Tuition Rebate Program (Texas Education Code UPPS No. 03.01.13
54.0065 and Texas Administrative Code) Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 03/31/2011
Review: May 1 E4Y
01. POLICY STATEMENTS
01.01 This UPPS details the Texas State University-San Marcos (university) policies and procedures for administration of the state’s Tuition Rebate Program (Rebate Program), in accordance with Texas Education Code 54.0065 and with Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 13, Subchapter E, Rules 13.80-13.87.
01.02 The Rebate Program provides a financial incentive for undergraduate students to prepare for university studies while completing their high school work, avail themselves of academic counseling, make early career decisions, and complete their baccalaureate studies with as few courses outside the degree plan as possible. Minimizing the number of courses taken by students, results in financial savings to students, parents, and the state.
02. GUIDELINES FOR THE REBATE PROGRAM
02.01 Eligibility – A student is eligible for the Rebate Program if they:
a. have enrolled for the first time in an institution of higher education in the fall 1997 semester or later;
b. request a rebate for coursework related to a first baccalaureate degree received from a general academic teaching institution;
c. meet Texas residency requirements under Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, Rules 21.21-21.30 (relating to Determining Residence Status) and paid resident tuition at all times while pursuing the degree;
d. enrolled for the first time in fall 2005 or later and graduate within four calendar years from the first semester enrolled in a general academic teaching institution for a four-year degree; or graduate within five calendar years for a five-year degree if the degree is in architecture, engineering, or any other program determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to require more than four years to complete.
Note that the four- or five-year time limit prescribed in Section d. above begins on the first day of the month for enrollment in the semesters described as follows: September for a fall semester; January for a spring semester; June for summer I; and August for summer II. For example, a student enrolling for the first time in fall 2009 for a four-year degree must complete that degree no later than September 1, 2013 for rebate eligibility. The university defines “first semester enrolled in a general academic teaching institution” as initially enrolled after high school graduation.
e. have attempted no more than three hours in excess of the minimum number of semester credit hours required to complete the degree under the catalog under which the student graduated. Hours attempted include transfer credits from all other institutions of higher education, course credit earned exclusively by examination (for this Rebate Program, only the number of semester credit hours earned exclusively by examination in excess of nine semester credit hours count as hours attempted), courses dropped after the official census date, for-credit developmental courses, optional internship and cooperative education courses, and repeated courses. Dual credit courses (courses taken in high school for both high school and college credit) also count as hours attempted, as well as tech prep courses if they are treated as college hours used to fulfill requirements in a degree plan.
A degree plan is defined as an academic program of courses and their related hours culminating in a degree or certificate, including minors, double majors, and completion of any other special program in which the student is also enrolled, such as a program with a study abroad component.
The university will not count courses dropped for reasons determined as totally beyond the student’s control. See Section 02.02 for hardship provisions for required documentation. For students concurrently earning a baccalaureate degree and a Texas teaching certificate, the university will not count required teacher education courses that are over and above the free electives allowed in the baccalaureate degree program. Also, beginning with degrees awarded in fall 2007, the university will not count hours earned to satisfy the requirements for a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program that are not required to complete the degree program. Beginning in fall 2009 the university will also not count MIL 1100 and MIL ELNA hours awarded for military service.
02.02 Hardship Provisions – Effective for students who enroll for the first time in fall 2005 or later, an otherwise eligible student may qualify for a rebate without satisfying the requirements of Section 02.01 above, if the student earns a baccalaureate degree and the college dean or the supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center certifying the degree has determined, with the completion of the Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification form (Attachment II), that the student has demonstrated a hardship under any of the following conditions:
a. a severe illness or other debilitating condition that may affect the student’s academic performance;
b. an indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person and that the student’s provision of care may affect his or her academic performance; or
c. performance of active duty military service.
02.03 Tuition – Education & General (E&G) tuition is the only tuition or fee which is eligible for rebate under the Rebate Program (per The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board).
02.04 Rebate Amount –The tuition amount rebated to a student under the Rebate Program is $1,000, unless the total amount of tuition paid to the university was less than $1,000, in which event the amount rebated equals the amount the student paid. A student who paid the institution awarding the degree an amount of tuition less than $1,000 may qualify for an increase in the amount of the rebate, not to exceed a total rebate of $1,000, for any amount of tuition the student paid to other Texas public institutions of higher education by providing the institution awarding the degree with official receipts documenting the total amount of that tuition paid to other institutions. The student must provide this proof when submitting the Tuition Rebate Application form (Attachment I) or the university will not consider those amounts when calculating the rebate.
02.05 Financial Aid – The university will reduce rebates by any outstanding student loan amount, including an emergency loan, owed to or guaranteed by this state, including the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. If a student has more than one outstanding student loan, the university shall apply the amount of the rebate to the loans as directed by the student. The Tuition Rebate Application form (Attachment I) asks the students to notify the Student Business Services Office if they have a preference to the order in which the university applies the rebate to the loans. If the student fails to provide timely instructions on the application of the amount, the university shall apply the amount of the rebate to retire the loans with the highest interest rates first.
02.06 Degree-granting institution – The university is required to make payment under this Rebate Program, including any amounts which are due to the student because of prior attendance at other institutions of higher education. The university will use local institutional funds (Fund 002) to pay the rebates and a comparable amount of General Revenues available to the paying institution. The Legislature intends to finance the rebates from savings resulting from reducing the number of courses undergraduates take.
