07-04.10 – Tuition Remission and Tuition Reimbursement

  1. Policy Statement:

    Towson University (“University”) offers Tuition Remission and Tuition Reimbursement benefits in accordance with the terms of this policy.

  2. Definitions: 

    1. “Eligible Employee” is defined as, except as otherwise specified in this policy, a faculty or staff member, or a retired faculty or staff member, who works (or worked, before retirement) in a position that (1) has been approved through the budgetary and pertinent appointment classification processes; (2) is (or was) intended to last six months or more regardless of the nature of the source of funds; and (3) who works either full-time or part-time on a basis of at least 50% of full-time.

    2. “Spouse” is defined as a person in a legally contracted marriage recognized by the state of Maryland with an Eligible Employee, excluding an estranged spouse who maintains a separate domicile.

    3. “Dependent Child” is defined as a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, legally adopted son or legally adopted daughter of an Eligible Employee who is (1) under the age of 26 before the University’s deadline for registration for courses in the semester for which Tuition Remission has been requested; or (2) if the child is 26 or older, is claimed as a dependent on the Eligible Employee’s federal income tax return for the year(s) in which tuition remission is granted.

    4. “Retiree” is defined as a former regular Eligible Employee who is receiving State of Maryland Retirement and Pension System and/or Optional Retirement Plan retirement payments and had earned at least five years of total service credit at one or more University System of Maryland (USM) institution, or a former regular Eligible Employee who is receiving state of Maryland Retirement and Pension System accidental disability retirement payments with less than five years of total service credit at one or more USM institution.  Verification of retiree status may be obtained from the Human Resources Office of the institution from which the employee retired.

    5. “Tuition Remission” is defined as the waiver of tuition at a USM or Reciprocal Institution.  

    6. “Tuition Reimbursement” is defined as repaying a full-time regular Eligible Employee for certain tuition costs under certain circumstances as described in this policy.

    7. “Reciprocal Institutions” are defined as non-USM institutions that participate in the USM Tuition Remission program; they are Baltimore City Community College (BCCC), Morgan State University (MSU), and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM).

    8. “Date of Hire” is defined as the date on which an Eligible Employee was hired to work at the University or within the USM. 

    9. “High School Dual Enrollment” is a concurrent enrollment program in which high school students, at junior standing or higher, enroll in regular college-level courses at the University.  College credit is earned for any courses completed, and will be posted to a University transcript.   

    10. “Break in Service” is defined as a separation from the University or any institution within the USM (e.g., resignation, termination of employment, expiration of contract).  A Break in Service results in the loss of employment compensation and benefits.

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Associate Vice President of Human Resources

    Responsible Office:
    Office of Human Resources  

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    Eligible Employees, Retirees, Spouses, and Dependent Children.

  5. Administration:

    1. Tuition Remission 

      1. Eligibility

        1. Regular Employees and Full-time Lecturers

          Eligible for undergraduate or graduate Tuition Remission at any USM institution.  Tuition Remission at Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.  Part-time Eligible Employees will receive Tuition Remission proportional to their percentage of employment service.  An Eligible Employee whose Date of Hire occurs after the last add/drop date for the semester/session will be eligible for Tuition Remission benefits beginning with the next semester/session.

        2. Contingent Category II Staff Employees

          Eligible for undergraduate or graduate Tuition Remission at the University only.  Part-time Eligible Employees will receive Tuition Remission proportional to their percentage of employment service.  An Eligible Employee whose Date of Hire occurs after the last add/drop date for the semester/session will be eligible for Tuition Remission benefits beginning with the next semester/session.

        3. Retirees

          Eligible for undergraduate or graduate Tuition Remission at any USM institution.  Tuition Remission at Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.  Part-time Eligible Employees will receive Tuition Remission proportional to the percentage of employment service.  

        4. Spouses and Dependent Children of Eligible Employees  

          Tuition Remission is available to Spouses and Dependent Children of regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers, based on the Eligible Employee’s Date of Hire.  Spouses and Dependent Children of adjunct faculty, part-time lecturers, and contingent staff are not eligible for Tuition Remission.

          1. Eligible Employee Date of Hire before January 1, 1990

            1. Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers hired before January 1, 1990 are eligible to receive 100% Tuition Remission for courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, at any of the institutions of the USM.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service.  

            2. Tuition Remission at Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.

          2. Eligible Employee Date of Hire on or after January 1, 1990 and before July 1, 1992

            1. Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers hired on or after January 1, 1990 and before July 1, 1992 are eligible to receive 100% Tuition Remission toward their first undergraduate degree at the University.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service.  If the Spouse or Dependent Child has already earned an undergraduate degree, no Tuition Remission benefits are available.  

