Educational Benefits

Overview

The University of Arizona and the Arizona University System offer three options for UA employees and their families to further their education at reduced tuition rates. These are

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): This UA-sponsored program extends QTR (undergraduate tuition) and EAP (graduate tuition) benefits to UA employees’ domestic partners and their dependents. DPTP is available only for courses at the University of Arizona.

Eligibility

Qualified Tuition Reduction and Educational Assistance Plan

Employees whose employment is at least .50 FTE and who are full benefits eligible may participate in QTR/EAP. Please Note: Employees hired to work for six months or less are not eligible for QTR.

Individuals must be employed at the University on or before the first day of classes for the academic semester for which they wish to apply QTR/EAP benefits. For Summer Sessions this means the first day of the Summer Pre-session Visit the UA academic calendar for specific dates.

Spouses: Spouses of eligible employees receive tuition reduction on the same terms as employees.

Children: Key IRS Requirements for Eligibility: You can claim tuition reduction for your child if your child meets IRS requirements to be a qualifying dependent child or qualifying dependent relative. Please be aware that your 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 his/her support, and
  • Under 30 years of age, and
  • If age 24 or older, not going to earn more than $4,200 in income during the calendar year. This may mean that graduate students and medical students are ineligible for QTR/EAP for their last semester.

The UA 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 revoked and you will owe tuition. Please review the Dependent Child Tuition Reduction Eligibility questions carefully before submitting a QTR application for a child. Guidance is also available at www.irs.gov in Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Please see the sections on "Qualifying Child" and “Qualifying Relative”

Retirees: Employees who retire from the UA 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.

Former Employees & 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.
  • 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 table at http://hr.arizona.edu/employees-affiliates/affiliates/approved-affiliate-institutions to determine eligibility.

Domestic Partner Tuition Program (DPTP)

The DPTP benefit is extended to domestic partners of eligible employees and their legal dependent children to enroll in courses at reduced tuition rates at the University of Arizona only. UA employees and their domestic partners must complete a Qualified Domestic Partner Affidavit before applying for DPTP. 

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.

Eligibility Guidelines for QTR/EAP
Eligibility Guidelines for DPTP

Tuition Discounts

Note that QTR/EAP/DPTP discounts tuition only. The student remains responsible for all laboratory and course fees.

This benefit may be used for regular semesters (Spring and Fall), winter session, or summer sessions (Pre-Session, Summer I, and Summer II).

Online Courses: The tuition reduction described below applies to credit-bearing online courses on the same terms as traditional courses.

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.

How to Apply

You must submit a separate application for each fall and spring semester. Only one application is required for all summer sessions.

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 magnifying glass in the top right corner, then type "EAP Application Form" in the search feature. Click on the EAP Application Form listed in the selections on your screen. If you are eligible for the QTR benefit, the form will open so that you can apply. 

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.

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: 520-621-3232

Deadlines

For the Fall and Spring Semesters, the last day to submit an application for the QTR, EAP, or DPTP program is the 35th day of the semester for which the tuition reduction will be applied. The last day to submit an application for all summer sessions is the last day for refunds for Summer Session 1. The Payroll Office posts deadlines for Winter Session each year.

Fall Semester 2020: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from May 24, 2020, until September 28, 2020
Winter Session 2020: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from September 21, 2020, until January 12, 2021
Spring Semester 2021: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from October 13, 2020, until February 17, 2021
Summer sessions 2021: You can apply for QTR in UAccess from February 17, 2021, until June 21, 2021

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.

Taxation of QTR and DPTP Benefits

All educational benefits are taxable for UA affiliates, and in some circumstances graduate tuition is taxable for UA employees. Consult the Tuition Benefits Taxation Guidelines.

Graduate Assistant/Associate Tuition Remission Disqualification for EAP/DPTP

Graduate Assistant and Associate (GA) positions provide a tuition benefit. Hires are considered in-state residents for tuition purposes, and the base graduate* in-state tuition is covered fully with a .50 FTE appointment (20 hours per week) or at 50% for less than .50 FTE. GA's who are entitled to  EAP or DPTP must choose between the tuition remission benefit and EAP/DPTP..

