Tuition Surcharge

Undergraduate students who initially enrolled at Appalachian in the fall, 1994 and thereafter, must comply with North Carolina Session Law 321-89 (Senate Bill 27) and 769-17.10 (Senate Bill 1505). In 2009, the General Assembly (Senate Bill 202 - Section 9.10b) increased the surcharge rate from 25% to 50%, beginning Fall 2010. This legislation requires a tuition surcharge of fifty percent (50%) on: 1) all credit hours in excess of one hundred and forty (140) when taken as part of the student's first baccalaureate degree; and 2) all credit hours in excess of one hundred and ten percent (110%) of the number required for a second or subsequent baccalaureate degree. Included in the calculation of surcharge hours will be 1) all coursework attempted at Appalachian (i.e., courses earned, courses failed, courses repeated, and courses dropped after the UNC system "census" date published in the academic calendar), and 2) all coursework transferred to Appalachian from other institutions. Excluded from the calculation will be credit by examination, advance placement credit, military credit and credit earned through an extension program or during the summer at any member institution of the University of North Carolina. (Note: Every baccalaureate degree at Appalachian requires a minimum of 122 credit hours; Appalachian does not offer a baccalaureate degree that requires more than 128 credit hours.)

  1. This policy applies to all undergraduate students at ASU who are in a degree program and have completed at least eight semesters of college or university study since high school graduation.
  2. The Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina shall impose a fifty percent (50%) tuition surcharge on students who take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program or more than one hundred ten percent (110%) of the credit hours necessary to complete a baccalaureate degree in any program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.
  3. No surcharge shall be imposed on any student who exceeds the degree credit hour limits within the equivalent of four academic years of regular term enrollment or within five academic years of regular term enrollment in a degree program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.
  4. Students who matriculated into the university prior to fall 1994 are exempt from surcharge eligibility.

The tuition surcharge is applied to undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program at ASU as follows:

  1. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a program that requires no more than 128 credit hours, the surcharge shall be applied to all surcharge-applicable hours in excess of 140.
  2. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a UNC Board of Governors Board-approved program that requires more than 128 credit hours, the surcharge shall be applied to all surcharge-applicable hours that exceed 110 percent of the credit hours required for the degree. Such programs include those that have been officially designated by the Board of Governors as five-year programs as well as those involving double majors, or combined bachelor's/master's degrees.
  3. For students earning a baccalaureate degree other than their first, the surcharge shall be applied to all surcharge-applicable hours that exceed 110 percent of the minimum additional credit hours needed to earn the additional baccalaureate degree. The minimum additional credit hours will be determined at the time of admission to studies for the second or other baccalaureate degree.

Surcharge-applicable hours are all attempted hours from ASU, including courses in-progress for the current term, failed courses, repeated courses, and course withdrawals. In addition, any hours accepted for transfer from outside of ASU and added to a student's ASU academic record since August 15, 2013 are surcharge-applicable, unless those credits happen to be from one of several excluded categories. For details on transfer credit exclusions prior to August 15, 2013 and various types of hours that are excluded from counting in a student's progress toward a surcharge.

Note: Students should understand that changing their major could result in excess attempted hours that will count toward the tuition surcharge threshold of 140 attempted hours. Students should also note that changing a major may not be deemed a valid reason for a waiver request by the Tuition Appeals Committee.

Several types of credit hours are not counted against a student when tuition surcharge eligibility is calculated. These excluded credits include the following:

  1. Summer school credits (whether taken at ASU or another school)
  2. Advanced Placement (AP) credits
  3. International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
  4. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or similar credits
  5. Early college or high school dual-enrollment credit
  6. Military service and/or training credit
  7. ASU credit graded as WE (withdrawal with approved extenuating circumstances)
  8. ASU extension site courses or extension division courses from any other UNC institution
  9. Transfer credits from colleges and universities outside of North Carolina or from private colleges and universities within North Carolina when those credits were accepted by ASU in transfer for a student and added to the student's ASU record prior to August 15, 2013
  10. All non-ASU credits accepted for transfer and added to the student's record since August 15, 2013 are surcharge-applicable unless those credits happen to be from one of the excluded categories listed above (categories 1-9). Please review your unofficial transcript in AppalNet to see if you have any credits that would be excluded from the tuition surcharge calculation. If you have questions about whether particular credits on your record are excluded, please email registrar@appstate.edu

To determine surcharge eligibility for a degree-seeking, undergraduate student who has completed his or her eighth semester after high school graduation, the Office of the Registrar uses one of several formulas for assessing surcharge eligibility. The first step is to determine the number of surcharge-applicable hours the student has.

