Tuition and Billing Services

Program of Strategic Emphasis Waiver FAQs

What is the Programs of Strategic Emphasis waiver?

In 2021, the Florida legislature implemented the Select STEM Waiver program. The waiver program covers 100% of tuition and certain fees for 50% of a student’s enrollment in degree applicable upper-division courses for specific programs of strategic emphasis during the Fall and Spring semesters. In 2022, the program was retitled to Programs of Strategic Emphasis as two non-STEM programs were added. To be eligible for the waiver, a student must:

  • Be a Florida resident for tuition purposes
  • Have earned at least 60 credits towards a baccalaureate degree within two years after initial enrollment at a Florida public postsecondary institution;
  • Be enrolled in one of ten programs of strategic emphasis as determined by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG).

Which FAU majors/degree programs are eligible for the Programs of Strategic Emphasis Waiver?

Of the twelve programs approved by the Florida BOG, FAU offers the following eleven majors/degrees:

College of Business

  • Accounting (BBA or BS)
  • Finance (BBA or BS)
  • Management Information Systems (BBA or BS)

College of Engineering

  • Civil Engineering (BSCV)
  • Computer Engineering (BSCE)
  • Computer Science (BACS, BSCS, or BS)
  • Electrical Engineering (BSEE)

College of Science

  • Mathematics (BA or BS)
  • Physics (BA or BS)

College of Education

  • Elementary Education (BA and BAE)
  • Exceptional Student Education: ESOL Endorsement (BA and BAE)

Students enrolled in Pre-Engineering or Pre-Business with concentrations that lead to one of the majors/degrees listed above do not qualify for the waiver program. Students may qualify once all requirements for the pre-major have been completed and the college has admitted the student into one of the designated majors/degrees.

Do credits earned from accelerated mechanisms count toward the 60-credit requirement.

Credits earned through accelerated mechanisms, such as AP, CLEP, IB, or AICE can count towards the 60-credit requirement as long as earned prior to the first day of a student’s enrollment at the state university system. Dual high school credits applicable to the 60-credit requirement do not need to meet the two-year time frame.  

What courses are covered with the Programs of Strategic Emphasis Waiver?

All 3000- and 4000-level courses that are required for program of study are eligible for the waiver. The waiver does not cover lower-division (1000- and 2000- level) or graduate courses (5000- or 6000-level) even if those courses are applicable to the degree.

Are courses associated with a minor, certificate, dual major, or dual degree program covered by the waiver?

No, only courses that are required for the primary Programs of Strategic Emphasis major will be covered.  If, however, a course for the minor, certificate, dual major, or dual degree is also applicable/required for the primary major/degree that qualifies for the waiver.

Is there a limit to the number of courses that will be covered?

Yes.  In addition to the courses being applicable to the qualified majors/degrees, the waivers stop once a student has reached 110% of the total number of credits required for the degree.

What costs will the waiver program cover?

The waiver will cover the cost of tuition and fees for 50% of all required upper-division coursework taken during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students are responsible for 100% of tuition and fees for courses taken that are not covered by the waiver program.  

Are there other restrictions to the waiver and/or discount?
Yes.  The waiver and/or discount cannot be applied if the student has other waivers, 3rd party contracts, and/or scholarships that are applied towards their tuition and fees.

Are courses taken during the Summer covered by the program?

Effective Summer 2023, required courses taken during the Summer semester are covered by the waiver program.

What fees are covered?

The following fees are covered:

  • Student Financial Aid Fee
  • Capital Improvement Fee
  • Health Fee
  • Athletic Fee;
  • Activity and Service Fee
  • Technology Fee
  • Other fees approved by the Board of Governors pursuant to Regulation 7.003(24)
  • Tuition Differential
  • Transportation fees
  • Distance learning fees (eLearning Fees)
  • Facilities fees
  • Lab fees/equipment fees/material and supply fees
  • Student life/Student affairs fee

The following fees are not covered under this waiver: Owl Card Fee and Lecture Capture/Video Stream Fees.

Can the waiver be used for transient work at another institution or for Study Abroad programs?

The waiver must be used at FAU for FAU coursework.  If a Study Abroad program is FAU faculty led and consists of FAU courses, the waiver may be applicable.

Can a student receive the waiver if pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in one of the approved programs?

No.  The waiver program is only available to students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.

If a student is deemed not eligible for the waiver program, can they appeal that decision?

Possibly. There are three main criteria for the waiver program

  • Must be a Florida resident for tuition purposes:  If a student is not classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, the student would need to contact Undergraduate Admission if it is their first semester of enrollment or the Registrar’s Office if they are a continuing student to discuss their residency.
  • Must be enrolled in an eligible major/degree: The nine Strategic Emphasis majors were designated by the Florida Board of Governors. If a student is not enrolled in one of these majors/degrees, they are not eligible for the program. Students who wish to enroll in one of the eligible programs would need to contact their academic advisor.
  • Has earned at least 60 semester credit hours from a Florida public postsecondary institution towards a baccalaureate degree within 2 academic years after initial enrollment at a Florida public postsecondary institution:  If a student believes that they do meet this requirement, they can submit an Eligibility Appeal to have the information reviewed.