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Enrollment Cap for Texas Residents

Updated August 4, 2015

A summary of the Enrollment Cap for Texas Residents

Under current rules, Texas resident undergraduate students who enrolled for the first time in a Texas public institution of higher education in Fall 1999 or later may be charged a premium tuition rate after they reach an established enrollment cap.

Reaching your established enrollment cap does not mean you can't enroll in any more courses. It does mean you will be charged a higher tuition rate for those courses you enroll in after you have met the cap.

Texas residents were previously eligible for the lower residential rate regardless of the number of hours they accumulated. Texas residents who first enrolled Fall of 1999 or later will continue to be eligible for the lower rate as long as they do not exceed their established cap.

All students should remain aware of how the enrollment cap rules will affect their individual financial status.

To allow a transition and adjustment period, a somewhat higher cap was established for students who enrolled during or after the Fall semester of 1999 and prior to the Fall semester of 2006. However, from Fall 2006 onward there is one standard cap for all Texas residents enrolling for the first time in Texas public institutions of higher education.

Individual enrollment caps will be determined according to the following schedule:

Semester You First Enrolled in a Texas Public Institution of Higher Education Your Enrollment Cap
(hours allowed in excess of your minimum degree hours)
Prior to Fall 1999
no cap
Fall 1999 through Summer 2006
45 hours
Fall 2006 and thereafter
30 hours

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How individual enrollment cap hours are calculated

All degree plans require that students complete a number of credit hours relevant to the discipline. This number of credit hours - which will differ according to each student's degree requirements - is then added to the relevant cap number. The resultant total is the number of hours which represent the enrollment cap for that individual student.

In situations where a student is undertaking multiple majors and/or degrees, the University of Houston will allow an additional 30 hours to be added to that student's enrollment cap. Students should be aware, however, that failure to complete such intended degree programs may result in the additional cap hours being disallowed. Charges for the excess hours would therefore be incurred.

You should always confer with an academic advisor and check with the college of your major to determine your individual degree plan requirements, and/or to determine how degree plan changes may affect your enrollment cap status.

Elective hours and other hours which do not apply to your major will still count towards your cap. And be aware that students who have not selected a major are considered by state law to have degree requirements of 120 hours.

Please also note that the hours which count towards the cap specifically include "attempted" hours in addition to "completed" hours. Attempted hours are defined as all hours for which the student was enrolled at the end of the official reporting day (or "ORD"), regardless of whether or not the student dropped the class after that date.

The ORD is normally the twelfth class day in the spring and fall semesters, and the fourth class day in the summer semesters. This landmark date is indicated on the Academic Calendar.

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Questions you may have about the Enrollment Cap

1. What happened Fall semester 2006?

Students who by then had excess hours began to be charged a premium tuition rate for all hours they attempted during that semester as well as for any subsequent hours.

In addition, students who enrolled for the first time in any Texas public institution of higher education in the Fall of 2006 or thereafter became subject to the 30 hour enrollment cap.    

2. I've attended different Universities and Colleges. How will I know how many hours I have accumulated towards my cap?

Each semester the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will be sending reports to all Texas public institutions of higher learning - i.e. Universities, Colleges, and other such schools and institutions - indicating for each of their currently enrolled students which individuals are nearing or have gone over their cap. These reports will contain only generic information about attempted hours.

Based on the Coordinating Board's information, the University of Houston will contact its affected students.

To give the Coordinating Board permission to release your own individual, detailed record of hours to the University, you will need to provide the UH Registrar's office with a Release Form for Credit Hour Information.

Scroll down or click the link provided for further information about the Release Form.    

3. Are there any hours which do not count towards the cap?

Yes. There are several specific situations:

    • For students who are enrolled through the Texas Fresh Start program (Section 51.931 of the Texas Education Code) credit hours earned 10 or more years before the date the student enrolls under Fresh Start will not be counted toward the cap.  
    • Hours earned by the student before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.  
    • For students enrolled through post-baccalaureate (PB), hours from the previously awarded baccalaureate degree will not be counted toward the cap for a second baccalaureate degree.  
    • Hours earned as credit-by-exam (or other processes by which credit is earned without the student being charged tuition) will not be counted.  
    • Hours earned in remedial education courses, technical education, or workforce education courses funded according to contact hours, or other courses that do not count toward a degree program at the institution where they were taken will not be counted toward the cap.

      Please be aware, however, that some courses, such as a course repeated due to a student earning a grade which is insufficient to meet program requirements, can count towards the cap. To clarify your specific situation, please contact an academic advisor.  
    • Hours earned by the student at private or out-of-state institutions will not be counted toward the cap.    

4. Do I get an additional 30 cap hours for each major or degree when I have more than one?

No. Students are allowed only 30 additional cap hours regardless of how many majors or degrees they undertake simultaneously.    

5. What happens if I have multiple majors, or I'm in a dual-degree program, but end up dropping part of my degree plan?

If the University has allowed additional cap hours for you based on multiple majors and/or degrees, and you decide not to complete your intended program, your additional cap hours will be disallowed and you will be charged the premium rate for any excess hours.

Again, all students should remain aware of exactly how the enrollment cap rules will affect their individual financial status. Outstanding financial liabilities at the time of graduation can prevent you from receiving your transcripts. Please contact an academic advisor if you have any questions about your enrollment cap status.

6. How do I find an academic advisor to discuss my specific situation?

Contact the college of your major. Students who have not yet declared a major, or who may be changing majors, may talk to an advisor at Exploratory Studies in Cougar Village II North, room N140, 832-842-2100.

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Release Form for Credit Hour Information

- Release Form Download -

This release form is intended for students who appeal their inclusion in the undergraduate list of students Approaching/Will Exceed/Exceeding the enrollment cap.

This release form gives the Higher Education Coordinating Board permission to send the University information about scholastic credit hours you have taken at other Texas public institutions of higher learning. This information will allow UH to best advise you about your academic and financial status during your time here, and will help you to graduate in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

In order to answer your questions about the enrollment cap as it pertains to your academic record this form must be signed by you to permit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to release your report of attempted hours to UH.


A. Review the information regarding the policy.

B. If you still have questions about your enrollment cap status, contact your academic advisor to review your academic record.

C. If you wish to appeal your inclusion on the undergraduate list of students approaching/will exceed/exceed the enrollment cap:

    1. Review, print out, and sign the release form:
      Download the Release Form
    2. Submit the release form to the UH Registrar's Office.
      Please either bring the completed form to 128 Welcome Center,
      or mail it to:

      University of Houston
      Office of the University Registrar
      4800 Calhoun
      Houston, Texas 77204-2027

    3. UH will send your request for release of information to the THECB, and the THECB will return a report of your attempted hours to UH.
    4. The report will then be sent to your academic advisor here at UH along with a request to contact you to review the report and your academic records. Reports from the THECB typically are returned to your UH advisor in about one week.

For any further questions, please contact an academic advisor in the college of your major.

*** Please Note! ***

You must drop a course prior to the close of the Official Reporting Day (ORD), or that course will still count towards your enrollment cap. Check the Academic Calendar to find the current ORD.

UH Class Schedule On Line: collected links to Enrollment Services Online, Office of the University Registrar (OUR), VIP, more.

Undergraduate Catalog On Line: provides information about the enrollment cap, other University policies, course descriptions, degree plans, the Academic Calendar, more.

Review the Texas State Education Code

Review the Texas State Education Code (54.014 and 61.0595)
Policy on Premium Tuition Charges for Excessive Undergraduate Hours (aka: 45/30 Hour Enrollment Cap Rule)

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