Change Jobs, Get Free Tuition

Parents, have you considered changing jobs so your teen could get free tuition? My family has earned 2 degrees (1 in progress) all paid for by an employer. (over $100,000 total value) These kinds of benefits may be the “hack” you’ve been looking for to pay for your teen’s (or your) degree.

I get a weekly job bulletin for higher ed openings. When people think about working for a university, they sometimes assume they have to be an academic. While there are many academic careers out there, I wanted to use this post to highlight a non-academic job so you can see how this can work for MANY people in MANY professions.

I hope this encourages you to look at your local college or university and see what kinds of jobs you might be eligible for, and whether or not they could cover your teen’s tuition. A college or university may publish this on their “career” tab at their website, but it’s also ok to email them and ask! You’ll see non-academic jobs in nursing, counseling, information technology, plumbing, cooking, administrative assistant, security, maintenance, grounds, event planning, fundraising, library, and many more!

This is my favorite site for national searches: https://www.higheredjobs.com

This job was posted this week:

Plumber

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

Apply on Institution’s Website  

Type: Full-Time
Salary: $37,584
Posted: 12/29/2022
Category: Facilities Management
Plumber

Location: Facility Srv: Plumbing Shop
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 606787
Full/Part Time: Full-Time


What About Benefits?

Educational benefits may not be immediately obvious. In this case, I pulled the human resource page and found that this university offers amazing educational benefits!

https://in.nau.edu/human-resources/education-assistance

Here’s the summary: The employee (plumber) and their spouse can both get undergraduate tuition for only $25 per credit, and the dependent children (up to age 30) will pay 25% of the advertised undergraduate tuition price.

(Here’s the full plan)

Employee Tuition Reduction Program

Another benefit the university offers regular employees is the tuition reduction sponsored by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) Program – ABOR policy 6-902 along with the Education Assistance Plan (EAP) – ABOR policy 6-903 allows employees, their spouse and their eligible dependents to take advantage of educational opportunities at a reduced tuition rate at the following universities:

  • Northern Arizona University (NAU)
  • University of Arizona (UA)
  • Arizona State University (ASU)

Who is eligible for the benefit?Accordion Open

You, your spouse or dependent child can pay a reduced tuition rate up to a maximum number of credit hours.

  • Employees: Regular benefit eligible employees are eligible on their first day of employment for the reduced tuition benefit. An employee must be an active regular benefit eligible employee as of the first day of a semester in order to be eligible.
  • Retirees: Official NAU retirees are eligible.
  • Other: Former employees receiving long term disability benefits (must have five years of continuous service) and selected affiliates are eligible for tuition reduction. Spouses and dependents of deceased employees may also be eligible for the benefit.

Your Spouse and Dependent Children

  • Your legally recognized spouse is eligible for the benefit. You may be required to provide proof of eligibility such as a marriage license.
  • In order for your dependent child to be eligible for this benefit they must meet the definition of “child” as defined under IRS §152(f)(1) and they must be your dependent for tax purposes.  You will be asked to complete an affidavit confirming your child is eligible for reduced tuition rates. In addition, you may be required to provide proof of eligibility such as a birth certificate or tax forms.

Proof of Citizenship: All students must complete the Eligible Citizen Proof item in their LOUIE “To-Do” list before the e-TRP benefit can be applied. Students who fail to provide proof of eligibility will be charged out-of-state tuition and cannot receive tuition waivers, grants, scholarship assistance, financial aid, tuition assistance or any other type of financial assistance that is subsidized or paid in whole or in part with state monies.

What is the definition of a dependent childAccordion Open

Eligibility is based on the IRS definition of a child and there are many details and exceptions. In most cases your child will meet the definition of a dependent child for a given tax year if your child meets the following criteria:

  • Age: Is under age 30
  • Tax Dependent: Is your tax dependent or could be your tax dependent except for a divorce decree.  If the child is married they do not file jointly with their spouse.
  • Citizenship:Is a citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico
  • Residency: Resides with you for more than half the year including any time away for college.  There is an exception for a qualifying dependent of non-custodial parent.
  • Support: Provides less than half of their total support, if your child is under age 24, or they do not earn more than the personal exemption ($4,200 for 2019)  if your child is between ages 24 – 30.

Determining if your child is eligible

What is the benefit?Accordion Open

Fall and Spring

  • Employee, Retiree or Affiliate – Tuition for students taking 1-9 credit hours is reduced to $25 a semester.
  • Spouse– Tuition for students taking 1-9 credit hours is reduced to $25 a semester.
  • Dependent– Tuition for students taking 1 or more credit hours is reduced to 25% of actual resident tuition. There is no enrollment limit.

Actual resident tuition is charged for any hours taken over 9 hours for employees and their spouses.  Students are responsible for all books and applicable fees. 

Students attending the Online Campus can review the Student Departmental Account Services (SDAS) tuition rates for confirmation of their portion of the tuition costs that surpass the enrollment limit.

Summer and Winter

  • Employee, Retiree or Affiliate– Tuition for students taking 1-6 credit hours is reduced to $25 a session.
  • Spouse– Tuition for students taking 1-6 credit hours is reduced to $25 a session.
  • Dependent – Tuition for students taking 1 or more credit hours is reduced to 25% of actual resident tuition. There is no enrollment limit.

Actual resident tuition is charged for any hours taken over 6 hours for employees and their spouses.  Students are responsible for all books and applicable fees. 

Students attending the Online Campus can review the Student Departmental Account Services (SDAS) tuition rates for confirmation of their portion of the tuition costs that surpass the enrollment limit.

What is not covered?

The tuition reduction benefit does not apply toward books, applicable fees, program fees or tuition charged for hours exceeding the maximums listed above. Fees can vary based on the university, type of student or program. You should contact the institution you wish to attend for their current tuition rates/fees.

Note: The Graduate Personalized Learning Program is not covered under the Employee Tuition Reduction Program. 

Review NAU Tuition and fee

Author:

Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

Leave a Reply