Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Tuition Assistance Program

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) supports Queen's commitment to the development of employee skills, growth and well-being. It is designed to support Queen’s employees in the pursuit of their professional development and educational goals.

Students studying

The TAP is comprised of two different funds:

  1. the Educational Development Fund pays tuition fees for Queen's credit courses (to a maximum per academic year) taken on a part-time basis.
  2. the Professional Development Fund reimburses tuition fees (to a maximum of $400 per academic year) for work-related courses taken at other recognized educational institutions.

Both funds offer an annually renewable non-taxable benefit; they support undergraduate and graduate studies at Queen’s (ED Fund) or other institutions (PD Fund).

Note: The TAP is different from the Tuition Support Plan which provides financial support for the spouse and/or dependents of eligible Queen’s employees. Contact HR’s Total Compensation department for information regarding the Tuition Support Plan.

Where to Start

If you are considering taking courses at Queen’s or another public university or college in Canada, start your research by visiting institutions’ websites. Approach this part of the process as any other student – start at the Admissions page, explore programs, prerequisites and what opportunities relate to your own interests and educational needs.

When you have decided to take a course and want to see if you are eligible for TAP support, contact HR’s Organizational Development & Learning team who can check eligibility and the amount of support you will receive.

Generally the registrar’s office Registrar at a college or university can help with registering in courses, deadlines for changing or dropping courses, and anything else to do with other matters concerning your registration. The Registrar’s website is a good place to find this information.

Time away from work

If an employee registers for a course that requires them to be away from the office during the regular workday, they must arrange release time with their manager; this should be done prior to registering for the course as release cannot be guaranteed.

It is recommended that managers allow up to three hours per week for employees attending courses; this is a guideline only and it is up to a manager’s discretion as operational responsibilities must take priority over the employee’s educational activities.

Who is Eligible?

Employees become eligible for the TAP benefit after one year of continuous employment at Queen's University, working 40% time or more in a qualifying position.

Qualifying positions

  • employees (continuing, term, research grant and contract) working at least 40% time
  • members of C.U.P.E. Locals 229, 254, and 1302
  • academic staff as defined in the Collective Agreement
  • adjunct academic staff with initial, renewable, continuing-track, or continuing appointments

Non-qualifying positions

  • post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers and scholars
  • students - undergraduate or graduate
  • academic assistants
  • academic instructors
  • adjunct academic staff on non-renewable contracts
  • casual staff
  • employees of affiliated organizations occupying space on the campus but not a part of Queen's operations

Educational Development Fund

The Educational Development Fund pays an eligible employee’s tuition for Queen's credit courses taken on a part-time basis.  Students who are taking less than a 60% course load are considered to be part-time students.

The Fund pays a maximum dollar amount equivalent to the tuition of five full-credit undergraduate Arts and Science courses (based on the Queen’s domestic fee schedule) per academic year. An employee working 40% time or more, will receive a % of the full waiver equal to the % of time they work. 

Time limits on waiver eligibility

  • For undergraduate studies, there is no limit on waiver eligibility
  • For graduate studies at the Master level, a waiver will be granted for up to five (5) academic years per degree.
  • For graduate studies at the Doctoral level, a waiver will be granted for up to seven (7) academic years, per degree.

Rules

  • Employees should request confirmation prior to the start of a course. One year of continuous employment must be completed before the course start date.  A waiver can be applied after the course start date, but if a waiver is requested after a term’s tuition due date, the employee will be responsible for any late fees that have already been assessed.
  • A TAP waiver CANNOT be requested or applied to a SOLUS account after the last day of classes in the term for which the waiver is requested, regardless of eligibility.
  • TAP benefits CANNOT be requested or applied to a student account retroactively, i.e. after a term is complete, regardless of eligibility.

Application Process

Employees follow the same process to apply and register for courses as any other Queen’s student. Any questions regarding the course or program application process should be directed to the appropriate Faculty, School, Department or to the Registrar’s Office.

