Undergraduate Excessive Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

What are excess credit hours?

Excess undergraduate credit hours are the maximum number of attempted credit hours, whether passed or failed, allowed to complete your degree program.  According to Section 54.014 of the Texas Education Code, maximum attempted hours for a degree are determined by the number of required credit hours plus 30 credit hours if a student enrolled in a Texas public institution of higher education Fall of 2006 or later (45 hours if you enrolled in a Texas institution of higher education prior to Fall 2006).  Refer to the TAMUK 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog, page 73-74, for additional information.

Excess credit hours are hours for which the State of Texas will no longer subsidize tuition costs.  According to the law, an institution of higher education may charge a resident undergraduate student a higher tuition rate for each semester credit hour (SCH) in excess of the limit to recover funds no longer subsidized by the state. 

What courses are excluded from excess credit hours calculations?

Here are some examples of credit hours that do not count toward the ECH limit:

  • credit hours earned after a baccalaureate degree
  • credit hours earned through examination (AP or CLEP)
  • credit from remedial and developmental courses
  • credit hours taken at a private institution or an out-of-state institution
  • credit earned prior to high school graduation

For more information, refer to:

 
Who determines my total hours?

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in Austin calculates the total number of credit hours attempted, whether passed or failed, from all schools attended for each student currently registered in Texas institutions of higher education.
 
Why am I being charged for exceeding my hours?

The TAMUK 2016-2017 undergraduate catalog, pages 73-74, Excess Undergraduate Credit Hours (45 Hour Rule vs. 30 Hour Rule) explains why you are being charged for excess credit hours.
 
Who is affected and must pay extra tuition charges for excess credit hours?

Students affected by the Excess Credit Hour limit include:

Resident undergraduate students initially enrolled in the Fall 1999 semester and subsequent terms who have attempted hours that exceed more than 45 hours of the maximum number of hours required for completion of the degree plan in which the student is enrolled are affected.  

Resident undergraduate students initially enrolled in the Fall 2006 semester and subsequent terms who have attempted hours  that exceed more than 30 hours of the maximum number of hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled are affected.   

Any Texas resident and non-resident student assessed Texas resident fees who enrolls for more than the state limit for excess hours must pay the extra tuition.  This requirement affects students initially enrolling in Texas public institutions of higher education Fall 1999 or later. For more information, complete rules for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board “TUITION FOR REPEATED OR EXCESSIVE UNDERGRADUATE HOURS” may be accessed at:  http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.54.htm#54.014
 
What are tuition costs for excess credit hours?  
For all affected students, TAMUK charges $100.00 per credit hour for each hour in excess of the excess credit hour limit.  For instance, if you plan to take six semester credit hours after exceeding your credit hour limit, you will be charged $600.00.  Please refer to the TAMUK 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog, pp. 73-74, for additional information.


How am I notified of my excess credit hours status?

Because only the THECB determines if a student is in an excess credit hour status, TAMUK receives semester reports from them to identify students either approaching or exceeding excess credit hour limits.  Once the Office of the Registrar receives this report from the THECB each semester, affected students are notified via their TAMUK student email in as timely a manner as possible.
 
What types of notifications are sent to alert students of excess credit hours status?

Two different notifications are emailed to students reported by the THECB.  They are:

APPROACHING  Excess Credit Hours Limit – This notification is to simply inform the student that, according to the most current THECB records, their credit hour status is within the excess credit hour limit (1-30 SCH for students enrolled Fall of 2006 or later;  1-45 SCH for students enrolled prior to Fall of 2006). 

EXCEEDING Excess Credit Hours Limit – This notification is emailed to students who are already exceeding the State mandated limit for SCH based on their degree plan requirements (31 or more SCH for students enrolled Fall of 2006 or later; 46 or more SCH for students enrolled prior to Fall of 2006). 

NOTE: The exact number of credit hours calculated to be within the “approaching” or “exceeding” categories must be requested of the THECB by the student, requiring a FERPA release form (see instructions cited below in question, "If I have exceeded my credit hour limit, what can I do?").


Can I continue to register for courses once I have reached or exceeded my credit hour limit?

