Education Benefits

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Native American graduate with mother

Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) is a benefit provided to full-benefits-eligible employees to take courses at any of the three Arizona public universities (University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University) at substantially reduced tuition rates.

Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR)

QTR benefit allows full-benefits eligible employees, retirees, their spouses, dependents, and certain affiliates to take undergraduate-level courses at substantially reduced tuition rates for courses at any of the three state universities.

Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

The QTR benefit can also be utilized for graduate-level courses at any of the three state universities, but the tuition savings amount is taxable. Employees using QTR receive EAP, meaning that any tuition savings over $5,250 would be taxed through payroll. This tax savings is not available for dependents taking graduate-level courses, so the full tuition amount is taxed.

Domestic Partner Tuition Program (DPTP)

DPTP extends QTR/EAP benefits to employees’ domestic partners and dependents. DPTP is available only for courses at the University of Arizona. *Complete a Qualified Domestic Partner Affidavit before applying. View the eligibility guidelines.

QTR Eligibility

Eligibility for DPTP does not extend to University affiliates, employees who have been laid off or are on long-term disability, or the surviving domestic partner/dependents of a deceased employee.

Employees whose employment is at least .50 FTE and who are full benefits eligible (in a position anticipated to continue at least 6 months) may receive the QTR/EAP benefit for themselves, their spouse/partner, and their dependent children. 

Employees must be in active status on the first official start date of the semester or session in which they wish to apply for QTR/EAP benefits, regardless of the date any specific class begins. For all summer sessions, employees must be active on the first day of the summer pre-session. Visit the University academic calendar for specific dates.

Key IRS Requirements for Eligibility: Children must be claimed on an eligible parent’s tax return to be eligible for the QTR benefit. To be claimed on your tax return, the child must be:

  • Your son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, adopted child, or foster child for whom you have legal guardianship, and
  • Living with you (except for school), and
  • Dependent on you for at least half of their support, and
  • Under 30 years of age.

A child age 24 or older also must not earn more than $5,050 in income during the calendar year in which QTR/EAP is applied. This may mean that graduate students and medical students are ineligible for their last semester.

Please review the Dependent Child Tuition Reduction Eligibility (PDF) questions carefully before submitting a QTR application for a child.

The University is required to conduct random audits at the end of the tax year to ensure that children who received QTR do qualify as dependent children/relatives. If the audit reveals your child was not your dependent, the QTR benefit will be retroactively withdrawn and you will owe tuition. 

The employee must be legally married or have a domestic partnership established prior to the start of the semester in which they want to apply on their spouse/domestic partner's behalf. We verify this by requesting marriage certificates or the domestic partner's affidavit.

Retirees: Employees who retire from the University with Official Retirement Status remain eligible for QTR/EAP benefits for themselves and their spouses and dependent children. In order to remain eligible, retirees must take a distribution from their retirement plan within 31 days of their retirement date.

Employees on Leave of Absence: Employees on an approved leave of absence, and their spouses and eligible dependent children, continue to be eligible for the QTR/EAP benefits for the duration of the approved absence.

Former Employees: Classified Staff and University Staff employees who are separated from University employment through reorganization/reduction in force following at least 5 consecutive years of satisfactory service, along with their spouses and dependent children, remain eligible for QTR/EAP benefits for 12 months following layoff.

Spouses and dependents of deceased employees may remain eligible for QTR/EAP benefits. Please consult the Qualified Tuition Reduction policy.

Affiliates: Some affiliates and their qualifying dependents are eligible for QTR/EAP. Please consult the Approved Affiliate Institutions table to determine eligibility.

What is Discounted

The QTR/EAP/DPTP benefit provides discounts to tuition only and applies to all in-person or online credit-bearing courses. An employee or their spouse can take 1-9 credit hours in the spring and fall semesters and 1-6 credit hours in summer and winter for the reduced tuition rate of $25 (plus fees and lab charges).  Any credit hours taken over those amounts are charged at the in-state resident tuition rate.

  • Employees & Spouses/Domestic Partners: Fully benefits-eligible employees and their spouses or domestic partners may register at the reduced tuition rate of $25.00 plus any laboratory or course fees.
  • Dependent Children: Eligible dependent children who register for one or more credit hours will pay 25% of resident tuition.

To calculate total tuition after applying QTR, use Financial Service’s Tuition Calculator tool. Once you input your educational details, you can view tuition before and after QTR is applied.

How to Apply

QTR applicants must be admitted as students at their respective universities and have a student ID to apply.

Employees

Complete the online application in UAccess Employee each semester/session. After logging in, select the Benefits tile, select Qualified Tuition Reduction, and then choose QTR Application Form.

