Students to face possible tuition raise
Published: Monday, November 13, 2006
Updated: Sunday, October 17, 2010 08:10
Starting in the Spring 2007 Semester, some students may have to pay higher tuition rates.
More and more students are entering college unsure of what they want to major in. Many change their major at least once before graduating. Many students come to college wanting to experiment with different areas and see what they like.
Also, a lot of students believe if they take a class, they can drop it and retake it as many times as they need to. This, however, is not true.
Because of legislation passed in Texas several years ago, the SFA Board of Regents has approved a new rule penalizing students who continue to take the same class over and over again. Starting next semester, students will be required to pay an additional $100 per credit hour for any class he or she takes for the third time.
According to Annie Uhyrek, bursar in the business office, the tuition and fees that students pay each year only cover a portion of the cost SFA needs to operate. The state government contributes other funding, based on a formula which takes into account a variety of factors.
According to the information the business office posted on SFA's web site, "The Texas Legislature eliminated funding to universities of higher education for students enrolled in courses that are attempted three or more times. An attempted course is defined as any course in which a grade is earned on the transcript or courses dropped after the census date."
Students have until the 12th class day in the fall or spring and the fourth class day in the summer to drop a course. Any courses dropped before these days will not count as a repeated course. Only courses dropped after this day or courses in which a grade was received will be counted.
Besides the newer three-peat rule, there is an older rule that many students are not aware of that has been in existence for several years. Students need 130 hours to graduate and get a degree from SFA. Legislation passed by Texas in the Texas Education Code Section 54.068 states that "the board may not include funding for semester credit hours earned by a resident undergraduate student who before the semester or other academic sessions begins has previously attempted a number of semester credit hours for courses taken at an institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes that exceeds by at least 30 hours the number of semester credit hours required for a completion of the degree program in which the student in enrolled."
In other words, once a student has taken more than 160 hours, the state no longer reimburses SFA for those hours. Any student who enrolled at SFA after the fall of 1999 and before the summer of 2006 will have to pay out of state tuition once that student reaches 160 hours or more.
The new legislation gives students only an additional 30 hours (over the 130 required for graduation) to take electives or change their major. Any student enrolled after the summer of 2006 will have to pay out of state tuition once that student reaches 160 hours or more.
"The state is giving students 45 hours of room to take electives or change their major," Uhyrek said.
However, some students, such as Junior Ryan Mooney from Sacremento, Calif., and founder of Seathe-Students for Economic Accountability in Texas Higher Education- do not think it's fair for the government to set a limit on how much schooling a student can have.
"When we see tuition rise at a rate of 15 percent per year because the exact same legislature voted to deregulate tuition, then what can we say about this legislature's priorities?" Mooney said. "They have deregulated tuition and now they're capping the amount of classes we can take. Students don't like this and it's ironic because we continue to vote this republican controlled legislature into office."
The SFA business office does not want students to be caught unawares by this legislation. This rule has been in effect for a while at SFA. However, despite it being included in the General Bulletin and the business office sending out e-mails and contacting students who begin to reach their limit on hours, many students still do not know about this.
SFA's business office wants students to be as aware as possible ahead of time. For more information concerning either three-peat or excessive credit hours, students can log onto http://www.sfasu.edu/tutionwarning or call the business office at 936-468-1000.