Surcharge set for excess credit hours

In addition to setting tuition for 2007-08 at its Nov. 30-Dec. 1 meeting, the Arizona Board of Regents established a surcharge for undergraduate students who exceed a legislatively mandated threshold of credit hours.

The regents voted to implement a surcharge of 20 percent of resident undergraduate tuition. The surcharge would apply to both resident and nonresident undergraduate students. The additional charge would be based on a per-credit-hour charge for one to six credit hours. For students taking seven or more credit hours, the surcharge would be 20 percent of full-time tuition.

The credit-hour threshold was enacted by the Legislature in 2005. The thresholds are 155 hours for fiscal year 2006-07, 150 hours for 2007-08 and 145 hours thereafter.

Northern Arizona University has only 17 students who exceed the credit-hour threshold. The total for all three universities is 281.

Statutory amendments were enacted during the 2006 legislative session to provide a number of exemptions from the thresholds. The exemptions include:

  • degree programs that require credit hours above the threshold
  • credits earned in the pursuit of up to two baccalaureate degrees
  • credits earned in pursuit of up to two state-regulated licensures or certificates
  • credits earned in the pursuit of teaching certification
  • credits transferred from a private institution of higher education
  • credits transferred from an institution of higher education in another state
  • credits earned at another institution of higher education but that are not accepted as transfer credits at the university where the student is currently enrolled
  • credits earned by students who enroll at a public university in Arizona more than 24 months after the end of the student’s previous enrollment at a public university in Arizona.

In other action, the regents approved NAU’s proposed data network upgrade and expansion of the wireless network throughout campus. The estimated cost of the project over five years is $4.64 million.

The university also is requesting that the regents approve an increase in its information technology fee from $1 to $3 per credit hour (up to a maximum of 12 credit hours) to help fund the network upgrade and wireless expansion. The regents have postponed a decision on mandatory fees for the universities until their January meeting in Tempe.

NAU President John Haeger told the regents the university will need to proceed with the project regardless of whether the incremental fee increase is approved because of the information technology needs of campus.