VI.B. Tuition and Fees

VI.B.1. Residency Policy

VI.B.1.01 - General Policy

Texas residency shall be determined according to state statute and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules. The LSCS Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing a tuition and fee structure that shall apply to eligible in-District Texas residents. Students who are out-of-District Texas residents or international/out-of-state residents will be assessed an additional fee.

VI.B.1.02 - In-District Texas Residents

An in-District Texas resident is defined as:

  1. a person younger than 18 years of age, whose parents or legal guardians have been residents of Texas for the 12 months preceding enrollment, and are physically residing within the taxing district boundaries of LSCS as of the official enrollment reporting date; or
  2. a person 18 years of age or older, who has been a resident of Texas for the 12 months preceding enrollment, and is physically residing within the taxing district boundaries of LSCS as of the official enrollment reporting date.

VI.B.1.03 - Out-of-District Texas Residents

An out-of-District Texas resident is defined as:

  1. a person younger than 18 years of age, whose parents or legal guardians have been residents of Texas for the 12 months preceding enrollment, and physically residing outside the taxing district boundaries of LSCS as of the official enrollment reporting date; or b.
  2. a person 18 years of age or older, who has been a resident of Texas for the 12 months preceding enrollment, and physically residing outside the taxing district boundaries of LSCS as of the official enrollment reporting date.

VI.B.1.04 - Waiver of Out-of-District Texas Resident Tuition and Fees

  1. Ad Valorem Taxpayers: Persons, or their dependents, who are not residents of the District (as defined in B.1.02), but own property which is subject to ad valorem taxation by the District, shall pay tuition and fees at the rate applicable to students who reside in the District. Persons, or their dependents, applying for such waiver shall verify property ownership by the following:
    1. an ad valorem tax statement or receipt issued by the tax office of the District; or
    2. a deed, property closing statement, or other appropriate evidence of ownership of property, which is subject to ad valorem taxation by the District.
    If a sworn affidavit is accepted at the time of enrollment, verification of the student as an ad valorem taxpayer must be provided prior to the last day a student is eligible to withdraw and rceive a full refund.

    A foreign student is not eligible for waiver of the International/out-of-state resident fee due to payment of ad valorem taxes.
  2. Employee Family Members: Immediate family members of full-time employees who reside outside the District are eligible to pay tuition and fees at the rate applicable to students who reside in the District.

VI.B.1.05 - Economic Development and Diversification Exception

A person who has come from outside Texas and enrolls in LSCS before having resided in Texas for 12 months preceding enrollment is entitled to pay the tuition and other fees required of Texas residents. This exception applies only if the person or an adult member of the person's family who resides in the person's household and is the primary caretaker has relocated to Texas as an employee of a business or organization that became established in this state as part of the state economic development and diversification program authorized by the laws of this state. The enrollee must file with LSCS a letter of intent to establish residency in Texas.

VI.B.1.06 - Texas Tomorrow Fund and Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan

Beneficiaries of the Texas Tomorrow Fund or Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan shall pay resident tuition and required fees for semester hours paid under the prepaid tuition contract.

VI.B.1.07 - Homeless Individuals

A homeless individual, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Sec. 11302, who resides in Texas for 12 months preceding enrollment, but who does not have a permanent residence, shall be classified as a resident student only for purposes of workforce education courses. Under this section, documentary proof of homeless status may consist of written statements from the office of one or more legitimate social service agencies located in Texas, attesting to the provision of services to the individual over the past 12 months.

VI.B.1.08 - Texas Residents

A Texas resident is entitled to pay resident tuition. A Texas resident is defined as:

  1. A person who:
    1. graduated from a public or accredited private high school in this state, home school program or, as an alternative to high school graduation, received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state, and
    2. maintained a residence continuously in this state for:
      • the thirty-six (36) months immediately preceding the date of graduation or receipt of the diploma equivalent, as applicable; and
      • the twelve (12) months preceding the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution;
  2. a person who:
    1. established a domicile in this state not less than twelve (12) months before the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls; and
    2. maintained that domicile continuously for the twelve (12) months preceding that census date;
  3. a dependent whose parent:
    1. established a domicile in this state not less than twelve (12) months before the census date of the academic semester in which the dependent enrolls; and
    2. maintained that domicile continuously for the twelve (12) months preceding that census date.

