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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 instiution prior to Fall 2006) above the program requirement. By state law, extra tuition will be charged to any resident undergraduate student who, before the semester or other academic session begins, has previously attempted a number of semester credit hours at any institution of higher education while classified as a resident  student for tuition purposes that exceeds by at least 30 hours (or 45 hours for first enrollment at a Texas public instiution prior to Fall 2006) the number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled (Texas State Education Code Subchapter C, Section 61.0595). This regulation does NOT apply to semester credit hours earned before the 1999 fall semester.

1.  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 instiution prior to Fall 2006) above the program requirement. By state law, extra tuition will be charged to any resident undergraduate student who, before the semester or other academic session begins, has previously attempted a number of semester credit hours at any institution of higher education while classified as a resident  student for tuition purposes that exceeds by at least 30 hours (or 45 hours for first enrollment at a Texas public instiution prior to Fall 2006) the number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled (Subchapter C, Section 61.0595). This regulation does NOT apply to semester credit hours earned before the 1999 fall semester.  Effective Fall 2009 hours earned by a student before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements (dual credit) are NOT included in the calculation of excess hours.  

2. 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.

3. The following are not counted for purposes of determining whether the undergraduate student has previously earned excess semester credit hours:

  • Semester credit hours earned by the student before receiving a baccalaureate degree that has previously been awarded to the student;
  • Semester credit hours earned by the student by examination or under any other procedure by which credit is earned without registering for a course for which tuition is charged;
  • Credit for a remedial education course or another course that does not count toward a degree program at the institution; and
  • Semester credit hours earned by the student at a private institution or an out-of-state institution.

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

1.  Complete an hours audit request form.  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board does not provide TWU with your total hours attempted at all Texas Public higher education institutions.  You'll need to complete the audit request form to receive this total.

2.  Fax the completed form to the Office of Undergraduate Studies at 940-898-3001 or you may scan and email it to advising@twu.edu.

3.  Upon receipt of your audit results, make an appointment with your academic advisor.

4.  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:  http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Rules/tac3.cfm?Chapter_ID=13&Subchapter=F

What are the additional tuition charges for excess hours?

Please see the Bursar's Web Site: http://www.twu.edu/bursar/tuition-for-excess-hours.asp

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.

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 have documented eligibility for Pell Grants prior to the time they are billed for excess hours may be exempt from extra tuition for excess undergraduate hours. When students receive warnings that they are approaching or will exceed excess hours, documentation of financial need should be completed before the next semester begins. Subsequent excess hours extra tuition may be excused only when eligibility for Pell Grants is on file in the Financial Aid Office at the beginning of the billing semester; no extra tuition will be removed retroactively.

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 10/30/2014 12:06 PM