Skip to main content

Tuition Surcharge

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 for transfer.

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 Carolina University.

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 threshold.

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
Advising Center
214 Killian Annex Building

Office of Web Services