VI.B.1.09 - Visa-Holder or Petitioner for Lawful Residency

Students who hold visas that enable them to domicile in the United States are allowed to be treated like permanent residents of Texas if:

  1. They have resided continuously in Texas for twelve (12) months prior to the official day of record for the enrollment semester.
  2. Students (regardless of their immigration status) for whom a Petition for Permanent Resident Status (I-130 or I-140) has been filed by a sponsor, can also be treated like permanent residents. Students who fall into this category must provide proof of eligibility by showing a copy of their CIS receipt for when the petition was filed. The document must include the student's name and the form that was filed.

A student (regardless of their immigration status) who enrolls in LSCS shall be classified a resident of Texas for tuition purposes if he or she:

  1. graduated from a Texas public or accredited private high school or, as an alternative to high school graduation, received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
  2. resided continuously in Texas for at least thirty-six (36) months immediately prior to graduating or receiving a diplomacy equivalent;
  3. resided continuously in Texas for the twelve (12) months prior to the official day of record for the enrollment semester; and
  4. provided to LSCS an affidavit indicating his or her intention to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity he or she is eligible to do so.

VI.B.1.10 - Armed Forces Out-of-State Waiver - Duty Assignments in Texas

Officers, enlisted persons, selectees, or draftees of any branch of the United States Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve (i.e., Army, Army National Guard, Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, or Coast Guard), who are assigned to duty in Texas, are entitled to pay out-of-District Texas resident tuition and fees, without regard to length of time assigned to duty or resided in Texas. This waiver applies similarly to the spouses and dependent children of such service members.

However, out-of-state Army National Guard or Air National Guard members attending training with Texas Army or Air National Guard units under National Guard Bureau regulations are not entitled to the waiver merely by virtue of their training status. Also, out-of-state Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard Reserve members who are training with units in Texas under similar regulations are not entitled to the waiver merely by virtue of their training status, even if they routinely drill or train in Texas.

Members of the Army or Air National Guard, or Reserve forces, are only entitled to pay out-of-District Texas resident tuition and fees if they become members of Texas units or otherwise become Texas residents.

As long as they reside continuously in Texas, the spouses and dependent children of United States Armed Forces service members are entitled to the waiver during subsequent duty assignments of such service members.

VI.B.1.11 - Armed Forces Dependent Waiver - Duty Assigned Not in Texas

A spouse or dependent child of a United States Armed Forces service member who is not assigned to duty in Texas but who has previously resided in Texas for a six-month period is entitled to pay out-of-District Texas resident tuition and fees for a semester, if the service member:

  1. has executed, at least one year preceding the first day of the semester, a document with the applicable military service that is in effect on the first day of the semester and that: i. indicates that the service member's permanent resident address is in Texas; and ii. designates Texas as the service member's place of legal residence for income tax purposes;
  2. has been registered to vote in Texas for the entire year preceding the first day of the semester; and
  3. has satisfied at least one of the following requirements:
    1. for the entire year preceding the first day of the semester has owned real property in Texas and in that time has not been delinquent in the payment of any taxes on the property; or
    2. has had an automobile registered in Texas for the entire year preceding the first day of the semester; or
    3. at least one year preceding the first day of the semester has executed a will that has not been revoked or superseded, indicating that the service member is a resident of this state, and has deposited the will with the county clerk of the county of the service member's residence under Section 71 of the Texas Probate Code.

