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Tuition Benefits

The University of Rochester is proud to offer eligible employees and family members the opportunity to pursue an affordable college education.

These benefits through the Total Rewards package include tuition waivers for courses taken at the University of Rochester, as well as tuition reimbursement for courses taken at other colleges and universities.

On this page you’ll find information about all of our plans, how to enroll, and other tuition benefit resources. You can also learn more in the below video overview or by viewing the tuition benefits plan outline.

Tuition benefit highlights

 

80-95% waiver on courses at University of Rochester

 

70% tuition reimbursement on courses at other colleges and universities

 

Waivers available for eligible dependent children on courses at the University of Rochester

Using tuition benefits at University of Rochester

If you plan to take courses at the University of Rochester, here’s what you’ll need to know.

A printer-friendly version of this chart is available for download here.

Eligibility

(Individuals represented by collective bargaining agreements receive benefits in accordance with those agreements)

Regular Full-Time Faculty/Staff: Upon completion of 1 year of full-time service

Regular Part-Time Faculty/Staff: Upon completion of 2 years of part-time service

  • Full-time Strong Memorial Hospital Residents and Fellows and full-time Departmental Fellows are eligible upon appointment for a 95% tuition waiver of two credit-bearing courses per semester or mini-semester only at the University of Rochester.
  • Beginning Fall 2021, full-time Postdoctoral Associates (093) will be eligible upon appointment for a 95% tuition waiver for two credit-bearing courses per semester or mini-semester only at the University of Rochester.
Regular Full-Time Faculty/Staff The employee tuition waiver benefit is based on the current salary* (see salary bands below) of the full-time faculty/staff member at the beginning of each relevant period (e.g. semester/mini-semester) for up to two credit-bearing courses taken at the University of Rochester, if such course is deemed by the employee’s immediate supervisor either to be related to the employee’s job at the University or part of a degree plan that would prepare the employee for a future job within the University.**
Regular Part-Time Faculty/Staff The employee tuition waiver benefit is based on the current salary* (see salary bands below) of the part-time faculty/staff member at the beginning of each relevant period (e.g. semester/mini-semester) for one credit-bearing course taken at the University of Rochester, if such course is deemed by the employee’s immediate supervisor either to be related to the employee’s job at the University or part of a degree plan that would prepare the employee for a future job within the University.**
Salary Bands Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty/Staff Earning: <$62,100
(Employee Tuition Salary Band 1):

  • 95% Tuition Waiver

Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty/Staff Earning: $62,100-$132,500
(Employee Tuition Salary Band 2):

  • 90% Tuition Waiver

Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty/Staff Earning: >$132,500
(Employee Tuition Salary Band 3):

  • 80% Tuition Waiver

The annual index for the salary bands are based on changes in the national average wages as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Full-time Strong Memorial Hospital Residents and Fellows and Full-time Departmental Fellows will receive the 95% Tuition Waiver Benefit.

For Other Courses 70% tuition waiver for two credit-bearing courses (one for part-time faculty/staff) per semester/mini-semester.**
Eastman Community Music School Upon completion of one year of full-time service or two years of part-time service, regular full-time and part-time faculty/staff are eligible for a 25% reduction in charges for musical instruction through the Eastman Community Music School.
How to Apply Apply online by logging into HRMS using your Net ID and follow the path “Self Service > Benefits > Tuition > Apply Employee Tuition Waiver.”
Waiver Status Find out when your tuition waiver was processed, what percentage was waived, and whether or not it is taxable by logging on to HRMS and following the path “Main Menu > Self-Service > Benefits > Tuition > Tuition Benefits Received”. You can also see the exact tuition benefits you have received to date!

The University reserves the right to modify, amend or terminate the Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit at any time. This document provides only a summary of the main features of the plan. A paper copy of this information is available for free from the Office of Total Rewards.

*For an hourly-paid staff member, annual salary is standard annual hours times the hourly rate of pay; for a salaried faculty or staff member, annual salary is 12 times the regular monthly salary or 24 times the regular semi-monthly salary. For faculty members under the School of Medicine and Dentistry Master Clinical Faculty Compensation Plan, annual salary means “Targeted Salary.”

**Active employment in an eligible status must be maintained through the completion of the course and the faculty or staff member must successfully complete the course. If these criteria are not met, the faculty or staff member will be responsible for the payment of the course and any related late fees.

