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Sec. 1 Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to provide tuition assistance for employees of The University of Texas System Administration (“U. T. System Administration”).
Sec. 2 Principles
The tuition assistance program ("Program") permits eligible employees to enroll in coursework at an accredited college or university that will enhance the employee's performance of their current or prospective job duties.
Sec. 3 Basic Program Requirements
3.1 Covered Fees and Limitations.
a) If funds are available, an eligible employee may receive tuition reimbursement for courses (including online courses) successfully completed while attending an accredited college or university. Reimbursement for tuition charged by a private college or university must not exceed the tuition amount charged by a comparable public college or university for the same courses. Coursework includes online and telecommuting courses. Tuition assistance is not applicable to auditing classes.
b) The courses must relate to current or prospective duties of the employee and benefit the U. T. System Administration by increasing employee knowledge, work capabilities, or competencies needed to achieve U. T. System Administration goals and objectives.
c) The program provides for reimbursement of tuition and related fees (e.g., building use fee, technology fee, student services, health and insurance fees for students in health-related studies, registration fee), following successful completion of graduate or undergraduate coursework by an eligible employee at an accredited institution of higher education, subject to a maximum of $4,500 per calendar year.
d) Program benefits to a participating employee are limited to:
i. Two three-hour eligible university undergraduate or graduate semester credit courses, or
ii. More than two semester credit courses provided the combined number of course hours do not exceed six.
e) Non-reimbursable expenses include parking costs, late fees or financing fees, books, travel expenses, or incidental items, including those required by the instructor, e.g., calculator or specific software.
a) Participation in the Program is limited to regular full-time employees. An employee in a position that requires student status as a condition of employment is not eligible to participate in the Program.
b) Prior to beginning coursework, the employee's department head and Chancellor’s designee (department Executive or Vice Chancellor) must approve participation in the Program.
c) A participating employee must be in and maintain non-probationary employment status and have received at least a “good” rating on the most recent performance evaluation. If the employee fails to continue to meet tuition reimbursement criteria at any point prior to reimbursement, he or she may forfeit all rights to reimbursement under this Program.
3.3 Participating Employee Agreement.
A participating employee must sign an agreement to remain employed by U. T. System Administration for at least one full month for each semester hour of tuition assistance reimbursed, beginning with the month after the month in which the employee completed the coursework and to repay the institution for all expenses for which the employee was reimbursed if the employment terminates before the end of that period.
Sec. 4 Applying for and Receiving Reimbursement
a) To apply for tuition assistance benefits, an employee must submit to the Office of Talent and Innovation (OTI):
i. a completed Tuition Assistance Program Application for Benefits. The application must be approved by the department head and Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee (department Executive or Vice Chancellor); and
ii. receipts for payment for all tuition, required fees, and any other reimbursable program related expenses; and
iii. a current copy of the degree plan and any other applicable documentation as requested by OTI.
b) The application packet must be received in OTI prior to the beginning of the course(s) for which the employee is/are requesting assistance; and
c) OTI will notify the employee and his/her supervisor whether the application meets the Program criteria.
d) As the participating employee will be subject to the terms contained in the Tuition Assistance Program Agreement, the employee should review the agreement prior to submission during the reimbursement process.
a) After coursework is completed, to receive reimbursement, a participating employee must submit an electronic expense report in accordance with applicable Accounting Services (AS) procedures within 30 calendar days after the completion of the coursework.
b) The electronic expense report must include the following:
i. a completed and signed Tuition Assistance Program Agreement; and
ii. proof of successful completion of coursework with a grade of "C" or better for undergraduate coursework, or a "B" or better for graduate coursework; and
iii. receipts for payment for all tuition, required fees, and any other reimbursable program related expenses.
c) OTI will affirm that the request for reimbursement is in accordance with Program guidelines; and approve the completed electronic expense report and original receipts for payment for all tuition, required fees, and any other reimbursable program related expenses to AS.
d) U. T. System Administration will reimburse a participating employee who separates employment due to a reduction in force that occurs during a semester prior to completion of the approved coursework. To obtain reimbursement in such cases, the separated employee must submit the form, proof of successful completion, and the required receipts within 30 calendar days after the completion of the coursework. It will be the employee's responsibility to confirm that U. T. System Administration has a current address on file for reimbursement purposes.
A participating employee who separates employment with U. T. System Administration prior to completion of an in-force Tuition Assistance Program Agreement period for any reason other than a reduction in force, permanent disability, or death must repay U. T. System Administration the amount previously reimbursed to the employee under the tuition assistance program for the applicable semester(s).
Sec. 5 Flexible Work Hours
5.1 A participating employee may be allowed flexible work hours to accommodate class sessions. Any such work schedule to accommodate class time is subject to supervisory approval and must be reviewed every semester or course period.
5.2 The employee must use personal leave for any time off taken for the purpose of attending class or related activity that is outside the approved flexible work hours of the employee.
Sec. 6 Funding
Funds used for this program will be the responsibility of the employee's department and must be budgeted in accordance with U. T. System Administration's budget process.
Sec 7. Tax Implications
The U. T. System Administration Employee Tuition Assistance Plan may reimburse up to $4,500 per calendar year of tuition assistance; and such amount will be excluded from the employee’s gross income. Please consult IRS Publication 970 or your tax advisor for more information.
Comparable public university or college - nearest state supported four-year institution of higher education
Regular full-time - an employee appointed to work 30 hours or more per week for a period of four and one-half consecutive months or longer (135 calendar days).