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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Other Educational Assistance Programs : B-062

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures for other educational assistance programs by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline

  1. B-062 - 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/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).
    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.
    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 PC-191)
      2. P-131 – Educational Assistance for Spouse and Dependents of TBR Employees
        1. 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. Disabled and Elderly Persons
    3. Complete eligibility information is contained within each Guideline.
  3. Taxation of Educational Assistance Programs
    1. Undergraduate and graduate course tuition, 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. Veterans’ Dependents’ Post-Secondary Education Program
    1. Effective July 1, 2008, T.C.A. § 49-7-102 was amended to provide that: every dependent child in this state under the age of twenty-three (23) years, whose parent was killed, died as a direct result of injuries received, or has been officially reported as being either a prisoner of war or missing in action while serving honorably as a member of the United State armed forces during a qualifying period of armed conflict, or was formerly a prisoner of war or missing in action under such circumstances, or the spouse of such veteran, is entitled to a waiver of tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees, required registration or matriculation fees, and shall be admitted without cost to any institutions of higher education owned, operated and maintained by the state.
      1. Therefore, this program is available to both TBR employees and persons outside of the Tennessee Board of Regents system.
      2. TBR employees qualifying as a spouse or dependent for benefits under this program shall use this program first and shall not be simultaneously eligible for benefits under other programs in this guideline.
      3. Exceptions: Grant-in-Aid and Desegregation Program recipients.
    2. Eligibility
      1. The office responsible for veteran’s affairs issues shall be responsible for determining eligibility and providing application forms to those wishing to obtain benefits under this program.
      2. To be eligible for educational assistance benefits under this program, a dependent child or spouse shall:
        1. Present official certification from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that the parent or spouse veteran was killed or died as a direct result of injuries as stated above; or
        2. Present official certification from the U.S. Department of Defense that the parent or spouse service member has been officially reported as being a prisoner of war or missing in action while serving honorably during a qualifying period of armed conflict; or
        3. Present Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty, Department of Defense Form 214, for the veteran or service member from whom the eligibility for the benefits derives.
      3. The deceased veteran, prisoner of war or missing in action service member shall have been a citizen of Tennessee at the time of the qualifying event.
      4. The dependent child or spouse, prior to receiving benefits under this program, shall have or possess the necessary qualifications required for admission. To maintain eligibility, the recipient shall be in active pursuit of a specific and declared degree or certificate program.
      5. No dependent child or spouse shall be entitled to receive benefits after the conclusion of any term during which the parent (father or mother) of the dependent child or spouse is officially removed from the status of being a prisoner of war or being a service member missing in action.
      6. Eligibility of a veteran’s spouse for benefits shall terminate ten (10) years after the death of the veteran; however, eligibility shall terminate immediately upon the spouse’s remarriage within this period.
        1. The spouse's eligibility shall extend to the end of the term in which the ten (10) year period expires.
        2. A spouse who has previously earned an undergraduate degree or certificate shall not be eligible for benefits.
        3. Otherwise, the spouse shall be eligible for benefits until one of the following occurs:
          1. Prior to the expiration of benefits, the spouse earns an undergraduate degree or certificate; or
          2. The spouse has accumulated one hundred thirty-five (135) semester hours excluding required remedial or developmental hours, or the equivalent; or
          3. The spouse has attempted one hundred fifty (150) semester hours, or the equivalent, inclusive of required remedial or developmental hours.
      7. A dependent child shall be matriculated as a full-time student at a state institution of higher education prior to attainment of age twenty-three (23). However, the age limitation of dependent children shall not be strictly applied.  Once declared eligible, a dependent child shall remain eligible until one of the following has occurred:
