Employee Tuition Benefits
Related policies and additional references:
Effective 2017 Fall Semester
Employees Enrolling in Classes at St. Mary’s
Full-time or three-quarter-time employees interested in attending classes at St. Mary’s as part of the tuition benefits or not as a part of the tuition benefits (degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking) must comply with the Tuition Benefits Policy and complete the Employee Education/Tuition Reimbursement Form.
Tuition Benefits Policy
Full-time faculty and staff employed at least six (6) months are eligible for 100% of the tuition benefits, and three-quarter-time faculty and staff employed at least six (6) months are eligible for 75% of the tuition benefits. (NOTE: Full-time and three-quarter-time employees may apply accredited employment time at a previous institution of higher education to the eligibility period.)
Employees interested in attending classes as part of the tuition benefits (degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking) must complete an admission application, meet all the standard requirements for admission and be admitted to the University. Space in a class for an employee on tuition benefits is subject to availability, program design and possibly years of employment at the University.
Employees must have area/departmental supervisor approval to enroll in courses as a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student as well as verification of the following:
- Record of satisfactory job performance
- Impact of the degree program and coursework on the employee’s job performance, work schedule and position responsibilities
- Attend class during regular working hours – limited to, one course and no more than three (3) working hours per week
Upon the supervisor’s approval, an alternative work schedule must be established, if necessary. The alternative work schedule must include replacement time within the same week or the use of vacation/personal leave for time spent in class (hour-per-hour). The replacement time cannot be considered as overtime. (NOTE: Generally, non-degree seeking students may not be eligible for release time during the regular work-period, unless the course is job-related.)
The tuition benefits cover a maximum of six (6) hours per semester, as identified below, and no more than 18 hours per academic year.
- Up to six (6) hours in the fall semester
- Up to six (6) hours in the spring semester
- Up to six (6) total hours over the following semesters: Maymester*, Summer I, and Summer II
(NOTE: *Due to the length of class meeting times, Maymester courses may only be taken using the employee’s available vacation/personal leave.)
- Travel, as part of your coursework requiring you to be away from your job, must be applied to available vacation/personal time
Tuition benefits cover tuition for undergraduate courses at the undergraduate tuition rate, as well as the student activity fee and enrollment deposits. All other fees are excluded and are the responsibility of the employee and must be paid by the payment due dates set by the Business Office.
Tuition benefits cover tuition for graduate-level courses and programs* (*approved beginning 2017 fall semester) at the published tuition rate as well as the student activity fee and enrollment deposit. (NOTE: The balance of tuition costs for courses excluded will be the responsibility of the employee.)
- Programs* (*approved for inclusion in Employee Tuition Benefits beginning 2017 fall semester):
- MBA for Professionals
- Masters in Jurisprudence (M.Jur.)
- Evening J.D. Program
- Ph.D. in Counseling Program
- Academic Certificate Program Courses
(NOTE: Not covered or included in Employee Tuition Benefits are: the Greehey MBA Cohort Program; Traditional J.D. Program; applied music courses; independent study courses; non-academic courses; courses taken at off-campus locations or other colleges and universities, or courses requiring the University to submit payment to another institution.
Undergraduate tuition benefits for the employee are not subject to federal tax withholding. Graduate-level tuition benefits are not taxable for the employee up to the IRS Regulations maximum for the calendar year. If graduate tuition benefit exceeds the IRS Regulations maximum, the benefit amount will be subject to federal tax withholding. If courses are dropped after the official drop date, employees will still be held responsible for taxable income, if owed.
Tuition benefits are considered a part of a student’s total financial aid package. University financial aid, merit scholarships, and tuition benefits cannot exceed the total cost of tuition. If the student (undergraduate, graduate, law, or Ph.D.) is awarded University financial aid and/or a scholarship that would cause the limit to be exceeded, the aid and scholarship will be reduced. Employees must maintain good academic standing as defined by the University in order to continue receiving the benefit.
Process – Steps for employees to complete:
- Before applying for admission in a degree-seeking program or enrolling in a course as a non-degree-seeking student, employees must inform their supervisor of their intentions and discuss any foreseeable impact on the employee’s job performance and work schedule.
- Employees applying for tuition benefits must complete the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form available on Gateway.
- First-time degree-seeking students must complete and submit the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form after being accepted and admitted into the University.
- Continuing degree-seeking students must submit the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form each semester (fall, spring, and summer) prior to registering for courses.
- Non-degree-seeking students enrolling in a course, must complete and submit the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form each semester (fall, spring, and summer), before registering for courses.
- Submit the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form, with your tentative course schedule for the upcoming semester, to your supervisor. Meet with your supervisor to discuss the impact of course work on your job and to identify, if necessary, an alternative work schedule to accommodate taking one three-hour course during your regular work-period.
- The departmental supervisor signs the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form approving the tentative course schedule and if necessary, the alternative work schedule, as well as verifying the employee has a record of satisfactory job performance, before seeking the approval (signature) of your dean or divisional leader. (Faculty need approval from their Dean; non-faculty need approval from their divisional leader – President, Vice President or Vice Provost).
- Employee submits the Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form to the Office of Human Resources for review.
- The Registrar’s Office notifies the employee if space is not available in courses requested. Notification for the law school courses will be provided by the Law Admissions Office.
- The employee must verify their Employee Education/Tuition Benefits Form has been completed, approved and received by the Business Office’s payment due date to avoid late fees. Late fees are the responsibility of the student. (NOTE: To avoid additional late fees, do not wait until tuition benefits are posted to your account before paying the non-covered fees.)