Academic Related »

Admissions Related

SB 502 by West/Morrison - Relating to common undergraduate admission application forms for public institutions of higher education in this state. Requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (CB), with the assistance of an advisory committee composed of representatives of general academic teaching institutions, junior college districts, public state colleges, and public technical institutes, and with the consultation of all other institutions of higher education, to adopt by rule common admission application forms.

Time to Degree

HB 1172 by Brown/Zaffirini - Relating to policies and measures to promote timely graduation of students from public institutions of higher education. Makes changes to existing 45 SCH “excess hours” rule as well as other amendments, including:

  • Requires reporting on graduation rate and time-to-degree;
  • Authorizes institutions to charge higher tuition rates if a student’s SCHs exceed 30 more than required in that student’s degree plan;
  • Excepts certain SCHs from the cap, including those needed to fulfill requirements for double majors and minors; study abroad courses, and certificate programs;
  • “Grandfathers” enrollees who entered before 2006 and subject to 45 hour rule;
  • Allows the CB to develop hardship rules for exceptions to the 30 hour limitation rule;
  • Prohibits formula funding to an institution for SCHs of a student whose exceeds the 30 hour rule; exceptions include hours generated in double majors, double minors or study abroad courses; applies to students entering after Fall 2006; all others subject to the current 45 SCH rule; provides that savings resulting from lowering the 45 SCH rule down to 30 SCH are intended to go to Texas Grant;
  • Amends existing work-study program law requiring employer match to federal college work-study funds;
  • Creates a student mentorship program for work-study students;
  • Limits initial Texas Grant awards on/after Fall 2005 to five years for students is in a four year degree program; six years for a five year program; and provides that students must make “satisfactory progress” and subsequently satisfactorily complete at least 24 SCH in the most recent academic year and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA/4.00, or equivalent, in order to hold their Texas Grant;
  • Maintains the six year rule if the Texas Grant is awarded before Fall 2005;
  • Tightens rules for Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) recipients so that no “double dipping” is allowed in both the TEG and Texas Grant programs, and conforms the TEG to rules applicable to public institutions;
  • Excludes certain transfer hours from counting against the limits otherwise applicable to B-On-Time participants;
  • Prohibits institutions from requiring a student to complete a greater number of SCHs for a given degree than recommended by the “Southern Association of Colleges and Schools” (SACS), or the number that is required by an institution that “determines” a “compelling academic reason for requiring completion of additional” SCHs for a particular degree.

SB 30 by Zaffirini/F. Brown - Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for students contracting to graduate in a timely manner from public institutions of higher education. Requires the THECB to establish a pilot project providing for tuition and fee exemptions under which each institution participating in the project awards incentives to students who contract to graduate from the institution in a timely manner and fulfill all other terms of the contract.

SB 34 by Zaffirini/Morrison- Relating to the governing board of a state university or state university system and to the tuition rebate program for certain undergraduates at certain state institutions of higher education.

  • Creates a non-voting position for a student for each board of a state university or university system. For a system, each student government association of each institution in the system selects five names, forwards the names to the chancellor and then the chancellor forwards at least two names to the governor who will then select one. Must be selected on/before February 1 of each year for a one-year term.
  • Requires a student that participates in a four year tuition rebate program also to comply with the "B-On-Time" time to degree rules.

Tuition and Fees

HB 503 by Guillen/Fraser - Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for certain military personnel and certain children of those personnel. Adds to the exempt category certain individuals, and their children, who are called to service because of a national emergency by reason of certain terrorist attacks that began on September 11, 2001.

HB 1170 by Miller/Shapleigh - Relating to the award of higher education course credit for the completion of certain military training and to readmission to a public institution of higher education of students who withdraw to perform active military service. Institutions shall consider a student’s military training if that training satisfies the purpose of the course for which the student seeks credit as described in the institution's course catalog.An institution must readmit a student that withdraws due to performing active military service without reapplication or fee. An institution “may adopt rules requiring reasonable proof from a student of the fact and duration of the student's active military service.”

SB 101 by Van de Putte/McClendon - Relating to efficiently administering and electronically monitoring certain veterans' and dependents' tuition exemptions at institutions of higher education. SB 101 requires institutions to electronically report to the THECB information relating to individuals who receive Hazlewood tuition exemptions. It also requires the board to develop a system to electronically monitor the use of the Hazlewood Act.