If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is stationed outside Texas and the member's spouse or child resides in Texas and files with the System a letter of intent to establish residence in Texas, the System shall permit the spouse or child to pay the tuition, fees, and other charges provided for Texas residents without regard to length of time that the spouse or child has resided in Texas.

VI.B.1.12 - International/Out-of-State Residents

An international/out-of-state resident is defined as a person less than 18 years of age who lives away from his or her family, and whose parents or legal guardians physically reside outside of the state of Texas for the twelve (12) months preceding the semester of enrollment, or a person 18 years of age or older who has not established Texas residency.

An individual who enters the state under a visa that does not allow the establishment of a domicile, and who is later granted permanent resident status while in Texas may not be reclassified for tuition purposes until he or she has resided in Texas a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months from the date on which he or she applied for permanent resident status.

VI.B.1.13 - Information Required to Initially Establish Resident Status

LSCS shall require a student to complete Core Residency Questions, which shall become part of the application process. LSCS may request documentation supporting residency in order to resolve issues raised by responses to the Core Residency Questions. All registrants classified as Texas residents must affirm the correctness of that classification by signing an oath of residency as part of the admissions process. If a student's classification becomes inappropriate or incorrect for any reason, the student must inform the System's admissions office at the specific college. Failure to do so will result in a violation of the oath of residency and may result in disciplinary action by the System.

VI.B.1.14 - Errors in Residency Classification

If LSCS erroneously classifies a person as a resident of this state, and the person is not entitled or permitted to pay resident tuition, then LSCS shall charge the nonresident tuition to the person beginning with the first semester that begins after the date the error is discovered.

Regardless of the reason for the error, if LSCS erroneously classifies a person as a nonresident of this state, then LSCS shall charge resident tuition to the person beginning with the semester in which the error is discovered. LSCS immediately shall refund the person the amount of tuition the person paid in excess of resident tuition.

VI.B.1.15 - Dual Credit Tuition Reduction

Students enrolled in a Texas High School will receive a 100% tuition reduction for all approved courses taken for dual credit. Students enrolled in a Texas High School shall pay applicable in-district or out-of-disctrict fees, but shall not be required to pay an international fee.

VI.B.1.16 - Notice of Repeated Courses and Excessive Undergraduate Hours

LSCS may charge a student tuition at a higher rate than would otherwise be charged for certain repeated courses or excessive hours. The rate and criteria will be published in the catalog.

LSCS shall give written notice to each new undergraduate student of the maximum limit, set by law, of the number of credit hours or types of courses that a student claiming Texas residency may take while paying tuition at the rate provided for Texas residents and the tuition rate that will be charged to affected students.

VI.B.1.17 - Tuition Waiver Based on Contractual Training Agreements

Where the full cost, or a significant portion of the cost for a continuing education program or training course, including facilities, instructional salaries, equipment and other expenses, has been covered by a business, industry, or other local public or private client, whether in-cash or in-kind, tuition may be set at the rate stated in the contractual training agreement. In no event will this tuition waiver apply where the cash or in-kind contribution fails to cover at least instructional salaries. The Chancellor may authorize exceptions to this policy and shall report the same to the Board on, at least, an annual basis.

VI.B.2. Installment Plans

VI.B.2.01 - Installment Payment Options

The Board shall provide for payment of tuition and fees during the fall and spring semesters according to one of the following alternatives:

  1. full payment of tuition and fees in advance of the beginning of the semester; or
  2. payment in installments under one or more payment plan options that require the first payment to be made in advance of the beginning of the semester and the final payment to be made before the last day of the semester.

Installment plans are not available for mini-semester classes or summer semester classes. 

VI.B.2.02 - Execution of Installment Documents

On-line enrollment for an installment payment plan is required. LSCS requires each student who elects to pay tuition and fees by installment to execute electronic documentation reflecting the terms and conditions of this privilege. Said documentation shall incorporate a written agreement outlining the terms of the arrangement, a promissory note securing the debt, and an assignment by the student of any financial aid award to the extent of coverage of the tuition and fee obligation.

