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Tuition Assistance - FAQs

For more information, please visit Tuition Assistance

Am I automatically eligible for Tuition Assistance if I enroll for a class?

No, there is an application process that is necessary for the Tuition Assistance Program. Deadlines for making application are listed on the application form. The program may also have limits on numbers of awards given based on the availability of funds.  So far the number of applicants has not exceeded program funds.

Is the program limited to just those working full time?

This program is available to University Support Staff, Unclassified Professional Staff, and non-tenure track faculty appointed to a 48% or greater regular appointment who will have completed one year of service by the start of classes.  A tenure-track faculty member is generally ineligible to receive tuition assistance. However, in special circumstances and at the discretion of Human Resource Management (HRM) in consultation with the Provost Office, a tenure-track faculty member may be considered eligible for tuition assistance.  

How many classes can I take?

KU provides eligible employees with assistance to cover tuition for one regular class per semester.

Is my family eligible for this program?

Can I take classes at other schools through the program?

Taking classes at KU is strongly encouraged; however, the committee recognizes that some programs are not offered on this campus. If a related program is not available at KU an exception may be granted in some cases to cover other Kansas Board of Regents schools. The committee will also consider making exceptions when employees live and work outside the Lawrence area.  However, in all cases, the tuition amounts paid by the Tuition Assistance Program will not exceed resident tuition rates for KU. 

Does this program only cover academic courses?

No, some staff that may benefit from classes in a vocational or technical field (e.g. air conditioning, electronics, printing, etc.)  If a university or junior college offers the class and awards college credit, it will be considered.

Do I get time off from work to attend class?

Supervisors, consistent with the needs of the department, may permit employees to take courses during normal working hours, if the time can be made up or flexible work hours can be granted (non-exempt staff) and/or the responsibilities of the job are met (exempt staff).  Department’s are encouraged to make every effort to accommodate a staff member’s request to attend a course and should consider such factors as scheduling flexibility, work load, availability of other staff for coverage and the number of other requests from employees.

Once I’m approved, is there anything else I need to do?

Approval for tuition assistance does not guarantee admission. You must be admitted to the University in order to take classes by the time the semester for which you are applying begins. For more information about this process, contact the Admissions & Scholarships Office for undergraduate admission, or Graduate Studies for graduate admission.

What happens if I don’t complete my class?

Whenever a class is dropped during the semester, a penalty or adjustment is applied against the tuition assistance award, and the amount of the adjustment increases as time passes during the semester. If you withdraw from a class sponsored by the Tuition Assistance Program it is your responsibility to cover any resulting tuition adjustment. No tuition adjustment is required if a class is dropped before the semester begins, but you must notify Human Resource Management of the change in writing at hrdept@ku.edu.

What if I leave my position at the University before the end of the semester?

Tuition assistance is an employee benefit. If you voluntarily leave the University before the end of the semester you will be billed for any tuition awarded that semester.  Individuals in the program whose positions end early due to lack of funds or restructuring will not be required to repay their tuition, as long as they are employed for the majority of the semester and if they were not aware of their position ending until after Tuition assistance was awarded.  

Can I apply for seminars or professional conferences through this program?

Seminars and conferences are a professional development activity and should be paid for by your department, contingent upon the availability of funding. This program also does not cover KU’s PUAD 660 and PUAD 661.  Alternatively, contingent upon funding, you can apply for professional development funds through the Jeanette Johnson Staff Development Fund.

I’m just getting back into the swing of school. I’d like to take an Independent Study class before going back to regular classes. Can this be covered under the Tuition Assistance Program?

Online classes listed in KU’s Schedule of Classes, and taken for college credit, can be covered.

If I receive tuition assistance under KU’s program, is it subject to federal taxes?

KU’s program falls under section 127 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code and therefore tuition assistance received by staff is not subject to federal income tax.

What are the expectations relative to receiving a grade C or above for undergraduate courses funded by Tuition Assistance and a B or above for graduate courses funded by Tuition Assistance? And, how will these expectations be verified?

When applications are received by Human Resource Management, HRM will review the grades applicants received for previous Tuition Assistance approved courses.  If the applicant is pursuing a graduate degree and enrolled as a graduate student, they are expected to have received a B or above in Tuition Assistance approved courses.  If applicants are pursuing an undergraduate degree and enrolled as an undergraduate student, or if they are non-degree seeking, they are expected to receive a C or above in Tuition Assistance approved courses.  If needed, HRM will consult with the Registrar's Office to ascertain grades and program level.

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