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Tuition Exemption


  • Understand
  • Tax Liability for Non-job-related Courses
  • Act
  • Explore


The Tuition Exemption Program is one of the UW’s most valuable benefits. Through the Tuition Exemption Program, eligible staff and faculty can take classes at the UW or other participating state, community, and technical colleges on a “space available” basis. The Tuition Exemption Program will cover up to six credits per quarter.

See the UW Office of the Registrar’s website for information about UW admission, course registration, fees and deadlines.

Tax Liability for Non-job-related Courses

UW employees who enroll in non-job-related graduate level courses are subject federal income tax and Social Security tax on the value of tuition exemption waivers that exceed the federally established threshold annually. These taxes are taken as withholding from the employee's pay. See detailed information about tax withholding related to the tuition exemption program.

No tax is withheld for graduate level job-related courses and for any undergraduate courses.


Determine if you are eligible for the Tuition Exemption Program.

Employment Program Eligible for Tuition Exemption: Eligibility Begins:
Classified Staff
(minimum 50% FTE)
Yes Completed 6 month probationary period
Professional Staff
(minimum 50% FTE)
Yes First day of employment
(minimum 50% FTE)
Yes First day of employment
Hourly or Temporary Staff No NA

Research participating schools to find the program that is best for you. Think about why you want to take classes. Are you completing an undergraduate degree, pursuing a master’s, or taking a class for personal or professional development?

These are important questions, as you will need to apply and be accepted into the program you wish to pursue. Classes are offered as tuition exempt on a space available basis and some classes are not included in this program, including: self-supported courses (like UW Extension courses), continuous enrollment courses, special admission courses, and graduate independent study or internship courses (courses numbered 600, 700, and 800 at the UW).

Here are a few of the schools that participate in the Tuition Exemption Program:
Bellevue College 425-564-2222
Cascadia College 425-352-8000
Central Washington University 509-963-1211
Edmonds Community College 425-640-1000
The Evergreen State College 360-866-6000 ext. 6180
Everett Community College 425-388-9219
Green River College 253-833-9111
Highline College 206-592-3559 ext. 3361
North Seattle College 206-527-3664
Seattle Central College 206-587-5450
Shoreline Community College 206-546-4621
South Seattle College 206-764-5300

University of Washington
Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Seattle 206-543-9686
Office of Graduate Admissions, Seattle 206-543-5900
Bothell Campus Admissions Office 425-352-5000
Tacoma Campus Admissions Office 253-692-4400
Washington State University 888-408-6978
Western Washington University 360-650-3440

If the institution you wish to attend is not listed, call that school's registrar’s office to see if they participate.

Apply for admission to the university or college.

Admission application fees and deadlines apply. Specific information about the admissions process may be obtained from the individual campus admissions office.

Complete a Tuition Exemption Request form.

Use Form 1374 if you are a UW employee requesting tuition exemption at the UW.

If you are a UW employee planning to attend another State university or college, contact the POD administrative specialist at to request a form.  Be prepared to provide the following information:

If you are a State employee wanting to attend the UW, use Form 1250 Application for State Tuition Exemption Program.


Understand the UW’s Release Time policy (Executive Order No. 52)

The University’s Tuition Exemption Policy is governed by Chapter 28B.15.558 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and UW Administrative Policy Statement 22.1.

Discover Professional & Organizational Development’s Certificate Program for skill-building programs specifically designed for UW staff. The UW’s tuition exemption policy does not cover POD certificate programs.

Do the classes you want to take interfere with your regular work schedule? If release time is needed from work, you will need to get the permission from your unit's department head.