This Tuition Remission Question and Answer document applies only to employees in agencies to which the Human Resources Division (HRD) has delegated administration of the Tuition Remission Program as follows:

  • Managerial and confidential employees in the Executive Branch
  • Employees in the Executive Branch and the Attorney General's Office covered by collective bargaining agreements
  • All non-union employees of Constitutional Offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, and State Treasurer)

Other state employees should consult with their Chief Personnel Officer for applicable Tuition Remission Policies and Procedures. The Chief Personnel Officer or Human Resources Director is usually the Signatory Authority for the agency.

1. What is Tuition Remission?

The Tuition Remission program provides eligible state employees, and spouses enrolled in regular state-supported courses or programs at public community colleges, state colleges or universities (except the MD program at U/Mass Medical), 100% remission of tuition. Those who enroll in programs or courses offered through continuing education receive 50% remission. Eligible employees must use this benefit on their own time at no cost to their state agency. The tuition remission benefit applies only to public institutions of higher education, not to private schools.

2. Who is eligible for tuition remission?

Tuition remission applies to full-time employees, paid from the AA subsidiary, who have completed at least six (6) months of service or the equivalent part-time service. It also applies to an eligible employee's spouse. It does not apply to retired or contract employees.

3. Who is a spouse?

A "spouse" is a husband or wife in a legal marriage recognized by Massachusetts.

4. Who is a full-time employee?

A full time employee is one who normally works 37.5 or 40 hours per week.

5. Can I apply previous state service to the six-month full time requirement?

Previous state service will be credited to your six-month service if the separation time is less than three (3) years.

6. How do I apply to take courses?

Employees and their spouses must apply for admission at the public community college, state college or state university and meet all regular admission standards and criteria for the desired course/program they wish to attend.

7. Where can I take courses?

Courses can be taken only at public community colleges, state colleges, or University of Massachusetts campuses excluding the University of Massachusetts Medical School MD program. The colleges and universities included are as follows:

Community Colleges:
Bunker HillMt. Wachusett
BristolNorthern Essex
Cape CodNorth Shore
Massachusetts BaySpringfield Technical

State Colleges:
Massachusetts College of Art
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

State Universities:
University of Massachusetts at:Amherst

8. How much of the tuition is covered?

This benefit provides 100% remission of tuition in regular state supported courses and 50% remission for non-state supported courses or programs offered under Continuing Education.

9. What are regular state supported courses?

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 instructional and other costs are paid from state appropriations. Most courses offered during weekday daytime hours are state-supported and qualify for 100% remission.

10. What are non-state supported courses?

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 the summer. These courses and programs qualify for 50% remission.

11. What about fees for registration, labs, etc.?

Employees and their spouses who use this benefit are responsible for all fees charged by the college or university.

12. Does the college or university have to accept me into a course I want to take?

Admission to all programs is on a space-available basis, and the usual admission policies of the college or university must be met. Check with the college or university you wish to attend. Most programs of continuing education at community colleges, state colleges and state universities are self-sustaining and 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 been enrolled.

13. How do I apply for tuition remission?

Fill out the Tuition Remission Certificate and submit it to your authorized Human Resources Department for verification of employment. Proof of marriage must be supplied if benefit will be used by your spouse. Do this well in advance of course registration to provide plenty of time for your agency to process the form.

14. What do I need for proof of marriage?

Proof of marriage must be a legal document like a copy of your marriage certificate.

15. Who certifies my eligibility for tuition remission?

Eligibility is certified by your Agency Head or his/her designee. Certificates are no longer sent to HRD for approval. 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.

16. What do I do with my Tuition Remission Certificate?

After your certificate has been signed, your Human Resources Department will keep a copy and return the form to you. Please keep a copy for your records. Take the original certificate with you to the college when you register. If you are taking more than one course, only one certificate is needed. The certificate is valid for 120 days and a new certificate is needed for each semester.

Please note: most institutions require that the Tuition Remission Certificate must be submitted at the time of registration and will not return money or honor the certificates after registration.

This information provided by the Human Resources Division