When a student is paying college costs out of his or her pocket, or borrowing money to pay tuition, fees, books and living expenses, there’s a pretty good incentive to take as few courses as needed and finish the degree as quickly as possible. What happens, however, when the student is receiving a full merit scholarship from the state? Some students might take advantage of the financial aid to earn degrees in multiple subjects, with taxpayers footing the bill.
Texas has enacted a law this year “to facilitate the timely completion of degrees.” H.B. 3025, signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on June 17, requires all students to submit a plan detailing how they intend to achieve their degrees. Most students would be required to submit their graduation plans no later than semester after they have earned 45 credit hours. Students entering an institution with 45 credits would be given until the end of the second semester at the institution to file the graduation plan. If students later have a change of heart, and consequently want to change their majors, they will be required to obtain permission in order to continue to receive financial aid.