Excess Credit Hour Surcharge
What is it? In 2009, the Florida Legislature implemented Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes to encourage students to complete their baccalaureate degree as quickly and efficiently as possible. It established what is commonly referred to as an "Excess Credit Hour Surcharge." The bill requires universities to add a surcharge to each credit hour taken in excess of the total number of credit hours required to complete the degree being pursued. The amount in excess of the total hours is calculated based on a percentage defined in law and is referred to by Florida State University as the threshold percentage. The amount charged per credit hour is a calculated amount referred to as the surcharge.
If you entered college as an undergraduate between and including Fall 2009 and Summer 2011, you are subject to a threshold percentage of 120%. For example, if you are in a degree program that requires 120 semester hours to graduate, you will be subject to the excess credit hour surcharge for any credits taken after you reach 144 semester hours (120% of 120 semester hours).
If you entered college as an undergraduate between and including Fall 2011 and Summer 2012, you are subject to a threshold percentage of 115%. For example, if you are in a degree program that requires 120 semester hours to graduate, you will be subject to the excess credit hour surcharge for any credits taken after you reach 138 semester hours (115% of 120 semester hours).
In 2012 the Legislature modified the statute and changed the threshold to 110% for students entering in Fall 2012 or later. For example, if you are in a degree program that requires 120 semester hours to graduate, you will be subject to the excess credit hour surcharge for any credits taken after you reach 132 semester hours (110% of 120 semester hours). Furthermore, the Legislature added language that states that students who break enrollment, defined by FSU as a break in enrollment that requires readmission, are subject to the current thresholds and surcharges in effect for the semester they return to the University. Depending on future legislative changes, there could be lower thresholds or higher surcharge costs for students that break enrollment.
Note: The excess credit hour surcharge law applies to all degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolling at Florida State University, regardless of their classification as in-state or out-of-state, receipt of financial aid, or waiver type.
How much extra will I have to pay? The surcharge percentage is determined by your start date. It is calculated using the base tuition rate. For in-state students, this would be the normal tuition rate. In the case of out-of-state students, it is calculated on the base tuition rate and does not include the out-of-state fee. For example, if the in-state tuition rate is $100 and the out-of-state fee is $300, then out-of-state students who have excess hours would have the surcharge amount calculated on $100, not $400. The out-of state fee of $300 would be added on to the base tuition rate and surcharge amount.
If you started between and including Fall 2009 and Summer 2011, the surcharge is 50% of the normal tuition rate. For example, one semester hour of credit may cost $173.26; however, if it is subject to the excess credit hour surcharge, the same one semester hour of credit will cost $221.10. (Note: The cost is not $259.89 because the 50% surcharge is assessed only on the tuition portion of the semester hour cost, not on the fees.)
If you started in Fall 2011 or later, the surcharge is 100% of the normal tuition rate. For example, one semester hour of credit may cost $173.26; however, if it is subject to the excess credit hour surcharge, the same one semester hour of credit will cost $273.26.
Note: Tuition rates above are for example purposes only. Visit http://controller.vpfa.fsu.edu/Student-Financial-Services/SFS-For-Students/Tuition-Rates for the most current tuition rates.
What credits count towards the threshold percentage? Essentially, all credit hours that you have taken in college count, including courses you fail; courses you drop after the end of drop/add; withdrawals; repeats; and transfer credit that you may have earned at another institution.
Are there any credits that do not count towards the threshold percentage? The law stipulates that the following credits do not count towards the threshold: credits earned through an articulated accelerated mechanism such as AP, IB, AICE, or dual enrollment; withdrawals due to medical or personal hardship; credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs; credit hours taken by active-duty military personnel; credit hours required to achieve a dual major taken while pursuing a baccalaureate degree; remedial and English as a Second Language credit hours; and credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program.
How do I find out how many of my credits count towards the percentage threshold? At Florida State, we have created an excess credit hour counter. It will track the number of credits that you have earned that apply towards the percentage threshold. Your personal counter will be created during the admissions process and it will follow you throughout your academic career with us. It will be updated automatically each time you enroll in or earn credit that counts towards the percentage threshold. Your personal counter can be viewed on your unofficial transcript at http://campus.fsu.edu/ (from Secure Apps, click My Unofficial Transcript).