Hardship Policy for State Waivers/Exemptions
In accordance with Texas Senate Bill 1210, undergraduate students receiving certain waivers/exemptions are required to meet the following academic requirements.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
- The GPA calculation includes coursework attempted at all schools for which the institution has evaluated a transcript.
- Not have attempted as of the beginning of the semester or term, a number of semester
credit hours that is considered to be excessive under Section 54.014.
- Students are considered to have excessive hours if before the semester begins, the student has attempted credit hours that exceed the credit hour required by the student’s degree program by at least 15 credit hours. For a 60 credit hour program, the student cannot exceed 75 credit hours. Students who are not enrolled in a degree program are considered to be enrolled in an associate degree program and must not exceed 75 credit hours.
Eligibility for a waiver or exemption will be reviewed each semester. Students who are not meeting the academic requirements listed above may be allowed to appeal to receive the exemption or waiver if there is a showing of hardship or other good cause, including:
- Severe illness or other debilitating condition that could affect the student's academic performance;
- An indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person that the student’s provision of care could affect the student’s academic performance;
- The student’s active duty or other service in the United States armed forces or the student’s active duty in the Texas National Guard; or
- Other special circumstances acceptable by the institution.
To appeal the suspension, students will need to submit a typed letter explaining:
- GPA > 2.0 - What specifically happened that caused the student’s GPA to fall below the 2.0 requirement and has now changed that will allow the student to be able to reach the minimum standard. The appeal must be accompanied by supporting documentation.
- Excessive Hours – Why the student has excessive hours, their expected graduation/completion date. The appeal should also include a copy of the student’s degree audit and any other viable supporting documentation.
The appeal should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via the Hardship Appeal for State Waivers/Exemptions link online and will be reviewed by a Financial Aid Advisor. Students will be notified via email of the appeal decision.
If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation or an academic plan.
- Probation - Students who are not meeting the progress standards to receive a waiver or exemption, but who have their appeal approved, will be placed on probation if it is possible for the student to regain an acceptable academic progress status at the end of the semester. In order to continue receiving the waiver or exemption, the student must be meeting the overall GPA standards as described above, at the end of the probation semester.
- Academic Plan - Students who are not meeting the progress standards to receive a waiver
or exemption, but who have their appeal approved, will be placed on an academic plan
if it is determined the student will require more than one semester to regain an acceptable
academic progress status. The PLAN agreement must be signed and submitted to the
Financial Aid Office. The PLAN conditions are:
- Do not drop any classes after the add/drop period
- Do not withdraw
- Do not make a grade below a “C”
- Only enroll in classes that are required for his/her declared program of study.
- Failure to comply with the probation or PLAN conditions will result in the termination of the waiver/exemption in the next semester and possibly future semesters.
If the first appeal is denied, the student may submit a second appeal. The second appeal will be sent to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review. The second appeal must contain new information and documentation. The committee’s decision is final and may not be overturned.
Students who are also required to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for financial aid awarded through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), only need to submit one appeal, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. The decision of this appeal will stand for both financial aid and the waiver or exemption.
Waivers/Exemptions impacted by TEC, Section 54.2001 include but is not limited to the following:
- Residents of the state of Louisiana (Reciprocal or Border State) Waiver
- Educational Aide Exemption
- Highest Ranking High School Graduate Exemption
- Senior Citizen (65+ for 6 hours free tuition)
- Deaf or Blind Exemption
- Children of Nurse Faculty Exemption
- Preceptors and their Children Exemption
- Hazlewood Exemption
- Firefighters taking Fire Science Courses Exemption
- Peace Officer Exemption
- Disabled Peace Officers and Firefighters Exemption
- Children of Disabled Firefighters/ Law Enforcement Officers Exemption
- Children of Prisoners of War or Persons Missing in Action Exemption
- Dependents of Deceased Public Servants Exemption
- National Guard Exemption