Tuition Rebate FAQs
- Can a student meet the requirement for having "taken all coursework at Texas public institutions of higher education" if the student participates in a study abroad program?
If the student registers for study abroad courses through a Texas public institution and credit for those courses is granted through the Texas public institution, then such courses could be considered as part of those taken at the Texas public institution.
However, if the student independently registers for a study abroad program at an institution outside the state of Texas and then tries to transfer those credits back to the Texas public institution, those credits are not part of coursework taken at the Texas public institution. This means that participating in a study abroad program might jeopardize a student's ability to qualify for the rebate. Students trying to qualify for the rebate should check with their institution before participating in a study abroad program.
- If a student is granted a credit for a course (for instance, if credit is given for a course because of a student's SAT score) when credit for that course has not been requested by the student, and the credit is not required for the student's degree plan, is that credit counted toward the hour maximum for eligibility?
- If the Texas public institution grants a credit without the student requesting credit be granted, and if the credit was not required for the student's degree, then these hours should not be counted toward the maximum when determining a student's eligibility for the rebate. In addition, the law has been changed so that the first nine hours of credit that have been gained exclusively through examination do not count as hours attempted.
- To satisfy the requirement for the rebate, "students must have attempted no more than three hours in excess of the minimum number of semester credit hours required to complete the degree under the catalog under which they were graduated." Are credit hours granted for the following counted toward this hour maximum: tech prep courses (if not used in degree plan), dual credit (credit for high school and college), college orientation courses (for which credit is granted) and/or developmental courses?
- Tech prep courses (if not used in degree plan) do not count if never treated as college hours. Dual credit courses do count. These are college hours. College orientation courses (if credit is granted) do count as do developmental courses.
- If the student has used financial aid (gift aid especially), can the student still qualify for the tuition rebate?
- Yes. These are student resources. The only students who would be categorically unable to receive the rebate would be those who had been exempted from the payment of tuition for the full period of undergraduate studies.
- Why do dropped courses count against a student?
- A student who is enrolled in a course at the census date takes up a slot that can't be used by another student. In addition, the state pays the college or university for all enrollments at the census date. So, dropped courses cost the state money and make universities less efficient.
- I'm majoring in English, but also doing initial teaching certification as part of my degree. Does that mean I can't qualify for the rebate?
- Not necessarily. You would qualify for the rebate if you had attempted no more than 3 hours beyond the minimum number of hours needed to complete both the English major and the initial teacher certification program that were part of your degree. Your institution would determine what that minimum number of hours is.
- I'm double majoring in chemistry and physics. Is my hour limit created by adding together the hours required for each degree?
- No. You would have to complete your degree within three hours of the minimum number of hours required to complete a double major in chemistry and physics. This number would probably be less than the sum of the hours required for each degree since there may be some overlap in courses. Your institution would determine what that minimum number of hours is.
- I heard that the rules were going to be changed to allow students to do some hours at non-public institutions. Was that change ever made?
- No. This change in rules was considered by the Board, but was withdrawn after institutions objected to the extra costs this would impose on them.
- I qualified for the rebate, but my rebate was applied to my student loans. I don't think this is fair. Why didn't I get the money?
- The Legislature chose to set up the program so that tuition rebate money first goes to pay off student loans owed to the state of Texas. This provision was probably put in for reasons of fiscal prudence.
- Is there a special fund set aside by the Legislature to reimburse institutions for the rebates?
- No. Institutions must pay the refunds out of locally-available funds.
- I heard there was a bill to allow students graduating with associate degrees at community colleges to qualify for the rebate. Did this bill pass?
- No. House Bill 531 did not pass during the 2003 session. At this time, only students graduating with bachelor's degrees from public universities would qualify.
- I'm working on my bachelor's degree in public health at a public health-related institution. Could I qualify for the rebate?
- No. Unfortunately, the rebate is limited to students graduating with bachelor's degrees from public universities.