            2. Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers are eligible to receive 50% Tuition Remission toward their first undergraduate degree at any institution in the USM.  The remaining 50% of tuition cost is the responsibility of the individual student.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service (e.g. a 50% regular Eligible Employee would receive 25% Tuition Remission).

            3. Tuition Remission at Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.

          3. Eligible Employee Date of Hire on or after July 1, 1992

            1. Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers hired on or after July 1, 1992 are eligible to receive 100% Tuition Remission toward their first undergraduate degree at The University.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service.  If the Spouse or Dependent Child has already earned an undergraduate degree, no Tuition Remission benefits are available. 

            2. Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees and full-time lecturers are eligible to receive 50% Tuition Remission toward their first undergraduate degree at any institution in the USM.  The remaining 50% of tuition cost is the responsibility of the individual student.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service (e.g. a 50% regular Eligible Employee would receive 25% Tuition Remission).

            3. Tuition Remission at Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.

            4. Tuition Remission benefits for Spouses and Dependent Children shall be available only after the regular Eligible Employee or full-time lecturer has been employed (has a Date of Hire) in a regular capacity for two years before the last date available for late registration for the relevant semester.  If the two-year waiting period ends after the last date available for late registration, Tuition Remission benefits will be available beginning with the next semester/session. 

            5. Contingent employment does not count toward the two-year employment requirement for Spouse and Dependent Children Tuition Remission benefits. 

          4. Effect of Break in Service

            If a former regular Eligible Employee is rehired within three years of termination from prior USM employment, the Spouse and Dependent Children of the rehired regular Eligible Employee shall be eligible for Tuition Remission, as described in this policy, in accordance with applicable policy. Approved faculty sabbatical leave is not as a Break in Service.

          5. Unpaid Leave of Absence 

            Leaves of absence without pay may affect Tuition Remission. Contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss the specific circumstances and determine applicable leave policies.

        5. Spouse and Dependent Children of Deceased Eligible Employees 

          Subject to the provisions governing eligibility for Spouses and Dependent Children listed in section V.A.1.d. above, Spouses and Dependent Children of full-time regular Eligible Employees who die in service or after retirement, and full-time lecturers who die in service, are eligible for Tuition Remission for a period of time determined by the duration of full-time employment of the deceased regular Eligible Employee as follows:

          Service Time of Deceased regular Eligible Employee or Full-time Lecturer (years) Period of time (Academic Years) Eligible for Benefit
          Less than three years 1
          Three to less than five years 2
          Five to less than seven years 3
          Seven to less than nine years 4
          Nine or more 5

          Spouse eligibility for Tuition Remission expires at the end of seven years following the death of the full-time regular Eligible Employee or full-time lecturer.  Eligibility for Tuition Remission for Dependent Child(ren) tuition expires when the child(ren) no longer meet(s) the definition of a Dependent Child, as set forth in this policy.  Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of deceased part-time regular Eligible Employees shall be proportional to the percentage of employment service averaged for the three years immediately preceding the regular Eligible Employee’s death.

        6. Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependents of Employees and Retirees who Reside Out-of-State

          Tuition Remission charged to institutions and Eligible Employees under this policy shall be the in-state tuition rate, regardless of the state of residence of the Eligible Employee.

      2. Admissibility

        Tuition Remission is subject to the student’s admissibility to the USM institution or Reciprocal Institution and to the program of study, if necessary, and to all other academic regulations of the institution governing student enrollment.  Individuals will be eligible for Tuition Remission while enrolled as a non-degree student, including enrollment in the High School Parallel Enrollment Program.  However, all academic and admission requirements of the institution must be met, such as course prerequisites, registration deadlines, and fees.

      3. Excluded Programs of Study 

        Programs excluded from Tuition Remission at the University include one-to-one courses, such as advanced studio and private lessons; self-support programs, such as computer certification courses; College of Education closed contract courses, and the Towson Learning Network; non-credit courses; courses offered during the mini-mester; and study abroad programs, except for University exchanges.  However, certain self-support programs and courses may be available for Tuition Remission if recommended by the President of the University and approved by the Chancellor.  The University will apply the exempted status equally to all applicants who wish to participate in the Tuition Remission program, whether from the University or another USM institution.  Exempted status for Reciprocal Institutions is subject to institutional reciprocity agreements. 

        Refer to the Tuition Remission Deadlines and Exclusions Chart which is published each semester (term), on the Office of Human Resources (OHR) Web page, for other programs of study excluded from Tuition Remission at other USM and Reciprocal Institutions.

