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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 5 - Students
Publication Date: February 14, 2011
Policy Reviewed Date: January 11, 2022
Policy Owner: VP for Business Affairs

5.20 Authorization for Waiver of Mandatory or Incidental (Discretionary) Fees for Qualifying Academic Programs


Certain fees may be waived for students enrolled in university sponsored internships, study abroad or other educational programs when the program is conducted outside the city of San Antonio and/or surrounding counties for the duration of a semester or summer sub term for which it is not practical for the student to utilize facilities or services covered by mandatory or incidental fees.  


The authority of the Board of Regents to grant exemptions and waivers from fees in accordance with statute is delegated to the president.   This policy streamlines the approval process by allowing a blanket authorization by the President for specific categories of students when the waiver is critical to the viability of an academic initiative or in the best interest of the institution, and does not affect repayment of debt service, as allowed and required in Texas Education Code [54.5035 (b) and (c)].  This does not apply to waivers of individual students’ fees as authorized in Texas Education Code [54.5035 (a)]. 


All waivers and exemptions from tuition, fees and other changes as allowed by the Texas Education Code must follow the process outlined herein. This policy does not apply to tuition or laboratory fees per Texas Education Code [54.5035 (d)], or to students enrolled in Reciprocal Educational Exchange Programs where funding parity is maintained by a balance of incoming and outgoing exchange students as described in Texas Administrative Code (Rule 21.901 – 21.910). 

Students enrolled in qualifying educational programs eligible for a fee waiver during one Summer semester part-of-term (POT) who subsequently enroll in on-campus classes for another Summer POT, will not be eligible for the waiver and will be charged mandatory fees relating to the ineligible POT.   However, a student will not be assessed mandatory fees during the summer sessions more than one time.



UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations   

Other Policies & Standards         


If you have any questions about HOP policy 5.20,Authorization for Waiver of Mandatory or Incidental (Discretionary) Fees for Qualifying Academic Programs, contact the following office:

Financial Services & University Bursar


Blanket Authorization
The President has pre-approved fee waivers for study abroad students and individuals participating in internships or other educational programs outside of the city of San Antonio and/or surrounding counties because the waiver does not affect repayment of debt service due to the limited nature; is critical to the viability of an academic initiative as the cost of the programs would otherwise be prohibitive; and therefore, is in the best interest of the institution.  This approval is in writing and on file at Financial Affairs.

Reciprocal Educational Exchange programs
Allows students to study at a university with which The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has a special agreement which requires exchanges of students between the two universities.  Title 19 TAC Chapter 21, Subchapter AA applies only to exchanges between Texas institutions of higher education and those of a foreign nation  [See Sections 21.901(b) and 21.902.]

Incidental Fees
The Texas Education Code states that incidental fees include, without limitation, such fees as late registration fees, library fines, microfilming fees, thesis or doctoral manuscript reproduction or filing fees, bad check charges, application processing fees, and laboratory breakage charges, but does not include a fee for which a governing board makes a charge under the authority of any other provision of law. Texas Education Code [54.504].

Any official or formal program to provide practical experience in an occupation or profession in conjunction with a UTSA sponsored educational program.

Part-of-Term (POT)

One of a group of sub-terms within the overall Summer semester.

Study Abroad

A university sponsored program in which students attend school in a country outside the United States and receive academic credit toward their major.  For purposes of the blanket authorization, these include exchange programs other than Reciprocal Educational Exchange Programs.


Department Administrator     
  • Requests waivers of student fees for specific categories of students by describing the facts which will impact the viability of an academic initiative if those fees are assessed.
  • Completes the form provided for this purpose.
  • Verifies students' enrollment, the program and semester for which the waiver is requested by signing the form.
  • Submits form/request to Office of Financial Affairs & University Bursar in advance of established payment deadlines.
University Bursar        
  • Reviews student enrollment and eligibility for waiver.
  • Validates that the facts in a specific situation warrant the findings/determinations required by Texas Education Code.
  • Invokes the blanket waiver as appropriate.
  • Submits for presidential approval any new waiver that meets Education Code criteria.
  • Coordinates processing of approved waivers in the student information system.


  1. The department administrator wishing to request waiver of mandatory and/or incidental fees will complete the Fee Waiver Form.  The appropriate college dean should sign the form and forward it to the Office of the Provost. Students are not allowed to initiate or submit the form on their own behalf.  
  2. Once approved by the Provost or designee, the form will be submitted to the Director of Financial Services & University Bursar prior to established registration deadlines.  Signature by the Provost does not constitute authorization as only the President may waive fees. Departments should not send these forms directly to the President.
  3. The Director of Financial Services & University Bursar will review the request to determine whether the circumstances qualify for waiver and secure approval by the President as required.
  4. Once approval of the President has been secured, the waivers will be promptly processed in the Banner Student Administration system and the requesting department will be notified.
  5. For requests that are not approved, the reasons will be clearly stated and any disputes will be reviewed by the Vice President for Business Affairs.


Request for Fee Waiver for Qualifying Educational Programs