Employee education assistance policy

At UW-La Crosse, tuition reimbursement is primarily governed by UW System Administrative Policy 210, Educational Assistance for Faculty & Staff. Also, there is a relevant policy, UWSA UPS Gen 23, Job-Related Coursework and Training.

A. Policy

UW System Administrative Policy 210 provides the rules governing tuition reimbursement.

Reimbursement is available to all Academic Staff and Faculty who hold budgeted appointments of half time or greater and University Staff employees who hold project appointments or appointments with an expectation of continued employment. Temporary employees, Employees-in-Training, Graduate Assistants, and Student Help are not eligible.

Requests for reimbursement must be initiated by the employee prior to the start of the semester; submitted to their immediate supervisor, approved by the Dean/Director, and submitted to Human Resources for final review and approval.

Employees will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the course. The submission of a fee/tuition receipt and evidence of successful completion of the course work (grade report or certification of completion) must be submitted to Human Resources.  Payment will be processed through Business Services.

B. Number of Credits

No more than one course, up to five (5) credits, or a training equivalent in any academic term (e.g., a semester, summer session or an equivalent) shall be reimbursed.

The policy does not require reimbursement at 100% of the tuition/fees paid and approvals may be denied for budget constraints.

Courses may be taken at any state accredited public or private higher educational institution or WTCS institution, although enrollment at UW System institutions is encouraged. Courses taken at other than UWS institutions shall be limited to the rate for an equivalent course at UW-La Crosse.

Course requests for non-UW institutions will be approved only if the program or course is not available at UW-La Crosse. Reimbursement for private institutions will be limited to the tuition at UW-La Crosse. If the tuition is lower than at UW-La Crosse, the lower tuition rates would apply.

Exceptions to the rules of Policy 210 may be authorized and approved by the Chancellor or designee.

C. Eligible Coursework

Reimbursements are available for job-related and for career-related courses:

  1. Job-related: Credit and noncredit, undergraduate or graduate level noncredit or training that is required by the University, or by law or regulations, to maintain salary, status or current position (if the requirements serve a business purpose of the University), or taken to maintain or improve skills required in the employee’s present work.
  2. Career-related: Undergraduate and graduate level courses and professional development courses which will qualify an employee for advancement. Courses for personal enrichment do not qualify.

Examples of courses that may qualify include:

  • Courses that provide knowledge and skills directly related to maintaining or improving current job skills.
  • Courses mandated by law or regulation in order for the employee to retain the job.
  • Courses directly related to the profession in which the employee is currently working, current classification or classification series.
  • Courses that provide for career development within the University including those which are a necessary elective for completion of such degree.

Assistance may be denied in cases where management determines that neither the course nor the degree pursued is of sufficient benefit to the University.

Per UPS Operational Policy: Gen 25, University payment or reimbursement of license fees required to maintain professional credentials is not available.

D. Tax Consequences

Reimbursement for career-related undergraduate and graduate courses is subject to federal and state tax provisions. Generally, educational expenses qualifying as job related are not reportable by the University as income to the employee. Educational expenses reportable by the University as income to the employee may result in tax withholding on employee paychecks.


 New policy December 2017, updated September 2018

Related documents:

Employee educational assistance request form 
Employee eductional assistance expense reimbursement instructions (business services)