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Undergraduate Funding Limit Rules

30 Hour Rule / 45 Hour Rule

This legislation is an attempt to offer a financial incentive to encourage students to complete degree programs in a timely manner by placing a limit on the number of hours a first-time undergraduate Texas resident may attempt while paying in-state tuition. Undergraduate students attempting hours in excess of what the rule allows are then subject to penalty for excessive hours.

This legislation is based on a student's attempted hours - not only hours completed or earned - which includes courses you may have failed, retaken, or dropped/withdrawn from after the official census date. Any courses a student attempted at Texas A&M-Commerce or any Texas public institution of higher education are counted toward the excessive hour limit whether or not the hours are accepted for transfer at Texas A&M-Commerce.

PLEASE NOTE: Although the 30/45 Hour Rule concerns excessive attempted hours, it is NOT the same as or related to Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy regarding the maximum time frame to complete a degree program. Students impacted by SAP should speak with their Financial Aid Advisor. 

If you are a Texas resident and you enrolled in any Texas public institution of higher education BEFORE Fall 1999, or if you are a student seeking a second bachelor's degree, you are exempt from the 30/45 Hour Rule. If you are a Texas resident and you initially enrolled in any Texas public institution of higher education in Fall 1999 or later, the following provision applies to you:

Students affected by the 45 Hour Rule

Undergraduate students who initially enrolled in a Texas public institution of higher education during Fall 1999 through Summer 2006, and have attempted 45 or more semester credit hours beyond the hours required to complete their degree, could be charged tuition not exceeding out-of-state tuition rates for these excess hours.

For example: If your approved degree plan requires 120 semester credit hours, and you are subject to the 45 Hour Rule, for every credit hour you attempt beyond 165 hours (120 + 45), you will be charged at the out-of-state tuition rate for each semester for which you enroll after you are exceeding.

Students affected by the 30 Hour Rule

Students who started Fall 2006 and thereafter and attempt 30 or more semester credit hours beyond the hours required to complete their degree could be charged tuition not exceeding out-of-state tuition rates for these excess hours. Students who have not selected a major are considered, by state law, to have degree requirements of 120 hours.

For example: If your approved degree plan requires 120 semester credit hours, and you are subject to the 30 Hour Rule, for every credit hour you attempt beyond 150 (120 + 30), you will be charged at the out-of-state tuition rate for each semester for which you enroll after you are exceeding.

The following types of hours are exempted from counting toward a student's attempted hours under both the 30 and 45 Hour Rule:

  • - hours attempted by the student before graduating from high school (dual credit)
  • - hours earned through credit by exam or similar method without registering for a course
  • - hours from developmental or remedial courses
  • - hours from workforce education or technical courses 
  • - hours attempted at an out of state or private institution
  • - hours that do not count toward a degree* at Texas A&M-Commerce
    • *NOTE: this means hours that do not count toward any degree at Texas A&M-Commerce. If the course in question is not applicable to your specific degree but is applicable to another degree offered, it is counted toward your attempted hours.

Students who are determined to be exceeding the 30/45 Hour Rule may appeal to have their excessive hours fee waived for a single semester by completing the 30/45 Hour Appeal Form. Students may only appeal once.


3-Peat Rule

This Legislation was passed by the State of Texas to discourage student from repeating courses unnecessarily. This has a financial impact on the students who repeat courses excessively.

Legislation also impacts funding rates for students based on the number of times they attempt particular courses. Texas residents attempting the same course for a third time since Fall 2002 will be charged an additional $125 per credit hour for that course. This provision is described in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules (Chapter 13, Subchapter B, §13.25).

Semester credit hours or contact hours attempted by students for the following types of coursework are exempt from the provision of this section:

Thesis and dissertation courses.

Courses that may be repeated for credit because they involve different or more advanced course content each time they are taken, including but not limited to: individual music lessons, Workforce Education Course Manual Special Topics courses (when the topic changes), theater practicum, music performance, ensembles, certain physical education and kinesiology courses, and studio art.

Independent study courses.

Special topics and seminar courses.

Continuing Education courses that must be repeated to retain professional certification.

Developmental Education coursework taken three or more times will be allowed; however, developmental coursework in excess of 18 hours is subject to additional charges.

*Attempted hours are calculated for courses in which a student is enrolled on official reporting day, which is 12th class day during the fall and spring semesters, 4th class day during summer semesters, and 2nd class day during mini semesters. In other words, if you enroll in a course and subsequently drop it, the hours that you attempted but did not complete will count toward the limit imposed by this policy. If you intend to drop a course, you must do so before the end of the official reporting day of the semester to avoid having that course count in your total number of attempted hours. That is, only when you drop before the end of the official reporting day will the hours NOT count toward the 3-Peat imposed by this policy. 

You may appeal this rule by filling out the 3 Peat Appeal Form


6-Drop Rule

Students who enroll as entering freshmen or first-time college students in undergraduate courses offered through an affected institution of higher education for the first time during the Fall 2007 semester or any subsequent semester are subject to the course drop limit of six course drops including any course a transfer student has dropped at another affected institution.

INSTITUTIONS AFFECTED

Texas public community colleges, technical institutes/colleges, health science institutions offering undergraduate course work, and universities must comply with the legislation of TEC 51.907.

STUDENTS AFFECTED

Students who enroll as entering freshmen or first-time in college students in undergraduate courses offered through an affected institution of higher education for the first time during the Fall 2007 semester or any subsequent  semester are subject to the course drop limit restrictions. Transfer students who first enrolled at a Texas public institution during the Fall 2007 semester or subsequent semester are considered first time in college and are affected by the six course drop limit. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree at any recognized public or private institution are not considered affected students whether or not taking additional undergraduate courses.

COURSE DROP DEFINITION

A course drop, which will be recorded on the transcript, is defined as an affected credit course not completed by an undergraduate student who:

  1. is enrolled in the course at the official date of record, which is 12th class day during the fall and spring semesters, 4th class day during summer semesters, and 2nd class day during mini semesters, and
  2. will receive a non-punitive grade of Q.

WITHDRAWAL DEFINITION

A student is considered to have withdrawn from the institution when the student drops all courses during the semester.

EXCLUDED COURSES FROM LIMIT

Drops from the following types of courses are excluded from the course drop limit:

  1. Courses taken by students while enrolled in high school - whether for dual credit, early college credit, or for college credit alone.
  2. Courses dropped at private or out-of-state institutions.
  3. Remedial or developmental courses, workforce education courses, or other courses that would not generate academic credit that could be applied to a degree.
  4. Aerospace Studies courses not eligible for formula funding.
  5. Courses taken as required co-requisites such as a lecture class with a required laboratory are counted as one drop whether or not identified as separate courses or as separate sections of a course.
  6. Courses which meet the definition of complete withdrawal.