Employee Education Benefits
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced that for the next three years, UK will pay tuition for its employees currently taking classes at other Kentucky public institutions.
The move is in response to legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly that ended a program whereby UK employees could attend other public higher education institutions tuition free. About 1,100 UK employees are taking classes under the program.
Ending the tuition waiver program was part of comprehensive higher education legislation adopted by the General Assembly in April to provide more flexibility to the institutions on a number of fronts, including the ability to move forward more quickly with projects funded with institutional resources.
“We are responding to the continuing educational needs of our employees, the people who every day make this place go.” Capilouto said in remarks Tuesday to the UK Board of Trustees. “That’s what compassionate, thoughtful institutions do – funding a program that is important to a number of people on our campus, who are seeking professional and educational development opportunities.
The legislation in no way impacted two existing benefits offered to UK employees – the Employee Education Program and Family Education Program -which are for UK employees and their spouses/partners and dependents taking courses at UK.
The tuition program announced by Capilouto will be limited to UK employees already taking classes at other institutions or those who have already applied for a specific program offered at another institution. The program will cover the current benefit - tuition for up to six credit hours per term. The largest number of UK employees taking classes at other institutions – about 75 percent – are UK HealthCare employees. About 200 employees from other institutions, on average, attend classes at UK.
By way of comparison, seven institutions in the Southeastern Conference do not provide tuition subsidies for employees to attend other institutions. Of those that do, it is typically limited to schools within a state system.
The University is still analyzing the total cost of the three year program and is in discussions with the other public institutions about partnership agreements, said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration.
In many cases – such as nursing or agricultural extension – certain types of degrees are required as a condition of continuing employment. As a result, departments and units will examine whether it will be necessary to continue the benefit, in some fashion, beyond this three-year period, Monday said.
In addition, Capilouto said it must be a priority for UK to expand its offerings in a way that is more convenient for those who are seeking a degree or professional development opportunities.
“The Our Path Forward initiative is predicated on the idea of providing more opportunities to more people to earn a highly valued degree from the University of Kentucky,” Capilouto said. “That should – and it must – include our employees. This is an opportunity to continue to grow what we offer our employees and the entire state, whether it’s through online learning, more convenient hours, or expanding programs of tremendous value that will hold appeal for our employees and more of those we serve throughout the Commonwealth.”
Will the recent changes affect me attending UK?
No. As a UK employee attending UK, you may still receive the same tuition waiver. Please continue to participate as you have been, submitting the Employee Education Program (EEP) form after registering for classes. You must submit a form for every semester you participate in the Employee Education Program.
What do I need to do to continue to receive a tuition waiver for attending a University other than UK?
If you participated in the benefit or applied for admission to another public university prior to April 26, 2018, you can continue to receive the benefit at other Kentucky public institutions. Once you register for classes, you need to submit the tuition waiver form. You must submit a form for every semester you participate in the Employee Education Program.
When must I have applied for admission at another institution to receive a tuition waiver?
You must have applied to the institution by April 26, 2018, to participate in the tuition waiver benefit. Eligible institutions are University of Kentucky, any of the KCTCS institutions (including BCTC), Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, the University of Louisville or Murray State University.
When do I need to submit a tuition waiver form for the fall 2018 semester to attend other schools?
Please submit fall 2018 forms by July 1, 2018, to verify you submitted your application to the school prior to April 26, 2018.
Will I receive the tuition waiver for summer 2018?
Yes, as long as you applied to the institution before April 26, 2018, or previously participated in the program as a UK employee in the past.
How long can I participate in this benefit to have tuition waived at another Kentucky public institution?
The tuition waiver benefit to attend Kentucky public institutions other than UK will end after the spring 2021 semester.
I will be changing schools after the April 26, 2018, date, but I have already participated in the tuition waiver benefit. Can I continue to use the benefit at my new school?
Yes, if it is a Kentucky public institution listed on the EEP form and you have previously used the faculty and staff tuition benefit (EEP form), you many continue to participate through spring 2021.
What form should I use to request a tuition waiver at another institution?
The faculty and staff tuition waiver uses the Employee Education Program (EEP) form but applies to UK employees attending Kentucky public institutions other than the University of Kentucky.
How will the changes affect me attending Chamberlin University, Midway, Indiana Wesleyan University, etc.?
The tuition waiver benefit does not apply to schools not listed on the EEP form. If you are using a tuition waiver benefit to attend those schools, it is likely a benefit only offered in your department. You will need to contact your department about the benefit you are using. The legislative changes should only apply to the faculty and staff tuition waiver benefit attending other Kentucky public institutions.
Do I have to be enrolled in a course this summer to keep getting the tuition waiver at the other institution?
No, but the waiver will not be eligible at schools other than UK after spring 2021, regardless of how many semesters you participate in the benefit.
My employment FTE status did not change to allow me to be eligible for EEP until after April 26, 2018, but I was already enrolled in classes for spring 2018. Can I use the waiver for summer 2018?
No, you must have had an eligible employment status and at least applied for admission to the institution by April 26, 2018. If you do not meet both criteria, you will not be eligible to have tuition waived at other Kentucky public institutions.
I used the benefit a year ago and want to go back to school to finish my degree. Can I receive the tuition waiver benefit?
Yes. Because you were an eligible employee and had previously used the tuition waiver benefit prior to April 26, 2018, you will be able to use the tuition waiver through spring 2021.
If I take a semester off, can I continue to receive the benefit through the spring 2021 semester?
Yes. Employees who have participated in the benefit can continue to receive the waiver through spring 2021.
What if I do not complete my program before the end of the spring 2021 semester?
The program is scheduled to end after spring 2021. You may continue the program at your own cost.
Will I still be required to pay taxes through payroll deductions on the benefit for having more than $5,250 in graduate tuition waived each calendar year?
Yes. For more information please visit our website at www.uky.edu/hr/more-great-benefits/employee-education-program
For the Family Education Program (FEP), will the recent changes made by state legislation affect my dependent’s discount while attending UK?
No. Your dependent attending UK may still receive the same benefit. For more information on the discount available to your dependent, please visit our website at www.uky.edu/hr/more-great-benefits/family-education-program