Policy 5-520

  1. Title

    Employee Tuition Assistance Plan

  2. Policy

    1. Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to provide tuition assistance to eligible employees of The University of Texas at Arlington promoting the University's institutional mission and to enhance employee benefits, recruitment and retention. This policy complies with Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 30112, and is consistent with the provisions of the State Employees Training Act (Tex. Gov. Code ยค656.041, et. al.).
    2. Policy Statement. The tuition assistance plan ("Plan") permits eligible employees to enroll in coursework or a degree program at The University of Texas at Arlington that directly relates to the employee's job duties and can reasonably be expected to enhance the employee's performance of those job duties.
    3. Compliance. Compliance with the Plan is the responsibility of the participating employee and his/her chain of management.
    4. Eligibility.
      1. An employee becomes eligible for the Plan once he/she has completed one year (12 months) of continuous employment with the University. The employee must have a regular (non-temporary) appointment, be appointed at not less than 50% time, and NOT employed in a position requiring student status as a condition of employment as of the first day of class of the academic term for which the tuition assistance is received. Adjunct, lecturer, instructor and other contractual appointments not less than 50% time and of at least one year in duration are considered regular appointments. The employee must apply and be admitted as a student to the University of Texas at Arlington. Retirees and student employees are not eligible for the Plan.
      2. Coursework or the degree program must be directly related to the job for which the employee is employed during his or her participation in the Plan. First, the employee's supervisor, and then the Vice President over the participating employee's department must verify that the employee's participation in the coursework or degree program can be expected to enhance the performance of the employee's job duties and further the interests of the University. The employee's supervisor and then the Vice President over the participating employee's department must also verify that the employee's participation will not disrupt the operations of the employing department.
      3. A participating employee must:
        1. be in and maintain active non-probationary status;
        2. have received at least a satisfactory rating on the most recent performance evaluation; and
        3. not be subject to a current performance improvement plan or on administrative leave.
      4. To receive final reimbursement for tuition, all required forms and paperwork must be turned into the Business Office for review and approval.
    5. Benefit. The Plan provides for reimbursement of resident tuition (with the exception of statutory tuition at then current rate) following successful completion of graduate or undergraduate coursework and submission of required forms and supporting documents. Fees and other non-tuition charges are not eligible for reimbursement.
    6. Approval. Upon completion of the required provisions herein for reimbursement and those set forth in any procedure implementing this policy, the Vice President of Business Affairs, or designee, will authorize issuance of the reimbursement payment.
    7. Continued Tuition Assistance Eligibility
      The employee is eligible to receive reimbursement only for courses in which he/she received a grade of at least:
      "C" (2.0 grade points) or higher for undergraduate courses;
      "B" (3.0 grade points) or higher for graduate courses.
      In order to continue to be eligible under the Plan the employee must meet the following requirements:
      1. Maintain a GPA of:
        2.5 as an undergraduate student
        3.0 as a graduate student; and
      2. Receive a final grade for each course. An employee is not eligible for reimbursement or to continue participating in the Plan if the employee has a grade of "Incomplete" or "Withdrawal".
      If an employee fails to meet the criteria above, s/he will be eligible again once the employee's GPA returns to: 2.5 as an undergraduate student; or 3.0 as a graduate student; and

      To calculate GPA the registrar will use all coursework completed, including the courses where an employee's grades caused her/him to lose eligibility, plus all the coursework completed after the term where the employee became ineligible to receive tuition assistance. The registrar's determination of eligibility for the next term will be final.
    8. Limitations. Tuition assistance will not apply to room and board charges, textbooks and supplies, any other cost of instruction, tuition and fees for non-credit courses, Executive MBA or other executive degree programs, UT Online Consortium classes taken at other UT System schools, classes offered through the Division of Enterprise Development. Tuition assistance is only available for on-campus University for-credit courses. Tuition assistance is not applicable for auditing classes. Tuition assistance cannot be used in place of any other tuition waiver, grant, or scholarship which an employee receives. In the event an employee receives a partial tuition waiver, grant or scholarship, tuition assistance may be used for the remaining tuition expenses. Employees' spouses, children and other family members are excluded from the Employee Tuition Assistance Plan.
    9. Class Attendance During Working Hours. Employees should make every effort to register for courses outside of working hours. However, there may be circumstances that would necessitate taking a course during the workday. In this case, employees must be appointed full-time, request prior approval and have obtained advance authorization for release time from his/her supervisor each academic semester. Granting of release time is at the discretion of the supervisor and will be granted by either: for paid release time up to three (3) hours per week without reduction in pay; unpaid release time; or allowing the employee to make up the missed time outside of normal working hours.
      In the event that release time is approved, the employing department must make the appropriate arrangements for the proper disposition of the employee's work.
    10. Separation of Employment. A participating employee must sign an agreement to remain employed by the University 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.
    11. Plan Termination
      Except as may be limited by Texas law or UT System policy, the University reserves the right, by action of its president (or the president's authorized designee), to amend or terminate the Plan at any time.

  3. Definitions

    None
  4. Relevant Federal and State Statutes

    State Employees Training Act -Texas Government Code Section 656.041

  5. Relevant UT System Policies, Procedures and Forms

    Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 30112 Training and Education
    UTA Procedure 3-70

  6. Who Should Know

    All University of Texas at Arlington faculty and staff eligible for the Plan and all supervisors.

  7. UT Arlington Office(s) Responsible for Policy

    Office of Human Resources

  8. Dates Approved or Amended

    July 14th, 2016
  9. Contact Information

    Office of Human Resources