642  Educational Assistance: State Employees, Dependents of State Employees, and Teachers

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Business and Finance
Responsible Officer:  Associate Vice President, Business and Finance

I. Purpose

This policy establishes the process for educational assistance to state employees, their dependents, and the dependents of public school teachers.

II. Applicability

This policy does not apply to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) faculty and staff. Refer to Policies 829 Educational Assistance: MTSU Employee Tuition Waiver and 831 Educational Assistance: Student Fee Discounts for Spouses and Dependent Children of MTSU Employees for information about educational assistance available to MTSU employees and their families.

III. Programs

A.  Fee Waiver for State Employees. This fee waiver program is for general state employees, exclusive of Board of Regents, state universities, and UT system employees.

1.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-50-114, full-time employees of the State of Tennessee are eligible for enrollment in one (1) course consisting of no more than four (4) credit hours or one hundred twenty (120) clock hours per term at any State supported college or university without paying tuition charges, maintenance fees, mandatory fees, or TN eCampus on-line course fees.

a.  Eligible employees may apply the cost equivalent of the full waiver credit toward payment for a class exceeding four (4) credit hours or one hundred twenty (120) clock hours.

b.  Employees are responsible for all other fees, including, but not limited to, special course fees, books, supplies, application fees, applied music fees, materials/lab fees, off-campus facilities fees, parking fees, and traffic fines.

2.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 10-5-201, employees of the State’s regional library system are eligible to participate in the State’s educational assistance programs.

3.  The Tennessee Higher Education Commission determined that Human Resource Agency employees are not State employees, as that term is defined in the Commission’s rules governing these programs, and thus are not eligible for fee waivers.

4.  Course enrollment will be permitted on a "space available" first-come-first served basis.

a.  State employees may register no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to the first day of classes.

b.  No tuition paying student shall be denied enrollment in a course because of State employee enrollments pursuant to this section.

5.  State employees must receive credit for the course in which they are enrolled.

a.   In addition, changes may not be made from credit to audit during the course of the term.

b.  Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission website. 

B.  Fee Discount for Dependents of Licensed Public School Teachers, Retired Public School Teachers, or State Employees

1.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-119, children under the age of twenty-four (24) may receive a twenty-five percent (25%) discount on undergraduate tuition at any state operated institution of higher learning if their parent:

a.  Is employed as a full-time certified teacher in any public school, including public charter schools, in Tennessee or a full-time technology coordinator in any local education agency in Tennessee;

b.  Is a teacher who retired after a minimum of thirty (30) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools or who received disability retirement after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools.

c.  Died while employed as a public school teacher and the child was using the benefit at the time of the parent/teacher's death.

2.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-50-115, children under the age of twenty-four (24) may receive a twenty-five percent (25%) discount on undergraduate tuition at any state operated institution of higher learning if their parent:

a.  Is a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee;

b.  Is a retired employee of the state of Tennessee who retired after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service;

c.  Was killed in the line of duty while a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee; or

d.  Died while a full-time employee, though not "in the line of duty."

3.  Tuition includes undergraduate maintenance fees and college of applied technology program fees; it does not include any other fees, including, but not limited to, application for admission fees, student activity fees, debt service fees, lab fees, applied music fees, books, supplies, dormitory charges, or meal plans.

4.  Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission website.    

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

References: Policies 829 Educational Assistance: MTSU Employee Tuition Waiver; 831 Educational Assistance: Student Fee Discounts for Spouses and Dependent Children of MTSU Employees; T.C.A. §§ 8-50-114-115; 10-5-201; 49-7-119.