The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' primary educational offering is a Tuition Remission Program available to eligible state employees and their spouses. These are the guidelines for the administration of the Tuition Remission Program that the Human Resources Division (HRD) has delegated to Executive Branch agencies in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Higher Education and the University of Massachusetts.
Tuition Remission is available to full-time state employees and their spouses. At the time of application, an employee must have six months of full-time or equivalent part-time service with the Commonwealth and be paid from the AA subsidiary. In case of a break in service, employees will be credited with previous service as long as the break has been less than three (3) years.
An employee's eligibility can be verified in HR/CMS by viewing the Employment Dates page in job data. The service date field is the employee's state service date.
Retired employees of the Commonwealth are not eligible for tuition remission.
Contract employees are not eligible.
100% tuition remission shall apply to enrollment in a state-supported course or program at the undergraduate or graduate level at only Public Community Colleges, State Colleges, or the University of Massachusetts Campuses (excluding the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School).
50% tuition remission shall apply to enrollment in a non-state supported course or program offered through continuing education only at Public Community Colleges, State Colleges, or the University of Massachusetts Campuses (excluding the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Law School).
Regular state supported courses are those courses and programs that are part of a public college or university's regular state-supported offerings. "State-supported" means that instructional / other costs are paid from state appropriations or related sources
Non-state supported courses or programs are those offered by a public college or university's division of continuing education. These courses and programs are designed to be self-supporting, i.e. to generate sufficient revenue from tuition to pay faculty salaries and other costs. Most frequently, continuing education programs are offered during late afternoon, evening, and weekend hours as well as summer. These courses and programs qualify for 50% remission.
Generally, at state and community colleges, full-time day courses at the undergraduate level are covered 100% for tuition remission. Public service, community service, continuing education, and graduate level courses in the day or evening are considered non-state supported course and are covered at 50%. Also, any student not enrolled as a full-time student in a degree program during the day, may receive only 50% tuition remission.
Generally, at the university campuses, full-time day courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level are covered at 100% tuition remission. Most evening classes at the graduate and undergraduate level leading to a degree or a certificate of advanced study are covered at 100% if they are taken at the UMass Boston campus or are state-supported classes at other campuses. Public service, community service, and continuing education courses are covered at 50% regardless of when and where they are taken.
Online courses are eligible for tuition remission subject to the same restrictions applicable to regular courses.
Employees should check with the Bursar's Office to determine if a program or course is eligible for tuition remission and if so the percentage of allowed remission.
Eligible employees must use this benefit on their own time and at no cost to the state agency. Agency heads are encouraged to allow all eligible staff to use flex-time, part-time, vacation or personal time to accommodate staff participation in tuition remission courses.
Admission to all programs is on a space available basis. Spousal eligibility is subordinate to the tuition remission rights extended to full-time state employees.
Employees and spouses of employees must apply for admission and meet all the regular admissions standards and criteria for the desired course/program they wish to attend.
Since most programs of continuing education at community colleges, state colleges and universities are self-sustaining, each local campus administration reserves the right to cancel any continuing education course in which a minimum number of full tuition paying students has not enrolled.
Employees and their spouses who use this benefit are responsible for all fees charged by the college or university.
HRD has delegated the administration of this program to Executive Branch agencies for eligible state employees and their spouses as follows:
- Managerial and confidential employees in the Executive Branch
- All non-union employees of Constitutional Offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer)
- Employees in the Executive Branch and the Attorney General's Office covered by collective bargaining agreements
Other state employees should consult with their Chief Personnel Officer for applicable Tuition Remission policies and procedures. The Chief Personnel Officer is usually the Signatory Authority for the agency.
6. Application Procedure
Employees must complete a Tuition Remission Certificate and submit to their Human Resources Department for verification of employment. If the benefit is being used by an eligible employee's spouse, the employee must submit proof of marriage such as a Marriage Certification to their HR Department.
It is the employee's responsibility to submit the form allowing sufficient time for its processing by the agency. Colleges do not allow retroactive tuition remission certificates. They must be submitted according to the institution's regulations (usually at the time of registration for the course or program).
Once the HR Department verifies eligibility, the Agency Head or his/her designee must sign the certificate. The form is then returned to the employee who submits the certificate with their tuition bill, or at the time of registration with the school.
This certificate is valid for 120 days from the date of issue. A new certificate is required for each academic semester.
7. Record Keeping
Employees and agencies are to keep copies of Tuition Remission Certificates.
8. Audit Process
Administration of the Tuition Remission Program is delegated to the Executive Branch agencies which will ensure that the Tuition Remission benefit is provided only to eligible employees and/or their spouses according to these guidelines and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the board of Higher Education and the University of Massachusetts.
If an employee granted the benefit is found to be non-eligible, the agency will notify the employee and the college/university attended that the employee must reimburse the school for the cost of the remitted tuition. Until this requirement is met, the agency must not certify Tuition Remission Certificates for that employee.
Click on Internet Home Page link to learn more about programs and courses at the Public Community Colleges, State Colleges, and University Campuses.
Internet Home Page
Board of Higher Education
Berkshire Community College (CC)
Bunker Hill CC
Cape Cod CC
Massachusetts Bay CC
Mount Wachusett CC
Northern Essex CC
North Shore CC
Bridgewater State College (SC)
Massachusetts College of Art
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst
UMass at Boston
UMass at Dartmouth
UMass at Lowell
UMass Medical Center (MD program not eligible for tuition remission)
This information provided by the Human Resources Division