SB 579 by Van de Putte/Corte - Relating to the eligibility of children of certain military personnel to receive Texas B-On-time loans. This bill extends the Texas residency requirement for Texas B-On-Time loans to include military dependents who are entitled to pay tuition at the rate provided for residents of this state under Section 54.058. This bill also allows certain graduates of a Department of Defense high school to be eligible for the loans.

General Academic- Miscellaneous

HB 133 by Brown/Ogden - Relating to the award of academic credit to a student at an institution of higher education for the completion of certain military training. HB 133 requires that colleges and universities accept military training for academic degree credit, provided that the training satisfies the requirements for the college course and an official record of the successful completion of the relevant training is provided to the institution of higher education.

HB 1173 by Brown - Relating to the regulation of the use of postsecondary credits and degrees, persons offering or granting certain postsecondary credits and degrees, and the manner of offering or granting those credits and degrees; providing criminal penalties. HB 1173 establishes that knowingly offering, receiving, or using for personal gain a degree that is fraudulent or substandard is illegal and establishes criminal penalties. HB 1173 classifies a violation of this Act under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

HB 1630 by McReynolds/West - Relating to an excused absence from a public institution of higher education for a person called to active military service. SB 1630 provides that students attending institutions of higher education who are called to military duty will have their absences excused. It also authorizes the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to adopt rules regarding the procedures for excusing the absences.

HB 1697 by McCall/West - Relating to the use of gifts to fund technology workforce development grants and to the evaluation of the technology workforce development grant program. HB 1697 clarifies the original intent of the Act by permitting the state to match qualifying grants that go directly to an institution. It also changes the reference to an advisory committee to an "evaluation committee." Using the term advisory committee has the effect of applying Government Code 2110, which prohibits the reimbursement of advisory committee member expenses unless specifically appropriated.

HB 1829 by Wong/Averitt - Relating to authorizing certain institutions of higher education to charge fees for processing or handling certain payments or payment transactions. Originally filed to allow private institutions this authority currently utilized by public institutions, HB 1829 was amended in the House to only allow for “actual” costs to be recovered at both private and public institutions. The bill was amended in the Senate to provide the authorizing language utilized by Parks and Wildlife to charge “reasonable and necessary” fees. The end result provides negligible change to the ‘status quo’ for public institutions.

HB 2109 by Berman/Shapiro - Relating to the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program. The requirements of this scholarship program prior to 2003 provided that a student who completed high school in not more than 36 consecutive months was eligible for a scholarship providing in state tuition credits. But in 2003, the 78th Legislature added a requirement establishing that students who graduate early must graduate with the recommended or advanced high school curriculum in order to receive a scholarship under this scholarship program. The Act passed by the 78th Legislature failed to address the issue of students then currently enrolled in the scholarship program, thereby leaving many students without the scholarship as promised. HB 2109 restores the eligibility of students who were admitted under the terms of the previous scholarship program.

HB 2274 by Cook, B./Carona - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Guaranteed Loan Corporation. Upon the recommendation of the Sunset Advisory Commission, HB 2274 continues the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation until September 1, 2017, and makes the changes recommended by the Commission.

HB 2701 by Crownover/Janek - Relating to higher education authorities. Currently Chapter 53 of the Education Code is a unified “umbrella” code and it makes it difficult to amend any section of the code for one authority without affecting the other two. HB 2701 amends the Education Code to break Chapter 53 into three subchapters and inserts clarifying terms regarding the name of a higher education authority.

SB 39 by Zaffirini/Goolsby - Relating to continuing education in forensic evidence collection for certain physicians and nurses. This bill is to remedy incidences of emergency room personal unintentionally compromising evidence in sexual assault case. A licensed physician who submits an application for renewal of a license to practice medicine and whose practice includes treating patients in an emergency room setting may complete two hours of continuing medical education relating to collection of forensic evidence. A license holder who is employed to work in an emergency room setting and who is required under board rules to comply with this section shall complete at least two hours of continuing education relating to forensic evidence collection not later than: (1) September 1, 2008; or the second anniversary of the initial issuance of a license under this chapter to the license holder.

