Spouse/Dependent Tution Offset

CWU Tuition Waiver App


Southern Oregon University



NLRB Decision affecting faculty organizing


HB 1592

SB 5559

Tuition waivers/st employees

H Hi Ed


Hunt, S.

Financial Aid

RCW 28B.15.558

Waiver of tuition and fees for state employees and educational employees.

(1) The governing boards of the state universities, the regional  universities, The Evergreen State College, and the community colleges  may waive all or a portion of the tuition and services and activities  fees for state employees as defined under subsection (2) of this section and teachers and other certificated instructional staff under  subsection (3) of this section. The enrollment of these persons is  pursuant to the following conditions:

 (a) Such persons shall register for and be enrolled in courses on a space available basis and  no new course sections shall be created as a result of the registration;

 (b) Enrollment information on persons registered pursuant to this  section shall be maintained separately from other enrollment information and shall not be included in official enrollment reports, nor shall  such persons be considered in any enrollment statistics that would  affect budgetary determinations; and

 (c) Persons registering on a space available basis shall be charged a registration fee of not less than five dollars.

 (2) For the purposes of this section, "state employees" means persons  employed half-time or more in one or more of the following employee  classifications:

 (a) Permanent employees in classified service under chapter 41.06 RCW;

 (b) Permanent employees governed by chapter 41.56 RCW pursuant to the exercise of the option under *RCW 41.56.201;

 (c) Permanent classified employees and exempt paraprofessional employees of technical colleges; and

(d) Faculty, counselors, librarians, and exempt professional and  administrative employees at institutions of higher education as defined  in RCW 28B.10.016.

 (3) The waivers available to state employees under this section shall  also be available to teachers and other certificated instructional staff employed at public common and vocational schools, holding or seeking a  valid endorsement and assignment in a state-identified shortage area.

(4) In awarding waivers, an institution of higher education may award  waivers to eligible persons employed by the institution before  considering waivers for eligible persons who are not employed by the  institution.

     (5) If an institution of higher education  exercises the authority granted under this section, it shall include all eligible state employees in the pool of persons eligible to participate in the program.

     (6) In establishing eligibility to receive  waivers, institutions of higher education may not discriminate between  full-time employees and employees who are employed half-time or more.


[2007 c 461 § 1; 2005 c 249 § 4; 2003 c 160 § 2; 1997 c 211 § 1; 1996 c 305 § 3; 1992 c 231 § 20; 1990 c 88 § 1.]



 *Reviser's note: RCW 41.56.201 was repealed by 2002 c 354 § 403, effective July 1, 2005.

Finding -- Intent -- 2003 c 160: "The legislature finds that military and naval veterans who have  served their country in wars on foreign soil have risked their own lives to defend both the lives of all Americans and the freedom that  define[s] and distinguish[es] our nation. It is the intent of the  legislature to honor veterans of the Korean conflict for the public  service they have provided to their country." [2003 c 160 § 1.]

Effective date -- 1996 c 305 § 3: "Section 3 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of  the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government  and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately  [March 30, 1996]." [1996 c 305 § 4.]

 Severability -- 1996 c 305: See note following RCW 28B.85.020.

Effective date -- 1992 c 231: See note following RCW 28B.10.016.


Some Recommend Working for Colleges for Free Tuition

Many schools offer free education to staff, and some waive or reduce tuition for staffers’ dependents.

 By   Oct. 26, 2011 | 9:00 a.m. EDT+ More

Madeline McGuinness started working at College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, N.Y., in 1997 as a data entry clerk in the admissions  office. When the single mom learned about the tuition remission program, she was thrilled.

"As the first in my family to attend college,  [finishing college] was a special goal for me to achieve," says  McGuinness, who earned a B.A. in business and is midway through an  M.B.A. program at Mount St. Vincent. Her son, John, also used her  tuition benefit to earn a B.A. in sociology.

"Tuition remission,  not only for an employee but also for his or her dependents, is  certainly an attraction, especially in these difficult times,"  McGuinness says.

McGuinness is one of 17 staff members of 150  eligible full-time employees currently using the Mount St. Vincent's  tuition benefits, according to Erin Walsh, director of college  relations. Employees who have worked at the college for a year get free  undergraduate tuition for themselves and dependents. And, with a  supervisor's approval, they can go to graduate school for free.

Recent surveys show that many other colleges and universities offer similar tuition benefits.

[Read about how the college tuition growth rate is a bubble.]

According to a 2010 survey of benefits programs at 340 public and private colleges and  universities in the United States, 98 percent of the respondents provide tuition benefits for full-time employees. Fewer schools offer tuition  benefits for spouses and children, and most have waiting periods for  eligibility, according to the survey, conducted by the College and  University Professional Association for Human Resources.

At Boston University, for example, 10 percent of current employees are taking advantage of  tuition breaks, says Colin Riley, executive director of media relations. Boston University covers full-time employees' first four credits and 90 percent of the next four credits each semester, Riley says, and tuition breaks cover 50 percent for employee's spouses and 90 percent for their children.

The American Association of University Professors has studied tuition benefits for faculty members' dependents. More than 83 percent of private universities and just over a third of public  schools offered tuition benefits to faculty members, according to John  Curtis, director of research and public policy and author of AAUP's  2009-2010 faculty compensation survey.

[Learn how to land a full-tuition scholarship.]

But as schools struggle with tighter budgets, it might be tuition benefits  hunting season. Ohio state legislators are targeting tuition remission  programs at public universities for cuts, according to a recent Akron Beacon Journal article. And the Arizona Republic reported earlier this year that tuition benefits are being scrutinized  in Arizona, where 6,414 university employees and their dependents used  an estimated $28.1 million worth of tuition breaks.

When the  AAUP's Curtis hears about the efforts of the Ohio and Arizona  legislators, he points out that only a small number of professors'  dependents actually use the tuition benefits. And, more importantly, he  says the role tuition remission plays in retaining faculty "far  outweighs" the costs. "I definitely have had individual faculty members  mention to me that they're staying at a particular college because of  the tuition benefits," he says.

The programs are also helping  schools hold onto staff like McGuinness of Mount St. Vincent, whose  degree helped her earn a series of promotions”from data entry clerk to  prospect researcher, to development coordinator, and then to her current role as associate director for development systems.

"The minimum  educational requirement for an administrator is a bachelor's degree, so I would not have been eligible otherwise," she says.

[Check out the Paying for Graduate School guide.]

Though tuition remission can help university employees advance their careers,  Dan Predoehl, a recruitment and enrollment counselor at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., says he wouldn't encourage applying to work at a university solely for the tuition benefits

Updated Spring 2017