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Excessive Hours

Too Many Undergraduate Credit Hours—Extra Tuition Charge

Texas Education Code § 54.014 specifies that undergraduate students who enrolled for the first time in Fall 1999 or later may be subject to a higher tuition rate if they attempt excess hours at any Texas public institution of higher education. This policy applies to students classified as:

  • Texas residents
  • Non-Texas residents, who have received a tuition waiver and pay resident tuition

How much is the excess tuition charge?

UHCL charges a tuition recovery rate of $130 per semester credit hour in excess of the credit hour limit. Students who exceed this limit will be placed under mandatory advising.

First Enrolled in a Texas Public Institution of Higher Education Enrollment Cap
(Hours allowed in excess of those required for a degree plan before the fee is charged)
Prior to Fall 1999 No Cap/No excess hour fee
Fall 1999 through Summer 2006 45 hours
Fall 2006 and later 30 hours

Which hours count and which do not?

Courses attempted at any Texas public institution of higher education will be counted toward the excess hour calculation. These include:

  • Courses in which a grade is earned and recorded on the transcript; these courses do not have to be part of the student’s degree plan
  • Courses dropped with a grade of “WX” or “WQ”

The following types of credit hours do not count toward the limit:

  • Credit hours earned after completing a baccalaureate degree
  • Credit hours earned through examination (AP or CLEP)
  • Credit hours earned through remedial and developmental courses
  • Credit hours taken at a private or an out-of-state institution
  • Credit hours earned before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements
  • Credit hours excluded from the academic record under the Academic Fresh Start program

Access to Records

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (CB) provides the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a student's name when a student's total attempted hours exceed the enrollment cap. However, the CB does not provide the university with the exact number of excess hours. Students who would like additional details must complete the  45/30 Hour Permission Release form and return it to UHCL's Office of the Registrar. This release form allows UHCL to contact the CB on a student’s behalf, and request the exact number of hours he/she has attempted at all Texas public colleges and universities. Upon receipt, this information will be forwarded to the student’s academic advisor, who will then contact the student for an appointment. 

Waiver Requests

The Texas Education Code allows hardship waivers of the Tuition Recovery Fee. To be considered for a waiver, the student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University of Houston-Clear Lake (School Code: 011711). UHCL will use the FAFSA to determine a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC will be used to determine if a hardship waiver is warranted.

To File an Excessive Tuition Fee Appeal

Students can email: (Cecelia Alongi – Financial Aid counselor)  

Please submit the following information via email: 

  • Full Name 
  • Student ID 
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Brief statement as to why it would be a financial hardship 

Students will need to submit a request each term they are enrolled.  


  • Office of the Registrar

    Phone: 281-283-2525
    Fax: 281-226-7230

    SSCB 3203
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Office hours:
    Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.