40.015: Educational Benefits for Ohio University Employees


Approved for interim use in accordance with Policy 01.001


October 11, 2023

Initiated by:

Michael Courtney | Interim Chief Human Resource Officer

Endorsed by:

Mark Heil | Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer 

Approved by:

Lori Stewart Gonzalez | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview

    This policy provides for participation in the Ohio university educational benefits program. An active employee must be on the payroll by the first day of the semester. The program applies only to courses offered for credit by Ohio university.

  2. Eligibility

    The following categories of employees are eligible for the benefits identified in this policy:

    1. Summary

      1. Full time and part time benefits eligible employees, excluding temporary and intermittent appointments, with:
        1. An employment period of greater than one hundred twenty days and an FTE level of 0.67 or greater, or
        2. Part-time employees who were enrolled for benefits as of June 30, 2015.
      2. "Tenure Track," "Instructional," "Visiting Professor" and "Clinical" faculty as defined by the "Faculty Handbook."
      3. Retired employees as defined in policy 41.090, disability retired employees, and employees that qualify under policy 41.015, or employees on approved leave.
      4. Collective bargaining employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreement.
      5. Members of subsections (a) and (b) above, who are involuntarily terminated through reduction-in-force, job abolishment, or otherwise without cause between May 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, shall be eligible for courses offered during the 2020-21 Academic Year, in accordance with the provisions of this policy below. 
      6. Members of subsections (a) and (b) above, who are involuntarily terminated through reduction-in-force, job abolishment, or otherwise without cause between May 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, shall be eligible for educational benefits set forth in policy 40.016 for qualified dependents admitted or enrolled as students at Ohio university as of the employee's termination date. 
    2. Faculty and staff

      Eligibility is determined by the following criteria:

      1. Full-time, benefits eligible employees are eligible for one hundred per cent of the instructional fees and one hundred per cent of the non-residency fees (when applicable).
      2. Part-time, benefits eligible, classified employees, faculty and administrators working at .67 of a full-time equivalent (FTE) or more, are eligible for one hundred per cent of the instructional fee and one hundred per cent of the non-residency fee (when applicable). An FTE of .66 or less will receive benefits (instructional and non-residency fees) pro-rated according to their FTE.
    3. Courses and fees

      With supervisory approval, an active faculty or staff member may take, at most, one course per semester during regular working hours and one additional course during nonworking hours during periods of employment. An additional independent study class or weekend course may be added with the approval of the department head. Courses taken during the summer or other breaks are also limited by academic regulations and department responsibilities.

      Faculty and staff must first satisfy employment demands; therefore, eligible active faculty and staff will not simultaneously be full-time students. Consequently, no more than eleven term hours of undergraduate courses and no more than eight term hours of graduate courses will be permitted per semester without approval from the appropriate department head, using the "Educational Benefits Request Form."

      Class schedules shall normally be approved by the supervisor and time spent in class may be required to be made up.

      It is the intention of this policy to encourage employees to further their education, and therefore, supervisors should attempt to assist employees, whenever possible, to take one course during working hours. However, there may be departmental demands that make this difficult in any one term, since position responsibilities take precedence over course work. Every effort should then be made to accommodate the course request in the subsequent term. Any supervisor or employee who cannot reach accommodation within this two-term period should refer the matter to the department head for consideration. If resolution cannot be reached at this level, the matter should be referred to the planning unit head for final resolution.

      At the discretion of the department chair or head, a full tuition waiver may be granted for course work that is directly related to the employee's current position. A full fee waiver is granted on a course-by-course basis, not for an entire degree program.

      No particular class standing is necessary for the original awarding of this benefit except that the student must meet the admission requirements.

      Fee structures of the university are subject to change without notice at the university's discretion.

  3. Additional information

    1. Excluded programs and fees

      Benefits under this policy shall not be applicable to non-credit courses and workshops, audited courses, or courses and programs delivered with an outside vendor who has not agreed to waive applicable fees, or special course fees.

      Any unit offering courses or programs to be delivered in partnership with an outside vendor shall promptly identify those courses or programs to university human resources (UHR), so that benefits will not be provided under this policy. UHR shall inform employees by ensuring that the information is available online, linked through https://www.ohio.edu/hr/benefits/educational-benefits

      Courses and programs that are unique in structure and fee arrangements will be identified by the sponsoring departments. Educational benefits for these programs are limited to the maximum full-time instructional fee rate allowed for a regular program.

    2. Application process

      Requests for participation in the educational benefit program must be submitted each term by the employee on the "Educational Benefits Request Form." The form must be completed by the employee and signed by the appropriate authority as indicated on the form.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Deans
  2. Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer 
  3. Director of Benefits 
  4. Payroll Operations Manager
  5. Faculty Senate
  6. Administrative Senate