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Employee Tuition Assistance Program (Effective 01/01/2023)

Policy
Purpose: 

To provide criteria for awarding active employees tuition assistance to cover tuition costs in the pursuit of educational opportunities for professional growth and development.

Applies to: 

Faculty and staff with an appointment of 48% or greater to a regular position with at least 6 months of continuous KU service as of September 1 for the Fall semester: February 1 for the Spring semester; or June 1 for the Summer term, and have not been subject to disciplinary action (as outlined on the Human Resource Management website) within the last 12 months.

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

The Employee Tuition Assistance Program covers up to 12 credit hours per calendar year at KU base tuition rates. Program participation does not require the applicant to be degree seeking nor restricts the number of hours enrolled for a specified semester.

Applications

The Employee Tuition Assistance Program application and process guidelines are located on the Human Resource Management (HRM) website. Complete applications must be received by HRM no later than 5:00 p.m. on the following schedule:

  • Spring Semester: First Friday in November
  • Summer Semester: First Friday in April
  • Fall Semester: First Friday in July unless designated as a national holiday, in which case the deadline will be the following Monday.
  • Application to the Employee Tuition Assistance Program does not guarantee admission to the relevant University, school or college.  The application for admission and any related costs are the responsibility of the employee.

Courses Eligible for Coverage

Types of courses which may be covered by tuition assistance are described on the HRM website. Applications for courses not covered will be denied. Tuition assistance will only be granted for outside institutions if the course, or its equivalent, is not offered by the University of Kansas as determined by HRM and Enrollment Management. Any exception will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Third Party Tuition Assistance

In the event an award is made for a class to be taken at an alternate educational institution, tuition assistance will be preliminarily granted contingent upon the employee providing documentation to HRM verifying the course has been completed at the alternate educational institution. When HRM receives sufficient documentation to confirm the course was completed, tuition assistance will be awarded in the form of reimbursement. The amount of the total award reimbursed to the employee will not exceed KU’s equivalent tuition rates. Any fees required by an alternate educational institution will be the participant’s responsibility.

Voluntary resignation of employment or withdrawal from a course prior to the 60th class day (Fall and Spring) or at any time during the summer session, expulsion, or a finding of academic misconduct will void the Employee Tuition Assistance Program award and will require the employee to repay the University the applicable amount of the award received for that semester.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

The Employee Tuition Assistance Program is not available to temporary employees, including student employees, non-KU employees, and affiliates. Employees who have received an official notice that their employment is ending or projected to end will also be deemed ineligible.

Employees who have a pattern of receiving incompletes or failing grades in tuition assistance approved courses may have future tuition assistance denied.

Units 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.

To remain in compliance as an Educational Assistance Program as defined in Internal Revenue Code 127.  Tuition and fees sponsored by the Employee Tuition Assistance Program, that exceed $5,250, will be reported as taxable income on the employee’s W2.

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 based upon the application of program principles, existing guidelines, etc. HRM is the designated University authority to make the final decision on all awards issued through the Employee Tuition Assistance Program. Decisions may not be appealed.

An official finding of academic misconduct revokes all future program eligibility.

The Employee Tuition Assistance Program is subject to the availability of funding by the University.

Contact: 

Human Resource Management
1246 West Campus Rd., Rm. #103
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
785-864-4946
hrdept@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Wednesday, September 1, 1976
Effective on: 
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

School refers to KU Schools (for example, School of Business, School of Music, etc.).

Base Tuition Rates and Course Fees refer to costs established by KU in the Comprehensive Fee Schedule to enroll in courses.

Keywords: 
Tuition Assistance, Staff Rates, Application, Special Rates Application, Tuition Payment
Change History: 

09/22/2022: Effective 01/01/2023, award amount increased; eligibility requirements and dates updated.
04/19/2019: Changed months in applies to from August, February, May to September, February, and June
01/01/2019: Updated to reflect policy for tuition assistance approved at outside institutions.
08/30/2018: Defined deadline date of eligibility for one year of continuous service in applies to.
6/5/2017: Eligibility criteria were revised as noted below: 

  • Applicants must submit complete and timely applications;
  • must have one year of KU service;
  • must be appointed 48% or greater to a regular positions;
  • must have no disciplinary actions, poor evaluations or academic misconduct within the past twelve months;
  • must maintain specified grades for tuition assistance funded courses;
  • must provide advance notice to HRM of enrollment changes; and
  • must authorize HRM access to grades for tuition assistance funded courses.
  • Tenure-track faculty are generally ineligible for tuition assistance.

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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