Educational Assistance Program - HR Policy 319

Abstract:
This policy details the Educational Assistance Program, a benefit available to most UAB employees. This document includes specifications on eligibility and the number of course work hours supported.
Effective Date:
11/1/2011
Responsible Party:
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff
Keyword(s):
Material Original Source:

NOTE: The version of HR Policy 319 that appears below is effective through 12/31/2014.  For all academic terms beginning after January 1, 2015, the following changes will take effect: "Educational Assistance Program Changes for 2015."


Policy 319 – Educational
Assistance Program

Date Issued: 10/80
Date Revised: 11/11 [NOTE: HR Policy 319 was further revised 1/14, with an effective date of 1/1/2015. To see changes for all academic terms beginning thereafter, see "Educational Assistance Program Changes for 2015." ]


POLICY 319.A Educational Assistance for Employees

The Educational Assistance Program is a benefit available to all full-time regular (01) employees and all 3/12 Hour Shift (12) employees. Disability retirees who were in an eligible category as an employee are also eligible for educational assistance.

An employee must have completed at least six months of continuous service in an eligible status prior to the last day to withdraw from a course without paying full tuition as published in the UAB Class Schedule and/or catalogs.

UAB will pay in-state tuition for up to 18 semester hours of course work taken at any time during an academic year for course work taken only at UAB and only for coursework eligible for UAB academic credit. Certificate "A" credit courses also are covered under the Educational Assistance Program.

Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 undergraduate grade point average on any prior undergraduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain a UAB undergraduate grade point average of 2.0 or better to receive the benefit. Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 graduate grade point average on any prior graduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain an overall UAB graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better to receive the benefit.

If an employee fails to maintain the appropriate grade point average, he or she will not be eligible to participate in the Educational Assistance Program until the grade point average reaches the appropriate level. An employee classified as a graduate student but registered for an undergraduate course must adhere to the graduate grade requirement. Audited courses and other fees are not covered by the program.

Under IRS Regulation Section 117, undergraduate coursework is not taxable to the employee. Under Section 127, the employee is taxed on educational assistance for graduate coursework greater than $5250 in a calendar year. The taxes will be withheld by UAB Payroll Services from the employee’s payroll disbursement.

How Do I Participate in the Program?

To participate in the employee educational assistance program, an employee must go through the proper admission procedures and must meet all admission requirements. Registered employees who wish to take advantage of the employee educational assistance benefit will be verified electronically between the Human Resources and Students Affairs departments. Employees who meet all eligibility requirements for the program and are registered will have the benefit applied to their account automatically.

Employees with eligible dependent/spouse/sponsored dependent interested in taking advantage of the program for an entire academic year must annually certify their eligible dependent/spouse/sponsored dependent after the summer term and before the fall semester prior to the Drop/Add date on the academic calendar. If an employee’s dependent/spouse/sponsored dependent decides to enroll in classes for spring or summer semester, he or she may do so and take advantage of the benefit as long as certification takes place before the Drop/Add date for that term.

Employees will then be required to re-certify their eligible dependent/spouse/sponsored dependent annually before the fall semester if they wish to take part in the educational assistance program for the next academic year. Failure to re-certify each year will mean that credit will not be given for the educational assistance benefit.

To locate Drop/Add dates for any academic term, see the academic calendar at https://www.uab.edu/students/academics/academic-calendar. Online certification for the dependent/spouse benefit can be found under the Educational Assistance section of the Oracle self-service menu. Log in to Oracle via www.uab.edu, then the Adminsystems link, then Oracle HR & Finance System.

The online certification form requires employees to enter the student’s BlazerID on the Oracle self-service form in order to certify an eligible dependent/spouse. Once a student is accepted for admission to UAB, he or she will be notified by the Office of Admissions about how to obtain a student BlazerID. The student BlazerID will serve as the sole identifier that will permit them to securely access all of UAB’s electronic information services. The certification form also will validate the date of birth entered to ensure it matches the one on file in the student system.
All new students must meet UAB admission requirements. Admission requirements can be found at https://www.uab.edu/students/undergraduate-admissions. For additional information regarding the Educational Assistance Program, contact the Benefits Office, Administration Building Room 264, 934-3458.

