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Excess Credit Hours

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Nonresident Tuition for Resident Students

 
To avoid being charged extra tuition, resident students should be aware of the number of credit hours required for their degree and avoid taking more than 30 hours (or 45 hours for first enrollment at a Texas public institution prior to Fall 2006) above the program requirement.
By state law, extra tuition will be charged, before the semester or other academic session begins, to any resident undergraduate student who has previously attempted a number of semester credit hours at any Texas public institution of higher education and exceeds the 30 or 45 hour rule.    (Texas State Education Code Subchapter C, Section 61.0595). This regulation does NOT apply to semester credit hours earned before the 1999 Fall semester.
The 30 or 45 hour rule includes courses which are repeated, duplicated, or courses for which the student received a grade of “W.” Although the law allows some exclusions; hours for courses passed, failed, withdrawn, and dropped are counted in the 45 (or 30) hours if the student took them while paying resident tuition at a public institution in Texas.
Students are encouraged to seek academic advising and to follow the official degree plan located on ASSIST in DegreeWorks. 
               Excess Hour Charge = $120 per credit.
Semester Credit Hours
Fall 2014 
Excess Hour Charges
9
$1080
12
$1440
15
$1800
 
 

Excess Hours Policy

Excess Credit Hours and Nonresident Tuition for Resident Students To avoid being charged extra tuition, resident students should be aware of the number of credit hours required for their degree and avoid taking more than 30 hours (or 45 hours for first enrollment at a Texas public institution prior to Fall 2006) above the program requirement.

By state law, extra tuition will be charged, before the semester or other academic session begins, to any resident undergraduate student who has previously attempted a number of semester credit hours at any Texas public institution of higher education and exceeds the 30 or 45 hour rule. (Texas State Education Code Subchapter C, Section 61.0595). This regulation does NOT apply to semester credit hours earned before the 1999 Fall semester.

The 30 or 45 hour rule includes courses which are repeated, duplicated, or courses for which the student received a grade of “W.” Although the law allows some exclusions; hours for courses passed, failed, withdrawn, and dropped are counted in the 45 (or 30) hours if the student took them while paying resident tuition at a public institution in Texas. Students are encouraged to seek academic advising and to follow the official degree plan in the approved catalog of graduation.

Courses attempted at any Texas public institution of higher education will be counted toward the excess hour calculation. These include:

- Courses in which a grade is earned and recorded on the transcript (these courses do not have to be part of the student’s degree plan)
- Courses dropped with a grade of “DR” or “W”
 

The following types of credit hours do not count toward the limit:

- Credit hours earned after completing a baccalaureate degree
- Credit hours earned through examination (AP or CLEP)
- Credit hours earned through remedial and developmental courses, not to exceed 18 hours
- Credit hours taken at a private or an out-of-state institution
- Credit hours earned before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements 
- Credit hours excluded from the academic record under the Academic Fresh Start program
 

For a student enrolled in a baccalaureate program under Section 51.931, semester credit hours earned by the student 10 or more years before the date the student begins the new degree program under Section 51.931 are not counted for purposes of determining whether the student has previously earned excess undergraduate semester credit hours.

I have been notified about my hours limit...What now?

- Make an appointment with your academic advisor.
- Share your TOTAL SCH with your advisor so that she or he can assist you in creating a plan for degree completion, considering your current SCH and total allowable SCH.

Note: If you are a double major, be sure to notify your adviser and the Registrar's office. Your minimum hours to complete your degree will be adjusted.

Additionally, Financial Aid has a separate hour limit for funded hours. Please contact Financial Aid directly if you receive notification from them.

Excess Hours FAQ

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: Texas Administrative Code - Title 19, Part I, Ch 13, Subchapter F

What are the additional tuition charges for excess hours?
The additional tuition charge will be equivalent to paying Nonresident tuition (see the Student Billing Tuition and Fees Table Section): Student Billing Tuition and Fees Table.

Is UTPA 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 UTPA 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.

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.

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 UTPA transcript are not the total hours considered in excess hours calculation. If a prospective student has already completed 100 hours, he/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 check BRONC email to receive these messages. Advisors will not really be able to accurately determine students’ hours from UTPA records alone unless they enrolled ONLY at UTPA. 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 UTPA 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 UTPA 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 “DR,” 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, AP, etc), 18 hours of developmental courses, courses taken while in high school for dual credit 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, starts at zero.

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?
A student shall be exempted from payment of higher tuition for any course repeated in the final semester or term before graduation, if the course(s) is taken for the purpose of receiving a grade that will satisfy a degree requirement. This exemption applies for only one semester. The exemption does not affect an institution's ability to charge a higher tuition rate for courses that cannot be reported for funding for other reasons such as the excess credit hour limit, or an institution's ability to waive higher tuition rates for economic hardship.

Who can assist students who have further questions about excess hours?
University Academic Advising Center (UAAC) advisors within each academic college can assist students with excess credit hours questions. To schedule an excess credit hours advisement appointment, students may contact UAAC Center at 956-665-7120 or email advisement@utpa.edu.

NOTE: In order to get accurate information, students must first complete a release or records form to send to the Coordinating Board to obtain their record of credit hours. An advisement appointment will then be scheduled once the report has been received.

I Want an Excess Credit Hours Advisement Appointment

An appointment can be made to see an advisor about excess credit hours through the my.utpa.edu website and clicking on the "Advising" icon.

Select your college, then select your academic advisor based on the first letter of your last name. Make sure to give the advisor your name, student ID, and phone number where they can reach you.