Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit
That's why we provide qualified employees and dependents with tuition waiver assistance for up to 9 credit hours per aid year and offer dependents of CU-Boulder employees a 10 percent discount. Do you dream of earning a degree? Do you crave more learning in your career field? Is there a subject you’d just love to know more about? Whatever your goals, we’re here to support you. Find out how it works by reviewing the information below.
Tuition Waiver Benefit at a glance
CU offers you 9 credit hours of covered tuition each academic year. You can use the benefit for yourself or share it with your dependent(s). To fit your schedule, you may use the tuition waiver benefit at any CU campus.*
*Please note: Some exceptions may apply. Please refer to the FAQ below for more information.
Ready to use this benefit?
To use the tuition waiver benefit, there are some specific steps you need to take.
First, you need to check your eligibility. Then, you can click on your campus below for instructions on applying for the tuition waiver benefit. For specific information, such as course exceptions, please read our fact sheet.
For step-by-step instructions, click the campus you or your dependent wishes to attend:
Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit Details
- 303-860-4200, option 3
Courses and Registration
When can I enroll?
You must wait until the first day of the term/semester to enroll in your courses. (e.g.. If the class first meets on Tuesday but the semester started on Monday, you can enroll for the class on Monday.) If the course meets before the first day of the semester (early-start class), you may enroll on the first day the class meets. If the class meets after the first day of the semester (or any other late-start class), you may enroll on the first day of the semester. During the summer semester, you can only enroll on the first day of the summer session specific to the course—Maymester, A, B, C, and/or D).
(Exception: Dependents on the UCCS and CU-Boulder campuses may enroll in courses before the first day of the semester.)
If I submit the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form before registering, what happens when the class indicated on the form is full and I end up registering for a different class? Do I need to resubmit the form?
The form includes 10 lines for courses. We suggest that you write down all of the courses you might be interested in taking so each will be verified in the initial processing. When you enroll, choose the course you wish to take. If it's full, continue down your list until you're accepted into one. You will only need to resubmit the form, with additional courses noted, if all your courses of interest are full. If no classes of interest are available, your Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit credits will be available for future use.
Is an independent study course covered by the employee tuition benefit? If so, what do I write in the form under the course number?
Some independent study courses are listed in the course catalog, but not all. If you can't find what you need, contact your campus' registrar's office to confirm the course subject number. Include the course number and course subject on the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form that is submitted to Employee Services. The campus bursar's office will confirm if this particular independent study course is eligible for use with the waiver benefit. Remember that you must still wait until the first day of the semester to enroll for the independent study course.
How do I find out my student ID or IdentiKey for registering for courses?
Your campus admissions office can assist you in getting your student ID. On the CU-Boulder campus, please also contact the IT Service Center if you have not yet received your online IdentiKey credentials.
- CU-Boulder: 303-492-6301
- CU Denver and CU Anschutz: 303-315-2601
- UCCS: 719-255-3383
- CU-Boulder IT Service Center
Phone: 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone)
One of the courses I would like to take requires that I get instructor consent. I have been given permission by the professor via email. How do I go about enrolling for this course when it comes time?
Please work with the department and/or the Office of the Registrar to get enrolled in that course.
I'm a CU-Boulder employee. All the classes in the course catalog have ended by the time I'm off work at 5 p.m., except for the continuing education and extension courses, which I can't use with the waiver. Am I out of luck?
While there are no evening courses offered at CU-Boulder, beyond continuing education and extension courses that are not covered by the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit, you can use your tuition credits at any CU campus. The CU Denver campus typically offers many evening and online classes that are eligible. As a reminder, if you have any dependents interested in using your waiver, they are only eligible to attend CU-Boulder classes.
Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form
Where do I submit the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form?
You can scan and attach the scanned document to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 303-860-4299. This contact information is at the bottom of the last page of the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form.
Make sure you receive an email confirmation that we've received your form. If you have not and the time frame in which you should have heard from us has passed, please email us as it may mean we did not receive your form.