Surcharge-Applicable Hours

To determine how many surcharge-applicable hours a student has, use the following formula:

   Attempted hours, completed
+ Attempted hours, in-progress
- Excluded hours
------------------------------------------------------
= Surcharge-applicable hours

As an example, a student has 146 attempted hours displaying on his unofficial transcript in AppalNet. Of those, 140 hours are complete from past terms and 16 hours are in-progress from the current term. The student completed 36 hours that are not surcharge-applicable: 12 hours during summer semesters, 9 hours from AP exams, 3 hours through an extension campus class, and 12 hours from an early college program. When those 36 hours are excluded from the overall total of 146 attempted hours, the student is found to have 110 surcharge-applicable hours. This student will not receive a surcharge.

Note: Students should understand that changing their major could result in excess attempted hours that will count toward the tuition surcharge threshold of 140 attempted hours. Students should also note that changing a major may not be deemed a valid reason for a waiver request by the Tuition Appeals Committee.

The surcharge is assessed in the fall and spring semesters, but not during the summer semester. Students are notified of the surcharge via their ASU email account. The charge will be applied to the student's account about 8 weeks into the semester in which they are charged. A student becomes subject to the surcharge during the first fall or spring semester where his or her attempted hours (including in-progress hours for that semester) exceed the surcharge threshold. The student will continue to receive a surcharge for surcharge-applicable hours taken during subsequent fall or spring semesters.

If you need assistance completing the form due to disability related reasons, please call the Office of the Registrar at 828-262-2050 or email registrar@appstate.edu.

If you are assessed the surcharge and you feel an error was made in which courses were mistakenly included you may contact the Registrar's Office at 828-262-2050 and request an audit of your surcharge hours.

No, the tuition surcharge will not affect your current financial aid. However, you may want to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 828-262-2190 to inquire about the possibility of increasing your student loans to help cover some of the tuition surcharge amount.

The decision of the Committee is final and there will be no further review.

No. Personal interviews are not conducted. Your waiver requests will be considered based on the materials you submit and your academic history.

An undergraduate student must take 12 semester hours during a regular semester in order to be classified as full-time. A graduate student must take 9 semester hours during a regular semester in order to be classified as full-time.

All students who submit a waiver request will be notified of the Committee’s decision within 30 business days of submission. Students will be notified via a phone call and a letter to their permanent address.

Requests for waivers for earlier terms will not be considered. If your waiver request for an eligible term is approved, you will be refunded the portion of your tuition that is attributed to the surcharge and any subsequent term credits that might have been surcharged in error.

All waiver requests must be submitted to the Appalachian State University Office of the Registrar, 106 John E. Thomas Hall, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28607 or via email to registrar@appstate.edu. Submitting your waiver request via email will expedite the review process if you also submit supporting documents as attachments.

Surcharge waiver requests cannot be accepted until after the tuition surcharge bills are sent out each term. Surcharge bills are sent separately from the regular tuition/fees/housing bills.

Your waiver request must be received or post-marked no later than 30 days after the tuition surcharge bill is emailed to you.

No, but there is an option to request a “waiver” of the tuition surcharge if your situation fits into one of categories specified in the waiver procedures established by the state. Waiver requests that do not fall into one of these four categories will not be considered. If you believe your circumstances fall within one of these four categories, you must complete a Tuition Waiver Review Form [PDF, 214KB] and submit the form and supporting documents to the Office of the Registrar, John E. Thomas Hall within 30 business days of receiving your midterm bill which includes a tuition surcharge.

Based on University academic records, you fell into one of the categories listed below:

  1. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a program that requires no more than 128 credit hours, the surcharge shall be applied to all counted credit hours in excess of 140 hours. 
  2. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a board-approved program that requires more than 128 counted credit hours, the surcharge shall be applied to all credit hours that exceed 110 percent of the credit hours required for the degree. Such programs include those that have been officially designated by the Board of Governors as five-year programs, as well as those involving double majors, or combined bachelor's/master's degrees. 
  3. For students earning a baccalaureate degree other than their first, the surcharge shall be applied to all counted credit hours that exceed 110 percent of the minimum additional credit hours needed to earn the additional baccalaureate degree.