AACRAO partnered with a large public university in the southwestern United States to examine a multi-year data set and to complete a student survey in order to gain insights into variables that contribute to excess credit accumulation at graduation. Until state legislatures began to decrease funding for public colleges and universities, excess credit was not thought to be an issue worthy of discussion or consideration. One of the tactics to reduce full-time-equivalent-based budget funding was to cap the number of credits an institution was eligible to receive for budget allocation. Some states even decided to penalize students who earned credit above a maximum by charging them a higher tuition rate; some legislatures voted not to fund what they deemed excess credit.
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