Virginia Commonwealth University

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Benefits

Tuition waiver

One of the benefits of working at a university is the access to pursuing or continuing your own education. VCU offers tuition waivers to faculty, adjunct faculty and classified staff. These waivers may be used for academic credit in a VCU undergraduate, graduate or first-professional degree course. The tuition waiver covers standard undergraduate and graduate tuition, university fee, student activity fee, student government fee, technology fee and capital outlay fee.

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for tuition benefits at VCU?

Full-time classified staff and faculty are eligible for tuition benefits. Adjunct faculty are also eligible for tuition benefits under certain conditions. Part-time and hourly staff are not eligible for tuition benefits. Faculty or staff whose positions are funded by multiple sources may or may not be eligible for tuition benefits depending on the nature of those funding sources.

I am a VCU Health System employee. How can I find out about tuition benefits that I am eligible for?

Tuition benefits for VCU Health System employees are managed separately under a Health System Tuition Assistance program, which is not administered by VCU Human Resources. More information is available on the VCU Health System webpage by clicking here. Please talk with your supervisor to learn more about the application process.

What is the difference between tuition waiver and tuition reimbursement?

Tuition waiver means that VCU waives the standard undergraduate and graduate tuition costs required to complete an education course offered at VCU. The class does not have to be job related and the class should be taken after normal work hours. Tuition reimbursement is available for employees taking an approved course at another educational institution. The cost of the class will be reimbursed by VCU if:

  • The class is not offered at VCU at all, including online, and
  • The class is related to your job, and
  • Your supervisor approves.

The most relevant information to read regarding tuition waiver for classes taken at VCU is located on pages 2-3 of the Educational and Training Opportunities policy and guidelines. Tuition reimbursement is covered in greater detail on page 4 of the same document.

What does the tuition waiver cover?

Tuition waiver covers standard undergraduate and graduate tuition in addition to university fee, student activity fee, student government fee, technology fee and capital outlay fee.

  • Graduate tuition waiver benefits in excess of $5,250 annually are added to reportable taxable income. FICA/Medicare tax is withheld on the excess amount.
  • Undergraduate tuition waiver benefits are not subject to tax reporting or withholding.

Tuition waiver does not cover audited courses, individual lessons, private music lessons, non-standard undergraduate and graduate tuition, books, supplies, program/course fees or English language courses.

For a current list of course fees, including special tuition and fees, visit www.enrollment.vcu.edu/accounting/docs/FINAL_TF_schedule.pdf.

I am adjunct faculty. What tuition benefits am I eligible for?

Adjunct faculty may take one course at VCU under the tuition waiver benefit after they have completed teaching nine credit hours. The waiver must be used within the three semester period immediately following the completion of teaching the nine credit hours. Adjunct faculty are not eligible to be reimbursed for a class taken at another educational institution. The most relevant information to read regarding adjunct faculty and tuition benefits is found on pages 3-4 of the Educational and Training Opportunities policy and guidelines.

How many classes can I take under the tuition benefits program?

You can take up to six credit hours each semester under the program. Adjunct faculty may take one one- to three-credit-hour class within three semesters of completing teaching nine credit hours.

The class I would like to take is only offered during times I cannot get away from work/home. I know it is offered at J. Sergeant Reynolds during the evening hours, at a time that works better for me. Can I be reimbursed for this course?

No. The only time tuition reimbursement is applied is when the course is not offered by VCU. Tuition reimbursement cannot be used if the class schedule is inconvenient or if the class is offered online and you would prefer to take it in a classroom setting.

My supervisor has approved for me to take a class at J. Sergeant Reynolds even though it is offered here. Is that okay?

No. To be reimbursed for the course at another institution, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • The class is not offered at VCU, including online, and
  • The class is related to your job, and
  • Your supervisor approves.
What happens if I have to drop the course or if I leave my job prior to the course ending?

You are responsible for re-paying the full cost of tuition-waived courses under a few different scenarios:

  • If you withdraw before the end of the semester or session, which is the last day of the week of final exams as determined by the VCU academic calendar, or
  • If you receive a grade of less than “C” or if you fail in a pass/fail course, or
  • If you change your employment status from full time to part time, or
  • If you resign from employment/are terminated prior to completing the course.

You would not be reimbursed for an approved course taken at another institution under the same set of circumstances.

I have extenuating circumstances causing me to withdraw from the class approved for tuition waiver. What do I do?

In most cases, you will be required to reimburse the university. However, if you believe you have extenuating circumstances, you may appeal the course charges to the VCU Refund Waiver Appeals Committee. The Refund/Waiver Appeal form, which includes general information about the appeal process, is available at www.enrollment.vcu.edu/accounting/docs/SArwappeal.pdf. Remember that, in general, if you withdraw from a course, receive less than the required passing grade or separate employment from VCU, you must reimburse the university for the cost of the course. The most relevant information to read regarding tuition repayment is page 3 of the Educational and Training Opportunities policy and guidelines.

What paperwork must I complete to apply for tuition benefits?

Once you are sure you understand the guidelines and determine you are eligible for tuition benefits, you must discuss the use of tuition benefits with your supervisor.

Before submitting a tuition waiver application, you must have on file a completed Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates with VCU Records and Registration so it can be determined whether you are eligible for in-state tuition rates, pursuant to Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia.

You will need to complete the Tuition Waiver Form for Full-time Faculty and Classified Staff or the Tuition Waiver Form for Adjunct Faculty. Both you and your department head will need to review and sign the relevant form. The Fact Sheet on the second page of each form provides more information about deadlines and how to process the application.

I am applying for tuition benefits. When are the forms due and where do I turn them in?

The completed, approved tuition waiver form should be submitted to VCU Student Accounting (campus mail to P. O. Box 843036 or deliver to Harris Hall, 1015 Floyd Avenue, first floor).

  • You should submit the form upon registering for the course and in accordance with VCU registration deadlines and during the semester of enrollment.
  • Retain a copy of the form for your records.

Policy and forms

Educational and Training Opportunities policy and guidelines

Tuition waiver form (for full-time faculty and classified staff) Word document 

Tuition waiver form (for full-time faculty and classified staff) [PDF]

Tuition waiver form (for adjunct faculty) Word document

Tuition waiver form (for adjunct faculty) [PDF]

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