SB 111 by Shapleigh/Smith, T. - Relating to undergraduate course credit granted by public institutions of higher education to high school students and to the computation of the grade point average of high school students. SB 111 requires higher education institutions in Texas to adopt and implement a policy regarding the awarding of course credit for entering freshman who successfully complete the Advanced Placement exams, CLEP tests, dual credit courses or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The bill requests that the CB and the Texas Education Agency examine the correlation between corresponding high school and college courses for dual credit. Finally, SB 111 requires universities to inform admitted students how many credits they are eligible to receive from a particular course or exam based on university policies following a request by the student.

SB 132 by Nelson/Morrison - Relating to goals and strategies concerning the number of graduates from professional nursing education programs and incentives to recruit and retain professional nursing program faculty.

  • This bills sets statewide goals for increasing the number of initial Registered Nurse (RN) graduates, developing strategies for increasing graduation rates from nursing programs, and promoting innovation in nursing education through the regionalization of common administrative and instructional functions, interdisciplinary instruction, pooled or shared faculty, and new clinical instruction models to maximize use of existing resources and faculty.
  • The bill provides tuition exemptions for undergraduate students who are residents of Texas to an institution of higher education if they are the child of a person who is either employed or contracted to be part of the faculty or staff of a professional nursing program at an institution of higher education in the state. The bill also provides the exemption for paying $500 of the total amount of tuition for a resident of this state enrolled as a student at the institution who is a registered nurse and is serving under a written preceptor agreement with an undergraduate professional nursing program for the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is sought or a child of a registered nurse with a preceptor agreement. The bill provides for nursing faculty enhancement grants to professional nursing programs in the education, recruitment, and retention of sufficient numbers of faculty to enable programs to enroll sufficient numbers of students in order to meet the state's need for RNs. The bill provides eligible professional nursing program faculty members with low-interest home mortgage loans. The THECB could absorb the costs associated with preparing rules and admission forms and of distributing funds through the nursing faculty enhancement program to institutions.

SB 151 by Zaffirini/Morrison - Relating to students enrolled in certain high school and junior college programs for which students may receive both high school and higher education academic credit; creating the Texas Academy of International Studies.

  • SB 151 creates a pilot program of dual credit in which up to five public junior colleges would waive tuition and fees for educationally disadvantaged high school students. It entitles these students to free textbooks for the dual credit courses. The bill would condition implementation of this provision upon sufficient general revenue appropriations in an amount corresponding with the waived tuition and fees. The bill takes effect immediately, but generally applies to the 2005-06 school year.
  • The bill, as amended, would create the Texas Academy of International Studies at Texas A&M International University. The academy would be a residential, coeducational institution for selected Texas high school students with an interest in international studies. For each student enrolled in the academy, the academy would be entitled to allotments from the foundation school fund under Chapter 42 of the Education code.

SB 302 by Ellis/Coleman - Relating to reports regarding participation in higher education. SB 302, authorizes the THECB to monitor universities' minority outreach efforts. SB 302 requires universities and colleges to provide information on the results of their efforts and strategies to increase minority enrollment.

SB 1146 by Shapiro/Morrison - Relating to an early college education program to provide at-risk and other students accelerated high school graduation and college credit. Requires the Commissioner of Education (Commissioner) to establish and administer an early, rather than middle, college education program (Program), rather than pilot program, for students who are at risk of dropping out of high school or who wish to accelerate completion of the high school curriculum. Authorizes the Commissioner to adopt rules necessary to administer the Program. Authorizes the rules to provide for giving preference in receiving Program benefits to a student who is in the first generation of the student's family to attend college and to establish other distinctions or criteria based on student need. Requires the Commissioner to consult the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in administering the program. Authorizes the P-16 Council to make recommendations, including recommendations for rules, concerning administration of the Program.

SB 1227 by Shapiro/Morrison - Relating to payment of the costs of attending public and private postsecondary educational institutions. This is the omnibus financial aid and general academic issues bill. The following is a general summary of the key provisions of the bill. For additional and more specific information related to detailed changes to the law, please refer to the Report of the Conference Committee.