      4. Restrictions

        Tuition Remission does not cover mandatory fees and related course costs, which remain the responsibility of the individual student (e.g., registration fees, admissions fees, overload surcharge fees, laboratory fees, and the costs of books and supplies. 

      5. Applying for Tuition Remission 

        Procedures for applying for Tuition Remission are available on the OHR Web page. 

      6. Number of Credits

        Refer to the OHR Web page for credit limits, per semester, on Tuition Remission for USM institutions.  Tuition Remission limits for Reciprocal Institutions are subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.

        Credits available for Tuition Remission for part-time Eligible Employees are proportional to their percentage of employment service.

        Limits on the number of credits for Tuition Remission for Retirees are the same as for faculty/staff for USM institutions.  Limits for Reciprocal Institutions are subject to institutional reciprocity agreements.

      7. Release Time for Eligible Employees

        Courses taken by an Eligible Employee that are eligible for Tuition Remission shall not interfere with the employee’s assigned employment duties and responsibilities.  The use of release time by staff employees to take a course will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  If the course is not job-related, employees should not enroll in courses that meet during their work hours.   However, with the prior written consent of the employee’s supervisor, employees may use accrued personal and/or annual leave, and/or employees may request schedule changes, in order to take a course during working hours.  

        Requests for release time must be submitted by the employee’s department head, for final approval, to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources prior to enrollment in the course(s).    

      8. Current Beneficiaries

        Notwithstanding the definition of “Dependent Child” in this policy, any child of an Eligible Employee who is receiving Tuition Remission benefits on the effective date of this policy shall continue to receive such benefits as long as the student is making adequate progress toward a degree in the program in which the student is currently enrolled.

    2. Tuition Reimbursement at Non-USM or Non-Reciprocal Institutions 

      1. Eligibility 

        Subject to the requirements of this section, a full-time regular Eligible Employee may be reimbursed for the cost of tuition upon successful completion of a course offered by a non-USM or non-reciprocal two- or four-year institution if:

        1. that employee’s department head or chair determines a specific course is job-related and will contribute to the employee’s job performance;

        2. the course is not available as a practical matter at any USM or Reciprocal Institution; and

        3. operations and resources permit the employee’s enrollment in and reimbursement for the course.

      2. Administration 

        The employee’s department head or chair shall submit a Tuition Reimbursment form to the Employee Benefits unit before the first class meeting of the recommended course.  The advance approval of the OHR is required in order for the employee to receive reimbursement for the course.  The employee is responsible for paying tuition and related fees to the institution offering the approved course.

        Upon successful completion of the course, the employee shall submit a request for reimbursement directly to the employee’s department head or chair, documenting the tuition amount to be reimbursed and the employee’s receipt of a grade of “C” or better in the course.

      3. Restrictions

        Tuition Reimbursement for courses at non-USM or non-Reciprocal Institutions is limited as follows:

        1. The maximum reimbursement per semester shall be for one course, not to exceed four credit hours.

        2. Course fees and expenses other than tuition are the responsibility of the employee.

        3. An employee may not enroll in more than eight credit hours of coursework in a semester for which the employee is receiving a combination of Tuition Reimbursement and Tuition Remission.

        4. The amount to be reimbursed per credit hour for an approved course may be limited to the amount currently charged for a graduate credit hour at the University of Maryland College Park.

      4. Absence from Work to Attend Class

        If enrollment in a course is required by the employee’s department, the employee may be absent from work for not more than one-half day on days when classes are scheduled.  The employee will not be required to make up for time away from work on class days.

        If enrollment in such a course is not mandatory, the employee should enroll in a class that meets during non-work hours, if feasible.  However, with the prior written consent of the employee’s supervisor, employees may use accrued personal and/or annual leave, and/or employees may request schedule changes, in order to take a course during working hours.   

Related Policies:  

USM Policy II-1.05, Policy on the Employment of Full-Time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty in the University System of Maryland

USM Policy VII-4.10, Policy on Tuition Remission and Tuition Reimbursement for Regular and Retired Non-Exempt and Exempt Staff and Faculty Employees of the USM

USM Policy VII-4.20, Policy on Tuition Remission for Spouses and Dependent Children of USM Employees and Retirees

USM Policy VII-9.61, Policy on Reemployment and Reinstatement for Regular Status Nonexempt and Exempt Staff Employees

TU Policy 07-09.60, Reinstatement for Regular Employees

Approval Date: 12/14/2006

Effective Date: 01/02/2007

Updated Date: 10/13/2009
12/17/2014
05/16/2017

Approved By: President’s Council 11/17/2006

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .