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Applications for tuition reduction must be submitted prior to the first day of the semester.  Please refer to Policy 5-305 for more information about tuition reduction for University of Utah employees. This site contains information about the following tuition reduction topics (scroll down  to see more):

  1. Tuition Reduction Eligibility
  2. Eligible Tuition
  3. Additional Rules
  4. Taxability of Tuition Benefits
  5. How to Enroll

1. Tuition Reduction Eligibility:

2. Eligible Tuition

Most UOnline programs are not eligible for the employee reduced tuition benefits. Please connect with the UOnline success team for questions about eligibility.

Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) Policy R824, Tuition Remission Benefits was recently amended to provide, tuition waivers “shall only apply to the undergraduate institutional tuition at degree-granting institutions….” Following that amendment, the university amended Policy 5-305, Reduced Tuition Programs, as well as the accompanying rule, to allow for additional tuition waivers for eligible university employees.

Effective with the Fall 2024 semester, the employee tuition benefit will apply to base undergraduate tuition, base graduate tuition, and undergraduate differential tuition. Employee tuition benefits for graduate program differential tuition (currently added by several graduate-level programs) will phase out over the next academic year, ending with the Spring 2024 semester.

Students who are employees or the eligible family member of an employee who are graduate students during the Spring 2024 and/or Summer 2024 semesters, will have a legacy benefit to continue receiving the reduction on graduate-level differential tuition for up to seven years as long as the following criteria are met:

  • The employee remains in a position eligible for tuition reduction benefits with the university.
  • The student is enrolled continuously (fall and spring semesters) in the same degree program.
  • The employee applies for the reduced tuition benefit each semester (including semesters where a scholarship may cover the entire cost of tuition).

In the event there is a semester prior to the Fall 2031 semester where all three criteria are not met, the student will lose legacy status. In the event the student is unable to attend a semester because of a serious health condition, the employee may apply for a waiver of the second bullet for that semester.  In no event will a student retain legacy status past the Summer 2031 semester.

3. Additional Rules:

  • Eligibility requirements must be met before the official first day of the regular semester in which classes are to be taken.
  • Tuition reduction does not apply to special fees, program fees, lab fees, miscellaneous fees, student insurance, text books or study abroad charges.
  • There is no limit on the number of credit hours per semester.
  • If an employee is also a spouse or unmarried dependent child of an employee, tuition benefits are available in either capacity, subject to the limitations specified in University Policy 5-305 and Rule 5-305A.

4. Taxability of Tuition Benefits:

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provides three sets of rules that may be used to determine whether a tuition benefit is taxable. If any of the three provisions applies, the tuition will be a tax-free benefit.

  • IRC Section 117(d) (Qualified Tuition Reduction Programs). Tuition benefits provided to employees, their spouses and dependents for undergraduate courses may be excluded from taxable income. There is no dollar limit on the amount that may be excluded. However, Section 117(d) only applies to undergraduate courses – graduate level courses are taxable (unless the student is “engaged in teaching or research activities” for the University).
  • IRC Section 127 (Educational Assistance Programs). The University of Utah Employee Educational Assistance Program qualifies as an Educational Assistance Program. Section 127 applies to employees only. The maximum amount that may be excluded from taxes under Section 127 in any year is $5,250. The Section 127 exclusion applies generally to graduate-level tuition benefits except for classes involving sports, games, or hobbies which are neither job-related nor required for a degree.
  • IRC Regulation Section 1.132-1(f) “Fringe Benefit” rules. The IRS fringe benefit rules provide that tuition can be a tax-free benefit if the education “maintains or improves job skills”. Under these rules, the exclusion does not apply if the course is required to meet the minimum educational requirements of the employee’s job or if it qualifies the employee for a new occupation. The fringe benefit rules do not apply to tuition benefits provided to a spouse or child of an employee.

The University complies with federal and state tax regulations governing any applicable taxability, tax reporting and/or withholding of taxes on the University's reduced tuition and educational assistance programs. The value of any taxable tuition benefits will be added to the employee's taxable income and be subject to all employment tax withholdings near the end of the semester.

5. How to Enroll:

If you are an eligible employee, you may apply for tuition reduction benefits through UBenefits. You must submit a new application for each semester.

If the application is not received and processed before the day tuition is due and tuition is not paid, all classes may be dropped. The student may re-enroll after tuition has been paid, but may not be able to enroll in a desired class if the class is full.

Enroll or make a change to your benefits