150% of “tuition and fees” as defined by the WUE participation agreement.


Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
AAG Opinion Allows operating fee waiver to meet WUE tuition rate 05/09/2019
Board Resolution 16-06-34 Enrollment Counting Rules Amended 06/23/2016
Board Resolution 15-06-30 International Student Enrollment Coding Policy Adopted 06/23/2015
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

To meet state and federal reporting requirements and to support state policy initiatives, the SBCTC requires that colleges:

  1. At a minimum, provide specific class and student data
  2. Establish written procedures that are uniformly applied
  3. Accurately code and report required data and not overstate enrollments

Periodic enrollment reviews will be conducted to assess procedures, enrollment practices, and data that affect how enrollment is reported and credits are counted.

5.30.10 Class effort: Credit values and credit equivalents

The policies in this section are based on U.S. Department of Education credit hour definitions and referenced by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities:

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in the above paragraph for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practicals, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

The following definitions have been established to guide instructional practice, with each definition equating to a minimum of three weekly hours of students effort per credit.

Theory

Students are engaged with faculty and class members in learning theoretical material and/or engaging in activities to apply the theory leading to mastery of course outcomes. Modes of instructional delivery could include but are not limited to lecture, small group discussion, guided conversation, demonstration, case studies, role-playing, problem based inquiry, and collaborative activities. Instruction may be a mix of presentation, facilitation, and guided activities evidenced by frequent ongoing communication between instructor and students. Such activities could take place in a variety of instructional modalities. One credit is generated by one weekly contact hour of instruction or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. Generally requires out-of-class student effort, typically two hours per class hour.

Guided practice

Students are actively engaged in practicing and mastering skills under the supervision of the instructor. This category of instruction could include but are not limited to labs, studios, shops, clinical experiences, computer-mediated learning, hands-on projects, or other skill building activities. Instruction may be individualized or group-focused and include skills assessment. Such activities could take place in a variety of instructional modalities. One credit is generated by two weekly contact hours of instruction or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. May also include out-of-class student effort, typically one hour per two class hours.

Field-based experience

Students are engaged in autonomous study or related work activity under the intermittent supervision of the instructor. This mode includes working with or under the direction of professional practitioners and may include preceptorships, co-ops, internships, or service learning activities. Verification of learning outcomes is documented by college faculty in collaboration with professional practitioners. One credit is generated by a minimum of three weekly contact hours of supervised learning experience. Programs may determine that additional hours are needed for the student learning needs. However, only one credit will be generated for enrollment counting purposes.

5.30.20 Reporting student enrollments — College responsibility

All colleges are required to develop and adopt campus procedures to ensure that internal access and control, monitoring of registration and enrollment activity, and documentation of operational enrollment practices are maintained as described in the policies.

5.30.25 Repeat Course Rule

Students cannot be reported for courses funded with state dollars if enrolled more than three times for the same course – this is defined as two repeats in addition to the original enrollment.  A course applies to the repeat rule if the student receives an evaluative (graded) or non-evaluative (withdraw) symbol for the course as counted per census date rules as posted on the transcript.

Exceptions to the rule include:

  1. Extenuating Circumstances — At the discretion of the college, students with extenuating circumstances may receive permission to enroll in a course for a fourth attempt. These extenuating circumstances may include, but not limited to, medical or military withdraws as defined in state statute, course required for a certificate or degree with limited or no substitute option, significant break in enrollment, grade forgiveness process, or mandated training for employment.
  2. Variable Credit Courses — A student may enroll in a variable credit course as many times as necessary to complete the entire curriculum and credit value of the course. However, a student may not repeat any portion of a variable credit course that has already been completed. 

Students who retake a previously passed course more than once may become ineligible for federal or state financial aid.  Students who receive veteran benefits may not be certified for, or receive compensation for, repeating a course they have previously passed.

(See Course Repeat Policy under “Policy resources” below.)

5.30.30 Enrollment reporting methodology

The enrollment reporting methodology used by the community and technical college system shall be consistent with other public higher educational institutions in the state. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Student Achievement Council, the Office of Financial Management, and the Washington State Legislature rely on this methodology and the State Auditor’s office monitors for compliance. This reporting methodology has an enrollment census date that is intended to allow colleges to count enrollments for funding on a predetermined date even if the student does not complete the course.

5.30.35 Withholding student registration

An institution may withhold registration privileges for students with unpaid debt, including but not limited to, failure to pay tuition and fees, room and board, and/or financial aid. (See RCW 28B.10.293 and Guidance for SHB 2513 Implementationunder Policy Resources below.)

