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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: Faculty, administrators, appointed personnel, and classified staff whose employment is at least .50 FTE and 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 $4,150 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 employees who are laid off 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. After logging in, select UA Employee Main Homepage, then select the benefits tile. Then select education assistance plan (QTR) then EAP/QTR application form. For detailed instructions 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.

Winter 2017 / Spring 2018: February 14, 2018
Summer I 2018 and Summer II 2018: July 9, 2018
Fall Semester 2018: September 24, 2018

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 tuition benefits through the EAP or DPTP must choose between the two benefit options.

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

Classified Staff Human Resources Policy Manual 217.0/University Handbook for Appointed Personnel 10.09

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 Ai
UA Study Abroad 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Basic Information

What is Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR)?

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.

How much is tuition when QTR is applied?

Visit the Bursar's Office website and select “Tuition & Fees” for tuition costs when using the QTR. 
https://bursar.arizona.edu/

Does the number of credits taken affect the $25 tuition rate for employees and spouses?

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.

How long will it take for the QTR to be posted to the student's account?

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.

My tuition amount is higher than what it usually is or what I expected. What could be causing this?

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

I am taking courses at two Arizona universities during the same semester/session. Can I use QTR at both universities?

Yes, if you are enrolled in courses at the University of Arizona (UA), Arizona State University (ASU), or Northern Arizona University (NAU), 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

Who is eligible to use the QTR?

Qualified Tuition Reduction eligibility is extended to administrative, professional, faculty, and classified staff employees who are employed at .50 FTE and whose employment is expected to last 6 months or more; employees of affiliated units of the university; officially retired employees; spouses and dependent children of eligible employees.

Is QTR available for employees who are seeking either graduate or undergraduate degrees?

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

How do I determine if my dependent child is a qualifying child and a qualifying relative?

Guidance is available at www.irs.gov 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 $4,150 per calendar year for 2018; 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.

I'm a student working at the University. Do I qualify for the QTR?

No. QTR eligibility is extended only to administrative, professional, faculty, and classified staff employees who are employed at an FTE of .50 or greater and whose employment is expected to continue 6 months or more.

https://public.azregents.edu/Policy%20Manual/6-902-Qualified%20Tuition%20Reduction%20Program.pdf

Are domestic partners eligible for tuition reduction?

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 UA.

Can I use QTR for UA Study Abroad?

No, QTR is not valid for study abroad. For more information, visit UA Global

Application Process

How do I apply for the QTR benefit?

Complete the online application in UAccess Employee each semester/session. After logging in, select the Benefits tile, then select Education Assistance Plan(QTR), then choose EAP / QTR Application Form.

When can I submit the online QTR application?

Applications can be submitted online up to 3 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.

When is the deadline for submitting the online QTR application?

The deadline for the fall and spring semesters is the 35th day of the semester for which the tuition will be applied. The deadline for summer sessions is the last day for refunds for each session for which the tuition will be applied. The online application will not be available after the semester's deadline.

Do I need to submit an online QTR application every semester?

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

If I'm attending classes at NAU or ASU, what process do I need to follow to apply for QTR?

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
Fax: (928) 523-1551
Email: EARPform@nau.edu

Can I submit a QTR application before the student has registered for classes?

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 UA may be pending).

Application Approval

Why is my application "pending"?

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 Human Resources. Once documentation is submitted to and approved by Human Resources, the application status will be changed to "approved".

Why was my application "declined"?

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.

Can I verify the eligibility status of my application once it has been submitted?

Yes, you can verify the status of your QTR application in UAccess Employee. After logging in, select Main Menu > Self Service > Educational Assistance Plan > EAP Application Review. 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.

Is my QTR application subject to audit?

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

I am QTR eligible and have been awarded a Graduate Tuition Waiver. Can I use it and the QTR?

Yes. The Graduate Tuition Waiver may offset any portion of the base tuition that the QTR does not cover. The Tuition Waiver award will apply after the QTR goes into effect.

Can I use my Graduate Assistant (GA) benefits and QTR?

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

Graduate-Level Educational Assistance Plan

What is the Educational Assistance Plan?

The Arizona Board of Regents' Educational Assistance Plan policy states that graduate level tuition is considered exempt from taxation up to a maximum of $5,250 per tax year if used for the employee. Tuition amounts over the $5,250 amount will be taxed.

Does the $5,250 EAP go towards fees such as recreation fees or program fees?

The EAP applies only toward tuition. A list of fees that are not covered by QTR is on the Bursar's website.
https://bursar.arizona.edu/tuition/fees

My spouse and/or dependent is taking graduate-level courses and I did not receive the Educational Assistance Plan (EAP) exempt amount of $5,250. Why not?

Spouses and dependents of employees are not eligible for EAP, therefore, tuition reduction on graduate-level courses taken by an employee’s spouse or dependent children will be fully taxed.

How does my employer tax me on my QTR amount over the $5,250 exempt amount?

The tuition amount over the $5,250 EAP amount, as permitted, will be divided up and taxed over 6 pay periods. Summer QTR will be taxed over 4 pay periods. The divided tuition amount will be added to your taxable gross and you will be taxed using the tax selections you currently have set up. Depending on the taxable amount, this can affect your net pay (what you bring home).

Taxation of the QTR Benefit

Is the value of the QTR taxable?

Employees are not taxed on undergraduate tuition; under IRS regulations, graduate tuition  remission is taxable. The full value of the QTR is considered taxable income for dependents or spouses of the UA employee. The taxes withheld from the employee’s paycheck will be increased to cover the taxes resulting from the value of the QTR. This is usually done shortly after the semester starts.

QTR benefits to UA affiliates are also taxable

What is the tax rate for the QTR benefit?

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.

When will the taxation start?

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

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

Why am I being taxed on my tuition when I use the QTR benefit?

The Internal Revenue Service considers the QTR for graduate enrollment a taxable benefit for employees.

Will I be taxed on my domestic partner's graduate-level QTR amount?

No, the graduate-level domestic partner tuition amount will be awarded to your domestic partner as if he or she received a scholarship through the Bursar's Office. Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Bursar's Office.

Bursar’s Office Phone Number: (520) 621-3232

Will I receive a 1099 at the end of the year for my QTR amount?

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.

Where can I get an idea of the amount that will be deducted from my paycheck so that I can prepare for it?

There are several useful websites that may help you determine the amount that will be deducted from your paycheck.

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

I am an affiliate and I am using the QTR benefit. How will I be taxed?

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

Can I remove or cancel the QTR amount if I cannot afford the taxation?

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

Can I change my tax withholding so that I receive more on my paycheck and pay the liability when I file my taxes for the year?

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

To change your tax withholdings, log into UAccess Employee and follow the Self Service Menu to > Payroll and Compensation > W-4 Information or A-4 Information.

Is there a separate box on the W-2 form that shows the QTR amount that I used?

The QTR amount for graduate tuition will be added to your taxable gross income. The QTR amount will not be located 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.

Why did I receive a 1098T with the full QTR amount if I was already taxed on this amount through payroll?

Questions regarding 1098T will need to be referred to the Bursar's Office. You may contact them by phone or review their website.

Bursar's Office Phone: (520) 621-3232
Website: http://www.bursar.arizona.edu/

Where can I obtain my QTR notice? Will it be mailed to me?

Your QTR notice is located in UAccess Employee. Click on Main Menu > Payroll and Compensation > Qualified Tuition Reduction.

What information will the QTR notice include?

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.

What should I do if I do not receive a notice?

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.

What happened to my prior year’s notice?

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


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