VI.B.2.03 - Notice Regarding Failure to Pay All Tuition and Fees

The following statement in bold-faced type or in capital letters shall be included in any promissory note signed by a student:

"A student who fails to make full payment of tuition and fees, including any incidental fees, by the due date may be prohibited from registering for classes until full payment is made. A student who fails to make full payment prior to the end of the semester or session may be denied credit for the work done that semester or session."

VI.B.2.04 - Procedure for Applying Financial Aid Award

Upon receipt of a student's satisfactorily completed electronic installment payment plan, LSCS shall apply that student's awarded financial aid toward the amount of tuition and fees due for that semester or summer session until the tuition and fees are paid in full. LSCS shall immediately release any remaining amount of the award to the student.

VI.B.2.05 - Due Dates Postponed with Assignment of Financial Aid Award

LSCS may postpone the due date for the payment of all or part of the tuition and fees for a student for a semester or summer session in which the student will receive one or more delayed financial aid awards if:

  1. the student has not received the awards by the regular due date for payment of tuition and fees; and
  2. the student agrees to assign to LSCS a portion of the awards equal to the amount of tuition and fees for which the due date is postponed.

VI.B.2.06 - Enrollment Adjustment

LSCS will notify a student of any delinquent tuition or fees as soon as practicable. LSCS's records may be adjusted to reflect the student's failure to properly enroll for that semester by not making timely payment.

VI.B.2.07 - Installment Payment Option Fee

A student who elects to pay tuition and fees under an installment payment plan will incur an additional enrollment fee, payable at the time of enrollment, for each semester that the student elects to pay by installment.

VI.B.3. Refund Policy

VI.B.3.01 - Withdrawal for Military Service

If a student withdraws because he or she is called to active military service, LSCS, at the student's option, shall:

  1. a. refund the tuition and fees paid by the student for the semester in which the student withdraws;
  2. grant the student an incomplete grade in all courses by designating "withdrawn-military" on the student's transcript; or
  3. as determined by the instructor, assign an appropriate final grade or credit to a student who has satisfactorily completed a substantial amount of coursework and has demonstrated sufficient mastery of the course material.

VI.B.3.02 - General Policy

The System, as soon as practicable, shall refund tuition and mandatory fees according to a published schedule.

Note: Title IV (Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FFE Loans) aid recipients are subject to a different policy upon complete withdrawal from classes (See B.3.05, below).

VI.B.3.03 - Schedule of Refunds - General Refund

For Coordinating Board-approved semester-length courses for which semester credit hours are awarded, refunds of tuition and fees is as follows:

  1. If the System cancels or discontinues a scheduled course, a 100 percent refund is granted.
  2. If a student drops a course, or completely withdraws, prior to the first day of class, a 100 percent refund is granted (with an exception of the registration fee, installment plan payment fee, any late fee(s) as applicable).
  3. Students dropping courses during the fall or spring semester:
    1. Prior to the first calendar day of the semester will receive a 100% refund.
    2. During the first 15 calendar days of the semester will receive a 70% refund.
    3. During the 16th through 20th calendar days of the semester will receive a 25% refund.
    4. After the 20th calendar day of the semester will receive no refund.
  4. Students dropping courses during the six-week summer semester:
    1. Prior to the first calendar day of the semester will receive a 100% refund.
    2. During the first five calendar days of the semester will receive a 70% refund.
    3. During the sixth and seventh calendar days of the semester will receive a 25% refund.
    4. After the seventh calendar day of the semester, no refund will be granted.

VI.B.3.04 - Schedule of Refunds - Flex Entry and Non-Semester Length

For flex entry and non-semester-length courses, with a census date other than the 12th class day (fourth class day for a six-week summer semester):

  1. Prior to the first class day, a 100 percent refund is granted.
  2. After classes begin, refunds are granted as per te prescribed formula in Title 19 Section 21.5 of the Texas Administrative Code.

