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.

The Tuition Assistance Program is divided into 2 components - the Educational Development Fund which pays tuition fees for Queen's credit courses (to a maximum per academic year), and the Professional Development Fund which reimburses tuition fees (to a maximum of $400 per academic year) for work-related courses at other recognized educational institutions.

The TAP is distinct from the Tuition Support Plan which provides tuition support for the spouse and/or dependents of eligible Queen’s Faculty and Staff attending any University/College recognized under Universities Canada or Colleges and Institutes Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

Educational Development Fund

Who is eligible to receive benefits under the Educational Development Fund?

Eligibility for tuition payment waiver will commence after one year of continuous employment at Queen's University. Generally, eligibility includes:

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

Individuals employed on contracts who are not considered as part of the general staff; post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers and scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, academic assistants and instructors, adjunct academic staff, and casual staff are not eligible for tuition payment waiver under this policy.

Certain units occupying space on the campus of Queen's University are not subject to this policy. For a current listing of affiliated organizations please refer to the Human Resources Website. The individuals employed by these organizations are not Queen's Employees.

Eligibility for tuition payment waiver will be confirmed by Human Resources at the time of course registration and is based on the employee's employment status during the course offering.

What are the steps to apply for tuition support through the Educational Development Fund?

  1. At the application stage (registering for courses), employees follow the same process as any other student. All admission and registration requirements are the same as those for regular students. In addition, staff are subject to the same academic and fee assessment criteria as outlined in the Faculty calendars. Any questions regarding the application process can be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

  2. Immediately after you are accepted and registered in your program, contact the Organizational Development and Learning Unit to arrange for your tuition waiver form hrodl@queensu.ca. Please include the following information in your email:

    • Full Name
    • Employee Number
    • Student Number (if different from Employee #)
    • Indicate term for which the TAP waiver is to apply (for example: Fall 2015 to Summer 2016)
  3. The Organizational Development and Learning Unit will determine your eligibility; if you qualify, you will receive an email to let you know when you can pick up your TAP waiver form. These can be picked up in Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing, 1st Floor Reception between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

  4. Forward your signed waiver form to the Registrar’s Office.

  5. In SOLUS, you will see a service indicator added to your account to indicate that you are receiving tuition assistance. The TAP waiver payment will be applied by the Office of the University Registrar’s office after the add/drop deadline for each term:

    • Fall - First week of November
    • Winter - First week of March
    • Summer - First week of July

Please note:

  • TAP benefits are not retroactive; therefore it is vital that you bring your completed waiver to the Registrar’s office before the start of the term for which you are seeking Tuition Assistance. Your waiver can be processed during the term for which you are receiving Tuition Assistance, but you will be subject to late fees from the Registrar’s Office.

  • Waiver amounts are not carried over from one academic year to the next. If you wish to access Tuition Assistance again in the following academic year, you will need to follow the same procedure outlined above.

Do I need approval from my manager to participate in this program?

You don’t need permission from your manager to participate; however, if your classes are held during business hours, you will require approval to be released during business hours.

If you are taking on-campus courses that are scheduled during the day, the guideline is that managers are encouraged to release staff for three hours per week to attend classes – this is a guideline only, and operational responsibilities come first.

Who do I contact?

After you are accepted into a program, and once you have registered in SOLUS, contact the Training Coordinator, Organizational Development and Learning, via email. The Training Coordinator will determine your eligibility and issue your tuition waiver.

Are there deadlines to apply?

Due to the high volume of requests it is recommended that you submit your request immediately upon acceptance into a program and registration in SOLUS. This will help to avoid late fees from the Registrar’s Office.

Tuition assistance will not be approved for semesters that are already completed (i.e. retroactively). Therefore submit your request to the Training Coordinator before the beginning of the term for which you are receiving Tuition Assistance. Waivers may be processed during the term, but will be subject to late fees from the Registrar’s Office.

What courses can I take? How do I know that the course I’m interested in taking is a credit course?

The Educational Development Fund can be applied to any Queen’s credit course (Educational Development Fund courses do not need to relate to your job).

Please note that the Tuition Assistance Program does not apply to non-credit courses.

Examples of courses that would not qualify include:

  1. Courses required to maintain a professional designation such as teacher qualification courses offered through the Centre for Teaching and Learning or the Faculty of Education, and similar accreditation courses required by legal and accounting professionals
  2. Professional Development Training offered through the Industrial Relations Centre
  3. Professional Development courses offered through the Queen’s School of Business

How many courses can I take?

The TAP program does not indicate any limit on courses. TAP is calculated entirely as a dollar value. Per academic year (September to August), payment of tuition fees will be waived for all eligible employees to a maximum of the equivalent dollar value of five full-credit undergraduate Arts and Science courses (based on the fee schedule for Canadian students).

The amount of assistance will be pro-rated to correspond with an employee’s terms of appointment (for example, an employee who has a 60% appointment could waive payment of tuition fees to a maximum of sixty percent of the dollar value of five full-credit undergraduate Arts and Science courses).

What expenses are covered through the Tuition Assistance Program?

