As if getting a diploma upon graduation isn’t good enough, the state of Texas has just sweetened the deal by $1000.
A state law enacted on Aug. 1, 1997, allows certain qualifying students to receive a tuition rebate of $1000 immediately upon graduation.
To receive the rebate, students must meet requirements mandated by the state. A student who entered college as a beginning freshman in the fall of 1997 or later, obtained a bachelor’s degree from a Texas institution of higher learning, was a Texas resident while pursuing the degree and attempted no more than three credit hours in excess of the minimum number of semester hours required to complete the degree would be eligible for the rebate.
“The state of Texas has enacted this as a way to encourage students to set educational goals early,” said Robert Dunning, university registrar.
Students wishing to apply for the rebate must complete and return an application from the Registrar’s Office before they graduate.
The Registrar’s Office then performs a check following commencement to see if an application qualifies. If so, the registrar certifies the hours and the university business office will send a check to the student.
Dunning estimates the process to take about two weeks, depending on the workflow of both the registrar and the business office.
Checks will only be given to students if they do not have outstanding student loans. In this case, the rebate will be automatically applied towards paying the balance on the loan.
Transfer students are also eligible for the rebate, as long as they provide a transcript to the registrar so attempted hours can be verified.
If the amount of tuition paid by the student does not equal $1000, students are still eligible for a partial rebate of the amount paid.
“This is a statewide initiative,” explained Charles Carlow, director of the business office. “Though the university pays the student initially, the institution will receive reimbursement from the state.”
Whether or not students qualify, the Registrar’s Office will send a letter to each student applying letting them know if they will be receiving a check.
“Students can check with the Registrar’s Office to see if they qualify,” said Dunning.
As for the 36 SHSU students who have qualified since the law was put into effect, they all would agree an extra $1000 is not a bad graduation gift.