TAP

Policy No: 
13.10
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
May 1998
Last Revised: 
March 2016
Review Date: 
March 2019
Policy Owner: 
Human Resources
Contact Name: 
Kevin Merkel
Contact Title: 
Senior Director-Payroll and Total Rewards
Contact Email: 
Kevin.Merkel@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

The University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to “the recruitment, hiring, and retention of the best possible faculty, staff and administration.” The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is committed to creating a more educated Georgia. As part of its desire to meet employees’ evolving needs, the USG has established the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The purpose of TAP is to foster the professional growth and development of eligible employees.

Policy Statement: 

Program Guidelines

The program is available to all regular University System employees who have been employed full-time for the most recent six months immediately preceding application and who are eligible for University System benefits.

The program provides for a full waiver of tuition and fees for employees who register for classes at the University System institution where they are employed. Full reimbursement of tuition and fees is provided to employees who register for classes at other University System institutions.

The waiver or reimbursement can be provided for up to 10 credit hours per Quarter or 9 credit hours per semester. All tuition and mandatory fees will be covered.

Employees participating in the program must:

  1. Receive formal departmental approval
  2. Register during the employee registration period
  3. Pass the course(s) with a grade of C or better to receive the waiver or reimbursement
  4. Assume any tax liability which may accrue under this program

Georgia Tech supports the system-wide program guidelines which can be found at:
http://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/tuition_assistance_program_policy

Forms, FAQ’s, Registration Dates, and University System of Georgia TAP Coordinators can be found at:
http://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/tuition_assistance_program_tap/

Georgia Tech TAP Student Registration Dates as well asand other, specific Georgia Tech -related guidance can be found at: http://www.ohr.gatech.edu/careerdevelopment/tuitionassistance

Procedures: 

Application Procedures

Note: Employees must already be admitted students at the institution of attendance.

Obtain and complete the Tuition Remission Plan Request Form (TR-01) from the department supervisor or from the Department of Human Resource Development no later than 30 days prior to the start of classes for the Quarter or Semester.

After the Department of Human Resource Development verifies the employee's eligibility, the employee will receive a signed copy of the second page of the TR-01 Form. The employee may then register for classes under this program at his/her desired University System institution during the employee registration period. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure that registration occurs during this period. Registration during any other period places the entire financial burden for those courses on the employee.

The employee should obtain certification of enrollment during the employee registration period at the Registrar's Office of the institution where he/she has registered for courses utilizing the "Certification of Enrollment During Employee Registration Period" form. Note: This certification is not necessary for Georgia Tech employees attending courses at Georgia Tech. The "employee registration period" at Georgia Tech is the same as the students' "late registration period".

Reimbursement/Remission Procedures

Georgia Tech employees attending classes at Georgia Tech under this program will receive an automatic waiver of tuition and fees upon registration during the employee registration period. Employees attending other University System institutions must pay tuition and fees at those institutions under the guidelines set by those institutions. A receipt verifying the date and amount of payment will be required to obtain reimbursement.

Within three weeks after the end of the Quarter or Semester of attendance, employees participating in this program must submit the following documentation to the Office of Human Resource Development to obtain reimbursement:

  1. Verification of registration during the employee registration period (form available).
  2. A receipt certifying the date and amount of payment.
  3. A transcript or grade report certifying that the course was passed with a grade of "C" or better.

No reimbursement can be provided without these documents. Reimbursement may be expected within two weeks of submission.

Georgia Tech employees attending classes at Georgia Tech need only to present a transcript certifying that the course was passed with a "C" or better. Failure to present this document will result in a reversal of the employee's waiver, causing the employee to become liable for payment of all tuition and fees related to the classes attended under the program.

What If?

  1. What if I want to take classes during my regularly scheduled work hours?

Employees are expected to register for classes which occur outside of the regular work day whenever possible. Under rare circumstances, this may not be possible. Should such an instance occur, the employee's supervisor may approve or disapprove the employee's attendance at those classes. If approved, it will be the employee's responsibility to make up the missed hours during the same workweek or to charge vacation time, at the supervisor's discretion.

