Tuition reimbursement program gets a makeover

The University Benefits Committee recently approved a recommendation from the Professional and Scientific Council for improvements to Iowa State's tuition reimbursement program. The changes will take effect in August.

The university's tuition reimbursement program, for eligible professional and scientific (P&S) and merit employees, reimburses them for coursework taken either at Iowa State or other eligible institutions. During 2014-15, the program paid more than $386,000 in reimbursed tuition for 172 employees.

What's changing?

Beginning with fall semester:

  • Tuition reimbursement increases to a four-credit maximum per semester (from the previous three credits). This can be spread across multiple courses.
  • Reimbursement covers the full cost of ISU credits, regardless of the program in which an employee is enrolled. Employees who attend an eligible institution other than ISU will continue to be reimbursed either the flat resident tuition rate for both undergraduate and graduate level courses or the rate at the institutions they are attending, whichever is less.
  • The application period now opens 10 weeks prior to the start of classes at Iowa State each semester and closes the Friday evening before the term starts. In the past, the application windows varied in length.

Additionally, the tuition reimbursement website will be redesigned. Its relaunch will include a simplified application process.

Eligibility requirements are unchanged

The council recommendation proposed no changes to eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the tuition reimbursement program:

  • Employees must have successfully completed one year of service at Iowa State, be in a non-temporary appointment of at least 20 hours per week and maintain continuous employment during the course.
  • Employees participating in the program must be accepted and maintain the same academic standards as any other applicant or student, and must comply with all student rules and regulations.
  • P&S or merit employees admitted to the program must complete coursework with no less than a C grade for undergraduate credits, and no less than a B grade (or documented equivalent under a different grading system) for graduate credits. Tuition is reimbursed when grades have been submitted and verified.

Expenses covered by tuition reimbursement

Iowa State's program covers up to 100 percent of ISU’s resident undergraduate or graduate rate per credit, up to four credits, regardless of the program in which the employee is enrolled. Participants in the program are responsible for other expenses such as textbooks, lab fees, service fees, technology fees, special fees for admission in some graduate areas or any other incidental expenses.

Applying for tuition reimbursement

On Monday, Aug. 1, the program application for fall 2016 reimbursement will be available in AccessPlus with enhancements and a new look. (Program application will be unavailable July 28-31.)

To apply to participate in the program, log in to AccessPlus, click on the "Employee" tab, then locate the "Tuition reimburse" link on the left side of the site. If this link is not visible to you, verify that you have completed the prerequisite of one year of continuous employment.

Note that this application process relates to tuition reimbursement and does not register you for courses -- at Iowa State or any other institution.

P&S and merit employees also can apply to defer payment until the end of the semester with the Employer Reimbursement Deferment Plan, at a cost of $35 per semester.


For more information or questions about the tuition reimbursement program, email, call University Human Resources at 294-4800, or visit the program website.