5.30.40 Students reportable for enrollment

Students who register for a class prior to the census date and do not subsequently drop prior to the census date count for enrollment reporting. Note:

  1. Students who have not paid, waived, have a payment plan established, or a guarantee from a third-party payer (L&I, DVR, VA, state or federal aid, or similar) for tuition and/or fees by the census date are not reportable for enrollment reporting. An exception to this is a student, including but not limited to registered apprentices, who attends a class prior to the census date and registers prior to the completion of the class, may count for enrollment reporting if special provisions for post census date registrations as defined in Policy Manual 5.60.10 have been followed.
  2. Some student specific provisions can affect the reporting of students in classes funded by state dollars as defined in Policy Manual 5.30.10.
  3. Colleges must follow the guidelines for scheduling and reporting enrollments in Basic Skills classes.
  4. Colleges must follow the guidelines for coding and reporting Applied Baccalaureate classes

5.30.45 Release of student transcript

Institutions of higher education may not withhold a student's official transcript, regardless of debt, except the fee charged to provide an official transcript, if the official transcript is requested by a student or entity for purposes, including but not limited to, job applications, transferring to another institution, applying for financial aid, pursuit of opportunities in the military or national guard, or pursuit of other postsecondary opportunities. (See RCW 28B.10.293 and Guidance for SHB 2513 Implementation under Policy Resources below.)

5.30.50 Quarterly reportable enrollment

Student enrollments must be counted and reported only for the quarter in which they were registered, paid, and transcripted.

5.30.60 Enrollment reporting discrepancies

Enrollment information is a fundamental element in budget allocations. Therefore, it is necessary that the information reported by community and technical colleges is accurate and consistent. To ensure accuracy and consistency, the following progressive actions may be taken when enrollment reporting does not comply with the RCW, WAC and/or SBCTC policies, procedures, or reporting requirements.

  1. A district will be notified in writing of a reporting discrepancy. The notice will indicate that reporting practices will continue to be examined at specified intervals until verification of compliance with the appropriate procedures.
  2. If subsequent examination does not reflect compliance it will be the discretion of the Executive Director of the State Board to take any one or combination of the following actions:
    • Continued in-depth examination of district reporting practices until further notice.
    • Appoint a team composed of State Board staff and/or system representatives to assist the district in complying with the reporting procedures.
    • A retroactive adjustment to the improperly reported enrollment and funding to reflect proper enrollment reporting.
    • Permanent or temporary reduction or redistribution of student FTES.

Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
Passage of SSHB 2513 Transcript and Registration Holds 06/11/2020
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

The census date of a class represents the time frame within which students must register or attend with intent to register for a class, in order to count for enrollment reporting.  Full-time equivalent (FTE) is generated for any student enrolled as of the census date of the class.  The intent of this policy is to recognize that there is a base cost in providing a class that is constant after a period of time regardless of the number of students that withdraw from a class or continue to completion of that class.

5.40.10 Determining the quarter census date for regular session classes

Non-summer quarters are typically 10 or 11 weeks in length. The quarter census date is the 10th instructional day after the quarter begins. For regular session classes that begin within the first five days of the start of the quarter and run for the duration of the quarter, the 10th instructional day of the quarter is the census date.

Summer quarter typically is shorter than 10 or 11 weeks. The quarter census date is based on the number of weeks in the quarter. If the quarter is 9 weeks, the census date is the ninth instructional day. If the quarter is 8 weeks, the census date is the eighth instructional day, etc. For regular session classes that begin within the first five days of the start of summer quarter and run for the duration of the quarter the number of weeks in the quarter determines their census date.

5.40.20 Determining the census date for dynamic dated classes

Classes that do not meet the criteria described in “Determining the Quarter Census Date for Regular Session” as noted above and are not open-entry as noted below use a census date based on the length of the class. These classes have traditionally been referred to as “short sequential” classes. Unlike regular session classes, instructional days for dynamic session classes included all days of the week.

The census date is determined by calculating 20 percent of the instructional days of the class. For example, if a course 25 instructional days, 20 percent of the instructional days are five. The census date of this class would be the fifth instructional day after the beginning of the class. If a class is 35 instructional days, 20 percent of the instructional days are seven. The census date of this class would be the seventh instructional day after the beginning of the class, etc. Standard rounding rules apply if applicable.

