Undergraduate students who elect to take more than 140 degree-credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree or more than 110% of the credit hours necessary to complete a five-year program will be subject to a 50% tuition surcharge as required by North Carolina General Statute §116-143.7. Click here to view a copy of the Tuition Surcharge Guidelines.
Specifically, the legislation states:
Effective beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year, the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina shall impose a fifty percent (50%) tuition surcharge on students who take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program or more than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the credit hours necessary to complete a baccalaureate degree in any program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program. Courses and credit hours taken include those taken at that constituent institution or accepted for transfer. In calculating the number of degree credit hours taken:
- Included are courses that a student:
- Does not complete unless the course was officially dropped by the student pursuant to the academic policy of the appropriate constituent institution.
- Excluded are credit hours earned through:
- The College Board's Advanced Placement Program, CLEP examinations, or similar programs.
- Institutional advanced placement, course validation, or any similar procedure for awarding course credit.
- Summer term or extension programs.
No surcharge shall be imposed on any student who exceeds the degree credit hour limits within the equivalent of four academic years of regular term enrollment or within five academic years of regular term enrollment in a degree program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.
Tuition Surcharge Waiver Procedure
Tuition surcharge is a fee required by the General Administration of the University of North Carolina System and is not an ECU fee. There is not an appeal process for this fee, but there is an option to request a waiver of the tuition surcharge if your situation meets one of the following:
Military Service Obligation - shall mean the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in connection with service in the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard including, but not limited to; active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, and inactive duty training.
Serious Medical Debilitation- shall mean an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition requiring; (a) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or (b) continuing treatment by a health care provider; provided that such incapacity did not result from the student’s violation of University policy or the commission of a felony.
Disability - shall mean a mental or physical incapacity that causes the performance of the student’s academic commitments to become impossible or impractical; provided that such incapacity did not result from the student’s violation of University policy or the commission of a felony
Other Extraordinary Hardship- shall mean hardship of any kind which, despite responsible handling, resulted in the substantial disruption or interruption of the student’s pursuit of a degree.
Waiver requests that do not fall into one of the four categories will not be considered. Supporting documentation along with the Tuition Surcharge Waiver Form is required for all waivers. The following are examples of the types of supporting documents needed for each of the four categories:
- Military Service Obligation - Verification of the student’s voluntary or involuntary performance of a duty in connection with service in the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard including, but not limited to; active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, and inactive duty training.
- Serious Medical Debilitation - Certification issued by the treating health care professional(s) stating each of the following:
- The approximate date on which the Serious Medical Debilitation commenced.
- The extent to which the serious medical condition has impacted the student’s pursuit of a degree.
- The relevant and appropriate medical facts regarding the condition.
- Disability - Certification issued by the treating health care professional(s) stating each of the following:
- The approximate date on which the Short-Term Disability commenced.
- The extent to which the student’s physical or mental incapacity has impacted the student’s pursuit of a degree.
- The relevant and appropriate medical facts regarding the condition.
- That, to the best of the treating health care professional’s knowledge the student’s disability is not permanent.
- Other Extraordinary Hardship - Verification of any circumstances which, despite responsible handling, led to the substantial disruption or interruption of the student’s pursuit of a degree.
Waivers must be received and post marked no later than 30 business days of receiving notice of the tuition surcharge. Students will be notified within 30 business days of the receipt of the waiver request of the committee's decision. All waiver requests must be submitted via e-mail to CAS@ecu.edu, fax at (252) 328-4232, or mailed to:
East Carolina University
Office of the Registrar
201 Whichard Building
Greenville, NC 27858
- Who is affected by the tuition surcharge?
- Students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a program that requires no more than 128 credit hours who take more than 140 credit hours.
- Students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a board-approved program that requires more than 128 credit hours will be charged for all credit hours that exceed 110% of credit hours required for the degree.
- Students earning an undergraduate degree other than their first will be charged 110% of the minimum additional credit hours needed to earn the degree.
- What counts in the 140 s.h. allowed before the surcharge applies?
- Courses taken at ECU including repeated courses, failed courses, transfer credit hours, and grade replacements.
- Is there anything that doesn't count in the 140 s.h.-limit?
- The following are excluded from the 140 s.h.-limit: AP and CLEP credit, credit by examination, institutional advanced placement credit, summer term credits, and credits earned through the degree-credit extension division at ECU or any UNC institution.
- How will transfer credit affect the 140 s.h.-limit?
- All transfer credits will count toward the 140 s.h.-limit except credit earned in summer school at ECU or at another UNC school.
- What if a student has over 140 s.h. but graduates in 4 years or less?
- The 140 s.h.-limit applies only to students who take longer than eight regular term semesters to earn a 4-year baccalaureate degree or ten regular term semesters in a degree program designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.
- How much will the tuition surcharge be?
- If a student has 140 s.h. or more, the surcharge is 50% of his other tuition (only tuition, not fees). The surcharge applies to in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition.
- If a student has 130 s.h. of credit and enrolls for 15 s.h., will he or she have to pay a surcharge? How will it be computed?
- Yes, the student will have to pay a surcharge. He or she will be charged the tuition surcharge in the first semester in which enrollment exceeds140 s.h. The amount of the surcharge is based on the number of hours in excess of 140 s.h. (The exact amount depends on the number of hours for which the student is enrolled and the number of excess hours.)
- What happens if a student's degree program requires over 128 s.h.?
- The tuition surcharge applies when he or she exceeds 110% of the required hours for the degree.
- Is there an appeal process for tuition surcharge?
- There is not an appeal process for this fee, but there is an option to request a waiver of the tuition surcharge.