The University of Colorado is a leader in education and values its strong, knowledgeable workforce. That's why it provides qualified employees and dependents with tuition assistance for up for 9 credit hours per aid year. Whether you're looking to earn a degree or a certification or just to enhance your knowledge in your field of employment, please review the following pages to find out how to take full advantage of this employee benefit.
Select your campus for step-by-step instructions for employees and their dependents:
- 303-860-4200, option 3
Tuition Benefit FAQ
Courses and Registration
When can I enroll?
You must wait until the first day of the term/semester to enroll into your courses (e.g. if a class starts on Tuesday but the semester started on Monday, you can enroll for the class on Monday. 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 only on the Colorado Springs campus may enroll in courses prior to the first day of class.)
If I submit the tuition benefit form prior to 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 tuition benefit application form includes eight lines for courses. We suggest that you put down all of the courses you might be interested in taking and that way all of them will be verified in the initial processing. When you go to enroll, choose the one you want and if it is full, keep going down the list until you get one. If they all end up being full, only then will you need to resubmit the form with additional classes noted. If there are no classes available that you can or wish to use, your tuition 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 application 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 number. Include the course number and course subject on the tuition benefit application 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. 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/IdentiKey for registering for courses?
Your campus Admissions Office can assist you in getting your student ID. On the Boulder campus, please also contact the IT Service Center if you have not yet received your online IdentiKey credentials.
- Boulder - 303-492-6301
- Denver - 303-315-2601
- Colorado Springs 719-255-3383
- 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 an employee on the Boulder campus. All of 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?
You are correct that there are no evening courses offered in Boulder except continuing education and extension courses that are not covered by the tuition waiver for faculty and staff. However, as an eligible CU employee you can use your tuition credits at any CU campus including Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus and UCCS. The downtown 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 would have to attend Boulder classes only.
Where do I submit the tuition benefit application form?
You can scan and attach the scanned document to an email to email@example.com or fax it to 303-860-4299. This contact information is located at the bottom of the last page of the Tuition Waiver Benefit form.
Which must be submitted first, the Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefit Form or the graduate non-degree application?
The application and the tuition benefit form can be submitted simultaneously; however, they must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester. You must be verified and course eligibility must be determined before the Registrar’s Office will allow you to enroll into your courses.
Does the tuition benefit form need to be submitted for my daughter prior to her registering in the class (on the day classes start)?
It is best to turn in the form prior to the start of class. Employee Services needs to verify yours and your daughter's eligibility, then the Bursar's Office needs to verify the course eligibility and setup the financial processing. If eligibility is denied on either of those, you will have to pay for the course if she continues in it.
Boulder campus: If a dependent chooses to withdraw from a course for which they are using the tuition benefit, please visit the Withdrawal and Dropping Information website.
I have previously submitted the tuition 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 benefit form with the new courses listed?
Yes, you will need to resubmit the form with the new courses listed. These new courses will also need to be verified for eligibility by the campus Bursar's Office. However, this must be done by the Tuition Waiver Benefit deadline date provided.
What is the CU department number on the tuition benefit application form?
The department number is a 5 digit designation for the CU department that employs you. Your HR representative should be able to tell you the number.
The tuition benefit application form asks for a student ID number. I am an employee and not currently a student so how do I get a student ID?
First you must submit either a degree or non-degree seeking application to the Admissions Office for the campus at which you hope to attend classes. Once your application is received, you will be given a student ID number. It may take 3-4 days for your application to be processed and the student ID to be communicated to you. You also can call or visit the campus Admissions Office after 2 days, and they can tell you your student ID. In the meantime, you can submit your tuition waiver benefit application form without a student ID to get the process started.
Billing, Fees, Costs
What are the fees and additional non-waived tuition not covered by the benefit?
Because student fees and tuition costs vary at each campus, you should contact your campus bursar's office directly.
Colorado Springs: 719-255-3391
What is the tax impact of the tuition waiver?
Answer: The tax impact of using the tuition waiver benefit will vary based on an employee's income level and usage of the benefit.
For undergraduate-level tuition waiver 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 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 graduate-level 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 as salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA's defined benefit plan or CU's Optional Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for PERA's 401(k), the University's 403(b), and the State's -- now PERA's -- 457(b) elective deferral plans.
For graduate-level 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 as salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA defined benefit plan or CU's Optional Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for PERA's 401(k), the University's 403(b), and the State's -- now PERA's -- 457(b) elective deferral plans.
For an SGDP dependent (child and/or spouse) of 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 employees Form W-2 as wages, subject to applicable income tax withholding and payroll taxes. It is not considered as salary from which retirement contributions to the mandatory retirement plans can be made (i.e., PERA defined benefit plan or CU's Optional Retirement Plan), although it is "includable compensation" from which elective deferrals can be made for PERA's 401(k), the University's 403(b), and the State's -- now PERA's -- 457(b) elective deferral plans.
Tuition Benefit Usage
When does the year begin and end for the 9 credit hours per year?
All campuses run the tuition benefit program beginning with the fall semester through the following summer.
I am planning to take all 9 credit hours in the fall semester, but it is possible that I will split that number between fall and spring next year? Can I submit the form now for 9 credit hours, and if I only register for 4, submit a new form for the spring asking for 5 credits?
You can submit the form for 9 credit hours and only the credits that you enroll for will be deducted from the 9-hour total. You can then use any left-over credits in the spring semester.
I'm a CU-Boulder employee and I am interested in taking a course at CU-Denver using the tuition benefit. I already completed and submitted the Tuition Waiver Benefit form. I would like to know if I need to fill out a non-degree seeking student application 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 student, you will need to 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 9 credit hours each year for undergraduate or graduate credit-granting courses, based on eligibility of you and the courses.
The Tuition Assistance Policy and Fact Sheet states: "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?
Dependents can use the tuition benefit during any semester. However, they cannot be enrolled full-time and use the benefit during the fall or spring semesters. The reason for this exception is related to Boulder's linear tuition structure and how full-time course loads are billed at a flat rate.
Is it possible to take any courses offered through the School of Medicine, the Physician Assistant School or the Physical Therapy program using the tuition benefit waiver?
You are able to take courses at these schools as long as you meet the criteria to take the course (prerequisites, etc.) and the courses are being offered through a CU campus. Once you submit your tuition benefit form, the Denver campus will evaluate your courses for eligibility and let you know if you can take it or if there is a reason it is excluded.