5.27 Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement
Educational assistance benefits may be provided to employees and retirees.
Procedures: (Revised 4-6-2006)
5.27.1 Employee Tuition Waiver (Revised 4-15-2014, 7-23-2014; 2-18-2015)
East Central College encourages its employees to further their education. Enrollment in classes at East Central College encourages professional and personal growth of employees and provides a tangible fringe benefit.
The employee must complete the Tuition Waiver Request Form and receive the approval of the immediate supervisor, area Vice President and Human Resources prior to the first day of class. Failure to complete the form in advance will result in denial of waiver benefits. Enrollment in the course(s) should be outside the employee’s normal working hours and should not interfere with the employee’s work responsibilities. Coursework may not be completed during normal working hours.
The employee tuition waiver covers tuition and general fees but does not apply toward any special fees, book/supply costs, courses offered only on a non-credit basis or program costs assessed through educational partners for tuition, seat charges or other fees.
Employees receiving a tuition waiver for themselves or a dependent(s) who separate from the College prior to mid-term in the semester in which the tuition waiver is granted will be required to pay the tuition for that semester. If employment terminates after mid-term, no tuition will be due the College.
5.27.2 Tuition Waiver Eligibility (Revised 4-15-2014; 1-13-2021)
Tuition waiver eligibility for full-time and part-time employees begins the semester following the employee’s hire date. The following employees are eligible for tuition waiver benefits for ECC credit classes:
• Full-time employees – Eligible for up to six credit hours per semester.
• Part-time employees – Eligible for up to six credit hours per semester.
• Adjunct instructors – Eligible for six credit hours during the semester immediately following completion of their assignment as an adjunct instructor, unless otherwise approved by Human Resources.
• Retirees – Eligible for up to six credit hours per semester. Retirees are defined as individuals who have completed five years of service to East Central College and are eligible for retirement benefits through PSRS/PEERS.
• Spouses of full-time employees – Eligible for up to eighteen credit hours per semester.
• Unemancipated children of full-time employees – Eligible for up to eighteen credit hours per semester which includes dual enrollment and dual credit tuition for unemancipated children who are under the age of 24, unmarried and live in the employee’s residence. Unemancipated children may be: natural children, adopted children, stepchildren that live with employee, or other children for whom the employee is the legal guardian. If the student is using multiple tuition-based funding programs, the other funding will be applied to the student’s account before the employee waiver. Should the student drop a course(s) during the semester, the student will be responsible for repaying any charges beyond tuition and general fees. Exceptions to this procedure must be approved by the Director of Financial Aid.
Eligible individuals using a tuition waiver who withdraw or wish to repeat a course are subject to the applicable academic policies and may receive a waiver for only one repeat per course. Repeatedly withdrawing from courses covered by tuition waiver may result in a suspension of the tuition waiver benefit.
5.27.3 Approval of Tuition Waiver (Revised 4-15-2014)
Requests for tuition waivers for employees must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, area Vice President and the Office of Human Resources. These requests must be submitted on the Tuition Waiver Request Form prior to the start of each semester. The course itself, as well as the day and time of the course, are subject to these approvals.
Requests for tuition waivers for retirees, spouses, and/or unemancipated children must be initiated by the employee and must be approved by the Office of Human Resources. These requests must be submitted on the Tuition Waiver Request Form prior to the start of each semester.
5.27.4 Full-Time Employee Tuition Reimbursement (Revised 4-15-2014; 11-5-2018; 2-15-2019)
A. Full-time regular employees are eligible to receive financial assistance for approved college study directed toward improvement of their qualifications. Reimbursement of tuition shall be up to an amount equal to 100% of the applicable undergraduate or graduate educational fee (tuition) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis or the tuition fee of the institution in which the employee was enrolled, whichever is less. Employee tuition reimbursement covers tuition only and does not apply toward any special fees or book/supply costs.
B. Courses must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university and must be applicable toward a higher degree than the current highest degree of the employee or a recognized post-secondary certificate or non-degree credential. Exceptions may be made by the area Vice President, Director of Human Resources and President when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the College.
C. The employee must complete the Tuition Reimbursement Request Form and receive the approval of the immediate supervisor, area Vice President and Human Resources prior to enrolling in the course(s). Enrollment in the course(s) should be outside the employee’s normal working hours and must not interfere with the employee’s work responsibilities. Any exceptions must be approved by the College President. Coursework may not be completed during normal working hours.