  1. Confirm your eligibility for the tuition waiver benefit
    Eligible employees include those with at least 1 year of full-time service or 2 years of part-time service. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please review the above Plan-at-a-Glance. If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Total Rewards at (585) 275-0476 or via email at TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu
  2. Complete the online Employee Tuition Waiver application
    1. Log into HRMS and follow the path “Self Service > Benefits > Tuition > Apply Employee Tuition Waiver”. Please contact tuitionbenefits@ur.rochester.edu for questions or concerns with your application.
  3. Employee Tuition Waiver Process after submission
    1. Review the appropriate school’s registrar website for assistance in determining tuition cost. If you believe your application was processed but the waiver is not reflected on your student account and would like to know your balance due, please contact the Bursar’s Office at (585) 275-3931.

NOTE: All forms must be completed no later than 30 days from the start of the course.

Tuition reimbursement at other colleges and universities

If you plan to take courses at another college or university, the following information about tuition reimbursement will apply to you.

A printer-friendly version of this chart is available for download here.

Eligibility

(Individuals represented by collective bargaining agreements receive benefits in accordance with those agreements)

Regular Full-Time Faculty/Staff: Upon completion of 1 year of full-time service

  • Regular Part-Time Faculty/Staff are not eligible for tuition reimbursement benefits.
Regular Full-Time Faculty/Staff 70% tuition reimbursement for up to two courses (including approved non-credit courses and certification/recertification exams) in each relevant semester or quarter, if such course is directly related to the employee’s job at the University*

In no instance is an employee eligible for tuition reimbursement of more than a total of 2 courses/certification/recertification exams per semester or quarter.

How to Apply Complete an Employee Tuition Reimbursement Application and submit it to the Office of Total Rewards no later than 30 days from the start of the course(s).
Payment of Tuition Reimbursement Within 90 days of successful course/exam completion, applicable course/exam documentation (i.e. grade report, proof of cost and payment) must be submitted to the Office of Total Rewards.
Payment of Tuition Reimbursement Find out when your tuition reimbursement was processed and what check you can expect your reimbursement to be loaded into your paycheck by logging on to HRMS and following the path “Main Menu > Self-Service > Benefits > Tuition > Tuition Benefits Received”. You can also see the exact tuition benefits you have received to date!

The University reserves the right to modify, amend or terminate the Employee Tuition Reimbursement Benefit at any time. This document provides only a summary of the main features of the plan. A paper copy of this information is available for free from the Office of Total Rewards.

* Active employment in an eligible status must be maintained through the completion of the course and the faculty or staff member must successfully complete the course. If these criteria are not met, the faculty or staff member will be responsible for the payment of the course and any related late fees.

1. Confirm your eligibility for the tuition reimbursement benefit
Eligible employees include those with at least 1 year of full-time service. If you are unsure of your eligibility, contact the Office of Total Rewards at (585) 275-0476 or via email at TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu.

2. Complete the Employee Tuition Reimbursement application

a. Page 3 of the application requires:

      • 2 signatures by the employee.
      • Confirmation of whether graduate courses are taxable or not taxable.
      • 2 questions answered and 1 signature by the supervisor/department head.

b. Page 5 of the application (Tax Exemption Form) only needs to be completed if you checked the box on Page 3 confirming that your graduate course(s) are “not taxable” (page 5 must be completed for each applicable course).

      • Answer the 4 questions.
      • Needs to be signed by both employee and supervisor/department head.

c. Submit your Employee Tuition Reimbursement application to the Office of Total Rewards via email: TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu.

Submission must be within 30 days after the start of the course(s).

If your application is completed incorrectly, you will be notified and allowed to re-submit.

3. Tuition Reimbursement Approval Process
The Office of Total Rewards will notify you of your tuition reimbursement applications approval/denial via email.

4. Payment of 70% Tuition Reimbursement
Within 90 days of course completion the employee must submit an itemized tuition bill, including proof of cost and payment, and proof of successful course completion (i.e. grade report) to the Office of Total Rewards via email at TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu.

Note: Once paperwork is submitted, reimbursements will be loaded into employee’s paychecks within 1-2 pay periods of paperwork being received. All forms must be completed no later than 30 days from the start of the course.

Dependent children tuition benefits

If one of your dependent children is ready to attend college, here is some information about our dependent children tuition waiver benefit.

A printer-friendly version of this chart is available for download here.

