FAQ-Tuition Surcharge

1. If I am completing more than one program does the 140 limit still apply?

Students who are completing more than one degree are granted 25 additional hours beyond the 140 to complete an additional program(s) except in those cases where both degrees have the same requirements (examples include: the BSED in Math and the BS in Math.) There is no additional "bump" for student pursuing a third program.

2. If I exceed the 140 hour limit before completing four years of study will I be assessed the tuition surcharge?

Students are not assessed tuition surcharge until they have completed eight semesters of enrollment. Enrollment in summer semesters does not count in the surcharge calculation.

3. What about Study Abroad?

The State of North Carolina did not create any special exemptions for Study Abroad. If you study abroad during the Fall or Spring terms, the credits you earn are included in the tuition surcharge calculation. If you study abroad during the Summer term, the hours earned are excluded under the summer exclusion provision.

4. If I have a prior baccalaureate degree from WCU or elsewhere, am I subject to the tuition surcharge?

Yes, but there is a clause in the legislation that allows you to avoid surcharge as long as you only take classes that satisfy requirements for the second degree. You'll pay the 50% surcharge for any courses that fall outside the major/concentration in your degree audit.

5. If a 3-credit course took me over the surcharge threshold by 1 hour will I be assessed the surcharge?

Yes but only for one hour.

6. Can I calculate tuition surcharge myself?

Yes. The easiest method is to:

  1. Print an unofficial transcript from MyCat.
  2. Cross off any attempted hours excluded from the surcharge (exclusions are published at http://surcharge.wcu.edu.)
  3. Sum the remaining transfer hours and WCU hours separately
  4. You cannot use more than 90 transfer hours to earn a degree from WCU. If your calculation of transfer hours in step 3 above was greater than 90 hours – use 90 for your transfer hours in step 5.
  5. Add the transfer and WCU hours. If your calculation exceeds 140, you'll owe the surcharge.

7.  What Credits Count?

Included are courses that a student:

  • Completes, repeats, or fails.
  • Withdraws from after the add/drop period (fifth day of the term).
  • Receives a temporary grade of Incomplete, or In-Progress.
  • Does not complete regardless of outcome (F, W, or WF).
  • Completed at a publicly funded UNC institution or NC Community College and accepted for transfer.

Excluded are credit hours earned through:

  • College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) credit;
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or similar programs' credits;
  • Credit earned through any Western Carolina University advanced placement, course validation or similar procedure;
  • Credit earned through Early College or dual-enrollment prior to high school graduation;
  • Credit earned through military service and/or training;
  • Credit earned in all summer sessions; and
  • Credit earned from an extension division of any UNC institution, including Western Carolina University.
  • Credits earned prior to Fall 2013 from out-of-state or private institutions not part of the UNC or North Carolina Community College system.


Have a question about tuition surcharge? Submit it to: surcharge@wcu.edu.

Questions concerning tuition surcharge are answered by the Registrar’s Office at Western Carolina University.


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