Student Accounts & Cashier's Office

Per Credit Hour Tuition and Fee Rate FAQs

Tuition & fees are billed by the credit hour. They are based on the student’s program campus code, student level, & residency. Tuition & fees are subject to change pending legislative approval.

The per credit hour tuition rate provides an equitable model for all students. Students will be charged tuition for the exact credit hours in which they are enrolled rather than at a rate based on the previous stair-step model. The per credit hour tuition rate is a University of North Carolina System-wide initiative being enacted at all UNC System schools. 

What is changing with per credit hour tuition?

  • Tuition rates, including differential tuition, will be assessed per credit hour starting Fall 2021. Tuition rates will no longer be assessed using stair-step levels.
  • Differential tuition will be reflected separately starting Fall 2021, where as in previous billing methods it was added to the base tuition and reflected as one line on your bill.
  • The per credit hour model will be used for both tuition and fees.
  • Undergraduate students enrolled in Distance Education programs will be charged the same tuition as students enrolled in main campus programs up to 12-credit hours. No additional tuition or differential tuition will be charged for hours enrolled beyond 12-credit hours per semester.
  • Graduate students enrolled in Distance Education programs will be charged the same tuition as students enrolled in main campus programs up to 9-credit hours. No additional tuition or differential tuition will be charged for hours enrolled beyond 9-credit hours per semester.
  • Fee rates for students enrolled in main campus programs are being converted to per credit hour.
  • Students enrolled in Distance Education Programs will be charged the Education and Technology Fee, the Campus Security Fee, and the Student Government Association Fee per credit hour.

How was tuition previously assessed?

Previously, tuition (excluding Distance Education) was assessed using the “stair-step” approach. Meaning, tuition was charged flat rates for ranges of credit hours up to the full-time enrollment level of 12-credit hours for undergraduates and 9-credit hours for graduates. Now, tuition (including differential tuition) will be charged one rate per each credit hour up to the full-time enrollment levels. The per credit hour rates will be equal across all methods of instruction.

Are fees changing?

Similar to tuition, fees rates are also being converted to per credit hour. Students in Distance Education programs will be assessed a fee for the Student Government Association in addition to the Education and Technology Fee and Campus Security fee that they have historically been charged.

How are the per credit hour fee rates calcualted?

The per credit hour rates are calculated by dividing the current full time fee rates by the full time enrollment levels of 12 (undergraduate) and 9 (graduate) credit hours.

How are the per credit hour tuition rates calculated?

The per credit hour rates are calculated by dividing the current annual full time tuition rates by 24 hours for undergraduates and 18 hours for graduate students (the annual full time enrollment levels). This concept was applied to each resident and non-resident undergraduate and graduate annual tuition rate to calculate the respective per credit hour tuition rate for each group. If you have questions about the tuition rates email studentaccounts@uncw.edu.

Who is impacted by this change?

All students are impacted by this change. Any student eligible for the NC Fixed Tuition guarantee where the change from the stair-step model to the new per credit model results in a higher tuition bill will receive a Fixed Tuition Benefit transaction reflected on their student account. This benefit will ensure that the few students’ tuition bills that are negatively impacted by the elimination of the stair-step will be held harmless by the change in the billing model.

How can I tell if I’m in the NC Fixed Tuition Program?

Undergraduate students who qualify as a resident for tuition purposes and meet other eligibility criteria are included in the NC Fixed Tuition Program. No action is required on the student's behalf to receive this adjustment. To check your status, follow the steps below:

  • Login to SeaNet
  • Click the “Student Services/ Student Accounts” tab
  • Select “Fixed Tuition Information”
  • You will see your assigned cohort (if any), when it became effective and when it expires

For more information about Fixed Tuition visit the Fixed Tuition Program page.

I am in the NC Fixed Tuition Program & my tuition is higher when using the per credit hour tuition. What do I do?

Any student eligible for the NC Fixed Tuition guarantee where the change from the stair-step model to the new per credit model results in a higher tuition bill will receive a Fixed Tuition Benefit transaction reflected on their student account. This benefit will ensure that the few students’ tuition bills that are negatively impacted by the elimination of the stair-step will be held harmless by the change in the billing model. 

How are Distance Education students impacted, specifically?

Although the Distance Education tuition rates were previously charged at a per credit hour rate, the rates will be changing in Fall 2021. Prior to Fall 2021, tuition for students enrolled in Distance Education programs were charged at a different rate than those enrolled in Main Campus programs. Starting in Fall 2021, the tuition rate for Distance Education students will be the same as the rate for main campus students, based on student-level (undergraduate or graduate) and residency. Students enrolled in Distance Education programs will be charged the Student Government Association fee, as well as the Education and Technology Fee and Campus Security fee that they have historically been charged.

Previously, Distance Education tuition was not capped at any level. Starting in Fall 2021, tuition will be capped at the full-time enrollment levels of 12-credit hours for undergraduates and 9-credit hours for graduate students per semester. For example, a graduate student enrolled in a Distance Education program taking 12-credit hours will only be charged for 9-credit hours in Fall 2021.

I am a new undergraduate in Fall 2021 and meet requirements of Fixed Tuition, how will I be charged tuition?

Once you are a new student entering the University in Fall 2021, you would be assessed tuition at the per credit hour rate. Since you meet the requirements of the NC Fixed Tuition program, those per credit hour rates will not change for you as long as you continue qualifying for the program.

How do I determine if my program is a Main Campus program or a Distance Education program?

Please visit the Office of the Registrar’s website to learn how to navigate SeaNet and determine the campus designation for your program.

If you have question about your program category, email registrar@uncw.edu.