Schools to Charge More for Excess Credit Hours

Nov 19, 2012

Utah College students who might be dragging their feet in completing their degrees have a new incentive from Utah’s Higher Education officials to hunker down and graduate sooner: higher fees. The Utah State Board of Regents on Friday tightened the state’s policy on excess credit hours.

College students in Utah’s public education system already pay some additional tuition and fees if they accumulate credit hours beyond a certain threshold. But the board of regents decided on Friday to reduce that threshold and allow schools to charge students double tuition if they exceed it.

Pamela Silberman is a spokesperson for Utah’s System of Higher Education. She Says students often explore academically before deciding on a major, which can put them over the limit.

“If students are taking classes not so much because it’s going to contribute to their major but it’s going to contribute to their intellectual development," Silberman says. "Certainly they should have the opportunity to do that as well. But it helps keep students on track to graduation for them to realize if they’re not focused on completion, they may end up spending a lot more money.”

Under the new policy, students will be allowed a 5th year of school, but not beyond that without possibly incurring a surcharge. Silberman adds colleges and universities can choose not to implement the charge.

Students will be notified of the new policy as they enter the higher education system.