  1. What if my supervisor does not approve my request for participation in this program?

Approval or disapproval is at the supervisor's discretion. The employee may appeal a disapproval only when the permission has been denied on the basis of current job/career relatedness. The employee should appeal the decision first to his/her unit or department head. If that individual upholds the decision of the employee's supervisor, the employee may then appeal the decision to the Appeals Committee (STRAP Committee) through the Human Resource Development Department. All appeals must be completed prior to the first day of class. No other appeals are permitted under the program, and the Appeals Committee is the final avenue of appeal. Under this program, courses approved must be "of direct and significant assistance to the employee in carrying out present duties and responsibilities or in his or her professional development" or must "form part of a job-related degree program" that relates to an employee's current career in the University System.

  1. What if I fail to complete the course with a grade of "C" or better?

Failure to complete the course with a "Pass" or letter grade of "C" or better prevents the employee from receiving the benefit of remission or reimbursement under this program. Employees may not request reimbursement, and employees taking courses here at Tech will be responsible for paying the tuition and fees due for the applicable course(s). Repayment should be made at the Bursar's Office.

In addition, employees who fail to complete the course with a grade of "C" or better will be prohibited from further participation in the program for a period of 6 months from the date of withdrawal or the date the grade is sent to the Registrar's Office, whichever is earlier. After 6 months, the employee may again request participation in the program upon submission of a transcript certifying an average GPA of "C" or better. This transcript should be attached to the employee's Form TR-01.

  1. What if my employment with the University System ends prior to my completion of the course?

If an employee discontinues employment within the University System for any reason at any time prior to the end of the course period, no reimbursement or remission can be provided. Employees may not request reimbursement, and employees taking courses here at Tech will be responsible for paying the tuition and fees for the applicable course(s). Repayment should be made at the Bursar's Office.

  1. What if the course I want to attend is not available at a University System institution?

Courses may be taken without special exception at accredited University System institutions including Department of Technical and Adult Education institutions. All courses must be taken for credit. Any employee who wishes to take a course at another institution must substantiate in his/her application that the course is not available at a University System institution within 70 miles from Georgia Tech. The Georgia Tech Registrar's Office will be the final authority regarding course availability. If approved for reimbursement under such a provision, reimbursement will be limited to the in-state rate for an equivalent number of credit hours at Georgia Tech. In other words, the full cost of the course(s) may not be reimbursable.

  1. What if I have financial aid to cover a portion of my course costs?

Reimbursement or remission will be provided to cover only the portion of the course costs not covered by an employee's financial aid. Any approved financial aid should be noted by the employee on Form TR-01.

Differences from Current Programs

The Institute currently maintains two other educational support programs, the STRAP program and the GTRC Education Assistance Program for Faculty. Employees are encouraged to utilize the new Tuition Remission/Reimbursement program whenever it is possible for them to register during the "employee registration period" and when the course or degree program in which they are seeking participation is directly related to their current University System employment, as this new program generally provides a more generous benefit.

The specific differences are as follows:

  1. Under STRAP, the employee may request reimbursement for any course applicable to a career he/she intends to pursue at Tech, whereas the Tuition Remission/Reimbursement program applies only in cases where the coursework relates to the employee's current position.
  2. STRAP also reimburses for approved courses at any accredited institution, while the new program is largely restricted to courses at University System institutions.
  3. On the other hand, the new program requires only six months of full-time employment prior to participation, while STRAP requires 12 months.
  4. The new program provides remission for employees attending Georgia Tech, while STRAP is strictly a reimbursement program.
  5. The new program covers all mandatory tuition and fees, while the STRAP program covers only tuition.
  6. Lastly, STRAP will reimburse for only 6 credit hours per quarter or 4 credit hours per semester, while the new program will reimburse for up to 10 credit hours per quarter or 6 credit hours per semester.

The GTRC Education Assistance Program for Faculty is largely restricted to research-titled employees and reimburses only for a maximum of 6 credit hours per quarter plus the student activity and health fees. There is no remission provision under this program. Courses may be taken at any approved college or university.

For employees who cannot wait to register during the "employee registration period" or who wish to register for classes unrelated to their current program, STRAP or the GTRC Education Assistance Program for Faculty may prove more advantageous. For advice on the best alternative in a particular circumstance, the employee should consult the Human Resource Development Department in the Office of Human Resources at (404) 894-2249 or 894-3850.

 

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