5.40.30 Determining the census date for open-entry classes

Open-entry classes are open-entry classes permitting students to begin instruction at any time during a quarter. These classes have traditionally been referred to as “continuous enrollment” classes. For open-entry classes the census date occurs either on the last day of the class or the last day of the quarter in which that class began whichever comes first. This census date is the same for all students enrolled in this class.


Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

The registrar is responsible for and must approve changes to student records that affect enrollment counting. The registration office of each college shall maintain documentation pursuant to adopted college procedures to support these changes. Upon request, the registration office shall produce both specific enrollment documentation and associated college procedures.

5.50.10 Post census date registrations — extenuating circumstances

A registrar may allow a Post Census Date Registration for enrollment counting purposes if the registrar deems extenuating circumstances exist and the associated documentation is maintained as per college procedures. An extenuating circumstance should not be inconsistent with SBCTC policies.  The registration dates in the student management system should be adjusted to reflect the actual student attendance dates as reflected in the associated documentation. The registrar may be requested to produce this documentation in the event of an enrollment audit.

5.50.20 Post census date registrations — logistical circumstances

A registrar may allow Post Census Date registrations for enrollment counting purposes if the registrar deems it necessary to accommodate geographical or logistical circumstances such as associated with off-campus operations. The registration dates in the student management system should be adjusted to reflect the actual student registration dates on the forms. The registrar may be requested to produce these forms as documentation in the event of an enrollment audit.

5.50.30 Post census date registrations — administrative circumstances

A registrar may allow Post Census Date registrations for enrollment counting purposes if the registrar deems it necessary to correct an error or errors associated with a student’s enrollment. The registrar may be requested to explain excessive corrections in the event of an enrollment audit.

5.50.40 Post-census date registrations — accelerated outcome-based contextualized applied learning model

A registrar will allow Post Census Date Registrations or course enrollment modification(s) for enrollment counting by the first workday of the eighth week of the quarter for accelerated outcome-based contextualized applied learning model courses.  Faculty will determine the course outcomes (ending course title and number) that will be achieved by the student at the conclusion of the quarter. The registration dates for these accelerated courses should reflect the actual student attendance dates at the time of enrollment in the original course.

Billing adjustments must be made in the event that a student progressed from a non-tuition charged course enrollment to a per-credit tuition charged course enrollment during the quarter that the student progresses through the accelerated course model or if the course credits attained at the end of the quarter exceeds the originally enrolled course(s) credit. (See Accelerated Outcomes Model under “Policy resources” below.)


Policy resources

Policy history

Action Description Revision Date
Instruction Commission approval Accelerated Outcomes Model adopted O5/2012
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

The registrar is considered the college official responsible for determining, implementing, and monitoring the college’s registration procedures, and reporting accurate enrollment data to the SBCTC. Each registrar may delegate responsibility to appropriately trained staff.

5.60.10 Enrollment data quality and completeness

Colleges shall ensure the accuracy, completeness, consistency, and timeliness of enrollment data.

The following student or program specific provisions can affect the reporting of students in courses funded by state dollars:

5.70.10 Allowance on Reporting Credits

  • Running Start students enrolling for any credits beyond the credit maximum or beyond the combined FTE shall be charged appropriate per-credit rates, up to the maximum credits allowed for all enrolled students by institutional policy.
  • Enrollments in a course supported with both state and contract/grant funds can be counted in whole or in part as state enrollments if the course meets certain minimum conditions and receives approval by the SBCTC Director of Accounting and Business Services (See Counting Enrollments in Courses Supported by Both State and Contract/Grant Funds in “Policy resources” below).

5.70.20 Restrictions on Reporting Credits

The following student or programs specific provisions cannot be reported for enrollment purposes:

  • Transcript credits based on course challenges, transfer, or prior experience. However, credits for courses in which a student enrolls to develop a portfolio of evidence to support the awarding of transcript credit are reportable.
  • Students enrolled under some legislatively directed fee waiver programs cannot be reported for state funding purposes. These programs include Senior Citizens, State Employees and Unemployed/Underemployed. (RCW 28B.15.540RCW 28B.15.558RCW 28B.15.522)

Policy resources

The State Board requires that all tuition and fees be  charged on a uniform and equitable basis and that as a condition of enrollment, all state-funded students must pay tuition and fees, unless tuition and fees have been  reduced or waived by other rules or statutory provisions (see RCW 28B.15WAC 131-28RCW 28B.15.069(5); Community College Tuition and Fee Waivers and Residency Classifications).