Which must be submitted first: the Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefit form or the graduate non-degree application?
You may submit the admissions application and the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form simultaneously; however, they must be submitted at least two weeks before the start of the semester. You must be verified and your course eligibility must be determined before the registrar's office will allow you to enroll in courses.
Does the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form need to be submitted for my daughter before she registers in the class (on the day classes start)?
It is best to turn in the form before the start of class. Employee Services must verify your and your daughter's eligibility, then the campus bursar's office must verify the course eligibility and set up the financial processing. If eligibility is denied on either of those, you must pay for the course if she continues taking it.
CU-Boulder: If a dependent chooses to withdraw from a course for which he/she is using the tuition benefit, please visit the Withdrawal and Dropping Information website.
I have previously submitted the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form for two graduate courses. I have since decided to change the two courses I would like to take. Do I just resubmit the form with the new courses listed?
Yes. You must either resubmit the form with the new courses listed or submit a brand new form. Your campus' bursar's office must also verify these new courses by the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit deadline.
What is the CU department number on the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form?
The department number is a five-digit designation for the CU department that employs you. Your HR representative should be able to tell you the number. You can also find this on your pay stub or pay advice next to the department name.
The Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form asks for a student ID number. I am an employee and not currently a student; how do I get a student ID?
First, you must submit either a degree or non-degree-seeking form to the admissions office for the campus at whch you hope to attend classes. Once your form is received, you will be given a student ID number. It may take three to four business days for your application to be processed, and for the student ID to be communicated to you. You also can call or visit the campus admissions office after two business days, and a staff memebr can tell you your student ID. In the meantime, you may instead submit your form with your date of birth to get the process started.
Billing, Fees, Costs
What are the fees and additional non-waived tuition not covered by the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit?
Because student fees and tuition costs vary at each campus, you should contact your campus bursar's office directly.
CU Denver and CU Anschutz: 303-315-1800
What is the tax impact of the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit?
The tax impact of using the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit will vary based on an employee's income level and usage of the benefit.
For the undergraduate-level benefit provided to an employee, spouse or dependent (as defined for tax purposes): Any amount provided is excludable from employee wages. It is not reportable by the employer and is not taxable to the employee.
[Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 117(d), "Qualified Tuition Reduction"]
For the graduate-level tuition waiver benefit provided to an employee: The university has a "Section 127 Educational Assistance Program" in place, which allows exclusion of up to $5,250 per calendar year. This exclusion applies to employees only.
[Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 127, "Educational Assistance Programs"]
For the graduate-level Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit provided to an employee in excess of the $5,250 exclusion allowed per calendar year: The benefit in excess of $5,250 is taxable to the employee. It is reportable on Form W-2 as wages, subject to applicable income tax withholding and payroll taxes. It is not considered salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA's defined benefit plan or CU's 401(a) Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for the following elective plans: PERA's 401(k) Plan, the CU 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan and the PERA 457(b) Plan.
For the graduate-level Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit provided to an employee's dependent (i.e., spouse and dependents as described above): The benefit is taxable to the employee. It is reportable on Form W-2 as wages, subject to applicable income tax withholding and payroll taxes. It is not considered salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA's defined benefit plan or CU's 401(a) Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for the following elective plans: PERA's 401(k) Plan, the CU 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan and the PERA 457(b) Plan.
For an same-gender domestic partner dependent (child and/or spouse) or an employee's dependent child who is not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the employee's federal individual income tax return: The benefit is taxable to the employee. It is reportable on the employee's Form W-2 as wages, subject to applicable income tax withholding and payroll taxes. It is not considered salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA's defined benefit plan or CU's 401(a) Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for the following elective plans: PERA's 401(k) Plan, the CU 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan and the PERA 457(b) Plan.
I noticed that CU has begun taxing employees. During what months does the university tax employees so I can be financially prepared?
