Origination date: 10/1/93
Revised: 1/1/2000
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, Service Professionals

Purpose

The purpose of the Educational Aid Program is to encourage an employee to take advantage of educational opportunities available at the university. This program allows the employee to enroll in courses of study at a reduced registration fee. The program further provides that the spouse and dependents of a qualified employee may enroll for courses of study at reduced registration fees. These special registration fee arrangements are reciprocal among the three state universities of Arizona, except for the amount of fees charged.

Educational Aid

An eligible employee (except graduate assistants and associates) and his/her spouse, may register for one to nine credit hours per regular semester or for one to six credit hours per summer session at any institution under control of the Arizona Board of Regents at a special rate, plus all laboratory, financial aid fund, or other added fees.

Dependent children of an eligible employee may register for one or more courses at any institution under the control of the Arizona Board of Regents at the rate of 25% of the actual in-state tuition rate, plus any laboratory or course fees.

Eligibility

An administrative, faculty, professional or classified staff employee who is employed at 50% time or more, and whose employment is expected to continue six months or more, is eligible on the first day of employment. (Adjunct faculty are not eligible for the Educational Aid Program.)

To use the Educational Aid Registration benefit an employee must be benefit-eligible on the first day classes begin. Employees who have prepaid tuition before the start of the semester, and later terminate employment before the first day of classes, are responsible for full payment of tuition.

The term "dependent children" wherever used in this policy, means children eligible to be claimed as dependents for federal tax purposes and who have not reached age thirty as of the first day of the semester for which the reduced tuition rate is granted. Documentation that a dependent has been claimed in the tax year the benefit is used may be required for audit purposes.

The spouse and dependent children of an eligible employee may enroll for classes that begin on or subsequent to the employee's first day of employment.

A retired administrative, faculty, professional, or classified staff employees, and their spouse and dependent children, who were eligible for reduced tuition rates at the time of their retirement AND HAVE completed at least five (5) years of continuous, full-time employment in the Arizona university system immediately preceding retirement, who ARE receiving a retirement annuity under an Arizona university-sponsored retirement program, and who ARE at least fifty (50) years old and whose employment has not been terminated for cause by the university are eligible to participate.

All eligible administrative, faculty, professional or classified staff employees, with at least (5) continuous years of employment immediately preceding termination, who terminated employment based upon long-term disability, their spouses and dependent children are eligible to participate. This benefit terminated if the employee ceases to receive long-term disability benefits.

An administrative, faculty, professional, or classified staff employee on an approved leave of absence, and his/her spouse and eligible dependents, may continue in the program for the duration of the approved absence under the terms and fee schedule set forth in this policy.

An eligible laid-off classified staff employee, who meets the eligibility criteria, may continue to utilize the tuition waiver benefit for up to 12 months. The tuition waiver benefit will be provided for 12 months from the effective date of layoff and will extend to the affiliated participants (laid-off employee, spouse and dependent children). The following is the tuition waiver eligibility criteria for a laid-off employee:

  • Benefit eligible at the time of lay-off.
  • In a non-probationary status,
  • Have worked for the University for at least five (5) years immediately prior to having their service terminated,
  • Have a performance review within the last year of satisfactory or better, and
  • Have elected to retain recall/reemployment rights.

Pursuant to the Governor’s request, certain provisions have been made to extend tuition waivers to severely disabled combat survivors (survivor only) or to the children and spouses of a service member from Arizona killed in the line of duty during a Federal or State emergency declared by the US President or Governor of Arizona.

In the event of the death of an eligible employee or retiree, with at least five continuous years of fulltime employment, the spouse and/or dependent children may enroll at the special registration fee. The benefit terminates at the time a surviving spouse remarries.

Affiliated Units and Employees

Affiliated units, for the purpose of this section, are only those listed below.

An employee of an affiliated unit, his/her spouse and dependent children may qualify for inclusion under the provisions of this policy, with the approval of the president or designee, if:

  • The employee is a member of a ROTC unit; or
  • An approved written contract exists between the university and the affiliated unit that expressly grants special registration fees to employees of the affiliated unit.

The following provisions pertain to United States Forest Service (USFS) employees:

  • a USFS employee shall be granted use of the educational aid program for taking classes for credit; and
  • dependents and spouse of a USFS employee are not eligible for the educational aid program.

Classes During the Workday

If an eligible course is not presented outside an employee's regular work schedule, the employee may take one course during normal working hours if this can be done without disrupting the work environment and if approved in advance by the appropriate supervisor and department head.

Eligible courses are those courses taught at the university which will clearly improve an employee professionally and are clearly job-related, and/or are required to complete a certificate or degree program for which the employee has obtained an approved program of study through formal academic advisement.

Any time missed during the normal workday shall be made up during the same workweek. Refer to Policy 2.07 Flex Work Schedule and Policy 2.08 Rest Periods and Meal Periods.

Taxes

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations govern whether an undergraduate course or graduate course tuition discount is taxable. Contact the Payroll Office to determine the current rules in force.