The purpose of this program is to provide a financial incentive for students to complete a bachelor's degree efficiently, taking as few courses outside their degree plan as possible. The program's goal is minimizing the number of courses students take -- saving money for them, their parents, and the State of Texas.
- First college course after high school graduation must be taken in fall 1997 or later;
- Student must have been a Texas resident at all times while pursuing the degree;
- Student must have been entitled to pay in-state tuition at all times while pursuing the degree; and
- Student must not have graduated yet.
Key eligibility requirements:
A student may qualify for the tuition rebate (up to $1000) if:
- for a student who enrolled after high school graduation at a college or university for the first time in fall 1997 or later, s/he has attempted no more than three semester credit hours in excess of the minimum number of hours required for their degree. For example, a student who completes a bachelor's degree that requires 120 credit hours with no more than 123 credit hours attempted might qualify for this rebate; and
- for a student who enrolled after high school graduation at a college or university for the first time in fall 2005 or later, s/he must also graduate in a timely manner to earn the tuition rebate. According to the most recent revision of the rebate program, a student who wants to receive the rebate must graduate with in four calendar years for a four-year degree program or within five calendar years "if the degree is in architecture, engineering or any other program determined by the Board to require more than four years to complete." Currently the Board has not identified any other five-year degree programs.
What does “hours attempted” mean?
“Hours attempted” include:
- every course for which the student has registered, as of the official Census Date, in every semester, including repeated courses and courses from which the student withdraws (dropped courses as well as withdrawal from the college or university);
- transfer credits;
- course credit earned exclusively by examination (except that, for the purposes of this program, only the number of semester credit hours earned exclusively by examination in excess of nine semester credit hours is treated as hours attempted);
- courses dropped after the official census date;
- optional internship and cooperative education courses; and
- repeated courses.
“Hours attempted” does not include:
- for students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in December 2007 or later, course credit that is earned to satisfy requirements for a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program but that is not required to complete the degree program;
- for students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in August 2011 or later, course credit, other than course credit earned exclusively by examination, that is earned before graduating from high school; and
- courses dropped for reasons that are determined by the institution to be totally beyond the control of the student.
- For students concurrently earning a bachelor’s degree and completing Texas teacher education courses, required teacher education courses shall not be counted to the extent that they are over and above the free electives allowed in the bachelor’s degree program.
If a student has dropped more than one course after the official Census Date, he or she will probably not qualify for the rebate.
What could disqualify an Individual?
A student is required in the statute to apply for a tuition rebate prior to graduation. Students who have already graduated and who did not apply for the tuition rebate may not apply following graduation.