Effective Fall 2010, undergraduate students seeking a baccalaureate degree at Western
Carolina University will be subject to a 50% tuition surcharge as required by the
North Carolina General Statute section 9.10.(b) § 116-143.7. Session Law 2009-451.
Prior to Fall 2010, the surcharge was 25%. No surcharge will 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 years of regular term enrollment in a degree
program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.
The North Carolina statutes imposes, 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. Courses and credit hours taken include
those taken at that constituent institution or accepted for transfer from any UNC
constituent institution or North Carolina Community College.
UNC-System regulation requires that course withdrawals resulting in a W or WF count
toward tuition surcharge. If a student withdraws from the university (all course for
the term) and receives W's, those W's may be excluded from surcharge if the student
withdrew for extenuating circumstance. Any W's resulting from disciplinary action
do not constitute extenuating circumstances.
The undergraduate credit hours to be counted in the calculation of the tuition surcharge
hereafter referred to as "Tuition Surcharge Hours," include:
all semester (fall and spring semester) academic credit hours attempted (includes
repeated course work, failed course work, and courses from which the student withdrew
or failed to withdraw from); and
all transfer credit hours accepted by Western Carolina University from a UNC constituent
institution or NC Community College, including those hours accepted as electives and
not applicable to the student's program of study.
1. Included are courses that a student:
a. Completes, repeats, or fails.
b. Withdraws from after the add/drop period (fifth day of the term).
c. Receives a temporary grade of Incomplete, or In-Progress.
d. Does not complete regardless of outcome (F, W, or WF).
e. completed at a publicly funded UNC institution or NC Community College and accepted
2. Excluded are credit hours earned through:
a. College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) credit;
b.College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or similar programs' credits;
c. credit earned through any Western Carolina University advanced placement, course
validation or similar procedure;
d. credit earned through Early College or dual-enrollment prior to high school graduation;
e. credit earned through military service and/or training;
f. credit earned in all summer sessions; and
g. credit earned from an extension division of any UNC institution, including Western
h. credits earned prior to Fall 2013 from out-of-state or private institutions not
part of the UNC or North Carolina Community College system.
Students may review their credit hours on their academic transcript in myWCU or contact
the Registrar's Office to obtain current information on their credit hours. Students
are informed, by email, when they are within twenty hours of the tuition surcharge
The tuition surcharge will be applied to undergraduate students enrolled in a degree
program at Western Carolina as follows:
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 Tuition Surcharge Hours
in excess of 140.
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 Tuition Surcharge 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.
For students earning a baccalaureate degree other than their first, the surcharge
shall be applied to all Tuition Surcharge 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.
The surcharge will be imposed in the fall or spring semester and in all subsequent
semesters where a student's cumulative credit hour total exceeds the threshold. The
surcharge does not apply to required fees.
The General Assembly amendment (Section 9.10.(a) of Session Law 2009-451) noted an
intent to create waiver categories for the tuition surcharge and to require that the
Board of Governors establish a waiver procedure for the UNC campuses to follow.
Specifically, it states,
Upon application by a student, the tuition surcharge shall be waived if the student
demonstrates that any of the following have substantially disrupted or interrupted
the student's pursuit of a degree: (i) a military service obligation, (ii) serious
medical debilitation, (iii) a short-term or long-term disability, or (iv) other extraordinary
hardship. The Board of Governors shall establish the appropriate procedures to implement
the waiver provided by this subsection.
If you feel that your personal circumstances match the waiver circumstances listed
here, you should submit an appeal with thirty (30) business days of receiving written
notice of the tuition surcharge. The Tuition Surcharge Waiver also includes a listing of additional documentation that is necessary to review your
appeal. Once you have completed the form and attached the requested support documentation,
please submit to:
Tuition Surcharge Waiver Appeals Committee
Director of Undergraduate Advising
214 Killian Annex Building