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Educational Benefit Programs
(Tuition Assistance)

The University of Memphis offers several programs to assist employees and their dependents and/or spouse in education. Please pay attention to the deadlines for submitting paperwork as they vary by semester.

Staff Scholarship vs. Fee Waiver (PC-191)

Question Staff Scholarship Fee Waiver (PC-191)
Am I eligible, and if so, how many hours can I take?

Regular full-time non-faculty employees employed by the University a minimum of six months as of the first day of class are eligible for up to six (6) credit hours per semester. 

Regular part-time non-faculty employees employed by the University a minimum of six months as of the first day of class are eligible for up to three (3) credit hours per semester. 

Faculty members are not eligible for credit, but may audit courses under this program.

Retirees with 10 or more years of service are eligible for up to six (6) credit hours per semester.

All regular full-time employees (both faculty and staff) employed by the University as of the first day of class are eligible for one course per semester up to four (4) credit hours. 

Part-time employees and retirees are not eligible.
When should I register? You may register whenever the window opens for your student classification (e.g. seniors, freshman, etc.). You may refer to the calendars maintained by the Registrar's Office for those dates. DO NOT REGISTER IMMEDIATELY! The State of Tennessee allows paying students priority in registering, ahead of those who will have in-state tuition waived. You should register on or after the published space-available registration date, which is approximately four (4) weeks before the start of the semester. This date is published by the Registrar's Office and University and Student Business Services.
What fees are covered? The Staff Scholarship covers in-state tuition and program service fee costs only. Special course fees, material fees, and online course fees are NOT covered. The Fee Waiver waives in-state tuition, program fees, and online course fees. It does not cover special course fees, material fees, testing fees, etc.
What happens if I don't pass? If you do not successfully complete a course or courses paid for by this program, you must pay for and successfully complete the same number of hours dropped/withdrawn/failed in order to regain eligibility. There is no penalty.
Do I have to pay taxes on this benefit?

Perhaps, but only on graduate level courses that exceed $5,250.

In accordance with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 127, up to $5,250 of graduate course tuition per calendar year paid and/or waived under the educational assistance programs is eligible for exclusion from the employee's gross annual income. However, any amount paid/waived under the educational assistance programs that exceeds $5,250 in a calendar year is subject to taxes and will be included as taxable income in Box 1 on your W-2.

Can I take classes during the summer? Yes, using the same eligibility requirements listed above. Yes, however you may take two courses in the summer, provided the courses are in different parts of term. For example, you could take one course during 1st summer session and one during 2nd summer session OR a 1st summer session and a full summer session.
Is there a limit of courses in an academic year? No. Yes. A maximum number of four (4) courses can be taken in an academic year.
Can I take classes at a school other than the University of Memphis? Yes. You may take courses at Tennessee Board of Regents schools, University of Tennessee schools, and other state institution (e.g. Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University, etc.).