By: Giddings H.B. No. 609
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to tuition rebate incentives for persons who complete
certain degree and certificate programs without excessive credit
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 54.0065, Education Code, is amended by
amending Subsections (a)-(f) and (h) and adding Subsections (a-1),
(a-2), (h-1), and (j) to read as follows:
(a) In this section:
(1) "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board.
(2) "General academic teaching institution," "public
junior college," and "public technical institute" have the meanings
assigned by Section 61.003.
(a-1) A qualified student at a general academic teaching
institution is eligible for a rebate of a portion of the
undergraduate tuition the student has paid if the student:
(1) enrolls at a general academic teaching
(A) as a first-time freshman; or
(B) not later than the first fall semester
following the student's graduation from high school;
(2) is awarded a baccalaureate degree from the [
general academic teaching] institution; and
(3) [ (2)] has attempted no more than three hours in
excess of the minimum number of semester credit hours required to
complete the degree, including:
(A) transfer credits; and
(B) course credit earned exclusively by
examination, except that, for purposes of this subsection, only the
number of semester credit hours earned exclusively by examination
in excess of nine semester credit hours is treated as hours
(a-2) A qualified student at a public junior college, public
technical institute, or general academic teaching institution that
offers only freshman-level and sophomore-level courses is eligible
for a rebate of a portion of the undergraduate tuition the student
has paid if the student:
(1) is awarded an associate degree or other degree or
certificate in a program that requires at least 60 semester credit
(2) has attempted no more than three hours in excess of
the minimum number of semester credit hours required to complete
the degree or certificate, including transfer credits and course
credit earned exclusively by examination.
(b) The amount of tuition to be rebated to a student under
Subsection (a-1) [ this section] is $1,000 and the amount of tuition
to be rebated to a student under Subsection (a-2) is $500, unless
the total amount of undergraduate tuition paid by the student to the
institution of higher education awarding the degree or certificate
was less than that amount [ $1,000], in which event the amount of
tuition to be rebated is an amount equal to the amount of
undergraduate tuition paid by the student to the institution.
However, a student who paid the institution awarding the degree or
certificate an amount of undergraduate tuition less than the
applicable rebate amount specified by this subsection [ $1,000] may
qualify for an increase in the amount of the rebate, not to exceed a
total rebate in the applicable amount specified by this subsection
[ of $1,000], for any amount of undergraduate tuition the student
paid to other institutions of higher education by providing the
institution with proof of the total amount of that tuition paid to
other institutions of higher education.
(c) A student who has transferred from another institution
of higher education shall provide the institution awarding the
degree or certificate an official transcript from each institution
attended by the student in order that the total number of hours
attempted by the student can be verified.
(d) To qualify for a rebate under this section, the student
must have been a resident of this state and entitled to pay tuition
at the rate provided by this chapter for a resident student at all
times while pursuing the degree or certificate.
(e) All institutions of higher education shall notify each
first-time freshman student of the tuition rebate program under
(f) The institution awarding the degree or certificate
shall pay the rebate under this section from local funds.
(h) The legislature shall account in the General
Appropriations Act for the rebates authorized by this section to an
institution other than a public junior college in a way that
provides a corresponding increase in the general revenue funds
appropriated to the institution. It is the intent of the
legislature that rebates authorized by this section shall be
financed by savings to the state resulting from reductions in the
number of courses taken by undergraduate students.
(h-1) In addition to the amount appropriated for allocation
to public junior colleges under Section 130.003, the legislature
shall appropriate an amount sufficient to reimburse each public
junior college for any rebates paid by the college under this
section in the period used to determine the contact hours for the
allocation under Section 130.003. The coordinating board shall
transfer the appropriate portion of the amount appropriated under
this subsection to each public junior college in the same manner as
the coordinating board transfers money allocated to the college
under Section 130.003.
(j) This section does not apply to a student who enters a
public junior college or public technical institute for the first
time before the 2005 summer session. This subsection expires
January 1, 2011.
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2005.