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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Educational Assistance (State Employees & Dependents of State Employees and Teachers : B-061

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures for educational assistance to state employees and their dependents and the dependents of public school teachers by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline

  1. B-061 - Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to the need for the continued professional growth and development of employees. Support for educational assistance of personnel and their dependents is an important vehicle for addressing that need. The programs for TBR employees and dependents are available subject to funds being budgeted and available within the institution/college of applied technology/System Office.
    2. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the various programs with the exception of the program for dependents of veterans (B-062) and two programs offered to general state employees and the dependents of licensed teachers and State employees (B-061). These forms are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at http://www.tn.gov/thec/Divisions/LRA/FeeWaiverandDiscount/RulesandForms.html 
    3. Exceptions to the provisions of the programs for TBR employees can be made upon recommendation of the president/director and approval by the Chancellor.
  2. Types of Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The guidelines for Educational Assistance (P-130, P-131, B-061, B-062) contain a total of eleven (11) programs.
      1. The Programs in P-130 provide benefits to personnel at TBR institutions, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and the Central Office to further their formal education.
      2. The Program in P-131 provides benefits for dependents of TBR employees.
      3. The programs in B-061 provide assistance to state employees and dependents of public school teachers.
      4. The programs in B-062 provide assistance to dependents of veterans and to state employees 65 years of age and older.
    2. The programs are:
      1. P-130 – Educational Assistance for TBR Employees
        1. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Grant-in-Aid Program
        2. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Tuition or Maintenance Fee Reimbursement Program
        3. Employee Audit/Non-credit Program
        4. Clerical and Support Staff Maintenance Fee Payment Program
        5. Fee Waiver for TBR/UT System Employees Program (formerly referred to as PC 191)
      2. P-131 – Educational Assistance for Spouse and Dependents of TBR Employees
        1. a. Fee Discount for Spouse and/or Dependent Children Program
      3. B-061 – Educational Assistance for State Employees and Dependents of State
        1. Employees or Public School Teachers
          1. Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for State Employees Program
          2. Fee Discount for Dependent Children of Licensed Public School Teachers or State Employees Program
      4. B-062 – Other Educational Assistance Programs
        1. Veterans’ Dependents’ Post-Secondary Education Program
        2. Age 65 or Above Program
    3. Complete eligibility information is contained within each Guideline.
  3. Taxation of Educational Assistance Programs
    1. Undergraduate and graduate course tuition, up to $5250 per year, paid by the Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee System for their employees is eligible for exclusion from the employees' gross annual income, in accordance with Internal Revenue code (IRC) Section 127.
  4. Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for State Employees Program - This fee waiver program is for general state employees exclusive of TBR and UT system employees.
    1. These rules implement the provisions of the T.C.A. § 8-50-1. The Code enables full-time employees of the State of Tennessee to be eligible for enrollment in one course consisting of no more than 4 credit hours or 120 clock hours per term at any State supported college or university or Tennessee College of Applied Technology without paying tuition charges, maintenance fees, debt service fees, student activity fees, technology access fees, RODP on-line course fee, or registration fees.
      1. Employees are responsible for special course fees, books and supplies, application fees, applied music fees, lab fees, off-campus facilities fees, parking fees and traffic fines.
    2. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 10-5-101 et seq., employees of the State’s regional library system became employees of the Department of State, effective July 1, 1999. As such, they became eligible to participate in the State’s educational assistance programs.
      1. In addition, effective September 8, 1999, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission determined that Human Resource Agency employees are not State employees as that term is defined in the Commission’s rules governing these programs and thus are not eligible for fee waivers.
    3. Course enrollment will be permitted on a "space available" first-come-first served basis.
      1. State employees may register no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to the first day of classes.
      2. No tuition paying student shall be denied enrollment in a course because of state employee enrollments pursuant to this section.
    4. State employees must receive credit for the course in which they are enrolled.
      1. In addition, changes may not be made from credit to audit during the course of the term.
      2. Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are printed on the reverse side of the Request for Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for Employees of the State of Tennessee form. These forms are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
  5. Fee Discount for Dependents of Licensed Public School Teachers, Retired Teachers, or State Employees Program
    1. These rules implement the provisions of T.C.A. § 49-7-101 et seq. and § 8-50-101 et seq.
      1. The Codes enable children under the age of twenty-four (24) to receive a twenty-five percent (25%) discount on tuition at any state operated institution of higher learning if their parent:
        1. Is employed as a full-time licensed teacher in any public school in Tennessee or as a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee;
        2. Retired teacher: A certified teacher as defined in THEC Rules 1540-01-05-.01 Definitions, who retires after a minimum of thirty (30) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools or who receives disability retirement after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools.
        3. Is a retired employee of the state of Tennessee who retired after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service;
        4. Was killed in the line of duty while a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee; or
        5. Died while a full-time employee, though not "in the line of duty."
    2. Tuition includes undergraduate maintenance fees and college of applied technology program fees; it does not include application for admission fees, student activity fees, debt service fees, lab fees, applied music fees, books and supplies, dormitory charges or meal plans.
    3. Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are printed on the reverse side of the Request for Public Higher Education Fee Discount for Dependents of Certified Public School Teachers form. These forms are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at http://www.tn.gov/thec/Divisions/LRA/FeeWaiverandDiscount/RulesandForms.html    

Sources

Presidents Meeting, February 7, 2006; Presidents Meeting, November 6, 2006; President Meeting, May 15, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 6, 2007; August 16, 2011 presidents meeting. Revised January 17, 2014 per THEC Rule 1540-01-05 promulgated due to the passage of Public Chapter 345 which became effective July 1, 2013: Revised at Presidents Meeting, August 19, 2014.

Related Policies

Contact

Mickey Sheen
615-366-4437
mickey.sheen@tbr.edu