TAP applies to Tuition costs, as well as the Student Assistance Levy.

Student Activity Fees, Admission Fees, Late Registration Fees, material, lab, administration or any other ancillary fees are not covered under this policy and payment of such fees are the responsibility of the employee. Opting out/payment of these fees is the responsibility of the employee.

Employees enrolled in graduate courses will be assessed activity fees by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students. Opting out/payment of these fees is the responsibility of the employee. These fees are not covered under this policy.

Fees for graduate degree programs are based on term fees and not by individual courses; therefore, payment of tuition fees to the maximum already noted will be waived for an eligible employee enrolled part-time in a graduate degree program.

Any additional fees will be the responsibility of the individual employee. The assistance is limited to five years of continuous registration for a master’s degree program and seven years of continuous registration for a doctoral degree program.

Fees related to non-credit or audited courses are not eligible for tuition assistance and must be paid by the employee at the time of registration.

Can I transfer/carry over funds?

An employee may not transfer or carry forward any unused amounts in their record, nor borrow against the next year's amount. Transfer of amounts from one employee to another is also not permitted.

How do I check the balance of my tuition waiver?

Your tuition waiver form will specifically indicate its dollar value; you can compare this figure against your balance owing in SOLUS. When an employee accesses the Educational Development Fund, their record in the SOLUS system will be reduced until it reaches a zero balance.

Once an employee's record reaches zero, they will be fully responsible for paying any further tuition or other fees.

What happens if I drop or fail a course?

If an employee drops a course, their record in the tracking system will be reduced by the course fee, in line with the University's drop policy. If an employee fails a course, the full tuition fee will be deducted from their record. The employee will not be required to pay any course fees for dropped or failed courses unless their record in the tracking system is at zero.

TAP amounts cannot carry over into a new academic year. Those wishing to apply for the program in a new academic year will need to follow the same application procedure again.

Do I have to pay for the courses first?

No. The TAP waiver will be applied to your SOLUS account, and at some point after the drop-dead date for the course your account will be reconciled by the Registrar’s Office. If the TAP waiver does not cover the full amount owed you will be responsible for paying any short-fall.

I want to take a certificate / workshop through a private institution i.e. corporate offering. Is this covered?

No. Only tuition-based Queen’s Credit courses are covered under this program. Professional certifications, conferences, etc are the responsibility of the employee or funded through an individual department's professional development/training budget.

Is the tuition support a taxable benefit?

No, it is not taxable.

Professional Development Fund

Who is eligible to receive benefits under the Professional Development Fund?

All eligible Queen's University employees, as previously defined under the 'Educational Development Fund' are entitled to reimbursement of their tuition fees (to a maximum of $400 per academic year) for job-related courses taken at other recognized educational institutions.

Eligibility will commence after one year of continuous employment at Queen's University. Generally, eligibility includes:

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

Individuals employed on contracts who are not considered as part of the general staff; post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers and scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, academic assistants and instructors, adjunct academic staff, and casual staff are not eligible for tuition payment waiver under this policy.

Certain units occupying space on the campus of Queen's University are not subject to this policy. For a current listing of affiliated organizations please refer to the Human Resources Website. The individuals employed by these organizations are not Queen's Employees.

Eligibility for tuition payment waiver will be confirmed by Human Resources at the time of course registration and is based on the employee's employment status during the course offering.

What are the steps to apply for the Professional Development Fund?

  1. Email the Training Coordinator, Organizational Development and Learning with your employee number. Include the name of the course, the institution, and a brief explanation of how this training will assist you in your current role.

    Organizational Development and Learning will email you to confirm your eligibility. At this time, you will need to provide copies of your registration form along with original receipts.

    Hardcopies can be forwarded to the Training Coordinator, Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing, 5th Floor.

    Tuition Assistance will not be approved for semesters that are already completed (i.e. retroactively). Therefore you need to submit your request to the Training Coordinator before the beginning of the term for which you are requesting Tuition Assistance.

  2. Upon successful completion of a course, a copy of a transcript or other official document will be forwarded to the Training Coordinator to obtain reimbursement of the tuition fees. Transcripts must include start and end dates, and must clearly indicate that the course was successfully completed.

    Hardcopies can be forwarded to the Training Coordinator, Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing, 5th Floor. If only electronic copies are available please forward to hrodl@queensu.ca.

  3. Once your documentation is received a cheque requisition will be produced and forwarded to Financial Services. Financial Services will then deposit directly into your account. Please note Financial Services timelines for processing vary.

What fees are covered by the Professional Development Fund?

Tuition fees from recognized educational institutions.

Conference, seminar, or workshop registration fees are not eligible for reimbursement through the Professional Development Fund.

What qualifies as a recognized educational institution?

Community colleges and universities in Canada. Private colleges are not covered under this plan.

Are there any exceptions to the approved list of schools?

The only exception is the Queen’s Francophone Centre French Courses. These are treated as external courses and can be reimbursed under this Fund.

Do I require approval from my manager to attend?

Release time from work to attend classes requires the written approval of the Manager.