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Who has to pay extra tuition for undergraduate excess hours?

Any Texas resident student who enrolls for more than the state limit for excess hours: 45 hours beyond the degree plan for students who entered higher education in a Texas public college before fall 2006; 30 hours beyond the degree plan for students who enter higher education in fall 2006 or thereafter.

This requirement affects students initially enrolling in Texas public institutions of higher education fall 1999 or later.  Complete State of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules:

Is TWU the only university with this requirement?

No, this rule is based on Texas law that limits how many credit hours the state will subsidize for an individual student.  The law affects all Texas public colleges and universities. 

Does this mean that a student who transfers from a private college or from another state into TWU does not have those transfer hours counted? 

Yes, the hours taken at private or out-of-state colleges do not count, because the law is intended to limit the number of hours the state subsidizes and the state does not pay for private or out-of-state education.

Why are students not billed extra tuition at the time they register, instead of later in the semester? 

They are charged later because the rule is based on being enrolled in courses above the hours limit on or after the census day [12th class day in long semesters and 4th day in summer classes].

Do all students have the same limit?

No, the limit is determined by the number of hours in the major.  And students who have double majors may request a limit that is based on the total of both major hours needed.

What about students who change majors – are they held to the same limits?

Yes, they are held to the limit for the degree plan in which they are enrolled; no exceptions are made for students who change majors. In some cases it could be preferable to complete the original major, then enroll for a second bachelor’s degree because second-degree hours will not count against a second major.

What about transfer students who are limited in the hours they can transfer to TWU?

Suppose a student took 96 hours at a community college.  When the transcript comes to TWU, if there are more that 84 hours, the transcript office puts only the 84 hours that the student wants on the TWU transcript.  So, when we count the hours, do we count only the 84 plus what hours they have at TWU OR do we count the 96 hours plus the hours they have at TWU? 

ALL hours at TEXAS PUBLIC institutions are counted – in Austin.  We will not know from our records when students are nearing the limits.  The number of hours on the TWU transcript are not the total hours considered in excess hours calculation. If a prospective student has already completed 100 hours, she needs to be advised to select a degree that can be completed within the limit or be prepared to pay nonresident tuition for excess hours. 

How does a student or advisor know if the student is in danger of excess hours?

Individual letters of warning and notice are sent to students, along with email notices.  Students are responsible for keeping current addresses with the Registrar’s office and checking Portal email to receive these messages.

Departments will receive letters of students who are nearing the limit and the advisors should be notified through the department.  Advisors will not really be able to accurately determine students’ hours from TWU records alone unless they enrolled ONLY at TWU. Students MAY be able to keep track of the hours if they know the rules and keep good records.

Excess hours are not based on TWU data but on statewide data; students are tracked by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board across all colleges they enroll in and the Board sends students’ names to TWU for warning or notice of excess hours.

Which courses are counted for excess hours calculation?

All academic course enrollments count for this purpose; it a student is officially enrolled on the semester’s census day, that is counted as an enrollment, even if the student receives a grade of “W”, “I,” or “PR,” or fails the class.  If the student withdraws before the census day, that enrollment does not count. 

Are there any credit hours not counted for excess hours?

Yes, hours by exam (CLEP, etc), 18 hours of developmental courses, and courses at private or out-of-state institutions.

What if the student is taking courses for a second bachelor’s degree?

Then the first degree hours are not counted, only those taken for the second degree. 

What if a student believes there is an error in calculating her credit hours?

If students believe an error has been made in calculating undergraduate hours, they must see the Registrar and complete a release of records form to send to the Coordinating Board to obtain their record of credit hours. However, students will be assessed nonresident tuition based on Coordinating Board data, and if an error is found, refunds will be made.

Are there any exceptions made for excess hours extra tuition?

Students who are eligible for financial aid and for Pell Grants may be exempt from extra tuition for excess undergraduate hours.

Who can assist advisors who have further questions about excess hours?

Dr. Barbara Lerner, Office of Undergraduate Studies & Academic Partnerships or the Registrar     

page last updated 10/7/2016 2:47 PM