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HR-303 Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Program for University Employees and Their Spouse/Dependents

Summary

The University of Missouri supports the education of employees and their spouses and dependents. Eligible employees receive a seventy-five percent reduction of the tuition and supplemental fees up to limits defined in the policy, not to exceed fifteen (15) credit hours per year. Eligible spouses and dependents receive a fifty-percent reduction of tuition for up to 140 credit hours as described in this policy. Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction are both subject to IRS regulations.


Policy

Per Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR) 230.070: Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Program for University Employees and Their Spouse/Dependents (Amended Bd. Min. 2-6-20, effective 03-01-2020):

  1. Educational Assistance for Faculty, Staff and Retirees
    1. Employee Eligibility
      1. The following employees are eligible for Educational Assistance benefits, regardless of the funding source of their salaries:

        (1) Staff – Benefit-eligible administrative, service and support employees who have passed the probationary period prior to the deadline for regular registration. Immediately prior to regular registration, the employee must have completed a six-month period of continuous employment.

        • If the course work is part of the required job training procedure for the work to be done by the employee, the six-month employment requirement may be waived.

        (2) Academic – Benefit-eligible academic employees who are employed in positions defined in Section 310.020.A. of these Collected Rules and Regulations, prior to the deadline for regular registration

      2. Other eligibility criteria

        (1) The employee must remain a University of Missouri employee through the beginning of the course in which enrolled.

        (a) If the employee separates from the University, the employee may complete the semester in which enrolled.

        (b) If the employee is approved for Long-Term Disability (LTD), the employee may complete the semester in which the employee was approved for LTD.

        (2) Individuals in student employee positions are defined in Section 320.050 of these Collected Rules and Regulations are excluded from the Educational Assistance program.

    2. Definition
      Course: University of Missouri college-credit course is defined as any undergraduate, graduate or professional credit course offered by the University, including University programs of study that blend undergraduate and graduate courses.
    3. Employee Benefit
      1. The University will provide a 75% reduction of the tuition and supplemental fees of University of Missouri college-level courses up to the following limits:

        (1) six (6) credits per fall semester, six (6) credits per spring semester and three (3) credits per summer session or intersession; for a maximum of fifteen (15) credit hours from September 1 through August 31.

        (2) Employees may enroll in courses in excess of these limits, provided that course work does not interfere with work responsibilities, but such courses will not be eligible for a reduction in tuition and supplemental fees.

        (3) On rare and extenuating circumstances, the semester/summer/intersession limits may be raised. Supervisory approval and UM System Human Resources approvals are required. Under no circumstances will exceptions be granted to extend beyond the yearly maximum policy limit.

      2. No tuition nor supplemental fee is required if the employee audits courses on the employee’s own or at the request of the department head, providing there is space available.
    4. Authorization
      1. The required request form must be submitted to the UM System Office of Human Resources by the deadline indicated in the Human Resources policy. Employees must obtain approval from their supervisor if courses will require time away from work.
      2. When an employee is requested by the department to enroll in one or more courses that are directly related to employee’s assigned University responsibilities, time away from usual work duties for the course(s) shall be considered as part of employee’s regular work schedule and no leave will be required. Otherwise, time away from usual work duties for the course(s) must be through approved, appropriate paid or unpaid leave or through an approved schedule change to make up time away from usual work duties.
      3. Employees must file an application to enroll with the Registrar and meet the student admission requirements.
    5. Retiree Eligibility and Benefit
      1. An individual who has retired under a University of Missouri retirement plan will be permitted to register and receive credit for courses without payment of tuition, providing there is space available.
      2. A retiree must file an application to enroll with the Registrar and meet the student admission requirements.
      3. In the event that the retiree is employed in a part-time position with the University, the course must be taken on the individual’s own time outside of work hours.
  2. Tuition Reduction for Spouses, Dependents, and Sponsored Adult Dependents
    1. Sponsoring Employee Eligibility
      1. The following employees are eligible for Tuition Reduction benefits for their qualifying spouse and dependents, regardless of the funding source of their salaries:

        (1) Staff – Benefit-eligible administrative, service and support employees who have completed at least one year of continuous, benefit-eligible employment at some point, prior to the deadline for regular registration.

        (2) Academic – Benefit-eligible academic employees as defined in Section 310.020.A. of these Collected Rules and Regulations, who have completed at least one year of continuous, benefit-eligible employment at some point prior to the deadline for regular registration.

      2. Other eligibility criteria

        (1) Employees who qualify for the Educational Assistance Program are not eligible to participate in the Tuition Reduction as a spouse, dependent or Sponsored Adult Dependent.

        (2) The employee must remain a University of Missouri employee through the beginning of the course in which the spouse/dependent is enrolled. If the employee separates from the University, the spouse/dependent may complete the semester in which enrolled.

        (3) If a spouse/dependent ceases to meet the terms and conditions of the University of Missouri Medical Benefits Plan after the beginning of the course the spouse/dependent is enrolled in (e.g., dependent turns age 26), the spouse/dependent may complete the semester in which enrolled.