        1. Prior to attaining age 23 the dependent earns an undergraduate degree or certificate; or
        2. The dependent has accumulated one hundred thirty-five (135) semester hours excluding required remedial or developmental hours, or the equivalent; or
        3. The dependent has attempted one hundred fifty (150) semester hours, or the equivalent, inclusive of required remedial or developmental hours.
      8. For purposes of this program, the following definitions are provided:
        1. “Dependent Child” means a natural or adopted child of a veteran or service member who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes.
        2. “Parent” means the parent of a natural or adopted child whom such parent claims as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
        3. “Qualifying period of armed conflict” means any hostile military operation for which U.S. military campaign medals as listed in T.C.A. § 49-7-102 are authorized.
        4. “Service member” means a Tennessee resident who is engaged in active U.S. military service.
        5. “Served honorably” means the character of service condition as reported on Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Department of Defense Form 214).
        6. “State institution(s) of higher education” means any post-secondary institution operated by the Board of Trustees of The University of Tennessee system or the Tennessee Board of Regents of the state university, community college and colleges of applied technology system that offers courses of instruction leading to a certificate or degree.
        7. “Veteran” means a Tennessee resident who has entered and served honorably in the U.S. armed forces.
    3. Fees Paid/Type Courses Paid/Number of Hours
      1. The participant is entitled to a waiver of tuition and/or maintenance fees, and/or student activity fees, and/or required registration or matriculation fees, and shall be admitted without cost to any TBR institution.
      2. A full-time student load (12 semester hours or equivalent) is required.
    4. Payback Provisions
      1. None
    5. When the Participant May Attend
      1. Students may apply for benefits during the next registration or enrollment period for the next complete term after July 1, 2000.
    6. Accounting/Budgeting 
      1. Any fees waived by statute that are calculated and credited to revenue for administration purposes should be written off against a contra revenue account.
      2. No expenditures should be charged to scholarships and fellowships.
    7. G. Where the Participant May Attend
      1. Any public institution of higher education in Tennessee
  5. ​​Disabled and Elderly Persons Program
    1. In accordance with T.C.A. § 49-7-113 and TBR Guideline B-060, certain disabled and elderly students, as well as state service retirees, are able to enroll in courses free or at a reduced rate.
    2. Eligibility
      1. For audit courses, no fee is required for persons with a permanent, total disability; persons 60 years of age or older and domiciled in Tennessee; and persons who have retired from state service with 30 or more years of service, regardless of age.
      2. For credit courses, a reduced fee is charged to persons with a permanent, total disability, and persons who will become 65 years of age or older during the academic semester in which they begin classes and who are domiciled in Tennessee.
    3. Fees Paid/Type Courses Paid/Number of Hours
      1. A fee of $70 per semester or $60 per trimester may be assessed for credit courses. (This fee includes maintenance fees and all mandatory fees; it does not include any nonmandatory fees including, but not limited to, course-specific fees, materials fees, online course fees, application fees, parking fees, etc.)
      2. Disabled/elderly program students shall enroll in credit courses on a space-available basis.
      3. There is no limit on the number of courses that may be taken during a semester.
      4. The institution where thedisabled/elderly program student is attending classes will provide forms for processing fees waived or assessed.
    4. Payback Provisions
      1. None
    5. When the Participant May Attend
      1. Employees participating in this program, in counsel with their immediate supervisors, should limit the number of courses so as to maintain an optimum level of job performance.
      2. Employees participating in this program should schedule courses at times other than during regularly scheduled work hours unless annual leave or flex time, based on the institution's needs, have been approved.
    6. Accounting/Budgeting
      1. Any fees set by statute are considered the fee rate for that group. The fees are not considered waived.
      2. No expenditures should be charged to scholarships and fellowships.
    7. Where the Participant May Attend
      1. Employees may enroll at any public Tennessee institution.

Sources

Presidents Meeting February 7, 2006; Presidents Meeting November 8, 2006; Presidents meeting August 21, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 6, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 5, 2008. Revisions approved at Presidents Meeting February 4, 2014; Revisions approved at Presidents Meeting, August 18, 2015.

Related Policies

Contact

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