  • Includes non-voting student regent language exactly like SB 34 above.
  • Cleans up Texas Opportunity Plan Fund language.
  • Makes technical adjustments to B-On-Time program.
  • Offers process for students receiving financial aid to pay tuition and fees by installment.
  • Provides new rules and procedures for delayed financial aid awards to students.
  • Establishes reduced tuition pilot program for Texas A&M summer school students. Was not funded in SB 1 and therefore according to language in bill, not in effect.
  • Cleans up public education aide tuition and fee exemptions; applicable in Fall 2005.
  • Cleans up tuition and fee adjustments for Adjutant General tuition assistance program.
  • Provides technical changes on student deposit fund at each institution.
  • Clarifies rules relating to collegiate license plate program.
  • Adds textbooks as eligible expenses for the emergency loan program; clarifies other rules for this program.
  • Cleans up Work study program rules.
  • Clarifies early high school graduate scholars program eligibility and cleanup.
  • Provides clean up in Texas Grant program.
  • Prohibits TEG recipients (for students at Independent/Private institutions) from also receiving a Texas Grant. “Grandfathers” current students. Also, requires them to have a 2.5/4.00 GPA for continued support.
  • Changes name of Texas Grant II to Texas Education Opportunity Grant program for community college students. Authorizes coordinating board to adopt rules for hardship.
  • Requires the coordinating board to conduct a biennial study to determine cost of attending an institution, and resources students use to pay for college.
  • Requires Center for Financial Aid to develop a training program on financial aid for high school counselors.
  • Creates at the coordinating board, to the extent funds are available, three state centers to administer the higher Education Enrollment Assistance Program.
  • Tightens rules relating to TEG Program.
  • Creates coordinating board specialty license plate for scholarship support.
  • In the enacting clauses, requires the coordinating board to study and recommend the “feasibility of implementing an automatic admission program” for community college graduates that seek transfer to a university.
  • Requires the THECB to study waivers and exemptions and evaluate the “cost-effectiveness” of these waivers along with other elements.

SB 1247 by West/Brown, F. - Relating to admission to the Joint Admission Medical Program. SB 1247 changes the year students are selected into the JAMP from the students’ freshman year to the sophomore year. It changes the allocation of certain remaining program openings and requires the JAMP Council to allocate the openings to the general academic teaching institutions. SB 1247 also updates pre-admission mentoring and assistance requirements for potential JAMP applicants.

SB 1528 by Shapiro/Morrison - Relating to the payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education and the determination of Texas residency for that purpose. Requires the coordinating board by rule to adopt definitions related to the residency status of students for purposes of tuition and fee exemptions and waivers as necessary to ensure consistency in the application of this chapter and other related state laws and policies. SB 1528 establishes common definitions and replaces the current classifications for who was considered a resident for tuition purposes with the following three categories:those who established a permanent residence in Texas within one year of the census date of the academic term in which they were enrolled, and maintained that residence for the year preceding that date;dependents whose parents met the above qualification;and those who graduated from a Texas high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Texas, maintained a continuous Texas residence for three years leading up to graduation or receiving the diploma, and resided in Texas for the year preceding their enrollment.SB 1528 establishes the necessary information and documents to be submitted to an institution of higher education in order to establish resident status. Students, once classified, will be classified as having continuing resident status in each subsequent academic term in which they enrolled, and by another institution in which the student subsequently enrolls unless:the student enrolls after “laying out” two or more regular semesters;information about the student's residency changes; orit was discovered that the institution erroneously misclassified the student.The Economic Development and Diversification waiver program and the NATO agreement program would be reestablished to allow certain students to pay tuition at the rate established for residents of the state.The bill repeals a provision enabling aliens living in the United States with petitions for permanent resident status pending with the federal Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services to qualify for resident tuition and fees until the time the Bureau approves their petition. Students who were enrolled for any part of the 2005-2006 academic year and who were classified as a resident would be considered a resident as of the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year. The bill applies prospectively; effective September 1, 2005.

SB 1844 by Harris/Morrison - Relating to scholarships for the fifth year of accounting programs at public and private institutions of higher education. SB 1844 eliminates the scholarship limit and requires the THECB, along with an advisory committee, to determine the maximum scholarship amount given to a student.