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Florida Universities Ease Excess Credit Penalty For Extra Classes

A large, brick building with a fountain in front of it
Florida State University

Florida college students can take extra classes without having to worry about excess credit surcharges under a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

College students accumulate credit hours for every class they take. A typical degree is 120 credits.

In an attempt to cut down on so-called “career students” lawmakers imposed an excess credit surcharge to students with more than 132 hours.

But a new measure signed into law by Gov. Scott may provide some much needed relief.

“The Florida Student Association brought to my attention that in 2015-16, nearly 1500 students graduated within four years but still hit  this surcharge," explains Rep. Amber Mariano (R-Hudson). "We shouldn’t be penalizing students who graduate on time.”

Mariano wants to help students who are forced to pay extra because they change their major or end up taking extra classes.

The new law gives students an additional 12 credit hours, or up to 144 total credit hours, for a degree. Students who cross that threshold will be refunded so long as they graduate within four years. The measure takes effect next academic year and applies to all first-time college students.