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Tuition Assistance Policy

Policy
Purpose: 

To provide employees tuition assistance in the pursuit of educational opportunities for professional growth and development.

Applies to: 

University Support Staff and Unclassified Professional Staff appointed to a regular, 48% or greater appointment with six months of service by the start of classes. Faculty and Academic Staff who do not have a doctorate and/or who need a class for credit for licensure, certification or a related purpose may be eligible. Lecturers with recurring academic-year appointments also may be considered for this program. The requesting faculty/staff member must also have a satisfactory attendance record and a satisfactory performance evaluation or an evaluation rating of at least "meets expectations" for university support staff. Lecturers with recurring academic-year appointments also may be considered for this program.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Edwards
Parsons
Juniper Gardens
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 

The tuition assistance program is designed to cover tuition for one regular class per semester for eligible staff members. This includes one class up to 5 credit hours. Classes cannot be combined to reach the five-credit-hour maximum. Exceptions to the five-hour limit may be considered upon funding availability if the course requires a corresponding laboratory.

Applications are reviewed each award period and selection for awards is based upon the availability of funds, length of service, applicability of course work to the employee’s job, and the level of past education. Additional course fees for each school also will be covered if funds are available.

Program participation does not require the applicant to be degree seeking. Classes may be taken for self-development or personal enrichment as long as the committee determines the class is of benefit to the employee and the University. Applicants beginning their post-secondary educational experience will receive consideration over staff with advanced degrees.

A complete application, including confirmation of supervisory support, is required for each term (fall, spring, and summer) the employee chooses to participate, regardless of whether or not the class meets during the work shift. Deadlines are posted annually by the Department of Human Resource Management and appear on the back page of the tuition assistance application form. Applications must be received by HRM no later than 5:00 p.m. on the following schedule:

  • Fall Semester: First Friday in July unless designated as a national holiday, in which case the deadline will be the following Monday.
  • Spring Semester: First Friday in November
  • Summer Semester: First Friday in April

Late applications may not be considered. Application to the program does not guarantee admission to the relevant University school or college. The employee is responsible for applying for admission to the applicable program and enrolling in the course. HRM is the designated University authority to make the final decision on all awards issued through the Tuition Assistance Program.

Courses covered include:

  • Eligible KU courses
  • Courses at other State of Kansas post-secondary educational institutions when an employee’s work location is in a different county or KU does not offer a comparable program
  • Both undergraduate and post-baccalaureate level courses
  • College credit classes for professional development purposes or personal enrichment
  • Classes that are taken for a grade or credit
  • Independent Study and distance education courses through KU Continuing Education may be approved on a case by case basis (program requirements must be addressed by the applicant)
  • On-line library science and instructional design classes through Emporia State University
  • Vocational classes at area vocational schools or Johnson County Community college
  • For-credit classes at Johnson County Community College (JCCC)
  • KU thesis and dissertation hours on a limited basis. The maximum number of hours that may be covered through this program include six (6) credit hours for a Master’s thesis or nine (9) credit hours for a doctoral dissertation.
  • Classes that require a grade or credit for licensure, certification or a related purpose for those who have an earned doctorate

Ineligible Courses at KU and Other Institutions:

  • Accelerated degree programs at other universities
  • Internships
  • Audited classes that are assessed tuition payment
  • Classes through other universities and colleges, unless previously approved by the tuition assistance committee.
  • Professional development seminars or test preparation classes.
  • KU’s PUAD 660 and PUAD 661 (see exclusions and special circumstances section for more information)

Once accepted into the tuition assistance program, future awards are contingent upon participants maintaining an overall “C” average for the undergraduate level or a “B” average for post-baccalaureate level, as long as credit for the approved class is earned. Classes may also be taken on a pass/fail basis.

Future awards are contingent upon proof of grade (or credit) for past courses supported by the tuition assistance program and grades should be provided by the start of classes, unless this requirement is waived by HRM for reasons of medical emergency or other hardship. Incompletes should be resolved within a semester.

Not all courses are covered under the Tuition Assistance Program; applications for courses not covered may be denied. Applicants are encouraged to take courses at the University of Kansas. Any exception will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In the event an award is made for a class to be taken at an alternate educational institution, the amount of the award will not exceed KU’s equivalent tuition rate. For institutions with tuition rates lower than KU’s, the lower rate will be awarded. Any fees required by an alternate educational institution will be the participant’s responsibility.

Tuition Assistance does not cover PUAD 660 and PUAD 661. The subject matter covered by these two courses is also covered in the Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program, a series of non-credit workshops. Because the CPM program was originally developed as a professional development opportunity rather than academic courses, Tuition Assistance is not provided. At their discretion, KU departments will be allowed to sponsor tuition payments for individuals who wish to enroll in these courses as professional development. Individuals who wish to participate in this program should consult their departmental administrator to ascertain if release time and departmental funding will be authorized. Recipients taking classes at KU are required to submit the Staff & Staff Dependent Rates Application to the University Registrar’s Office in order to have their campus fees waived. This form is also necessary for staff who need to apply for resident (staff tuition) rates. Submission of this application is the responsibility of the student/award recipient; a new Staff & Staff Dependent Rates Application must be submitted each semester.

In the event a tuition assistance recipient is unable to complete the enrolled course or employment with the University ends before the end of the semester, it becomes the obligation of the recipient to repay any tuition that is not refunded to the University. Recipients of tuition assistance may review their account balances online at Enroll & Pay under “Campus Finances.”

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

The Tuition Assistance Program is not available to temporary employees, including student employees.

Departments and supervisors are encouraged to make reasonable efforts to facilitate academic course attendance by staff so long as the normal functions of the position and the department can be maintained.

Employees interested in completing the General Educational Development (GED) test may apply to the tuition assistance program to cover the costs of the test. Due to timeframe differences, employees interested in applying to the tuition assistance program for this purpose should contact HRM directly via e-mail and do not have to adhere to the same application deadline schedule as required for regular tuition assistance applications.

Employees who have received an official notice that their employment is ending or projected to end may be deemed ineligible.

Not all unique circumstances can be addressed by policy or procedure. As a result, HRM uses discretion in the approval or denial of the Tuition Assistance Program based upon the application of program principles, existing guidelines, etc.

Contact: 

Department of Human Resource Management
1246 West Campus Rd., Rm. #109
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
785-864-4946
hrdept@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Wednesday, September 1, 1976
Effective on: 
Wednesday, September 1, 1976
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Tuition Assistance, Staff Rates, Application, Special Rates Application, tuition payment
Review, Approval & Change History: 

02/01/2017: Updated Applies to from 50% to 48%. 

09/03/2015: Updated Review Date

08/13/2015: 

  • Updated Human Resources/HR to Human Resource Management/HRM
  • Added “meets expectations” requirement to “Applies to” statement
  • Added line about the employee’s responsibility to enroll in program/classes
  • Added Staff & Staff Dependents Tuition Rates policy to related policies
  • Added application webform to related forms

01/21/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g, bolding, spacing).

10/15/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

09/16/2011: Additional updates approved by Diane Hoose Goddard, Vice Provost, Administration and Finance.

11/22/2010: Updated policy approved by Diane Hoose Goddard, Vice Provost, Administration and Finance.

1979: Published in the 1979 Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff and updated periodically thereafter.

09/1976: Guidelines for Implementation of Tuition Assistance at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, approved by the Executive Vice Chancellor.

1974: Kansas Statutes Annotated 75-5519 authorizing state agencies to pay the cost or tuition or other educational expenses for education or training of state personnel; statute amended 1976, 1982, 1985.

Financial Categories: 
Tuition & Fees
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Benefits
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Benefits

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