The General Assembly has decided that University of North Carolina system students shouldn’t be subject to penalties that could cost them thousands of extra dollars to get their degrees.

The House voted overwhelmingly on Monday night for a measure that eliminates the 50 percent tuition surcharge upon students who exceed set credit-hour limits before completing their four- or five-year program to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The bill already passed the Senate and now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

A surcharge of some kind has been in place since the 1990s and was designed to encourage students to finish their degrees on time. But senators pushing the bill say the surcharge disproportionately affects older students and transfer students and could harm veterans seeking degrees.