Three-Attempt Rule

The Texas Legislature enacted legislation that does not allow universities to receive state funding for courses containing the same content attempted by a student more than twice at the same Texas state-supported institution of higher education. This regulation not only includes completing a class more than twice, but also includes classes where grades of “W” were earned by withdrawing from classes or dropping a class after the official semester Census Date (see the online registration calendar for specific Census Dates for each semester).

There is now a monetary benefit if students complete classes prior to the third attempt; therefore, it is imperative that students make every effort to complete courses successfully the first time. Upon the third or subsequent attempt to take the same course at UTSA, a surcharge per semester credit hour will be assessed by UTSA for courses that fall into this category. This surcharge will be in addition to the regular in-state per semester credit hour tuition rate. Current tuition, fees, and charges schedules can be accessed on the Fiscal Services website. The three-attempt rule applies to all undergraduate students; however, out-of-state students who pay the out-of-state rate would not be subject to the surcharge; out-of-state students with fee waivers or who are exempt from paying the out-of-state rate would be assessed the surcharge at the same rate as in-state students. 

The Texas Legislature has mandated that students be held accountable for any courses they have taken beginning with the Fall 2002 Semester (this means that the “course count” begins with courses taken or dropped after Census Date beginning with the Fall 2002 Semester). However, certain classes will be exempt from this rule, such as independent study, special topics courses with differing content, and developmental and remedial courses up to the 18-semester-credit-hour limit established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (19 Texas Administrative Code, § 13.106). Students who, in their final semester or term prior to graduation, must repeat one or more previously completed courses for the third or more times in order to meet graduation requirements, will be exempt from paying higher tuition for the repeated course(s) only in the semester or term prior to graduation and shall be permitted the exemption from paying higher tuition for the repeated course(s) for only one semester. Those students wishing to apply for this exemption need to go through the appeal process described below.

Effective June 15, 2017, in accordance with amendment S.B 1782 to Section 51.907, Education Code, a student is permitted one course that has been attempted by the student two or more times at the same institution not be submitted for formula funding for a third attempt. 

  1. Student has re-enrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering the 24-month period preceding the first class of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's re-enrollment.
  2. Student has successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at an institution of higher education before the break in enrollment.

In rare cases, an undergraduate student may have experienced exigent circumstances that would explain the need to take a course, for the completion of the degree, more than two times.  In those cases, a student may petition to appeal a charge incurred because of the three-attempt rule.  The circumstances must have been severe, ongoing and must have directly affected the student, such as hospitalization of the student.  Appeal packets must include official documentation of the exigent circumstances.