The university taxes employees at CU Denver, CU Anschutz and UCCS on the May payroll for the spring semester (including Winterim), on the September payroll for the summer semester (including Maymester) and on the December payroll for the fall semester.
The university taxes CU-Boulder employees on the September payroll for the spring semester (including Winterim) and on the December payroll for the summer semester (including Maymester and the different sessions) and fall semester.
Why did I get taxed when using the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit for my dependent's undergraduate-level courses?
Selecting "no" to the "if this form is for a dependent child" question will result in taxation of undergraduate-level courses, because you are letting us know that your dependent child cannot be claimed on your taxes.
If we find the dependent is an same-gender domestic partner or child of the aforementioned, we will check to see if he/she is qualified in our system. If the partner or child is not qualified in our system, the employee will get taxed for the dependent's waived undergraduate-level courses.
What are the rates on which I will be taxed?
You will be taxed at supplemental rates of federal, state, Social Security and Medicare. For the supplemental federal and state tax rate, please visit Employee Services' Tax Calculations page. For supplemental Social Security and Medicare tax rates, please visit The IRS' tax topics Web page.
Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit usage
When does the year begin and end for the nine credit hours per year?
All campuses run the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit Program beginning with the fall semester through the following summer. Credits do not roll over.
I am planning to take all nine credit hours in the fall semester, but it's possible that I will split that number between fall and spring next year. Can I submit the form now for nine credit hours, and if I only register for four, submit a new form for the spring asking for five credits?
You can submit the form for nine credit hours, and only the credits that you enroll for will be deducted from the nine-hour total. You can then use any leftover credits in the spring semester.
I'm a CU-Boulder employee interested in taking a course at CU Denver using the tuition benefit. I already completed and submitted the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver Benefit form. Do I need to fill out a non-degree-seeking student form to CU-Denver if I have never taken a course there before?
If you are not currently active at the campus as either a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student, you must submit an admission application.
I'm a CU employee interested in pursuing a master's degree. Can I use the tuition waiver benefit?
Yes. You can use your tuition waiver benefit for up to nine credit hours each year for undergraduate- or graduate credit-granting courses, based on your eligibility and the courses' eligibility.
The Tuition Assistance Policy and Fact Sheet state: "A full-time student on the Boulder campus cannot utilize the tuition benefit during the fall or spring semesters." Does this mean I can only use the tuition benefit for my son if he takes classes during the summer?
As of fall 2014, dependents of CU-Boulder employees may enroll in as many courses as they'd like, year-round. However, the employee cannot be enrolled full time and use the benefit during the fall or spring semesters. This exception is related to CU-Boulder's linear tuition structure and how full-time course loads are billed at a flat rate.
Can I take any courses offered at CU Anschutz using the tuition waiver benefit?
You may only take courses in the School of Nursing or Public Health (except PUBH 6606 and PUBH 6955) programs if you meet the criteria to take the courses (prerequisites, etc.). The courses must be offered by CU, and none of the courses can be part of the restricted section types (i.e., extended studies, continuing education, etc.). After employee and/or dependent eligibility has been determined, CU Anschutz will evaluate your courses for eligibility, and you will be notified whether they can be waived by the benefit.
I will be taking a class during working hours, and I filled out the necessary paperwork with my supervisor. Do I need to submit a copy of this agreement for the tuition waiver benefit?
No; we do not need a copy of any paperwork you complete to take classes during working hours as it does not affect your eligibility toward the benefit.
What semesters can I use the tuition waiver benefit?
Spring (this includes Winterim courses), summer (this includes Maymester and all the summer sessions) and fall
Do you know if CU will allow retirees to be eligible for the tuition waiver benefit?
The Regents of the University review the policy each year. If any changes are made, you may find a revised policy, which would be effective July 1, on this website.
How old does my child need to be to use my benefit?
Your child must be old enough to be able to register to the campus; however, he/she cannot be older than 27 years and a month to use your benefit; at that age, your child is no longer eligible to use your medical/dental/vision/ plans unless there are extenuating circumstances.