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For Immediate Release - June 20, 2005

(DALLAS) – The third time’s a charm. Try, try, try again. Good things come in threes.

These old adages may apply to luck, life and love, but they don’t apply to courses taken the third or subsequent time at the Dallas County Community Colleges. Instead, students who take the same class three or more times now will pay an additional tuition charge to cover the cost of the course that the state of Texas no longer reimburses after the student’s second attempt.

Currently, students pay $33 per credit hour for a class – or $99 for a typical three-hour course. Effective fall 2005, students who take the same class for the third or subsequent time since fall 2002 will pay an additional $50 per credit hour, making that typical three-hour course cost $249. The new “third attempt” tuition costs will not apply to developmental courses; they also will not apply to special studies courses in which the content changes each time and other select courses. Students who take continuing education courses for the third and subsequent time since fall 2002 will pay additional tuition for those classes, too.

A complete list of exempt credit and noncredit courses is available on the system’s Web site at Information in Spanish is provided at the same link, and the site offers a list of frequently asked questions for additional details. Students also can visit their college’s admissions office or their advisors for assistance.

“The state of Texas, with the support of taxpayers, helps pay for the education of college students. The tuition paid by any student represents only a portion of the real cost of any credit or continuing education/workforce training courses,” explained Dr. Richard McCrary, DCCC assistant vice chancellor for educational affairs. “The state no longer will subsidize a student’s enrollment in a course for the third or subsequent time. Our students should see their academic advisors if they are repeating a course for the third time, and they should select their classes carefully.”

Several years ago, the Texas Legislature approved Rider 50, which mandated that colleges and universities would not receive state funding for students who attempt most credit and continuing education/workforce training courses more than twice, effective fall 2002; in other words, the state no longer provides state reimbursement for a student’s enrollment in a course for the third or subsequent attempt. 

Since fall 2002, DCCC has lost more than $2 million in state reimbursements for “third attempt” courses taken by students – or approximately 12,000 courses taken by 7,200 students, according to Bob Brown, vice chancellor for business affairs. 

A bill that passed during this year’s legislative session now authorizes community colleges to charge additional tuition to recover those costs, if they choose, when students take the same class three or more times. The DCCCD board of trustees approved the additional “third attempt” tuition during its regular monthly meeting in June. Other area community college systems will not allow students to take the same course more than twice.

“Third attempts” include courses taken at any of the Dallas County Community Colleges since the fall 2002 semester. Transferred courses taken from colleges outside the DCCC system are not counted in the number of attempts.

No appeal process is available for third attempt tuition rates.

Press contact: Ann Hatch, 214-860-2478