Dear Charlie:

I heard somewhere that there is going to be a financial penalty for those who go over 144 credit hours. I would like to know if that is true and if I can wave that since I am a transfer and I had no option but to stay an extra year. Many of my interior design classmates are in this boat as well so we just want to figure it out quickly since we graduate in May.

Signed: Anonymous

Dear anonymous,

Charlie hears your concern. You’ve heard that there is a financial penalty for students who exceed 144 credit hours. You also mention that, because you are a transfer student, you had no option but to stay an extra year. You say that you would like to know if this 144 hour rule is true and, secondly, you would like to know if you could be exempted because of your transfer status. Charlie will try to provide you with some answers.

To answer this question, Charlie consulted with my friends at the Bursar’s office. This is what they said: Yes—there is potentially a penalty for students in this situation. The rule has two components. It applies 1) if a student has been at BSU for more than four years and 2) has exceeded 144 hours. If both conditions are met, then the student starts paying an additional $150.00 for each hour after 144 credit hours. So, for example, if a student has already been at BSU for four years, has already earned 140 credit hours, and is registering for 12 hours this spring, he or she will then exceed 144 by 8 hours. The penalty will be 8 x 150 = $1200.00, which is added onto the normal tuition fee.

To address the second part of your question, my friend at the Bursar noted that the 144 hours applies only to hours earned at Ball State. So, in the case of a transfer such as yourself, in figuring your total hours, you can subtract all of the hours you transferred from another institution. So, for example, if a student has been at BSU for four years and has accumulated a total of 150 hours, but 20 of them transferred from another institution, then the student’s earned hours at Ball State are 150- 20 = 130 hours. He or she could then register for as many as 14 additional hours with no penalty.

My friend at the Bursar’s office said that each student’s situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. So, she recommended that you contact them directly and have your student ID number handy. With your ID, they can look at the hours you’ve earned elsewhere and at BSU and determine if or when the rule might apply to you. You can call the Bursar at 285-1643 to ask the question or to make a face-to-face appointment.

Hoping this helps to set your mind (and pocketbook) at ease,