(601U) Kansas Athletics Staff: Tuition Assistance

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New 07/2017


Kansas Athletics provides employees tuition assistance in their pursuit of educational opportunities for professional growth and development.  This opportunity is available to all benefits eligible, regular appointment employees (e.g., full-time, part-time regular, Assistantship or Fellowship position) with at least one continuous year employment service by the start of the semester requested to take a course. The employee must have a satisfactory attendance record, a satisfactory performance evaluation, and be in good standing.Program participation does not require the applicant to be degree seeking. Classes may be taken for self-development or personal enrichment.  Preference shall be given to those individuals seeking courses that will enhance their employment at Kansas Athletics.

A complete application, including confirmation of supervisory support, is required for each term (fall, spring, and summer) the employee chooses to participate, regardless of whether the class meets during work hours. Reminders are sent out prior to the application deadline by the Human Resources Department (HR). Applications must be received by HR no later than 5:00 p.m. on the following schedule:

  • Fall Semester: First Friday in July unless designated as a national holiday, in which case the deadline will be the following Monday.
  • Spring Semester: First Friday in November
  • Summer Semester: First Friday in April

Late applications may not be considered. Application to the program does not guarantee approval for this program or admission to the relevant University school or college. The employee is responsible for applying for admission to the applicable program and enrolling in the course. The Director of Human Resources, in consultation with Chief Financial Officer (to determine funding), makes the final decision on all awards issued through this Tuition Assistance Program.

Applications are reviewed each award period and selection for awards is based upon the availability of funds, length of employee’s service, applicability of course work to the employee’s job, and the level of past education. Additional course fees for each school may also be covered if funds are available.

The tuition assistance program is designed to cover tuition for one regular class per semester for eligible staff members. This includes one class up to 5 credit hours. Classes cannot be combined to reach the five-credit-hour maximum. Exceptions to the five-hour limit may be considered upon funding availability if the course requires a corresponding laboratory.

Courses covered include:

  • Eligible KU courses
  • Courses at other State of Kansas post-secondary educational institution if and only if KU does not offer a comparable course or if the KU course conflicts with the employee’s work schedule
  • Both undergraduate and post-baccalaureate level courses
  • College credit classes for professional development purposes or personal enrichment
  • Classes that are taken for a grade or credit
  • Independent Study and distance education courses through KU Continuing Education may be approved on a case by case basis (program requirements must be addressed by the applicant)
  • KU thesis and dissertation hours on a limited basis. The maximum number of hours that may be covered through this program include six (6) credit hours for a Master’s thesis or nine (9) credit hours for a doctoral dissertation.

Ineligible Courses at KU and Other Institutions:

  • Accelerated degree programs at other universities
  • Internships
  • Audited classes that are assessed tuition payment
  • Classes through other universities and colleges, unless previously approved by the Director of Human Resources.
  • Professional development seminars or test preparation classes.
  • KU’s PUAD 660 and PUAD 661

Once accepted into the tuition assistance program, future awards are contingent upon participants maintaining an overall “C” average for the undergraduate level or a “B” average for post-baccalaureate level, as long as credit for the approved class is earned. Classes may also be taken on a pass/fail basis.

Future awards are contingent upon proof of grade (or credit) for past courses supported by the tuition assistance program and grades should be provided by the start of classes, unless this requirement is waived by HR for reasons of medical emergency or other hardship. Incompletes should be resolved within a semester.

Not all courses are covered under the Tuition Assistance Program; applications for courses not covered may be denied. Applicants are encouraged to take courses at the University of Kansas. Any exception will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In the event an award is made for a class to be taken at an alternate educational institution, the amount of the award will not exceed KU’s equivalent tuition rate. For institutions with tuition rates lower than KU’s, the lower rate will be awarded. Any fees required by an alternate educational institution will be the participant’s responsibility.

Tuition Assistance does not cover PUAD 660 and PUAD 661. The subject matter covered by these two courses is also covered in the Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program, a series of non-credit workshops. Because the CPM program was originally developed as a professional development opportunity rather than academic courses, Tuition Assistance is not provided.

Recipients taking classes at KU are required to submit the Staff & Staff Dependent Rates Application to the University Registrar’s Office in order to have their campus fees waived. This form is also necessary for staff who need to apply for resident (staff tuition) rates. Submission of this application is the responsibility of the award recipient; a new Staff & Staff Dependent Rates Application must be submitted each semester.

In the event a tuition assistance recipient is unable to complete the enrolled course or employment with Kansas Athletics ends before the end of the semester, it becomes the obligation of the recipient to repay any tuition that is not refunded by the University. Recipients of tuition assistance may review their account balances online at Enroll & Pay under “Campus Finances.”

IRS guidance permits the employee to take courses up to a maximum amount (currently $5250) per calendar year as a non-taxable fringe benefit.  Therefore, Kansas Athletics will not add the costs of the courses to the employee’s gross income to the extent less than the then-current IRS limit for the calendar year.  Should payments for the courses in a calendar year add up to more than the then-current IRS limits, the employee would be responsible for the taxation of the courses.

The Tuition Assistance Program is not available to temporary employees, including student employees.

Departments and supervisors are encouraged to make reasonable efforts to facilitate course attendance by staff so long as the normal functions of the position and the department can be maintained.

Employees who have received an official notice that their employment is ending or projected to end shall be deemed ineligible.

Not all unique circumstances can be addressed by this policy. As a result, HR may use discretion in the approval or denial of the Tuition Assistance Program based upon the application of program principles, existing guidelines, funding availability, etc.