Retirees and Certain Employees

Affiliates

Once you log into UAccess, select the compass (diamond in a circle) in the top right corner. Then navigate to Self Service > Qualified Tuition Reduction > QTR Application Form

Employees of the University of Arizona Applied Research Corporation and Campus Research Corporation

Complete a Component Unit Application Form (PDF).

You must submit a separate application for each semester or session. However, only one application is required for all summer sessions.

Apply for QTR in UAccess during the following application timeframes. These deadlines apply to all University of Arizona employees, even if they use the QTR at ASU or NAU.   Some classes may begin after the application deadline. However, the application deadlines still apply. Medical school applications are subject to these dates and deadlines above, regardless of their start date. 

Applications can be submitted online up to three months prior to the beginning of the semester for which the tuition reduction is requested. A submitted online application does not guarantee continuation of this benefit if the employee's status changes prior to the first day of the semester.

**If you or your dependent are attending ASU or NAU, you must submit a screen shot of your approved application directly to that university’s tuition office. Please see the FAQs below for more information.

SEMESTER                                                    APPLICATION OPENS:                      APPLICATION DEADLINE:                      MUST BE ACTIVE EMPLOYEE ON:                        
Summer I/II 2024 Feb. 13, 2024 June 23, 2024 May 13, 2024
Fall 2024 May 26, 2024 Sept. 30, 2024 Aug. 26, 2024

Verifying Application Status

Once you have submitted your application online, you can view the eligibility status of that application in UAccess Employee at any time. After logging in, select Main Menu > Self Service > Education Assistance Plan > EAP Application Review. To view a specific application, enter your transaction number and click "Search." If you do not know your transaction number, you may click "Search" to view all submitted applications.

Once Human Resources has approved the application, the Bursar’s Office will adjust student account balances within 48–72 hours. Please contact the Bursar’s Office for more information about tuition and student accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility, Application Process, and EAP Questions

If the student is registered for classes and tuition has posted, the tuition reduction will post once it has been entered by the Bursar’s Office. The student will be able to see it in his/her student account in UAccess Student.

Yes, if you are enrolled in courses at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, or Northern Arizona University, you can receive the QTR benefit at each university simultaneously.  In order to apply for QTR at two different universities, you will need to complete the application process twice in UAccess by applying first for one university and then for the other. QTR applications for courses taken at NAU or ASU must be sent directly to those institutions for processing.

If your employment status changes before the first day of the semester or session you have applied for, your application will be automatically deactivated.

If your employment status changes after the semester or session begins, the tuition reduction that was applied to your student account remains in place for the remainder of that semester or session. That means you can complete the course (or courses) you are already enrolled in.

Guidance is available on the Internal Revenue Service website in Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. See the section on "Exemptions for Dependents."

Important: If your child is age 24 or older, there are income limits on how much the child can earn and still qualify as a dependent. (The amount is $4,400 per calendar year for 2022; check the QTR application for future adjustments.) This means children age 24 and older may not be eligible for QTR in their last semester or session. If the child secures a job after graduation, all income earned for the remainder of the calendar year is applied to the income limit. Consequently, an end-of-year audit may reveal that the child has retroactively become ineligible for QTR, and you may be required to reimburse the value of the QTR benefit the following year.

No. Student workers and graduate assistants/associates are excluded from QTR eligibility.

No, QTR is not valid for study abroad.

Complete the online QTR application in UAccess Employee. When the online application is approved, there will be a prompt to print a confirmation. The printed confirmation must be turned in at the university where the student will be attending classes. You are responsible for submitting your approved application confirmation to the university (ASU or NAU) you are attending. Check with that university's service center for waiver processing requirements and deadlines.

ASU: Student Accounts Office
Tel: (480) 965-6341
Fax: (480) 965-9242
Email: tuitionreduction@asu.edu

NAU: Office of Student Financial Aid
Tel: (928) 523-4951
Email: EARPform@nau.edu

Log in to UAccess Employee. Open the "Benefits" tile, then open the "Qualified Tuition Reduction" drop-down and select "View QTR Applications." Leave the Search Criteria blank and hit "Search." All the QTR applications you have previously submitted will appear, and you can select the one you need.

Yes, if you (or your dependent) are planning to take any courses during a semester, submit a QTR application before the deadline for that semester. It is important to submit the application prior to the deadline, even if the class has not started yet (or in some cases acceptance to the University of Arizona may be pending).

An application will be in a "pending" status if supporting documentation verifying the relationship of that dependent has not previously been submitted to the Division of Human Resources. Once documentation is submitted to and approved by Human Resources, the application status will be changed to "approved."

