The FSU Employee Tuition Waiver provides full-time University employees the opportunity to take up to six hours of coursework per academic term tuition free.
In order to qualify for the FSU Employee Tuition Waiver, employee students must meet certain eligibility criteria:
- Employees must be full-time and in a salaried job category (AEX, A&P, Faculty, or USPS)
- Employees must be in good academic standing (undergraduates - 2.0 FSU GPA and graduates - 3.0 FSU GPA)
- Employees must be in good financial standing with the University and the US Department of Education
- If an employee resides outside the State of Florida, the employee is eligible for in-state tuition and must fill out a Residency Affidavit with the Office of Admissions at https://admin.fsu.edu/residency
- Employees participating in the Employee Tuition Scholarship Program are also eligible to receive financial aid. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid each semester if you intend to use the FSU Employee Tuition Scholarship along with other forms of aid
- The FSU Employee Tuition Scholarship cannot be combined with the FSU Tuition Program for Dependents and Spouses
- Scholarship funds apply only to courses taken at FSU.
- The Employee Tuition Scholarship Program covers a maximum of 6 credit hours per semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Classes taken must be for a minimum of 1 credit hour.
- The Scholarship does not cover the following additional fees:
- Auxiliary Fees for C.P.D. and Distance Learning courses
- Material and Supply Fees
- Repeat Course Fees
- Excess Credit Hour Fees
- Out-of-State Fees (refer to #4 under 'Program Eligibility')
- The Scholarship is limited to academic courses. The following courses are ineligible under the Employee Tuition Scholarship:
- Remedial math (i.e. MAT1033)
- Applied music
- Graduate courses in the Colleges of Law and Medicine
- Physical Education Activity courses
- Dissertation, thesis, directed individual study (DIS), internship, supervised research, supervised teaching, exam, portfolio, or other one-on-one courses
- Audited courses
- Center for Academic and Professional Development courses
- All non-state funded courses or sections (including some distance learning courses that are funded solely by student tuition and fees)
- Only one course may be taken during regular business hours with supervisory and department head approval. Time away from work must be made up within the same workweek or annual leave taken
- The form must be submitted by the first Friday of classes to guarantee its application by the Fee Payment Deadline to avoid the $100 Late Payment Fee and potential schedule cancellation
- The scholarship will not be processed until after the drop/add period, which could delay the refunding of financial aid. To ensure qualification and receival of Employee Tuition Application, look for the CEM indicator on your account through your student portal
- If the employee drops a course or withdraws from school after receiving funds as a participant in the Employee Tuition Scholarship Program, the scholarship will be removed, and the employee will be required to pay the outstanding balance. Extenuating circumstances (i.e. medical, family death, etc.) would be excluded
- Under IRS Section 117(d), any qualified tuition reduction provided to a university employee enrolled in undergraduate level courses is not subject to income tax. However, under IRS Section 127, annual amounts exceeding $5,250 of qualified education assistance provide
Applications for the FSU Employee Tuition Waiver are completed and submitted through DocuSign. Student Business Services no longer collects data on specific courses or job-related indicators. Instead, this information is extracted automatically from the system during the process of applying an employee's waiver. Supervisors who wish to see a copy of an employee's schedule for their own records may work with the employee to generate a schedule from MyFSU.
Important Tax Information
Graduate tuition waivers through the FSU Employee Tuition Scholarship are monitored for the calendar year (Jan-Dec). The determination of how much of the tuition waiver is subject to federal income tax is stated within Internal Revenue Code Section 127(a)(2) and Florida Statute Section 1009.265(1) Section 6.1 which provides that the first $5,250 is considered tax free to the recipient (you).
However, if your tuition waiver exceeds $5,250 for graduate coursework within the calendar year it is considered compensation (wages) subject to income and payroll tax withholdings unless an exemption is applicable. The only available exemption is provided within Internal Revenue Code Section 132(j)(8) which is the working condition fringe benefit. This is further discussed in our Taxable Fringe Benefits Guidance. The criteria for that exclusion tells us that the education must be necessary for the employee to maintain or acquire skills necessary for their current employment.
If your tuition waiver exceeds $5,250 for graduate coursework within the calendar year (Jan-Dec), we will notify you and it will be sent to the Tax & Compliance section within the Controller's Office for review. This review will determine if the amount exceeding $5,250 is taxable as compensation (wages) or if the exclusion applies. This is not to deter your participation in the program. It is simply to notify you of potential tax consequences and impacts to your paycheck if a taxable status is determined.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for the waiver?
Complete an FSU Tuition Scholarship application through DocuSign.
When will the waiver apply to my invoice?
Student Business Services will apply the waiver periodically up to the fee payment deadline for the term.
What happens if I drop a course?
Student Business Services will adjust your waiver to cover the correct courses based on your enrollment.
What happens if I leave FSU?
Employment is verified during the application process. Changes made to the employment record after the waiver has been processed will not affect the current waiver.
Why do I still owe money?
The FSU Employee Scholarship does not cover costs associate with textbooks, additional online fees, or other charges posted outside of the tuition invoice such as library fines, parking citations, or health insurance.
How does the waiver affect my financial aid eligibility?
Like all resources, the FSU Employee Tuition Scholarship will reduce your overall need which may result in a reduction of need-based scholarships, grants, and loans.