Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program
Information for Merit and P&S Staff
Message Date: May 21, 2021
Staff Tuition Reimbursement Funding is Available for Fiscal 2022
Limited program funding has been made available for the Fiscal Year 2022. The program Fiscal Year begins with Fall 2021 and runs through Summer 2022.
The university supports and encourages staff members' continual learning and educational development by providing financial support through the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program. Through this employee benefit, staff members can receive funding for helping with tuition expenses to help reach their academic goals.
Operating with limited university budgeted resources, new program applicant reimbursements are limited to Iowa regents institutions for the Fiscal 2022 year. This limitation does not apply to the continuation of educational programs in progress for which funding was previously received.
The program is available to Merit and Professional & Scientific staff members holding a non-temporary position appointment of at least 20 hours per week and having at least one year of continuous non-temporary university service.
Staff who would like to participate in the program will need to complete the Annual Application form and submit it to their department head for approval. The signed form must be received by Human Resource Services (HRS) no later than July 1, 2021, for priority funding approval. Application approvals will be determined within the limits of the budgeted program funds.
A. Jay Behnke
The purpose of the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program is to encourage continual learning and educational development by providing tuition assistance to eligible Merit and Professional & Scientific staff for course work taken from an accredited post-secondary institution.
4.75 Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program Policy Please view the updated policy to read about eligibility, funding, program requirements and procedure changes.
UNI has an Educational Assistance Program and per the IRS guidelines (Section 127 of IRC), any reimbursement amounts greater than $5,250 for the calendar year are considered taxable income. Any amount over $5,250 will be reported to Payroll to be calculated as taxable income.
Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program Annual Application (PDF)
Academic Year Deadline: Completed application is due by July 1.
- Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program Semester Request (PDF) Required for each semester under the Program and must be submitted to HRS before the first day of class.
Employer Reimbursement Deferred Payment Agreement (PDF)
This form is provided by the Office of Business Operations. Please complete the top portion and send to HRS 0034. HRS will complete the bottom portion and then deliver it to the Office of Business Operations. To learn more about this option, please read below.
Employer Reimbursement Deferred Payment Option
The deferred payment agreement allows UNI students who qualify for the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program (STRP) the option of deferring their u-bill until the end of a given semester. The deferment option only allows the UNI student to defer their bill semester by semester. For the Fall semester the u-bill can be deferred until Dec 31st , the Spring semester can be deferred until May 31st, and the Summer can be deferred until July 31st. The deferment applies to the semester in which the tuition is charged. In the event a class goes beyond that semester, the student would be responsible for covering their tuition expenses and when a grade is received for that class the STRP will be processed and paid to the u-bill. If the u-bill is paid in full, a refund will be issued to the student. Deferments are granted on a semester basis only and cannot be extended beyond a given semester. The deferred payment agreement is administered by the Office of Business Operations.
Public Sector Student Loan Forgiveness
UNI employees with federal (direct) student loans may be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Qualifying employees must have worked for a public sector employer, such as UNI, for at least 10 years. In addition, employees must have made 120 qualifying payments toward their federal (direct) student loans. Employees meeting this criteria may qualify to have the remainder of their federal (direct) student loans forgiven. To learn more about this benefit, please visit our Public Sector Student Loan Forgiveness webpage.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Q: What is an Academic Year?
1A: An Academic Year begins in the Fall and runs through the Summer. A staff member may qualify for up to twelve (12) credit hours of approved study per academic year, not to exceed six (6) credit hours in a single academic semester or term.
- 2Q: What is the maximum reimbursement per credit hour for the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program?
2A: The maximum amount of reimbursement is based off of UNI's tuition rate. Please review the maximum rates for the most recent academic year.
- 3Q: If I am enrolled in the Employer Reimbursement Deferred Payment Option for the Program, when are late fees charged to my student account?
3A: Electronic university bills (u-bills) are generated on the 1st of each month and they are due by the 20th of the same month. Each semester your u-bill will reflect the total amount of tuition and mandatory fees. For program participants who enroll in the Employer Reimbursement Deferred Payment Option, late fees will be imposed the month immediately following the last month of the term. Ensure that all tuition & mandatory fees are paid in full by the end of the term to avoid potential late fees. Please contact the Office of Business Operations at 319-273-2164 or firstname.lastname@example.org regarding questions on your student account.
- 4Q: When will I see the reimbursement applied to my UNI u-bill?
4A: Once final grades are available in the Student Information System (SIS) for verification, Human Resource Services (HRS) will submit the request for reimbursement to Financial Aid for processing. Please allow for up to two weeks for the reimbursement request to be fully processed by Financial Aid.
- 5Q: For external coursework, what do I do when I get my final grades in order to be reimbursed?
5A: Please send a copy of your official final grades and a copy of an official receipt showing the tuition only cost for the course without fees to HRS. Both documents must have the staff member’s name included on the document. PDF document format is acceptable when submitting to HRS.
- 6Q: What does reimbursement from the Program cover?
