Employee Tuition Assistance Plan

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Human Resources

Sponsoring Department: Human Resources

Revision Date: 04 February 2015

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedures
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    Policy Purpose

    To provide tuition assistance to eligible employees of the University of Texas at Arlington, their spouses and eligible dependent children following provisions pursuant to a qualified educational assistance plan sponsored by the University of Texas at Arlington.

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    Eligibility Defined

    Employees hired on or after August 1, 2008

    An employee hired on or after August 1, 2008 becomes eligible for tuition assistance once he/she has completed one year of continuous employment with the University. The employee must have a regular (non-temporary) appointment, be appointed at not less than 50% time, paid from any source of University of Texas at Arlington funds 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. The employee must apply and be admitted to the University of Texas at Arlington.

    Spouses and/or dependent children of the "benefits eligible" employee may also apply, and if admitted to the university, request tuition assistance. The spouse/dependent(s) must maintain an appropriate grade standing.

    Current employees hired prior to August 1, 2008 and who have not had a break in service

    An employee hired prior to August 1, 2008 and who has not had a break in service is eligible for tuition assistance. The employee must have successfully completed a six-month waiting period from his/her date of hire, have a regular (non-temporary) appointment, be appointed at not less than 50% time, paid from any source of University of Texas at Arlington funds 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. The employee must apply and be admitted to the University of Texas at Arlington.

    Spouses and/or dependent children of the "benefits eligible" employee may also apply, and if admitted to the university, request tuition assistance. The spouse/dependent(s) must maintain an appropriate grade standing as defined by the University's criteria for financial aid. If the spouse and/or dependent children are not meeting these criteria they are ineligible to receive tuition waivers in the subsequent term or until such time the financial aid standard is met. See below for dependent benefit definition.

    Eligible dependents are defined by the IRS in 26 USC ยง 152 and must be claimed as a dependent for IRS income tax purposes.

    Employees and/or spouses/dependent(s) who are not currently enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington must apply for admission at the appropriate Graduate or Undergraduate Admissions Office. The application fee will not be waived.

    Retirees and student employees are not eligible for participation in the Tuition Assistance Plan.

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    Benefit

    For eligible employees, tuition assistance of 50% of the University's Texas resident flat rate tuition is provided for undergraduate, graduate or doctoral courses (excluding any thesis cost), in accordance with total enrolled session hours.

    For eligible spouses, tuition assistance of 50% of the University's Texas resident flat rate tuition is provided for undergraduate and graduate courses (excluding doctoral program courses), in accordance with total enrolled session hours.

    For eligible dependent children, tuition assistance of 50% of the University's Texas resident flat rate tuition is provided for undergraduate and graduate courses (excluding doctoral program courses), in accordance with total enrolled session hours.

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    Continued Benefit Eligibility

    In order to continue receiving the tuition assistance benefit, participants must show satisfactory progress towards a degree based on the federal financial aid requirements of minimum GPA and completion percentage of annual attempted hours. Those not meeting these criteria are ineligible to receive waivers in the subsequent term or until such time the financial aid eligibility is regained. The tuition assistance benefit is granted on a term basis. Information on the criteria for financial aid can be found at http://www.uta.edu/fao/policies/sap.php.

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    Limitations

    Tuition assistance shall not apply to other fees, 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, TeleCampus classes taken at other UT System schools, or classes offered through the Division of Enterprise Development. Tuition assistance is not applicable for auditing classes.

    Tuition assistance for spouses and dependents is limited to the number of hours required by the degree program in which they are enrolled.

    Eligibility for tuition assistance cannot be combined with any other waiver for which an individual may be eligible.

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    Courses at Other Institutions

    Tuition assistance shall apply only to enrollment at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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    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. Granting of release time is at the discretion of the supervisor and will be granted in one of two ways: paid release time or unpaid release time.

    Paid Release Time - if the course is not routinely available outside of working hours and the course is sufficiently related to the employee's position, the supervisor may grant up to three (3) hours paid release time per session without reduction in pay.

    Unpaid Release Time - if the course is not routinely available outside of working hours and the course does NOT clearly relate to the employees position, the supervisor may grant unpaid release time where the employee will be required to make up the time.

    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.

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    Tax Implications

    The University of Texas at Arlington's Employee Tuition Assistance Plan is intended to comply with the tax provisions of IRC Sections 127 and 117(d). Under Section 117(d), undergraduate tuition reduction provided to the employee, the employee's spouse or dependents as defined under IRC Section 132(h) is excluded in full from gross income. Graduate tuition assistance for the employee is also excludable from gross income, but only to the maximum of $5,250 annually. These exclusions apply as long as the benefit does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. Graduate tuition assistance for spouses and dependent children remain taxable as no exclusion is provided under either Section 117(d) or Section 127.

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    Separation of Employment

    If an employee terminates his/her employment during a session in which he/she and/or spouse/dependent is enrolled in any applicable degree program on any campus maintained and operated by the University, the employee may be responsible for reimbursing the cost of the tuition assistance received that term under this program.

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    Application Procedure

    Upon class registration the employee will need to complete and deliver the Employee Tuition Certification Form (Form 3-77) to Human Resources for processing of the tuition assistance in MyMav.

    If requesting tuition assistance for an eligible spouse and/or dependent(s), employees should complete and deliver to the Office of Human Resources the completed Employee Tuition Certification Form (Form 3-77) and a copy of the employee's most recent "Tax Return Transcript." Tax transcripts are available online at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. Tuition assistance forms will not be processed until this information is received. The individual Tax Return is no longer accepted as proof of dependent eligibility.

    The Office of Human Resources will certify that the enrollee is eligible for benefits and process the tuition assistance in MyMav.

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    Plan Termination

    Except as may be limited by Texas statute, the University of Texas at Arlington reserves the right, by action of its President (or the President's authorized designee), to amend or terminate the Plan at any time.