Tuition Discount Rules
Rules of Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Public Higher Education Fee Discounts for Children of Licensed Public School Teachers and State Employees
Table of Contents
- (1) Child under the age of twenty-four (24): Dependent children, twenty-three (23)
years of age or younger, of certified public school teachers or employees of the State
of Tennessee who are:
- The natural children or legally adopted children of the teacher or state employee.
- The stepchildren of the teacher or state employee living with the teacher or state employee in a parent/child relationship.
- Otherwise eligible and living in a parent/child relationship with the teacher or state employee, such as children of deceased parents who are being raised by a grandparent who is employed as a teacher or state employee.
- Children, as described in (a) through (c) above, of a teacher who died while employeed as a public school teacher, and who are utilizing the benefit at the time of the parent/teacher's death.
- Certified teacher in any public school in Tennessee or Teacher: Teachers, supervisors, principals, superintendents and other personnel who are licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education or by a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to teach Reserve Officer Training Corps, and employed by any local school system, for service in public, elementary and secondary schools in Tennessee supported in whole or in part by state funds. This term shall also include technology coordinators employed by any local school system, for service in public secondary schools in Tennessee supported in whole or in part by state funds.
- Deceased state employee: Persons who at the time of their death were full-time employees of the State of Tennessee.
- Full-time teachers or Teacher: School employees whose position requires them to be on the job on school days throughout the school year at least the number of hours during which schools in the local board of education are in session.
- Full-time supervisors, principals, superintendents and other personnel: School employees who are licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education whose current assignments, regardless of their classification, require his or her services each working day at least a number of hours equal to the number of hours of a regular working day.
- Full-time employees of the State of Tennessee: Employee of the executive, judicial
or legislative branches of Tennessee state government:
- classified as "full-time" and scheduled to work one thousand nine hundred and fifty (1,950) hours or more per fiscal year; or
- employees, regardless of classification, and scheduled to work one thousand six hundred (1,600) hours per fiscal year and who receive employment benefits provided to all full-time employees.
- Maintenance fee: A fee charged to students enrolled in credit courses. It is an enrollment or registration fee and is calculated based on the number of student credit hours for which the student enrolls. Alternately, at colleges of applied technology this term refers to program fees. Tuition does not include application for admission fees, student activity fees, debt service fees, lab fees, applied music fees, the cost of books or other course materials, dormitory charges, or meal plans.
- Retired state employee: Employees of the State of Tennessee who retire after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service, although he or she may be deceased at the time the child seeks the benefit provided by this chapter.
- Retired teacher: A certified teacher as defined in this chapter who retires after a minimum of thirty (30) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools or who receives disability retirement after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools.
- State operated institution of higher learning or Institution: Any institution operated
by the University of Tennessee or the Tennessee Board of Regents which offers courses
of instruction beyond the high school level.
- The successful applicant for a student fee discount must meet all of the following:
- Be twenty-three (23) years of age or under;
- Be a child of a teacher or state employee or deceased state employee in Tennessee as defined this chapter;
- Be eligible according to the regulations in this chapter; and
- Be eligible for enrollment at the institution for which a student fee discount is sought according to the academic rules and regulations of the institution.
- Eligible children may enroll in any number of courses up to and including full time study.
- Fee discounts are only available for courses classified as undergraduate as defined by the institutions.
- Eligibility for the discount will be based on the employment status of the teacher or state employee and the age of the child on the first day of classes for the term as determined by the institution. A change in employment status or the child's age after the first day of classes will affect eligibility for the discount only for subsequent terms.
- At the time of enrollment, the student must present a completed form for children
of teachers or state employees certifying eligibility to receive a tuition discount.
This form must be signed by the teacher or state employee, his or her employer, and
the student. Forms are available at the public higher education institutions or at
the Commission's website www.state.tn.us/thec. Children of retired state employees
and retired teachers must have this form signed by a designated official of the State
Treasury Department, Division of Retirement to verify that the identified state employee
or teacher has retired with the required number of years of creditable service. For
children of state employees killed on the job or in the line of duty, the form must
be signed by a designated official of the state agency at which the employee was last
- Fee discounts will not be retroactive for prior terms. Fee discounts are available only by application and should be approved prior to the beginning of the term for which a discount is being sought.
- The fee discount described by this chapter may not be used in conjunction with any other fee waiver or discount program. No eligible child shall receive a discount greater than twenty-five percent (25%) for any one term under the provisions of the program described by this chapter.
- The Higher Education Commission shall develop a methodology for allocating appropriations
to reimburse institutions for actual fee discounts provided pursuant to this program.
Appeals regarding the determination of eligibility of the applicant will be available in a manner consistent with institutional procedures now in place for admissions decisions.
Authority: T.C.A. §§8-50-115 and 49-7-119.
- Teacher discount forms should be certified and display school or superintendent seal or stamp.
- The employer certification should be obtained no earlier than 30 days before fee payment for the semester. (After July 1 for fall, November 1 for spring, April 1 for summer)
- A separate discount form must be submitted for each semester the student enrolls and cannot be submitted after the last day of final exams for the semester.
- Mail completed form to MTSU Business Office, 1301 E Main St., Murfreesboro, TN 37132.