UCF SGA Senate fights excess credit surcharge
Imagine paying more than $1,200 per class. Some students at UCF are having to do just that and the Student Government Association is taking action.
A resolution was passed in the SGA Senate showing its opposition to the current excess credit surcharge placed by the Florida state legislature, which charges students double the normal tuition rate for each credit in excess of 132 credits.
This surcharge rate of more than $1,200 per class applies to students who entered the university in 2012 or later.
"So one credit hour is $212, so if you're paying double tuition that is $424 which adds up to over $1,200 for one class," said Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Alanna Fulk. "And for a lot of students, that's a financial burden."
The resolution was presented by Fulk and Sen. Kevin Diatezua. For Diatezua, he hopes that the resolution will get students' attention so that they are aware of the excess credit surcharge's importance.
The surcharge applies to failed courses, classes dropped after the drop/add period, classes that a student withdraws from, repeated courses and all credits earned at another institution that are accepted for transfer and applied toward a student's major.
"I think that there's different situations that would make [the surcharge] a burden," Diatezua said. He mentioned that if a student is an undeclared major for a long period of time or if students need to take classes over the summer to fulfill a requirement, these could add to the list of things that could hurt students.
The resolution passed by the Senate doesn't aim to eliminate the surcharge, but return it to the rate that existed in 2009.
"That is what we thought had been the best path of action because a lot of other states do have limits on excess credit hours," Fulk said. "But we felt that the one in Florida doesn't really allow students to take extra classes."
The 2009 rate was an excess hour surcharge equal to 50 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 144 credits.
This would up the cost of classes to $954.
The resolution will be sent to the Florida Board of Governors, Florida Senate Education Committee, Florida House Education Committee, University of Central Florida Board of Trustees, UCF President John C. Hitt and Vice President Maribeth Ehasz.
The effect the resolution will have once it's sent to these committees is unclear.
"It will go to the committees that affect the bill. We hope that it has an impact," Fulk said. "We'll send it to them and they'll receive the resolution and we're expressing to them how we feel, but we can't force anything."
Surcharge would apply to:
· Failed courses
· Classes dropped after add/drop period
· Class withdrawals
· Repeated courses
· Credits earned at another institution