D. No more than six unrestricted credit hours will be reimbursed during an employee’s tenure prior to admission to an undergraduate or graduate degree program or a post-secondary certificate/non-degree credential. A degree plan, approved by the supervisor, area Vice President and College President must be on file with the Human Resources office prior to requesting tuition reimbursement beyond the initial six hours. After the initial six hours, only coursework detailed in the program of study for the advanced degree (beyond the employee’s current degree) or post-secondary certificate/non-degree credential will be considered for tuition reimbursement.
E. The employee’s immediate supervisor, area administrator, College President and the Director of Human Resources must indicate approval of the course(s) by signing the Tuition Reimbursement Request form.
F. Financial assistance shall be limited to no more than eighteen credit hours per calendar year, based on course completion date, during which the employee is employed with East Central College. All East Central College tuition reimbursements (not waivers) shall be considered Educational Assistance as outlined in IRS Publication 15-B. Reimbursement amounts exceeding the published exclusion limit for educational assistance will be considered taxable wages and reported as such on the employee’s W-2. The College will not consider any tuition reimbursements as working condition benefits as outlined in IRS Publication 15-B.
G. Employment is required to continue two calendar years following tuition reimbursement. Should the employee voluntarily leave the employment of East Central College within one year of completion of coursework for which the employee was reimbursed, 100% of the tuition reimbursed for the 12-month period ending the date of the last course completed for which reimbursement was received and 50% of the tuition reimbursed for the prior 12-month period shall be repaid to the College. Employees voluntarily leaving the employment of East Central College after one year but prior to the completion of two years of employment following tuition reimbursement shall repay 50% of the tuition reimbursed for the 12-month period ending the date of the last course completed for which reimbursement was received. Reimbursement due to the College for tuition repayment will be deducted from the employee’s vacation payout. If there is a remaining balance due after deduction from vacation payout, the business office will issue an invoice to the employee and the balance due shall be paid by check, cash or credit card through the cashier’s office within thirty days of the employee’s termination date. The College reserves the right to send delinquent invoices to outside collections.
H. All freshman and sophomore level classes must be taken at ECC (covered under the tuition waiver) unless ECC does not offer the requested course or equivalent. Employees working toward an Associate degree will be required to take the classes at ECC. Reimbursement of tuition for freshman and sophomore level classes not available at ECC shall be up to an amount equal to 100% of the applicable educational fee (tuition) at East Central College. Exceptions must be approved by the area Vice President, Human Resources and the College President.
I. Employees who, prior to completing the approved course, voluntarily leave the College or are terminated will not be reimbursed. Records of all education programs completed by each employee will be maintained by the Office of Human Resources.
J. Any exception to these procedures must be authorized by the College President.
5.27.5 Completed Course(s) (Revised 2-15-2019)
To receive reimbursement, the employee must submit a transcript or grade report along with a copy of the invoice/statement from the institution that lists the class credit hour cost to the Office of Human Resources to verify that the approved course has been completed.
5.27.6 Grade Requirements
Grade “C” or better for undergraduate level course work or grade “B” or better for graduate level course work is required for reimbursement.
5.27.7 Course Approval (Revised 4-15- 2014)
The employees’ immediate supervisor, area Vice President, and the Director of Human Resources must indicate approval of the course(s) by signing the Educational Assistance Request Form. Enrollment in the course(s) should be outside the employee’s normal working hours and should not interfere with the employee’s work responsibilities. Any exceptions must be approved by the College President.
5.27.8 Degree Attainment (Revised 4-15-2014; 2-15-2019)
Full-time Faculty, Professional and Support Staff who obtain a college or university degree that exceeds the established degree requirements for the position in which they are employed will receive a salary increase. Subsequent degrees at the same level will not qualify for additional salary increases.
The degree must be obtained from a regionally accredited college or university. An official transcript showing degree completion must be submitted to the Human Resources Office to receive the salary increase.
Salary increases will be awarded within thirty (30) days following verification of degree completion. Support Staff will receive an hourly rate adjustment equal to the annualized award. Faculty and Professional Staff will receive the amount added to their annual contractual salary. Faculty and Professional Staff receiving a degree during the contract year will have an adjustment equal to the annualized award added to the remaining contracted salary for that year; the full annual increase will be reflected in the salary for the next contractual year.
The following increase to annual salary will be awarded upon completion of the degree:
Associate’s degree: $ 500
Bachelor’s degree: $1,000
Master’s degree: $1,500
Specialist degree/MFA: $2,000
Doctoral degree: $3,000
(Adopted 6-1-1992; Revised 6-4-2001; Reaffirmed 4-15-2014)