The GA tuition remission applies automatically to the hire’s account, whereas the GA must apply for EAP each semester. Anyone who chooses GA tuition remission should not file the EAP/DPTP application with Human Resources.

For GA tuition remission information go to https://grad.arizona.edu/funding/ga

* “Base” means that any differential tuition or program fees are not covered.

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.

GA's working less than .50 FTE may use GTS in conjunction with the GA tuition remission to cover any remaining base tuition. (Note that a GA at .50 FTE cannot use the GTS, as all base tuition is covered as a benefit of the position.)

For Graduate Tuition Waiver information go to https://grad.arizona.edu/funding/opportunities/graduate-tuition-waivers-rc-waivers​

Links to Policy

University of Arizona Qualified Tuition Reduction policyhttps://policy.arizona.edu/employment-human-resources/qualified-tuition-reduction

Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual, Policy 6-902

Other Useful Links  

Bursar's Office
Financial Services Office
Office of the Registrar
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid

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.

Visit the Bursar's Office website and select “Tuition & Fees” for tuition costs when using the QTR.

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.

You may have been reclassified as a non-resident. You can check your residency classification by contacting the UA Residency Classification team.

UA Residency Classification Phone: (520) 621-3636
​Website: http://registrar.arizona.edu/residency/residenc.htm

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.

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.

Yes, QTR is available for both graduate and undergraduate degrees. QTR for graduate-level degree programs is considered taxable income. Please review the taxation process.

http://www.fso.arizona.edu/tax-services/sch-comp-exp/scholarship

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 $4,200 per calendar year for 2019; 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.

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. For more information, visit UArizona Global 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

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).

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.

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 (employee/retiree) 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, contact HR Solutions at 520-621-3660.

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.

QTR 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 Office website.
https://bursar.arizona.edu/tuition/fees

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, contact the Payroll Office at 520)-621-9097 or payroll@fso.arizona.edu.

Taxation of the QTR Benefit

Employees are not taxed on undergraduate tuition; under IRS regulations, graduate tuition remission is taxable. Employees are taxed on the value of the remission 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, contact the Payroll Office at 520)-621-9097 or payroll@fso.arizona.edu.

QTR benefits to University of Arizona affiliates are also taxable.

There isn't a specific tax rate used for the QTR; it is taxed 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 withholdings.

Taxation starts the pay period after the last day a full tuition refund is allowed.

Bursar's Website: https://bursar.arizona.edu/dates/deadlines

For more information, contact the Payroll Office at 520)-621-9097 or payroll@fso.arizona.edu.

Under Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Code Section 127 tuition remission for graduate-level courses is taxed as if it were earned income.

No, the domestic partner tuition remission will be awarded to your domestic partner as if 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 at 520-621-3232 or using their E-mail Form

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 on your taxable gross income on your W-2 form. University of Arizona affiliates will receive a 1099-Misc for the amount.

The Payroll Office will send you a letter advising you of the amount that will be taxed. These websites that may help you determine what your tax liability will be.

Paycheck City: www.paycheckcity.com
IRS Withholding Calculator: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96196,00.html

 

You will receive a 1099-Misc 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 into UAccess Employee and follow the Self Service Menu to > Payroll and Compensation > W-4 Information or A-4 Information.

The value of any portion of QTR that is taxable 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 in boxes 1, 3, 5, and 16 on the W-2 form.

Your QTR notice is located in UAccess Employee. From the Main Employee Homepage, click on Payroll and Compensation > Qualified Tuition Reduction.

The QTR notice will include 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 per paycheck.

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

In updating the letters with the correct FICA tax rates for the new year, the QTR notice for prior years were deleted. If you need specific amounts, please contact the Financial Services Office.

Customer Service: (520) 621-9097