Once an employee decides that they are going to register in a course or program at Queen’s, they should contact Human Resources about their TAP eligibility:

  1. Send an email enquiry to the Organizational Development and Learning Unit (hrodl@queensu.ca) and include the following information:
    • Full Name
    • Employee Number
      The employee’s eligibility and dollar amount of coverage will be communicated to the employee by Human Resources.
  2. If eligible and once registered in a course or program, send the following to hrodl@queensu.ca:
    • Student #
    • Term of study

Steps i. and ii. can be combined into one request.

Once eligibility is confirmed, a TAP “waiver” will be prepared, and the employee will be asked to sign the waiver, in person at HR’s main reception area, or electronically if not working on campus.

Once signed by the employee, and returned to hrodl@queensu.ca if sent electronically, the waiver will be applied to their student account in SOLUS.

Employees do not pay the tuition or Student Assistance part of their fees; the service indicator on their SOLUS accounts indicates to the Registrar’s office that payment is not required, and late fees should not be charged. The tuition will be removed from their SOLUS account according to the schedule below for the academic year (September – August) in which it is granted; at the end of the year the waiver and any remaining funds are no longer valid.

What it means to apply the waiver to a SOLUS account

The waiver is applied as a “service indicator” on your account – this tells the Registrar’s office that your tuition will be paid by HR. Your term’s tuition and Student Assistance Levy will be removed from your account by the Registrar’s office up to the amount recorded on the waiver. The approximate timing of this action is:

  • Fall term - first week of November
  • Winter term - first week of March
  • Summer term - first week of July

Calculating the balance of a waiver

Eligible employees can calculate the balance of their TAP waiver as follows:

  • Note/document the amount indicated on the tuition waiver when it is sent by Human Resources for a signature. This amount will be available to use for the academic year in which it is granted (September through August).
  • Subtract the tuition and Student Assistance Levy charged each term as indicated on your financial page in SOLUS.
  • When the tuition/Student Assistance Levy amounts charged surpass the amount of the waiver in an academic year, you will be responsible for payment of any further tuition/Student Assistance Levy.

Dropping or failing a course

Dropped course: If an employee drops a course before the last day to drop without financial penalty, their waiver will not be affected. If it is dropped after the last day to drop without financial penalty, their tuition waiver will be reduced by the course fee.

Failed course: If an employee fails a course, the full tuition fee will be deducted from their tuition waiver balance.

Human Resources does not receive any information regarding dropped or failed courses from the Registrar’s office.

Professional Development Fund

The Professional Development Fund reimburses employees’ tuition fees to a maximum of $400 per academic year for work-related courses taken at other (non-Queen’s*) recognized educational institutions. Institutions that qualify:

*The only exception is for courses offered by the Queen’s Francophone Centre.

What is not covered?

  • Courses offered by private and international institutions
  • Conferences and seminar/workshops offered as part of conferences
  • Professional certification courses

An employee should request support from their department's professional development / training budget for the above opportunities.

Application Process

Once an employee decides that they are going to register in a course or program at another approved institution, they should contact Human Resources about their TAP eligibility:

  1. Send an email enquiry to the Organizational Development and Learning Unit (hrodl@queensu.ca) about TAP eligibility. The following information is required:
    • full name
    • employee number
    • the name and description of the course
    • the institution offering the course
    • a brief explanation of how this course will help you in your current role
      This email should be sent prior to payment of fees for the course for which funding is requested if the employee is uncertain of eligibility.
  2. Once approval is received, an employee must pay for the course, complete it, and receive a passing grade.
  3. Once the course is successfully completed, in a reply to the eligibility confirmation email, the following must be supplied:
    • A copy of the receipt for tuition paid by the employee
    • A copy of a transcript or some other proof of a passing grade in the approved course.
  4. Once final documentation is received, instructions for submitting an online reimbursement claim (through Queen’s Expense Reimbursement System) will be emailed to the employee. Financial Services will deposit their reimbursement directly into their bank account.

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