6A: The Program is for qualified tuition-only costs only, expenses for books and additional fees are not covered under the Program.
- 7Q: Can I still receive grants or scholarships?
7A: Yes, a staff member may receive other financial aid from sources other than non-Program University funds. It is important to remember the Program will only reimburse the remaining tuition-only costs.
- 8Q: When does my department pay for coursework?
8A: The Program does not provide funding for courses determined to be a requirement of the Merit or Professional & Scientific staff member's current University position and the employing department is responsible for funding the tuition and any additional costs of study associated with such.
- 9Q: Do I need to submit an Annual Application if I have been previously approved for the Program?
9A: Each year, regardless of prior participation, a signed and approved Annual Application form for the upcoming Academic Year must be received by HRS no later than July 1. Annual Applications are required to help determine award approvals for an entire Academic Year. Annual awards guarantee approval of funding for an entire Academic Year in lieu of semester by semester approvals which can make the staff members planning of both school and work schedules more difficult.
- 10Q: When will I be notified that my Annual Application for the upcoming Academic Year has been approved?
10A: Approvals for the upcoming Academic Year will be communicated shortly after the July 1 application deadline.
- 11Q: I am interested in applying for the Program during the current Academic Year; can I still apply for the current Academic Year?
Applications can be submitted after the July 1 deadline. Application approvals will be determined within the limits of the budgeted Program funds. Staff members who do not meet the July 1st deadline and are eligible, but are not awarded due to lack of budgeted funds, will be placed on the waiting list. Priority will be based on the date HRS received the annual application and they will be positioned after those who did meet the July 1 deadline. If additional funds become available, the staff member's application may be reassessed for eligibility.
- 12Q: Can I receive tuition reimbursement for a correspondence course or guided independent study course?
12A: Yes, reimbursement may be awarded for University and other approved correspondence or guided independent study if the coursework carries credit by an accredited post-secondary institution.
- 13Q: I am not eligible for the Program until after the July 1 date, when can I apply for the Program?
13A: Even if you are not eligible for the Program until after the July 1 date, you can submit your application for the July 1 deadline. Please review your eligibility date before completing the Annual Application form if you are a P&S staff member with an appointment category of Contract, Probationary, or Term. If you are a Merit employee with an appointment category of Probationary or Trainee please review your eligibility date before applying. Instructions for accessing your total compensation statement which contains your Employment Date. One year from the Employment Date is your eligibility date. HRS will review your eligibility date and can approve any credits for courses that have a start date after your eligibility date. For more information on eligibility please review the Program Policy 4.75.
- 14Q: Can I be denied reimbursement?
14A: Although this rarely happens, reimbursement can be denied for failing to meet the Program requirements outlined in the Policy 4.75. Some examples include, but are not limited to, failing to submit a Semester Request form, failing to meet the grade requirement, and the termination of a staff member’s UNI employment. For more information on eligibility and Program guidelines please review the Program Policy 4.75.
- 15Q: What is the benefit of the Employer Reimbursement Deferred Payment Option?
15A: The deferred payment agreement allows UNI students who qualify for the Program the option of deferring their u-bill until the end of a given semester. Iowa State University (ISU) students can also take advantage of this billing option when coordinated through the ISU Accounts Receivable Office.
- 16Q: Do staff members in the Program take advantage of courses offered here at UNI?
16A: Yes, the overwhelming majority of staff members in the Program take courses at UNI and a small percentage take courses at other accredited post-secondary institutions.
- 17Q: What happens when my UNI employment ends?
17A: Termination of a staff member's UNI employment prior to the completion of the course will be considered a disqualification from the Program and payments will not be processed, unless termination is the result of layoff or death.
Termination of a staff member's UNI employment prior to their commitment to maintain employment at UNI or another State Agency for one month per credit after the semester or term end date will be considered a disqualification from the Program, unless termination is the result of layoff or death. The disqualified staff member will be required to pay UNI one hundred percent (100%) of the most recent tuition reimbursement.
- 18Q: Can I take an individual course without being enrolled in a degree program?
18A: A key policy update effective June 1, 2015 is eligible staff members may take coursework at an accredited post-secondary institution under the program without pursuing a degree or certification. The standard annual application process applies for single course requests.
- 19Q: For UNI coursework, do staff members still have to pay for all of the mandatory fees?
19A: Yes, staff members participating in the Program are still required to pay for all UNI mandatory fees.
- 20Q: I am taking external coursework, how do I setup direct deposit for reimbursement?
20A: The Office of Business Operations has created a step-by-step guide to help you choose or setup a non-payroll direct deposit for your reimbursements from the Program.
- 21Q: If I am approved for the Program and withdraw from UNI courses, what are the refund percentages and guidelines?
21A: If you are thinking about withdrawing from coursework, please review the Registrar's Refund Percentages and Grade Assignments page for detailed information and potential tuition and fee charges. Please note, there is no reimbursement from the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program for Withdrawal coursework.