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Excess Credit Hours

Excess Credit-Hour Surcharge Defined

In 2009, the Florida Legislature implemented Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes, to encourage students to complete the baccalaureate degree as efficiently as possible. It established what is known as the Excess Credit-Hour Surcharge. The law requires universities to add a surcharge to every credit hour taken in excess of the total number of credit hours required to complete the pursued degree.

A student becomes subject to the surcharge after exceeding the excess credit-hour threshold, which is the number of hours the Legislature determines to be excessive. This excess is calculated based on a percentage (ranging from 110–120 percent) beyond the number of hours the student's degree program requires.

The surcharge is a percentage of the amount charged for one credit hour, and it is assessed in addition to tuition and fees. Both the threshold and the surcharge percentage are calculated based on when the student initially enrolled in a Florida college or university after the completion of high school, as noted below.

(Please see the FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions about the excess credit-hour surcharge.)

How Does This Affect You?

 If you entered a Florida college or university for the first time after high school:   Your threshold is:   Your surcharge is: 
 Between and including Fall 2009 and Summer 2011  120% of the hours required for your declared degree program  50% of the matriculation fee (base in-state tuition amount) for each hour over the threshold.
 Between and including Fall 2011 and Summer 2012  115% of the hours required for your declared degree program  100% of the matriculation fee (base in-state tuition amount) for each hour over the threshold.
 Fall 2012 and Spring 2019  110% of the hours required for your declared degree program  100% of the matriculation fee (base in-state tuition amount) for each hour over the threshold.
 Summer 2019 and later  120% of the hours required for your declared degree program  100% of the matriculation fee (base in-state tuition amount) for each hour over the threshold.

For example, if you graduated high school in May 2011 and immediately enrolled at FSU in the Summer 2011 term, your threshold is 120% of your declared program (144 hours if enrolled in a 120 hour degree program) and your surcharge would be an additional 50% for each credit hour you enroll in once your counter reaches 145 or higher.

In 2012, the Legislature added language that states undergraduate students who break enrollment—defined by FSU as a break in enrollment requiring readmission—are subject to the current thresholds and surcharges in effect for the semester they return to the university. Depending on future legislation, lower thresholds and higher surcharges could occur for students who break enrollment.

NOTE: The excess 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.

Credit That Counts Toward the Threshold Defined

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. However, the law stipulates that the following credits do not count toward the threshold:

  • credit hours earned through internship (Please note that the Florida state legislature does not recognize practicums and field research as part of the internship exclusion).
  • 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 double major/dual degree.
  • credit hours taken for remediation or English as a second language.
  • credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program.
  • transfer-credit hours, if those hours do not apply to the student's declared major when they initially enroll at FSU. Such appeals must be made within the first 12 months of enrollment.

Additionally, students who began college at a school in the State University System Fall 2014 or later and who gradate within four years with a baccalaureate degree can have up to 12 excess credit hours removed when their degree posts.

If you think your excess credit counter includes hours earned through any of the means noted above, please submit the Excess Credit Hours Appeal Form to the Office of the University Registrar.

The Excess Credit-Hour Counter Defined

The excess credit-hour counter tracks the number of credits you have earned that apply toward the percentage threshold. Your personal counter is created during the admissions process and it follows you throughout your academic career with FSU. It is updated automatically each time you enroll in or earn credit that counts toward the percentage threshold. Note that you can review your personal counter by logging on to and clicking the SC icon. Next, in your Student Center, click the Academics link to see the counter.

The counter updates as new information is received. For example, final transcripts and AP credit are items the counter reflects in its total. While this information is preliminary, we think it will be helpful as you begin mapping your college career.

When all of your final transcripts and documents are received, the Admissions office notifies you to check your personal excess credit-hour counter. You are encouraged to review the credits counted to ensure all of you credits were received and correctly counted. If you review that number and believe some credits may be exempt under law, you may submit an appeal.

Calculation of Accelerated Credit Defined

If you bring accelerated credit (AP, IB, AICE, CLEP, high school dual enrollment credit, and so on), this credit is exempt by law from being included in your excess credit counter. This is why you may see a discrepancy between the hours you have already earned toward you degree and the total credits reflected in your personal excess credit counter.

For example, if you enroll at FSU immediately after high school, and you have 6 hours of AP credit and 6 hours of dual-enrollment credit, your student record looks like this:

 Hours Attempted   Hours Earned   Excess Credit Counter 
 12  12  0

You have twelve hours of credit earned toward your baccalaureate degree and none of the credits are counted toward your excess credit-hour total.

Calculation of Transfer Credit Defined

College credit that you earn after high school graduation is considered transfer credit, and it is evaluated to determine what is applicable to a degree at FSU. Specifically, this evaluation is a determination of whether the coursework is acceptable for credit at FSU. Generally speaking, all college credits taken at an accredited institution are transferable. However, some transfer coursework may be excluded from your excess credit-hour counter for the following reasons:

  • it is determined that the credit is vocational
  • it is determined that the credit is remedial (that is, below college level)
  • the grade earned in the course is not accepted for credit at FSU (for example, a grade of F)
  • withdrawn courses
  • courses that were repeated prior to enrollment at FSU, if it is determined that the course is not repeatable for credit