    2. Definitions
      1. Course: University of Missouri college-credit course is defined as any undergraduate, graduate, or professional credit course offered by the institution up to a total of 140 credit hours per eligible spouse or dependent. University programs of study, which blend undergraduate and graduate courses, are included and may be accessed up to the 140- credit hour limit.
      2. Spouse: the legal spouse of an employee, excluding a divorced spouse or a spouse separated by contract or decree from the employee.
      3. Dependent: eligible dependent child or children must meet the criteria required under the definitions of “child or children” and “dependent” based on the terms and conditions of the University of Missouri Medical Benefits Plan with the exception that foster children shall not be eligible under this program.
      4. Sponsored Adult Dependent: a person who meets the criteria required under the definitions of "Sponsored Adult Dependent" based on the terms and conditions of the University of Missouri Medical Benefits Plan.
    3. Spouse/Dependent Benefit
      1. The University will provide a 50% reduction of tuition for up to 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college-credit courses per qualifying spouse or dependent. Under no circumstances will the benefits under this policy exceed 50%, even if both parents of the dependent are University employees.
      2. Sponsoring employee’s death
        Notwithstanding any other provision, if a spouse or a dependent has received a tuition reduction benefit during a course of study during the semester of or immediately prior to the sponsoring employee’s death, the University will continue to provide a 50% reduction of tuition for up to a total of 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college-credit courses, but in no event for a period longer than five years after the employee’s death.
      3. Sponsoring employee’s retirement

        (1) Notwithstanding any other provision, if a spouse or a dependent has received a tuition reduction benefit during a course of study during the semester of or immediately prior to the sponsoring employee’s retirement under the University of Missouri retirement plan, the University will continue to provide a benefit equal to a 50% reduction of tuition for up to a total of 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college-credit courses, but in no event for a period longer than five years after the Employee’s retirement.

        (2) In the event that the retiree dies, the death of the retiree shall not extend or reduce the length of time granted for the benefit.

      4. Sponsoring employee’s long-term disability

        (1) Notwithstanding any other provision, if a spouse or dependent received a tuition reduction benefit during the semester of or immediately prior to the sponsoring employee’s approval of Long-Term Disability, the University will continue to provide 50% reduction of tuition for up to a total of 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college-credit courses, but in no event for a period longer than five years after the employee’s disability eligibility date.

        (2) In the event that the long-term disability recipient dies, the death of the recipient shall not extend or reduce the length of time granted for the benefit.

    4. Authorization
      The request form for the Tuition Reduction must be submitted to the UM System Office of Human Resources by the deadline as indicated in the Human Resources policy.

Further HR Policy Provisions

Additional HR-303 policy provisions below in accordance with CRR 230.070:

  1. Policy Provisions
    Unless otherwise noted, the following apply to both Educational Assistance for employees and retirees, and Tuition Reduction for spouses and dependents.
    1. Benefit rates are applied as follows:
      1. The 75% education assistance for employees is applied to the regular tuition costs, regardless of whether it is an undergraduate, graduate, or professional course.
      2. The 50% tuition reduction for spouses and dependents is applied to the in-state undergraduate rate (tuition charged to a resident student for undergraduate courses), for all courses including undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses.
    2. No educational assistance will be granted for previously completed courses.
    3. The regular refund policy of the University applies in cases of withdrawal from a course.
    4. Educational Assistance for employees and retirees is applied to tuition and supplemental fees. Activity fees, facility fees, health fees, books, and other expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
    5. Tuition Reduction for spouse/dependents is applied to tuition only. Supplemental course fees, activity fees, facility fees, health fees, books, and other expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
  2. Procedure Information
    1. The Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction request must be submitted by the following deadlines to the HR Service Center:

      Fall semester: October 1st
      Spring semester: March 1st
      Summer semester: July 1st
      Note: Electronic signatures will be accepted

    2. Requests must be submitted each semester. Submissions can only occur for the current semester in which the participant is enrolled.
    3. The HR Service Center will review eligibility for the Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction benefit. When approved, the appropriate information will be forwarded to the corresponding university for the benefit discount to be applied to the student bill.
    4. The University has been advised that Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction benefits may be taxable. The following scenarios may be identified as taxable compensation, and therefore may be taxed to the employee (please check with your tax advisor):
      1. Educational assistance over $5,250 per calendar year for employees;
      2. Any tuition reduction for non-tax dependents between ages 19 – 24 years old;
      3. Any tuition reduction for all dependents between 25 – 26 years old;
      4. Any tuition reduction for graduate and professional courses for any Spouse or Dependent; and
      5. Other situations based on tax laws and IRS rules.

See Also

HR-303 Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Q&A;
Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Form

Date Created: 09/26/1997
Updated: 04/19/1999; 01/01/2003; 07/01/2004; 09/15/2013; 03/01/2020

Reviewed 2020-03-05