Understanding the Law
In 2009, the Florida Legislature implemented Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes to encourage students to complete their baccalaureate degree as quickly and efficiently as possible. It established what is commonly referred to as an Excess Credit Hour Surcharge. The law requires universities to add a surcharge fee to each credit hour taken in excess of the total number of credit hours required to complete the degree being pursued. At Florida Polytechnic University all baccalaureate degree programs require 120 credit hours.
The amount in excess of the total hours is calculated based on a percentage defined in the law and is referred to by Florida Poly as the Excess Hours Threshold. The amount charged per credit hour is a calculated amount referred to as the Surcharge Fee. The surcharge fee is only assessed on the base tuition portion of the semester cost per hour, not on additional fees (i.e. Technology fee, Health Fee, etc.).
|Students entering as FTIC SUS* or FTIC FCS*||Threshold %||Excess Hours Threshold (for 120 credit degree)||Surcharge Fee % (of base tuition)|
|Prior to Fall 2009||Exempt||Exempt||Exempt|
|Fall 2009-Summer 2011||120%||144 credit hours||50%|
|Fall 2011-Summer 2012||115%||138 credit hours||100%|
|Fall 2012-Spring 2019||110%||132 credit hours||100%|
|Summer 2019 and thereafter||120%||144 credit hours||100%|
Students who first enter a FCS or SUS in Fall 2012 and thereafter who fail to maintain continuous enrollment will be subject to the Excess Credit Hours Threshold and surcharge in effect for the semester in which they return.
Effective July 1, 2018, Florida Poly will refund the assessed excess hour surcharge, for up to 12 credit hours, to any student who enrolls in a state university as a first-time-in-college student and completes a baccalaureate degree program at Florida Poly within 4 years after his or her initial enrollment. Students are required to pay any Surcharge Fees assessed by the published fee payment deadline for the applicable term. Eligible Surcharge Fees that have been paid will be refunded after degrees have been awarded and the 4 year period has been verified by the Registrar’s Office.
Under Florida law, the following credit hours will count towards the Excess Hours Threshold:
- Failed courses
- Hours dropped after the University’s drop/add period (see Academic Calendar)
- Courses from which a student withdraws
- Repeated courses. Exception: repeated courses for which the student has paid the repeat course surcharge as provided in Section 1009.285, Florida Statutes
- All credit earned at another institution and accepted for transfer and applied towards your major at the time you were admitted to Florida Poly
Under Florida law, the following credit hours do not count towards the Excess Hours Threshold:
- College credit earned through articulated accelerated mechanisms such as AP, IB, CLEP, AICE, or dual enrollment
- Credit hours earned through internship
- Credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs
- Courses from which the student withdraws for reasons of medical or personal hardship
- Credit taken by active-duty military personnel
- Credit hours taken to achieve a double-major while pursuing a baccalaureate degree
- Remedial and English-as-a-second-language credit hours
- Credit hours earned while participating in a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) program
What this means for Florida Poly Students
Every undergraduate student will have a transfer credit evaluation completed by the end of their first term of enrollment. The evaluation will identify any external credit (i.e., transfer courses and/or accelerated credit) that will be applied to the degree program the student is admitted into. If external credit is exempt as outlined in the Excess Hours statute, it will be appropriately excluded from your Excess Hours Counter.
If you believe that you have external credit that is not being appropriately applied towards your Excess Hours Counter, please complete the Excess Credit Hours Appeal Form prior to the end of your first term of enrollment.
The Registrar’s Office will send students a notification of their current progress once they have earned 120 credit hours and then again once they have crossed their Excess Hours Threshold.
Students can actively keep track of their current progress each term by accessing the Excess Credit Dashboard link in their CAMS portal (coming soon!). Students who have crossed their Excess Hours Threshold will also be able to see the Surcharge Fee amount they will need to pay each semester by accessing their ledger in the CAMS portal.
Important Note: Once the original transfer credit evaluation has been completed, the courses that are determined to be degree applicable will always be included in the Excess Hour Counter even if you change to a major in which they are no longer degree applicable. In most cases like this, everything that was used in the initial review will remain in your counter. Those new courses that are NOW degree applicable will be added to your counter.