Policy 319.B Educational Assistance for Dependent Children and Children of Sponsored Adults

The Educational Assistance Program for Dependent Children and Children of Sponsored Adults is a benefit available to all unmarried dependent children and children of sponsored adults under the age of 26 of full-time regular (01) UAB employees and all 3/12 Hour Shift (12) employees who have completed one year of continuous service in an eligible status directly preceding the time the employee wishes to start receiving the benefit. This benefit also is available to all unmarried dependent children and children of sponsored adults under age 26 of UAB retired employees who were in an eligible status at the time of retirement and for at least one year immediately prior to retirement (includes retirement due to disability) and to all unmarried dependent children and children of sponsored adults under age 26 of deceased UAB employees who were in an eligible status at the time of their death and for at least one year immediately prior to death. The one-year-of-service requirement is waived for full-time regular (01) faculty members.

Qualified dependent children and children of sponsored adults will receive 50% tuition assistance for all undergraduate and graduate credit courses taken during an academic term only at UAB and only for coursework eligible for UAB academic credit. Audited courses and other fees are not covered. The benefit is limited to 50% even if both parents are full-time UAB employees.

Qualified dependent children and children of sponsored adults who are employed at UAB in any status other than full-time regular (01) or 3/12 Hour Shift (12) are eligible to receive tuition assistance through the Educational Assistance Program for Dependent Children. A qualified dependent employed at UAB in a status which qualifies for employee educational assistance must apply for assistance under the Educational Assistance Program for Employees.

To receive the benefit, undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 undergraduate grade point average on any prior undergraduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain a UAB undergraduate grade point average of 2.0 or better to receive the benefit. Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 graduate grade point average on any prior graduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain an overall UAB graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better to receive the benefit.

Employees who are participating in the state-sponsored Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program (P.A.C.T.) will receive full value from the P.A.C.T. in addition to the benefit available from the Dependent Educational Assistance Program. UAB will invoice the P.A.C.T. for the full amount of tuition and mandatory fees for a qualified dependent and will receive payment directly from the P.A.C.T. UAB also will credit the student's account with the value of the dependent educational assistance. After all student charges have been covered, if a credit balance is available, the student may request a refund of the credit balance amount from Student Accounting Services.

Under IRS Regulation Section 117, undergraduate coursework completed by the dependent is not taxable to the employee. Educational Assistance for graduate coursework is taxable to employee. The taxes will be withheld from the employee’s next payroll disbursement following the last day to add a course. For children of sponsored adults, Educational Assistance for both graduate and undergraduate coursework is taxable to the employee.

For information on how to take advantage of this benefit, please review the section above entitled “How Do I Participate in the Program”.

Policy 319.C Educational Assistance for Spouses and Sponsored Adults

Educational Assistance will be provided for the spouses or sponsored adults of UAB full-time regular (01) employees and 3/12 Hour Shift (12) employees who have completed one year of continuous service in an eligible status directly preceding the time the employee wishes to start receiving the benefit. The one year of service requirement is waived for full-time regular (01) faculty members.

A spouse or sponsored adult who is employed at UAB in either a full-time regular (01) position or a 3/12 Hour Shift (12) position will receive the employee educational assistance benefit only.

UAB will pay in-state tuition for up to 18 semester hours of course work taken at any time during an academic year for course work taken only at UAB and only for coursework eligible for UAB academic credit. Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 undergraduate grade point average on any prior undergraduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain a UAB undergraduate grade point average of 2.0 or better to receive the benefit. Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 graduate grade point average on any prior graduate course work taken at UAB and must maintain an overall UAB graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better to receive the benefit. Audited courses and fees will not be covered.

Under IRS Regulation Section 117, undergraduate coursework completed by the dependent is not taxable to the employee. Educational Assistance for graduate coursework is taxable to employee. The taxes will be withheld from the employee’s next payroll disbursement following the last day to add a course.  For sponsored adults, Educational Assistance for both graduate and undergraduate coursework is taxable to the employee.

For information on how to take advantage of this benefit, please review the section above entitled “How Do I Participate in the Program”.