VI.B.3.05 - Schedule of Refunds - Title IV Assistance Refund Policy

Students who completely withdraw prior to the 60 percent date in the enrollment term will be required to return funds to both the federal government and LSCS based on the following guidelines:

  1. The percent of the term that the student completes will be the percent of the amount of Title IV assistance that the student earned.
  2. The percentage earned will be calculated and the remaining amount not earned by the student will be required to be returned.
  3. LSCS's Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the amount of funds that the student needs to return to the federal government and LSCS. The student will have 45 days to repay the funds.
  4. The student must repay the full amount, or make payment arrangements with the Department of Education, in order to maintain eligibility for Title IV funds.
  5. The student must repay the school funds, make satisfactory repayment arrangements with LSCS's business office, or the student will be denied future registration, transcripts and grades.
  6. The refund will be returned to the Title IV programs in the following order:
    1. Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans;
    2. Subsidized Stafford Student Loans;
    3. Plus Loan Program;
    4. Pell Grant Program;
    5. SEOG Grant Program; and
    6. Robert C. Byrd Honor Scholarship

VI.B.4. Fees, Fines and Charges

VI.B.4.01 - Special Fees

The Board shall have the right to set and collect special fees, as authorized by law.

VI.B.4.02 - Incidental Fees

The Board may fix the rate of incidental fees to be paid by students and prospective students and may make rules for the collection of fees and for the distribution of funds collected. The rate of an incidental fee shall reasonably reflect the actual cost to LSCS of the materials or services for which the fee is collected.

The Board shall publish in the LSCS catalog a description of the amount of each incidental fee to be charged.

Incidental fees include, without limitation, such fees as late registration fees, library fines, microfilming fees, bad check charges, application processing fees, infrastructure fees and laboratory breakage charges.

VI.B.4.03 - Laboratory Fees

LSCS shall set and collect a laboratory charge in an amount sufficient to cover the general cost of laboratory materials and supplies used by a student. The laboratory charge shall not exceed the lesser of $24 per semester credit hour of laboratory course credit for which the student is enrolled or the cost of actual materials and supplies to be used by the student.

VI.B.4.04 - Continuing Education Course Fees

The Board shall charge a reasonable fee to each person registered in a Continuing Education (CE) course at LSCS. The Board shall set the fee in an amount sufficient to permit LSCS to recover the costs of providing the course.

This section applies only to a course for which LSCS does not collect tuition or receive formula funding, including an extension course, correspondence course, or other self-supporting course.

The students enrolled in CE courses for which LSCS collects tuition or receives formula funding will be charged a specified amount per course hour as set forth in the LSCS catalog.

VI.B.4.05 - Student Activity Fees

The Board shall collect from registered students an activity fee of $2.00 per credit hour each semester to be used to support student activities that are separate and apart from the regularly scheduled academic functions of LSCS and directly involve or benefit students.

All money collected as student activity fees shall be reserved and accounted for in an account kept separate and apart from educational and general funds of LSCS and shall be used only for the support of student activities.

The Chancellor shall develop procedures and guidelines for the collecting, accounting, and expending of student activity fees.

VI.B.4.06 - Student Activity Fee Advisory Committees

Prior to recommending the student fee budget to the Board, the Chancellor shall consider the report and recommendations of the College Student Fee Advisory Committee. Each College Student Fee Advisory Committee shall consist of nine members.

VI.B.4.07 - Joint Enrollment Waiver

If a student registers at more than one of the colleges in the System under concurrent enrollment provisions of joint or cooperative programs between the colleges, the student shall pay all compulsory student services fees to the college designated as the home college under the joint or cooperative program, and payment of all compulsory student services fees at the other college shall be waived.

VI.B.4.08 - Exemption under Texas Law

Students for whom Texas law provides specific exemptions from tuition and/or dues, fees and charges shall be granted those exemptions by LSCS.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 1, 2011

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