HR0330 – Educational Assistance (Fee Waiver)

HR0330 – Educational Assistance (Fee Waiver)


General Guidelines

Additional Fee Waiver At Tennessee Board Of Regents Institutions

Fee Waivers For University Retirees

Fee Waivers For Tennessee Hope Scholarship Recipients

Fee Waivers For Certain Tennessee Citizens


Executive or Concentrated Degree Programs



To enable regular faculty and staff to perform their present duties more effectively and to assist them in preparing for future opportunities by providing a plan of educational assistance.


General Guidelines

  1. Full-time regular faculty and staff may enroll in up to a maximum of nine undergraduate or graduate credit hours per term.
  2. Part-time regular faculty and staff working 50 percent time or more, may enroll based upon their percent of effort as follows:

Employee Effort

Fee Waiver

50-74 percent

up to 4 hours

75-99 percent

up to 6 hours

100 percent

up to 9 hours

  1. Employees who enroll for more than the specified number of hours per term will be charged the difference between the fee waiver and the cost of the total number of hours for which they are enrolled.
  2. Employee fee waivers apply only to university maintenance fees and out-of-state tuition. With the exception of graduate assistants (GTA’s, GA’s and GRA’s), the status of an employee on the published first day of classes for each term or summer school session determines eligibility for fee waivers. Any change in status after the first day of classes shall not affect eligibility for that term or the amount of fee waiver received. For employees who meet eligibility requirements after the first day of classes, this benefit will be available at the beginning of the term immediately following attainment of eligibility.
  3. Employees who are on leaves of absence with pay and those on leaves of absence without pay due to an on-the-job injury or family and medical leave will retain eligibility for this benefit. The employee’s percent of effort immediately prior to the effective date of the leave of absence shall determine eligibility for the fee waiver. Employees on other types of leave of absence without pay will not be entitled to this benefit.
  4. Fee waivers are subject to the following conditions:
    1. The employee has established eligibility by satisfying all admission requirements and by completing any or all prerequisite courses, and has followed established registration procedures.
    2. The employee must work the prescribed percent of time for which employed, and time taken for class attendance must be made up or leave used, based upon an arrangement with the supervisor and department head. If possible, courses should be taken outside the normal working day. The needs of the office shall be considered by the supervisor and the department head in approving class time or make-up/leave time during the normal working day.
    3. All requests for a modified work schedule to take courses must be approved by the employee’s department head and the director of human resources or their designees.
  5. Fee waivers for mini-term credit courses are permitted provided that the employee and the department head agree on an acceptable work schedule or determine that the employee will take annual leave. If the mini-term does not overlap with any other term, it is treated as a separate term for fee waiver purposes. If the mini-term overlaps with any other term, fee waivers will be limited to the maximum limit for the applicable percent time category for the combined terms.
  6. Employee fee waivers apply to mathematics and other refresher courses for which no credit is given but the courses are required as prerequisites for other credit courses. One zero-credit-hour course would reduce the employee’s fee waiver eligibility by three hours.
  7. The employee fee waiver applies to distance education courses which are offered for credit and are listed in the employee’s home campus catalog. Any video access fee is not covered by the fee waiver.
  8. The employee fee waiver applies to courses offered by the Tennessee Language Center.
  9. Fees are not waived for non-required non-credit courses, correspondence courses, special credit courses with workshop fees, and distance education courses not listed in the employee’s home catalog. However, departments are permitted to pay for such courses provided the following conditions are met: the department-head considers the course to be of direct value to the employee’s current job; a similar credit course is not available at an appropriate time or location; and, the request is approved by the campus chief business officer or designee.
  10. Department heads may make arrangements directly with the instructor involved for employees under their jurisdiction to attend specific job-related courses without receiving credit.
  11. Full-time faculty on academic year appointments may take up to 15 hours during the summer session with waiver of fees, provided they are not teaching during that period and are employed by UT for the following school year (August – July).
  12. Persons appointed as graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants receive an accompanying fellowship award consisting of waiver of fees during the fall and spring semesters or fall, winter, and spring quarters. If the individual holds an appointment during the summer or mini term, he or she is entitled to waiver of fees.
  13. The chief administrator of a campus may make arrangements with other state educational institutions to offer job-related courses with waiver of fees to employees provided that no appropriate courses are available on that campus. In this event each campus may develop a procedure ensuring reimbursement of fees paid under any of the following conditions: (1) failure to complete the course(s), (2) termination of employment prior to the completion of the course(s), or (3) failure to pass the course(s). Each campus may develop a procedure requiring an employment obligation as a condition of fee reimbursement.

Fee Waivers for University Retirees

  1. The following provisions govern the availability of fee waivers for eligible faculty and staff who have retired. Admission to the course(s) will be based on space availability.
    1. University retirees with 10 years of full-time employment with the University of Tennessee may receive fee waivers for up to 9 undergraduate or graduate credit hours per term at any University of Tennessee campus.
    2. University retirees with 10 years of regular continuous part-time employment at a minimum of 50 percent time with the University of Tennessee may receive fee waivers based upon the percent of effort worked just prior to retirement in accordance with paragraph 2 under Policy.
    3. University retirees with 30 years of service may audit courses free of charge.

Fee Waivers for Certain Tennessee Citizens

  1. The following provisions govern the availability of fee waivers for certain Tennessee citizens. A service fee may be charged when enrolling in credit courses. Admission to the course(s) will be based on space availability. (Medical, dental, and pharmacy schools are excluded.)
    1. Retirees from state of Tennessee service with 30 years of service may audit courses free of charge.
    2. Tennessee residents who are or will be age 60 or above during the academic term may audit courses free of charge.
    3. Tennessee residents who are or will be age 65 or above during the academic term may enroll for credit courses free of charge.
    4. Tennessee residents with a permanent total disability may audit courses or enroll for credit courses free of charge at any state supported college or university.

Executive or Concentrated Degree Programs

  1. Employees who enroll in an executive MBA program or similar concentrated degree programs for which fees are in excess of the prevailing graduate fee rates, are entitled to a fee waiver equivalent to the maximum fee waiver they would receive if they enrolled in any non-concentrated graduate courses for that term (i.e. nine hours times the published graduate hourly fee).
  2. Except as provided in the foregoing paragraph, fees for Executive MBA and similar concentrated degree programs may not be discounted for individual students.

Additional Fee Waiver at Tennessee Board of Regents and Locally Governed Institutions

  1. State law provides full-time employees at the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents and Locally Governed Institutions with a fee waiver for one course for credit per term at any state supported college, university, or area vocational- technical school. This waiver also applies to tuition charges, maintenance fees, student activity fees, or registration fees. The employee must comply with the enrolling institution’s requirements which may involve 1) presenting a valid University of Tennessee employee identification card; 2) completing the institution’s approval form; and/or 3) waiting for late registration to assure space in the class.
  2. The University of Tennessee fee waiver and the state fee waiver shall not be combined to waive fees for courses taken at the University of Tennessee. Since the UT fee waiver already exceeds the state benefit, the state fee waiver may not be used by University of Tennessee employees to take courses at any UT campus.

Fee Waivers for Tennessee Hope Scholarship Recipients

  1. Employees who are eligible for educational assistance (fee waiver) and are also recipients of any of the Tennessee Hope Scholarships are eligible for both benefits in full without coordination of benefits or any reductions applied.


  • HR0330-Board-of-Regents-Application-for-Fee-Waiver.pdf
  • HR0330-Employee-Request-for-Course-Approval-and-Waiver-of-Fees.pdf