Educational Benefits

The University of Arizona and the Arizona University System offer three options for University of Arizona employees and their families to further their education at reduced tuition rates. Please note that University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) is an independent nonprofit corporation, and its employees are not University of Arizona employees. Tuition reduction benefits are not reciprocal between the two entities.

Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR)

This ABOR-sponsored benefit allows full-benefits eligible employees, retirees, their spouses, and dependents, along with certain affiliates, to take undergraduate-level courses at substantially reduced tuition rates.

This program is available for courses at any of the three state universities.

Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

This ABOR-sponsored benefit parallels QTR but is available for graduate-level courses at any of the three state universities. The main difference is that, for the employee, any benefit amount over $5,250 is taxed through payroll. For dependents taking graduate-level courses, all tuition benefits received are taxable (see below).

Domestic Partner Tuition Program (DPTP)

DPTP extends QTR and EAP benefits to University employees’ domestic partners and their dependents. DPTP is available only for courses at the University of Arizona. University employees and their domestic partners must complete a Qualified Domestic Partner Affidavit before applying. 

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.

 

The QTR/EAP/DPTP benefit provides discounts to tuition only and applies to all in-person or online credit-bearing courses. The student remains responsible for all laboratory and course fees.

  • 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 1 or more credit hours will pay 25% of resident tuition.

To see how much tuition is after applying QTR, use Financial Service’s Tuition Calculator tool. Once you make your selection, you can view tuition before and after QTR is applied.

 

Arizona Family Program for Employees

Do you have a dependent approaching college age? The Arizona Family Program for Employees is available to guide your potential future Wildcat through the application process, help them explore major and degree options, and help them understand how best to take advantage of QTR.

Learn more

 

Eligibility

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 or before the first day of the semester or session in which they wish to apply 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 $4,300 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. 

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.

How to Apply

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

Deadlines

Apply for QTR in UAccess during the following application timeframes. These deadlines apply to all University of Arizona employees, even if they are using the QTR at ASU or NAU.

Summer Sessions 2021: February 17, 2021, until June 27, 2021
Fall Semester 2021: May 23, 2021, until September 27, 2021
Winter Session 2021: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from September 20, 2021, until January 11, 2022. To qualify, you must be an active employee on or before December 20, 2021.
Spring Semester 2022: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from October 12, 2021, until February 16, 2022. To qualify, you must be an active employee on or before January 12, 2022.

Some classes may begin after the application deadline. However, if the acceptance date into the class is prior to the deadline date, the application deadlines above still apply.

Submitting an Application

Active employees and affiliates apply online through UAccess Employee.

Active Employees: After logging in, select UA Employee Main Homepage, then the University Benefits tile. Select Qualified Tuition Reduction from the toolbar on the left, then QTR Application Form.

Affiliates: As an affiliate, you do not have the University Benefits tile. 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. 

For detailed guidance on completing the online application, select one of the following:

Certain retirees and employees on long-term disability are not able to access the online system to apply for QTR and must complete the paper application form (PDF).

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.
 

Taxation of QTR and DPTP Benefits

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

Graduate Assistant/Associate Tuition Remission Disqualification for EAP/DPTP

Graduate Assistant and Associate (GA) positions provide a tuition benefit. GA's must choose between the tuition remission benefit and EAP/DPTP. Anyone who chooses GA tuition remission should not file the EAP/DPTP application with Human Resources.

For GA tuition remission information, view the GA Manual.
 

Graduate Tuition Scholarships Allowed with EAP/DPTP

Graduate Tuition Waivers (RC Waivers) may offset any portion of the base tuition that the EAP does not cover. The GTS award will apply after the EAP/DPTP goes into effect.

For Graduate Tuition Waiver information, view the Graduate College's Tuition Waivers page.
 

Links to Policy

University of Arizona Qualified Tuition Reduction policy

Arizona Board of Regents Policy 6-902. Qualified Tuition Reduction (PDF)

Arizona Board of Regents Policy 6-903. Educational Assistance Plan (PDF)
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information

Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) is a benefit provided to all eligible employees, affiliated participants, and their spouses and dependents. It allows 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.

Tuition is unique to the classes and program chosen. To see how much tuition is after applying QTR, use Financial Service’s Tuition Calculator tool. Once you make your selection, you can view tuition before and after QTR is applied

No. You pay a flat $25 tuition rate (plus fees and lab charges) each semester, regardless of the number of credits or courses you enroll in.

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.

Eligibility

Qualified Tuition Reduction eligibility is extended to all employees who are employed at .50 FTE or more in a position categorized as full-benefits-eligible; employees of affiliated units of the university; officially retired employees; spouses and dependent children of eligible employees.

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 $4,300 per calendar year for 2021; 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.

Yes, the University of Arizona offers a Domestic Partner Tuition Program (DPTP) to qualified University employees who have domestic partners. This benefit may only be used at the University of Arizona.

No, QTR is not valid for study abroad.

Application Process

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

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.

The deadline for the fall and spring semesters is the 35th day of the semester for which the tuition reduction will be applied. The deadline for summer sessions is the last day for refunds for Summer Session I. The Payroll Office determines the deadline for Winter Session. The online application will not be available after the semester's deadline.

Yes, you must submit a separate online application for each fall and spring semester. Only one application is required for all summer sessions.

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. It is your responsibility to submit 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).

Application Approval

An application will be in a "pending" status if a dependent has a different last name and 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@email.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.

EAP for Graduate Courses

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.

Graduate-Level Educational Assistance Plan

The Arizona Board of Regents' Educational Assistance Plan offers tuition reduction for graduate courses. Under Internal Revenue Code Section 127 graduate-level tuition reduction is exempt from taxation up to a maximum of $5,250 per tax year if used for the employee. The value of any tuition reduction over the $5,250 amount will be taxed.

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) is likely to be reduced. 

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

Taxation of the QTR/EAP Benefit

Employees are not taxed on undergraduate tuition; under IRS regulations, graduate tuition reduction is taxable. Employees are taxed on the value of the reduction that exceeds $5,250. The full value of QTR for the employee's dependents or spouse is treated as taxable income of the employee. The estimated taxes are withheld from the employee’s paycheck over four to six paychecks.

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

QTR benefits to University of Arizona affiliates are also taxable.

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.

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 

If you are taxed through payroll, you will not receive a 1099 at the end of the year. Your full QTR amount will be included in your taxable gross income on your W-2 form. University of Arizona affiliates will receive a 1099-NEC for the amount.

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: https://www.irs.gov/payments/tax-withholding

 

You will receive a 1099-NEC form at the end of the year stating the tax liability. The QTR amount is fully taxable.

You cannot stop the taxation unless you have the QTR withdrawn.

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: https://www.irs.gov/payments/tax-withholding

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.