Eligibility Dependent Child Tuition Waiver
Regular full-time faculty/staff* with at least 10 years of full-time service completed whose child is a first-time, first-year, matriculating freshman student at the University of Rochester The University of Rochester will provide a tuition waiver equal to the difference between the stated full undergraduate tuition cost at the applicable UR school or college and the full undergraduate tuition cost for New York State residents for Baccalaureate Degree programs at SUNY colleges, for up to four years of undergraduate study, not to exceed a total of 8 semesters (including summer semesters). Tuition Benefits will be pro-rated for part-time study.**

Note: If the dependent child is a transfer student (even if the child is willing to not transfer any credits to the University), the dependent child would not be eligible for the 10-years of service Dependent Children Tuition Waiver Benefit. However, the dependent child may be eligible for the 50% (25% for part-time faculty/staff) benefit if you satisfy the eligibility criteria for the benefit under the tuition benefit plan.

Regular full-time faculty/staff* with at least 5 years of full-time service completed

Service will be prorated for faculty/staff members who have changed status from part-time to full-time or vice versa

The University of Rochester will provide a tuition waiver equal to 50% of the stated full undergraduate tuition cost at the applicable UR school or college, for up to four years of undergraduate study, not to exceed a total of 8 semesters (including summer semesters). Tuition Benefits will be pro-rated for part-time study.**
Regular part-time faculty/staff* with at least 6 years of part-time service completed

Service will be prorated for faculty/staff members who have changed status from part-time to full-time or vice versa

The University of Rochester will provide a tuition waiver equal to 25% of the stated full undergraduate tuition cost at the applicable UR school or college for up to four years of undergraduate study, not to exceed a total of 8 semesters (including summer semesters). Tuition Benefits will be pro-rated for part-time study.**
Eastman Community Music School Children of regular full-time and part-time faculty/staff are eligible for a 25% reduction in charges for musical instruction through the Eastman Community Music School after the completion of one year of full-time service or two years of part-time service.
How to Apply Apply online by logging into HRMS (www.rochester.edu/people) using your Net ID and follow the path “Self Service > Benefits > Tuition > Apply-Dependent Tuition Waiver”

The combination of any merit award(s) and tuition benefits may not exceed tuition. Any tuition benefit will be part of the needs-based calculation.

The University reserves the right to modify, amend or terminate the Dependent Children Tuition Waiver Benefit at any time. This document provides only a summary of the main features of the plan. A paper copy of this information is available for free from the Office of Total Rewards.

*- Regular full-time and regular part-time (appointed to work at least 17.5 hours or more per week) staff who are members of SEIU 1199 Upstate-SMH and SEIU Local 200 United-River Campus are eligible for tuition benefits for dependent children

– Children of Strong Memorial Hospital Residents and Fellows, children of Departmental Fellows and children of Postdoctoral Associates 093 are not eligible for tuition benefits

**The dependent child tuition benefit is available only while the employee is actively employed in an eligible status. Should employment cease (or eligibility otherwise cease) during a semester/quarter, the benefit will be prorated for that semester/quarter.

  1. Confirm your eligibility for the dependent children tuition waiver benefit
    1. 5 years, 6 years or 10 years of service depending on the benefit. If you are unsure, contact the Office of Total Rewards at (585) 275-0476 or via email: TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu.
  2. Complete the online Dependent Children Tuition Waiver application
    1. Log into HRMS
      Self Service > Benefits > Tuition > Apply-Dependent Tuition Waiver
    2. Complete the application and hit “Submit”
  3. Dependent Children Tuition Waiver Process after submission
    1. The Office of Total Rewards will approve the appropriate waiver benefit and notify Financial Aid.
    2. Financial Aid adjusts the student’s account per the waiver benefit.

NOTE: All forms must be completed no later than 30 days from the start of the course.

Tuition benefit tax information

If you are using tuition benefits for undergraduate courses, your courses are non-taxable, so this section will not apply to you. Dependent children tuition benefits are also non-taxable.

If you are using tuition benefits for graduate or non-credit courses, your courses may be taxable – you should continue to read.

If your courses are deemed taxable, you will receive a tax break up to $5,250 each calendar year (January 1 – December 31).

Once you exceed that amount ($5,250) of graduate tuition benefits, then the Office of Total Rewards will contact you regarding the amount of taxable tuition you owe.

1. Is the graduate/non-credit course required to meet the minimum education requirements of my position?

  • If yes – taxable
  • If no – read next question

2. Is the graduate/non-credit course part of a program of study that will qualify me for a new trade or business?

  • If yes – taxable
  • If no – read next question

3. Will the graduate/non-credit course maintain or improve skills required, appropriate or helpful to my current position?

  • If yes – non-taxable
  • If no – read next question

4. Is the graduate/non-credit course required as a condition to retain my current position or pay rate?

  • If yes – non-taxable
  • If no – taxable

*For the course to qualify as a tax exempt job-related course, the answers to the first two questions must be “No”, and the answer to either the third or fourth question must be “Yes”.

