Starting in the fall of 2004, Wisconsin resident undergraduate students who have earned 165 credits (or 30 credits more than required for their degree programs, whichever is greater) will be charged a surcharge, equal to 100 percent of the regular resident tuition, on credits beyond that level. This policy, created by the Board of Regents, views a college degree from the perspective of a taxpayer. There are many legitimate reasons why students might accumulate “excessive” credits. This policy will not prevent students from pursuing their goals, but it will be at a cost that is less subsidized by Wisconsin taxpayers. This is not a policy that UWRF can decide whether or not to implement. This is a UW System mandate. The policy covers all Wisconsin resident undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelors degree, including students pursuing a double major. Minnesota residents and other non-Wisconsin residents, graduate, post-baccalaureate, and non-degree students are not affected. The policy applies to all credits earned at UW System campuses and Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) transfer credits accepted toward a degree. Retroactive, Advanced Placement (AP), military, and transfer credits from outside the UW/WTCS institutions do not count toward the total. The surcharge will be applied to students in the semester following the one in which they reach the earned credit limit. This policy is not phased in. The surcharge will add 100 percent to the Wisconsin resident tuition routinely charged, and it will be charged for all credits over the credit limit.
Each semester, excluding J-term and summer session, the Deans' Offices will notify Wisconsin resident students from their College who have reached 130 credits that they are accumulating credits at a rate that might result in a surcharge. This notice will be copied to the student's advisor. The notice will indicate the number of credits from UW System institutions that the student has accumulated toward the 165-credit limit and refer him or her to his or her advisor and Dean's Office if he or she wishes to appeal. In addition to the warning from the Dean's office, a message will appear on the DARS reports of Wisconsin residents when they reach 130 earned credits. This message will warn them that they may be accumulating credits at a rate that might result in a surcharge and direct them to a website for more information. The policy and appeal process will also be placed in the catalog and other pertinent publications and electronic media.
Each student has the right to appeal to the Dean's Office of his or her respective College. Under the implementation guidelines established by the UW-System, institutions are permitted to "make exceptions through an appeals process and grant waivers in cases of extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control." As the Dean's Office of each College is most familiar with the requirements for their respective degree programs and best understands the unique circumstances presented by an individual student, this appeal process will be handled at that level. To assure consistency across Colleges, the Deans are encouraged to collaboratively review the appeals. The Dean's Office will maintain documentation of the student appeal and the decision rendered. To appeal the surcharge on credits beyond 165, the student must submit the "Appeal for Waiver of 165-Credit Surcharge" to the Dean of the College in which his or her advisor resides. The appeal should be submitted at least one semester before the surcharge would be in place. This form is available at the Dean's Office and on line through the Accounts Receivable Office webpage at http://www.uwrf.edu/accounts-receive/ The Dean's Office will review each case and report their decision to the student, advisor, and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Provost will then notify the Accounts Receivable Office. Initially, the primary basis for considering appeals will be the following situations: · Students who are juniors or seniors during the 2003-2004 academic year and who have been making steady progress toward program completion. · Students who earned credits several years ago, dropped out, and enrolled in a different program when they returned to school.
- Students whose change of program was initiated by an academic unit.
The Provost will maintain a cumulative report of the number of appeals, number of appeals granted/not granted, and specific reasons for the appeal. The Academic Policy and Programs Committee will review this information after one year and then revise the policy and procedures as necessary.