Do you have questions about this Law?
Please contact the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding the credit that is or is not counting towards your Excess Hours Counter.
If you have questions about how you are billed for the Surcharge Fee and how it can be paid please contact Student Business Services at email@example.com.
If you would like to contact the State of Florida to ask questions about this policy, you can find contact information here.
To provide feedback regarding this law, contact your legislator.
Frequently Asked Questions
External Credit – Any credit earned outside of Florida Polytechnic University as transfer, exam or transient work which is accepted and applied towards the student’s initial degree (major) at Florida Poly.
Threshold Percent – The percentage of degree program credit hours that you are allowed to attempt before you will be charged the excess hour surcharge.
Excess Hours Threshold – The maximum number of attempted credit hours before entering Excess Hours.
Excess Hours – The number of credit hours attempted after surpassing your Excess Hours Threshold.
Excess Hours Counter – An ongoing credit hour counter that includes external credit and credit hours that you have attempted while attending Florida Poly.
Surcharge Fee Percent – The total percent of tuition that you will be charged for exceeding the Excess Hour Threshold.
Surcharge Fee – The surcharge fee amount that you are being assessed for excess hours.
Continuous Enrollment – Registration in courses at the University for two (2) Consecutive Semesters, not including summer semesters.
The University is working towards developing an Excess Credit Dashboard within CAMS for students to view their information regularly. In the meantime, the Registrar’s Office will send information via email to students regarding their current status.
Students who have crossed their Excess Hours Threshold and are subject to the Surcharge Fee will be able to see the fee amount assessed in the”My Ledger” section in CAMS.
When you elect to change your major, it is possible that your new major selection will change which courses are degree applicable. Any new courses that are now part of your new major will be added to your counter in addition to courses that were previously included in your counter under your old major.
Changing your major, concentration or catalog year will not impact the Excess Hours Threshold or Surcharge Fee Percent that was established upon your first enrollment at Florida Poly.
Before changing your major, speak with your Academic Success Coach (firstname.lastname@example.org), about how a major change may impact your excess hour counter.
All coursework taken as a Transfer/Transient student outside of Florida Poly will contribute to your Excess Hours Counter once the credit has been received and applied to your degree.
Transient students who have crossed their Excess Hours Threshold will be assessed a Surcharge Fee by Florida Poly for the degree applicable credit requested in the FloridaShines application. This fee must be paid by Florida Poly’s fee payment deadline. If the transient credit requested is not completed or transferred back to be applied to your degree at Florida Poly, you may contact Student Business Services at email@example.com to request a refund of the surcharge fee paid.
Yes, graduate courses are included in your Excess Credit Hour counter if they are being used towards your baccalaureate degree. Credit that is only used for the graduate degree will be excluded.
The University will exclude internship hours automatically from your excess credit total whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to identify an internship on the academic record of a student, especially when taken at another institution. If you feel that your excess credit hour total includes internship hours, you should submit an appeal for an adjustment to your Excess Credit Hour total. Directed individual studies and other one-on-one instructional course are not considered internship under this law.
No, an institution cannot waive the fee under any circumstances. The language of the statute is mandatory.
With that said, students may request an adjustment of the courses included in their Excess Hours Counter by completing the Excess Credit Hours Appeal Form.
Appeals of the initial counter determination must be received during your first 12 months at Florida Poly, no exceptions. Under Florida Law, appeals to the initial counter total that are received after the first 12 months of enrollment cannot be considered.
The Excess Hours Surcharge relates to Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes that requires universities to add a surcharge to each credit hour taken in excess of the total number of credit hours required to complete the degree being pursued.
The Repeat Course Surcharge relates to Section 1009.285, Florida Statutes that require a student enrolled in the same undergraduate college-credit course more than twice (third time of enrollment in same course) shall pay tuition at 100% of the full cost of instruction. Repeated courses for which the student has paid the repeat course surcharge will not count towards Excess Hours Surcharge.
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