  1. Community and technical college tuition and fees are subject to limits established in the biennial operating budget act.
  2. Applied Baccalaureate tuition and fees are governed by statute and the following policies:
    1. The Board annually adopts the tuition and fee schedule that must be used for all upper division Applied Baccalaureate courses.
      • The tuition and fees adopted by the State Board must not exceed tuition and fees at the comprehensive regional universities. 
      • Additionally, under State Board policy, the per credit rates must be comparable to the rates at the comprehensive regional universities, except that the building and S&A fees included in the upper division tuition schedule must be the same as those on the lower division tuition schedule.
      • One tuition and fee schedule applies year round with no separate schedule for summer quarter.
    2. Community and technical colleges offering Applied Baccalaureate programs must charge tuition and fees as follows: 
      • Upper division tuition and fees will be charged for upper division courses.
      • For students taking both upper and lower division courses in the same quarter:
        • Generally, colleges must charge lower division tuition and fees for lower division courses and upper division tuition and fees for upper division courses.
        • However, in those instances where the upper and lower division credit combination would result in the student paying more than he or she would if paying for all credits based on the upper division schedule, the college must charge tuition and fees for both upper and lower division credits based on the upper division tuition and fee schedule.

5.80.10 Residency Status

Colleges must determine the residency status of students enrolled in all state supported courses for which the standard tuition is charged. Administration of residency status shall be the responsibility of the institution's board of trustees and shall designate an institutional official responsible, typically the registrar, for making decisions on resident and nonresident status of students, and for maintaining records and documentation in support of such decisions (see RCW 28B.15.011 through RCW 28B.15.015; WAC 250-18-045).

For students enrolled exclusively in "ungraded," contract, and/or student funded courses Washington State residency determination is not required.

5.80.20 Running Start Student Funding and Fees

School districts receive enrollment funding from the state based on the statewide average Basic Education funding rate for high school students.  This state-funded reimbursement is prorated based on the number of college credits a Running Start student takes (see Running Start Program Details).

Running Start students may enroll tuition-free for a maximum of 15 college credits per quarter but are limited to a combined 1.20 FTE when enrolled in both high school and Running Start courses. Running Start students shall pay mandatory fees, including course and placement testing fees, as established by each college, and potentially technology and other fees in accordance with state statute. Colleges must make available fee waivers for low-income Running Start students (see Running Start Fee Waiver Guidance).

Note: Consumable supplies, textbooks, and other materials retained by the student are not within the definition of fees and therefore not subject to the mandatory low-income waiver provisions.

5.80.30 International student tuition and fees

International students in state-funded classes who do not qualify for a residency classification or a waiver pay at the nonresident tuition rate.

  1. Students coded as International Contract pay a fee-in-lieu of tuition, the revenues from which are deposited into the district’s Grants and Contracts Account.
    1. The rate for these students shall be no less than the equivalent of nonresident tuition and fees.
    2. The district may reduce its annual revenue from these contracts by an amount not to exceed 5 percent of annual international student contract revenues calculated at the full contract rate.
  2. International students recorded as state-funded pay according to the statewide nonresident tuition and fees schedule adopted by the State Board, unless qualifying for a waiver or residency classification. Revenues from the tuition and fees collected from students recorded as state-funded must be distributed to state and local accounts.

5.80.40 Interdistrict enrollments

Interdistrict enrollments are intended to accommodate students when courses will not be offered in a manner that will enable the timely completion of the students’ program of study. Students may enroll concurrently at more than one community college district and pay no more tuition and fees than if the student were enrolled at a single college, if the colleges involved have a specific agreement allowing interdistrict registrations (see WAC 131-12-041).

5.80.50 Operating fees charged for ungraded class offerings

Ungraded classes are designed to meet the unique educational needs of a specific category of students. For some ungraded classes a specific fee is required to be charged. For others, colleges have discretion in setting the rates. All ungraded course fees are operating fees (see  WAC 131-28-026; RCW 28B.15.031).

Tuition and fee charges for enrollment in a combination of graded and ungraded courses is the sum of the standard tuition for the graded courses and/plus the rate(s) specified for the ungraded courses.

Action Description Revision Date
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-17 amending WAC 131-12-041 5.80 added to address interdistrict enrollments. 03/10/2005
SBCTC Resolution 02-09-16 Board approved Policy Manual 09/19/2002

Page Manager: bgordon@sbctc.edu
Last Modified: 6/21/22, 11:07 AM

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