Byline: Tracey Westfield, Communications Associate
Throughout the month of July, we’ve been publishing a series of articles to get you and/or your kids ready to head back to school. This week, we’ll be focusing on educational assistance for college—for you and for your family. Last week, we talked about staying physically active while driving the “mommy/daddy bus,” and the week before we covered physicals for your kids. Next week, tune in for ways to plan healthy back-to-school lunches for your whole family.
Are you thinking of continuing your education? Do you have a partner or child who is planning for college? Make sure to find out if you or your family member qualify for a discount on tuition and/or fees. Faculty and staff who choose to pursue or continue their college education—as well as eligible spouses and dependents of vested employees—can receive a reduction in tuition and educational fees at any of the universities within the University of Missouri System.
How much of a reduction do I receive?
If you’re an eligible employee (I’ll explain what that means 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.^
The full 100 percent of tuition and supplemental fees are waived if the employee audits courses on his or her own, or at the request of the department head.
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.
Spouses and dependents
The university provides a 50-percent reduction in tuition for eligible spouses and dependents of vested employees. (I’ll explain what makes you eligible in the next section.) This reduction is available for up to 140 hour of college-credit courses at a University of Missouri institution.^^ Only tuition is reduced under this program. Activity fees, late fees, books and other expenses are the responsibility of the student.
^ Full-time, nine-month appointed employees should consult the HR Manual (Policy #HR-303) for special information about the summer session or intersession. Full-time, professional extension field staff should consult the same policy for information about the Semester Study on Full Salary Program.
^^ The reduction rate for all courses (undergraduate, graduate or professional) is based on tuition charged to a resident student for undergraduate courses.
Who can participate?
You must meet eligibility requirements to receive assistance with your own education. Plus, you must be vested for spouses or dependents to receive assistance. Let’s break down what each means.
Eligibility for active employees
You are eligible for a 75-percent reduction in tuition and fees if you are one of the following:
- A regular employee who:
- is in an Administrative, Service and Support position;
- 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.**
- 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).
* The requirement to complete six months of continuous employment may be waived in some cases. Consult the HR Manual (Policy #HR-303).
** Consult the same policy to learn about scheduling your classes in conjunction with your work responsibilities.
Eligibility for retirees
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.
Eligibility for spouse or dependent tuition reduction
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, and
- vested – i.e., has five years of continuous, full-time service immediately prior to the deadline for registration.
Consult the HR Manual (Policy #HR-309) for specifics on who qualifies as a “spouse” and as a “dependent.”
How do I sign up?
- 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 available on the Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Program webpage:
- Active employees use the Educational Assistance Form for Employees (Form 84-1).
- Retirees use the Educational Assistance Form for Retired Employees (Form 177).
- Spouses and dependents use the Tuition Reduction Form for Spouses and Dependents (Form 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.ˠ
- Follow the instructions on the form itself for submitting it and getting approval.
ˠ Regular refund policies of the university apply in cases of withdrawal from a course.
- Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Program
- HR-303 Educational Assistance – regulations and eligibility for assistance to faculty and staff
- HR-309 Tuition Reduction for Spouses and Dependents – regulations and eligibility for assistance to spouses and dependents
- Read the rest of our back-to-school series:
About the author: Tracey is a communications associate in the University of Missouri’s Total Rewards department. She has 15 years of experience in web communications.
What’s the difference between a FSA and a HSA? Understand your benefits by learning about health expense accounts. Remember, the type of account you can use depends on the insurance plan you choose during Annual Enrollment.
The university deducts premiums from your paycheck automatically, but you can select to have your deductions removed before taxes are taken out, or after. Learn more before you make this important decision during Annual Enrollment.
If you’ve researched the 2017 insurance plan options and decided which plans are best for you, it’s time to enroll through myHR. Don’t forget, you are required to take action, even if your decision is to waive coverage for one or all of the plans offered, or if you’d like to keep the same insurance plans you enrolled in for 2016.
Eligible employees, their families, and retirees can receive tuition assistance through the UM System.
The myHealthcare Cost Estimator helps users compare healthcare cost and quality with the click of a button
The myHealthcare Cost Estimator is an online tool will help you make the most informed choice when it comes to your health. It’s also a great way to make sure your health insurance is working for you.