The UM System supports employees and their families who choose to continue their education. Faculty and staff who choose to pursue or continue their college education—as well as eligible spouses and dependents of vested employees—can receive assistance at any of the universities within the UM System.
Amount of assistance
How much you receive for educational/tuition assistance depends on who you are.
If you are an eligible employee (defined in the next section), 75 percent of your tuition and supplemental fees can be waived for college-level credit courses. This 75-percent reduction applies to up to six credit hours per semester, except for the summer session when you may receive the same reduction for up to three credit hours.1
The full 100 percent of tuition and supplemental fees are waived if an employee audits courses on his or her own, or at the request of the department head.
Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces should consult the veteran services office on your campus to learn more about special programs and tuition benefits available only to veterans.
Provided class space is available, 100 percent of your tuition, supplemental fees, and student activity fees can be waived if you are a retiree who was considered an eligible employee before you retired. The waiver is available for any college-level credit courses. Books, and other expenses and costs must be paid by the retiree.
The university provides a 50-percent reduction in tuition for eligible spouses and dependents of vested employees (defined in the next section). This reduction is available for up to 140 hour of college-credit courses at a UM System institution.2 Only tuition is reduced under this program. Activity fees, late fees, books and other expenses are the responsibility of the student.
Only some people qualify for educational/tuition assistance.
You are eligible for a 75-percent reduction in tuition and fees if you are one of the following:
- A regular employee who:
- is Administrative, Service and Support staff;
- has completed six months of continuous employment immediately prior to regular class registration; and
- remains an eligible employee through the end of the course(s) in which you’re enrolled.3
- A fully benefit-eligible academic employee.
You are not eligible if you are on unpaid leave of absence, or if you are a student or employee in a position considered to be student employment (including, but not limited to, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants, graduate instructors, and student assistants).
You are eligible for a 100-percent reduction in tuition and fees if you are a retiree who fell into one of the two categories of eligible employees when you were in active service—i.e., if you were a regular employee or fully benefit-eligible academic as described in the previous section.
A spouse or dependent is eligible for a reduction of 50 percent of tuition if the employee to whom they are related is:
- currently employed as an eligible employee, as described above,
- vested – i.e., has accumulated at least five years of continuous, full-time service with the university at some point, and
- employed with the university immediately prior to the deadline for registration.
See the "how to enroll" box below for special instructions when seeking spousal/dependent tuition assistance for the first time.
Consult the HR Manual (Policy #HR-309) for specifics on who qualifies as a “spouse” and as a “dependent.”
How to enroll
- Complete an application for admission and get accepted to the classes you want to take.
- Complete the right form for your situation, all of which are on the Human Resources Forms webpage (look for the number of the form on that page):
- Active employees use the "Educational Assistance Form for Employees, UM 84-1."
- Retirees use the "Educational Assistance Program for Retired Employees, UM 177."
- Spouses and dependents use the "Tuition Reduction Form for Spouse and Dependents, UM 85."
- You have to submit a new form for each student enrolling–and you have to complete the form each and every semester that you want assistance.
- You must request assistance before the end of the semester or session for which you’re requesting assistance. You can’t get assistance after the semester/session ends.(4)
- Follow the instructions on the form itself for submitting it and getting approval.
- If you are seeking tuition assistance for a spouse/dependent for the first time, please be aware that proof of relationship will be required. Visit the forms and guides list for educational/tuition assistance to access the proof of relationship requirements for children, spouses, and Sponsored Adult Dependents, as well as the Sponsored Adult Dependent form should you need it. Or contact your Campus Benefits Representative or the HR Service Center to find out if proof of relationship is already on file with the Office of Human Resources.
Reviewed November 13, 2015.