03. PROCEDURES ASSOCIATED WITH THE REBATE PROGRAM
03.01 Students must complete the Tuition Rebate Application form (Attachment I) and submit it to the supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center no later than the workday immediately preceding their graduation day. Copies of this form are available in the College Academic Advising Centers, or with the online graduation application, along with instructions for completion. The undergraduate catalog also contains general information about the Rebate Program. The supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center reviews the student’s academic records and, if necessary, requires the student to complete and submit the Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification form (Attachment II) and then makes a recommendation to the college dean about the student’s eligibility for the Rebate Program. The college dean or designee will review the rebate application, if necessary the Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification form (Attachment II), and the supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center’s recommendation, and then approve or deny the rebate application. The Student Business Services Office will verify resident tuition status and calculate outstanding indebtedness and the rebate amount upon receipt of the approved Tuition Rebate Application and, if necessary, the Hardship Justification form. It will then process the rebate and notify, in writing, students with denied applications, citing the denial reason.
04. APPEALS PROCEDURES
04.01 Ineligibility – Students determined as ineligible for participation in the Rebate Program may file a written appeal with their college dean. Failure to adhere to all of the following requirements will constitute grounds for dismissal of the appeal.
a. Format – The appeal, in writing, must specify the reasons why the student believes he or she qualifies for the Rebate Program.
b. Documentation – All supporting documentation (such as official transcripts from previous institutions attended and Hardship Justification forms) must accompany the appeal.
c. Deadline for Appeal – The student must file the appeal no later than thirty calendar days after the date the college dean or supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center determines ineligibility. This 30-day time limit includes all university holidays and breaks.
The college dean will provide written notice to the student of the results of their review of the appeal no later than thirty calendar days after receipt of the appeal. The decision of the college dean constitutes a final decision for eligibility for the Rebate Program. For appeals resulting in a determination of Rebate Program eligibility, the college dean will forward the approved rebate application and supporting documents to the Student Business Services Office for processing the rebate payment.
04.02 Amount – Students who desire to appeal the dollar amount of their rebate must follow the steps detailed below. Failure to adhere to all of the following requirements will nullify their appeal as to the amount of the rebate.
a. Format – The student must file a written appeal which must include (a) calculations documenting the rebate amount that the student expected and (b) the specific differences between the expected and actual rebate, and forward this appeal to the Student Business Services Office.
b. Documentation – All supporting documentation (such as receipts from previous institutions attended and, if necessary, Hardship Justification forms) must accompany the appeal.
c. Deadline for Appeal as to Amount – The student must file the appeal regarding the rebate amount no later than thirty calendar days after the refund date for rebate issued. For students whose rebate amounts did not exceed outstanding obligations, The Student Business Services Office must receive the appeal no later than thirty calendar days after the date of the Student Business Services Office’s notice regarding the balance. The 30-day time limit includes all university holidays and breaks.
The Student Business Services Office will provide written notice to the student of the results of their review of the appeal no later than thirty calendar days after receipt of the appeal. For appeals resulting in additional funds owed the student, the university will forward payment to the student’s permanent address within thirty days of the determination, unless otherwise specified by the student.
05. RESPONSIBILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE REBATE PROGRAM
05.01 Responsibilities associated with the Rebate Program are as follows:
a. Students – Those students who want to qualify for this program must do all of the following no later than the times specified:
1) Enroll only in those courses which qualify them for the Rebate Program. Enrollment in more than three hours beyond the minimum required for their degree will invalidate their participation in the Rebate Program;
2) Pay tuition at the resident rate at all times while pursuing the degree;
3) Comply with all university rules and regulations related to the Rebate Program;
4) File the rebate application with their supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center no later than the workday immediately preceding their graduation day and, if appropriate, the Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification form (Attachment II);
5) Provide official transcripts from all other institutions of higher education attended by the student; and
6) Notify Student Business Services of payment hierarchy preference if there are multiple outstanding loans.
b. Supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center – provide general information about the Rebate Program and review the student’s Tuition Rebate Application (Attachment I) for academic eligibility and the Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification form (Attachment II), and if designated by the college dean, will certify that the student is eligible or ineligible for the Rebate Program. Also, notifies the student of the status of his or her rebate application and their eligibility or ineligibility as defined in Section 02.01 in this policy.
c. College Dean or Designated Supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center – certify the student is eligible for the Rebate Program, provide written justification of the hardship with written documentation from medical or military sources to accompany the application, and review appeals filed under this policy.
d. Student Business Services Office – determine resident tuition status and the net amounts paid by the student and any outstanding obligations that the student owes to the university and to the State of Texas and pay outstanding obligations from the rebate amount, then makes payment for any remaining balance to the student. Also, notify the student if he or she will not receive a rebate because his or her outstanding obligations exceed the rebate amount as defined in Sections 02.04 and 02.05 in this policy and then notify the supervisor of the College Academic Advising Center of the status of the student’s rebate application.
e. University – notify all students of the Rebate Program through notice in the university catalog and in its graduation materials. If requested by potentially eligible students, the university provides opportunities for these students to enroll during each fall and spring semester in the equivalent of at least twelve semester credit hours that apply toward their degrees. The university is not required to provide students with the opportunity to enroll in specific courses or specific sections.
06.01 Students should utilize the following forms in association with this UPPS:
Attachment I – Tuition Rebate Program Application
Attachment II – Tuition Rebate Hardship Justification
07. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
07.01 Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Treasurer May 1 E4Y
Director, Curriculum Services May 1 E4Y
08. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Treasurer; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Vice President for Finance and Support Services