University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Tuition Exemption Program

(Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 4 and the Vice President for Human Resources by authority of Executive Order No. 9)

1.  UW Tuition Exemption Program Overview

The University of Washington Tuition Exemption Program, established under the authority of RCW 28B.15.558, enables University of Washington employees and state of Washington employees who have been admitted to the University of Washington to have tuition waived for up to six credits when enrollment is on a "space-available" basis. The Tuition Exemption Program is available at the University of Washington Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses.

Those who enroll at the UW on a "space-available" basis for more than six credits will receive the tuition waiver for the first six credits, and will pay a per credit charge for the credits taken over six.

2.  Program Eligibility

A.   University of Washington Employees

Pursuant to RCW 28B.15.558(4), the University will award waivers to the University of Washington employees described in this section before considering waivers for the employees described in Sections 2.b and 2.c below. Professional staff, faculty, and permanent classified staff who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to participate in the Tuition Exemption Program:

  • Employed half-time or more;

  • Employed on the first day of the quarter;

  • Paid monthly (except for employees in the Print Plant Craft Bargaining Unit) and not hourly; and

  • For classified staff new to the University, have completed the probation period prior to the first day of the quarter.

B.   State of Washington Employees

State of Washington employees who are employed half time or more and who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to participate in the Tuition Exemption Program:

  • The employee is not a University of Washington permanent classified employee; or

  • The employee is a permanent classified or exempt technical college paraprofessional employee; or

  • The employee is a faculty member, counselor, librarian, or exempt employee at another state of Washington public higher education institution.

C.   Teachers and Other Certificated Instructional Staff

Teachers and other certificated instructional staff employed at public common and vocational schools, holding or seeking a valid endorsement, and assignment in a state-identified shortage area.

3.  Admission, Requesting Tuition Exemption, and Registering for Classes

Tuition Exemption Program registration takes place on the third day of the quarter for University of Washington faculty and staff and on the fourth day of the quarter for other Washington State employees. Admission, registration, and fee payment requirements are established by the Office of the Registrar. For information see the Tuition Exemption Program in the Student Guide section on the University's website.

4.  Exclusions from the Tuition Exemption Program

Courses that are not available under the Tuition Exemption Program include, but are not limited to:

  • University of Washington Extension or Distance Learning courses;

  • English 100, 101, 102, and Math 098;

  • Independent study or internship courses (courses numbered 600, 700, or 800);

  • Any fee-based courses.

The University Registrar maintains the list of excluded courses and programs in the General Catalog.

In addition, the Provost may modify Tuition Exemption Program restrictions or requirements pursuant to changes in state or federal law, changes in programmatic requirements, or in response to financial or other considerations, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • The need to adopt fiscally responsible budgets;

  • The management of the overall levels and mix of enrollments;

  • Management initiatives to modify enrollment demand for specific programs;

  • Management decisions to eliminate or modify academic programs.

The Provost will review all requests from colleges, schools, or campuses to change their tuition exemption policies. To modify tuition exemption policy, chancellors or deans must submit proposals to the Provost detailing the proposed changes and justifying them under the considerations listed in this section. The proposal must also include an impact assessment that takes into account the University's longstanding commitment to the Tuition Exemption Program as a component of its service mission and the support of a learning community. The Provost may approve, revise, or deny the proposal.

As part of the Provost's review process, the Office of Planning and Budgeting (OPB) will perform a fiscal and policy analysis of the proposal. OPB will inform its analysis as needed by seeking advisory opinions from appropriate academic, student, and administrative leaders, stakeholders, or experts.

Any changes accepted by the Provost will go into effect no later than the end of the following quarter (including summer quarter).

After approving a proposal, the Provost will forward the list of affected programs or courses to the University Registrar for publication in the General Catalog.

Courses and programs that were granted exclusions from the Tuition Exemption Program prior to Autumn Quarter 2012 will retain that exclusion according to the original terms of the exclusion. However, any future modifications to the exclusion terms must follow the policies and procedures described in this section.

5.  Release Time to Attend Classes

Release time is time during which an employee is released from normal work duties and compensated at the regular rate of pay. Release time for participation in the Tuition Exemption Program is at the discretion of the department head or designee.

6.  Tuition Exemption at Other Schools and Additional Information

For information about tuition exemption at other Washington State public universities and colleges, and UW offices that can provide additional assistance, see the Tuition Exemption Program web page.

May 1, 2002; September 27, 2006; July 10, 2012.