Tuition Surcharge

Are you planning to transfer to a 4-year university in North Carolina?

If so, you need to know that …

… in 1993, the NC General Assembly instructed the UNC Board of Governors to impose a tuition surcharge on students who a) take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a Baccalaureate degree in a four-year program, or b) take more than 110% of the credit hours needed for a five-year baccalaureate degree program.

  • This legislation emphasizes that the normal course load for a four-year degree is 120 credit hours and that students need to complete their degrees in a timely fashion. The current surcharge amount is 50% of university’s established tuition!
  • The surcharge is calculated upon ANY attempted credit hour, whether or not the student completes the classes, and/or even if a class is repeated. All attempted credit hours which exceed the 140-hour (or 110%) threshold will be counted by your destination N.C. university.
  • Example:  While in pursuit of his Associate degree, Jake “attempted” a total of 83 credit hours. During this time, he “officially” withdrew from three classes and failed another one, but he repeated that ‘failed’ class and passed (equaling 18 credit hours). He graduated from the A.A. program with 65 credit hours, all of which transferred to UNC-Asheville. In Asheville, he needed a minimum of 59 credit hours to obtain his Bachelor’s degree (65 + 59 = 124), however, during the two years he attended UNC-A, he withdrew from two other classes (seven hours credit). He hit the 140-hour “Surcharge” threshold one semester shy of graduation, thus for his final nine hours of study (83 + 7 + 59 = 149), Jake was charged the regular tuition rate for nine hours (approximately $1800) PLUS the 50% state surcharge (approximately $900), or $2700 for his final semester!

What could be done to avoid the surcharge?

  • Plan your TCCC class schedule carefully so that you remain on track to complete your Bachelor’s degree in the allotted time and without incurring the surcharge at the university level.
  • Confirm with your advisor that each course attempted counts toward your program requirements, and do not frivolously withdraw from any attempted class. Plus, if you take “extra" courses that do not meet program requirements in an attempt to maintain fulltime status, you will get into “surcharge” territory much faster after you arrive at the university.
  • Students with multiple majors at the community college level are most susceptible to exceed the “surcharge” threshold at the university. (For example, a student attempts numerous hours in an A.A.S. program before settling in the A.A. College Transfer program … BOTH sets of attempted hours, regardless of transferability, will count toward the “surcharge.”)
  • TCCC recommends that all of its university-bound students check the “tuition surcharge” policy of the specific senior institution he or she might attend.

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