Tuition Surcharge

In accordance with North Carolina law and under the direction of UNC General Administration, the North Carolina tuition surcharge policy is in place at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. This policy applies to all undergraduate students at UNCW who are in a degree program and have completed at least eight semesters of college or university study since high school graduation.

The policy states:

The Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina shall impose 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. In calculating the number of degree credit hours taken:

  • Included are courses that a student:
    • Fails.
    • Does not complete unless the course was officially dropped by the student pursuant to the academic policy of the appropriate constituent institution.
  • Excluded are credit hours earned through:
    • The College Board's Advanced Placement Program, CLEP examinations, or similar programs.
    • Institutional advanced placement, course validation, or any similar procedure for awarding course credit.
    • Summer term or extension programs.

No surcharge shall 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 academic years of regular term enrollment in a degree program officially designated by the Board of Governors as a five-year program.

Please note: UNCW does not currently offer any officially designated five-year programs.

The tuition surcharge was first enacted in 1994 with a 25% surcharge. The General Assembly amendment (Section 9.10.(a) of Session Law 2009-451) instituted a fifty percent (50%) tuition surcharge, effective for fall 2010. The surcharge does not apply to required fees.

Students who matriculated into the university prior to fall 1994 are exempt from surcharge eligibility.

The surcharge is assessed in the fall and spring semesters, but not during the summer semester. A student becomes subject to the surcharge during the first fall or spring semester where his or her attempted hours (including in-progress hours for that semester) exceed the surcharge threshold. The student will continue to receive a surcharge for surcharge-applicable hours taken during subsequent fall or spring semesters.


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