An application will be declined if:

  • You did not meet the eligibility requirements for QTR.
  • Responses to dependent eligibility questions did not qualify the dependent as eligible (either as a qualifying child or a qualifying relative).

If you have questions about why your application was declined, please contact HR Solutions:

Phone: 520-621-3660
Email: hrsolutions@arizona.edu

Yes, you can verify the status of your QTR application in UAccess Employee. After logging in to the Employee Main Homepage select the Benefits tile > Qualified Tuition Reduction > View QTR Applications. Once your eligibility is approved, it is sent to the Bursar's Office for processing. Once processed, the student will be able to see the QTR applied in his/her student account in UAccess Student.

Yes, random audits are conducted every semester. If you are audited, you will be required to submit documentation supporting your application.

The EAP applies only toward tuition. A list of fees that are not covered by QTR is on the Bursar's Fee Schedule page.

Under Internal Revenue regulations, tuition reduction on graduate-level courses taken by an employee’s spouse or dependent children must be fully taxed.

The value of the tuition reduction over the $5,250 EAP exemption and the full value of the tuition reduction for dependents will be divided up and taxed over six pay periods. Summer tuition remission will be taxed over four pay periods. The divided tuition amount will be added to your taxable gross, and you will be taxed using the tax withholding you currently have set up. Consequently, your net pay (what you bring home) will likely be reduced. 

For more information, please get in touch with the Payroll Office:
Phone: (520)-621-9097
Emailpayroll@fso.arizona.edu

Yes. The Graduate Tuition Waiver may offset any portion of the base tuition that QTR does not cover. QTR is applied first, and the Tuition Waiver award will apply to the remaining balance.

No. GAs who are entitled to tuition benefits through QTR must choose between the two benefit options.

Taxation of the QTR/EAP Benefit

There isn't a specific tax rate for QTR; it is taxed as income according to your income tax bracket. The amount deducted from your paycheck will depend upon your gross pay, your QTR amount, and your current tax withholding rate.

Under IRS regulations, all or some of the educational benefit may be taxable. Consult the Tuition Benefits Taxation Guidelines (PDF).

Taxation starts after the 35th day of the University’s main campus semester start date. Check the academic calendar.

For more information, please contact the Payroll Office:
Phone: 520-621-9097
Emailpayroll@fso.arizona.edu

Under Internal Revenue Code Section 127, tuition reduction for graduate-level courses is taxed as earned income.

No, the domestic partner tuition reduction will be awarded to your domestic partner (or domestic partner's dependent) as if it were a scholarship using Form 1098-T. You are not taxed through payroll, but your domestic partner may have tax liabilities.

For more information, contact the Bursar's Office:
Phone: 520-621-3232
Emailhttps://bursar.arizona.edu/contact 

Active University of Arizona employees are taxed through payroll. This will be reflected in your paycheck, and typically begins mid-way through each semester.

Affiliates of the University are taxed by their employer and should check with the individual(s) responsible for processing payroll on how that taxation will occur. 

University retirees will receive a W-2 form at the end of the year. 

The Payroll Office will send you a letter advising you of the amount that will be taxed.

You can use the Paycheck Modeler in UAccess Employee Self-Service to calculate the effect on your paycheck. Navigate: UA Employee Main Home Page > Payroll and Compensation > Paycheck Modeler. 

The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator may help you determine whether to change your withholding rate.

You have to withdraw the application by a certain date, or else you will still be subject to taxation. You cannot always stop taxation if it isn't withdrawn in time. Please check with Payroll.

You may change your tax withholding rate; however, you are still liable for the taxes.

To change your tax withholding rate, log in to UAccess Employee. Navigate: UA Employee Main Home Page > Payroll and Compensation > W-4 Tax Forms or State Forms  

The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator may help you determine whether to change your withholding rate.

The value of any taxable portion of QTR is simply added to your taxable gross income; it does not appear in a separate box. You will see the QTR amount added to your taxable gross income in boxes 1, 3, 5, and 16 on the W-2 form.

Your QTR notice is located in UAccess Employee. Navigate: UA Employee Main Homepage > Payroll and Compensation > Qualified Tuition Reduction.

The QTR notice will contain your QTR amounts per semester/session, how many pay periods the taxation will affect, and the amount that will be added to your taxable gross income per paycheck.

You will not receive a QTR notice if your benefit amount is not being taxed through payroll. If you are the student, your undergraduate tuition is not taxed. If you are a graduate students, your tuition reduction might be under the $5,250.00 EAP amount, in which case you would not be taxed.

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