Yes.  You may continue to register for additional coursework.  However, you will be subject to the $100 per credit hour fee charged for credit hours in excess of the state mandated semester credit hour limit.


Is TAMUK the only university who requires additional tuition for excess credit hours? 

No.  By law, all Texas institutions of higher learning are able to require additional tuition for excess credit hours, as the law limits how many credit hours the state will subsidize for an individual student.  The law affects all Texas public colleges and universities.
 
Since my first semester I attended was prior to 1999, am I still affected?

No. You will not be affected by the excessive credit hours rule.


Since I was not getting charged before, why am I being charged now?

TAMUK made the decision to implement this policy beginning  Spring 2013.  Therefore, all students who have been identified as having exceeded the excess credit hour limit will be charged the additional tuition.  The Texas Education Code Sec. 54.014 specifies that undergraduate students classified as Texas residents and non-resident students paying in-state tuition rates, who initially enrolled in Fall 1999 and subsequent semesters with excessive hours, may be charged, upon registration, an additional tuition rate per semester credit hour for all hours enrolled.
 
Will I be prorated for all my past hours that I have taken in excess prior to Spring 2013?

No. You will not be prorated for past hours you have taken in excess prior to Spring 2013.


If I have a waiver for my tuition payment, am I still subject to the excess credit hour rule?

Yes.  Excess credit hour limits affect all students.  Students having their tuition and fees paid by certain waivers (such as waiver for foster care, blind or deaf student, child of disabled fire/peace officer, peace officer, Hazelwood, and other waivers) are subject to excess credit hour tuition.  If the student has had tuition and fees waived, please provide that information to the Registrar’s office for consideration of your circumstances.  
 
Do all students have the same limit?

No.  The limit is determined by the number of hours in the major.  Students who have a double major may submit an appeal that is based on the total of both major hours needed.  The student needs to determine and indicate on the appeal form the number of hours the second major adds to the degree plan.  Students may consult with their academic advisor for assistance with this determination.


What if I have not yet declared a major?

An undergraduate student who is not enrolled in a degree program is considered to be enrolled in a degree program requiring a minimum of 120 semester credit hours.
 
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.


Does financial aid cover the excessive hour fee(s)?

No.  Financial aid does not cover excessive hour fee(s).  However, financial aid may be available.
 
If I have exceeded my credit hour limit, what can I do?

Meet with your academic advisor to carefully review your academic goals and current degree plan to determine if all future coursework planned is necessary toward your degree.  Financial aid may also be available for students who are required to pay additional tuition due to excess credit hours. 

If you feel there is an error in the number of semester credit hours reported, you may complete the FERPA Authorization Release Form – Excessive Credit Hours for submission to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, available in hard copy from the Javelina Enrollment Services Center, MSUB Room 132, or online at www.tamuk.edu/registrar/ located under “Forms,” and return to the Javelina Enrollment Services Center. 


How can I find out how many more hours I need to graduate or how many hours I have?

To find out how many hours you have, you may sign a FERPA waiver for Texas A&M University-Kingsville to contact the THECB (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) for an exact total of all hours attempted in your undergraduate career to date.  This is the state agency that keeps track of all hours from all Texas schools you have attended.  If the student refuses to sign a waiver, we will add up your transferred hours and institutional hours, which may not account for all hours attempted and, thus, may not be correct.  Only the THECB determines if a student is in an excess credit hour status.

To find out how many hours you have left to graduate, you can contact your academic advisor.


What if a student believes there is an error in calculating their credit hours?
If a student believes an error has been made in calculating undergraduate credit hours, they must visit the Javelina Enrollment Service Center, MSUB Room 132, and complete a FERPA release of records form to send to the THECB for obtaining a record of  their total credit hours. Once the form has been completed, the student will need to return it to the Enrollment Service Center.

As well, the student has the option to submit an appeal form to Texas A&M University-Kingsville. This form is also available at the Javelina Enrollment Service Center, or online at the TAMUK website under Quicklinks.  Select “Tuition & Fees,” then choose “Appeal Form” and register your appeal online with the TAMUK Business Office.

Until the final appeal decision has been made, the student is responsible for payment of their charges and any late fees that may apply for not paying their tuition and fees on time.

Back to Top