Graduate tuition assistance benefits and/or tuition reimbursement for non-credit courses that exceed $5,250 in a calendar year are taxable wages unless the course satisfies the requirements for a tax deductible job-related course under IRS rules. Generally, a job-related course will satisfy these IRS requirements if it maintains or improves skills for the individual’s present job, or if the course meets the employer’s express requirements for retaining the job, and the course is not part of a program that will qualify the individual for a new trade or business.

If you believe that your proposed graduate level course(s) and/or non-credit course(s) satisfies the requirements for a tax deductible job-related course under IRS rules, follow these instructions:

  • For the employee tuition waiver benefit, answer all the applicable questions on the online Employee Tuition Waiver application available in HRMS.
  • For the tuition reimbursement benefit, complete the “University of Rochester Graduate Tuition Waiver/Reimbursement Tax Exemption Form” on pages 5 of the Employee Tuition Reimbursement application.

(Employees can use the information above to determine whether or not a course is taxable).

For taxable tuition benefits:
Applicable Federal and State income taxes and FICA taxes (approximately 43.43% of the taxable tuition amount) will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck when the waiver is approved or the reimbursement is paid to the employee. In addition, the taxable income will be reflected on the W-2 for the calendar year when the actual tuition benefit is posted to the student’s account or reimbursed to the employee.

1. Add up the amount of tuition benefits you are receiving for the graduate course and/or non-credit courses you will be taking during the winter/spring semester/quarter.

Example: 2 courses for $3,330 each- $3,330 + $3,330 = $6,660

2. Deduct $5,250 from the total amount of graduate tuition benefits for the semester/quarter. This new total is the taxable amount of your employee tuition benefits for the current semester/quarter.

Example: $6,660 – $5,250 = $1,410.00

3. Multiply the taxable amount by 43.43% (the approximate rate of tax for Federal and State income taxes and FICA taxes). This new total is roughly equal to the amount of taxes that will be deducted from your paycheck(s) during the current semester (tuition waiver) or the amount your reimbursement will be reduced (tuition reimbursement).

Example: $1,410 x 43.43% = $612.36 (Estimated deduction from your paycheck (tuition waiver) or amount your benefit will be reduced (tuition reimbursement).

4. Then, if you are taking more courses in another semester (summer or fall), add up the amount of tuition benefits for the graduate courses you will be taking during that semester/quarter.

Example: 2 courses for $3,330 each- $3,330 + $3,330 = $6,660.

If you have already received graduate tuition benefits over $5,250 during the calendar year, this entire total is the taxable amount of your employee tuition benefits for that semester/quarter.

5. Multiply the taxable amount by 43.43% (the approximate rate of tax for Federal and State income taxes and FICA taxes). This new total is roughly equal to the amount of taxes that will be deducted from your paycheck(s) during that semester (tuition waiver) or the amount your tuition benefit will be reduced (tuition reimbursement).

Example: $6,660 x 43.43% = $2,892.44 (Estimated deduction from your paycheck (tuition waiver) or amount your benefit will be reduced (tuition reimbursement).

Multiple times during each semester, we run reports to determine which employees are taxable. If you are taxable and have received graduate tuition benefits over $5,250, the Office of Total Rewards will email you prior to any deductions being taken from your paycheck.

1. If there are enough pay periods remaining prior to the next semester starting or the calendar year ending, then your email will detail the amount of pay periods you will see a deduction and the amount of the deduction.
If you prefer to spread out the taxes for additional pay periods (if possible) or pay in a lump sum, please call the Office of Total Rewards at (585) 275-7013.

2. If there are NOT enough pay periods remaining prior to the next semester starting or the calendar year ending, then your email will detail the total amount of taxes that you owe and will include a due date and instructions for remitting payment to the Office of Total Rewards as a lump sum.

Tuition benefit forms

Find tuition form information and links in the drop-downs below. NOTE: All forms must be completed no later than 30 days from the start of the course.

Additional benefits forms can be found here.

At the University of Rochester, the service requirement for the tuition benefits plan may be met by service at another college, university, or University of Rochester affiliated teaching hospital, as well as service at a member of the controlled group of the University that offered a tuition benefit plan for which the faculty or staff member was eligible. To receive credit for such prior service, please complete this form.

Apply online by logging into HRMS using your NetId and follow the path “Self Service->Benefits->Tuition->Apply Employee Tuition Waiver”

Please contact TuitionBenefits@UR.rochester.edu for questions or concerns with your application.

Apply online by logging into HRMS using your Net ID and follow the path “Self Service > Benefits > Tuition > Apply-Dependent Tuition Waiver”

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