HOW TO APPLY FOR TUITION REIMBURSEMENT
- Your Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) must be on file. All courses must be tied to members' Individual Professional Development Plans (IPDPs) or Class Change forms.
- Complete the Tuition Reimbursement application form. See Application deadlines below.
- Complete your coursework at an accredited college or university.
- Send all documentation (proof of enrollment and grade for each course) related to your Tuition Reimbursement Application to the WEA Office in the Worthington Schools Education Center upon completion of the course. All documentation must be submitted within one calendar year of the approval date.
DEADLINES FOR APPLICATION
Fall Term - August 12, 2016 if you are seeking preapproval* for courses taken during Fall OR if you are seeking reimbursement for courses taken during Summer and were unable to include the request on the May application (subject to availability of remaining funds).
Winter/Spring Terms - December 09, 2016 if you are seeking preapproval* for courses taken during Winter/Spring OR if you are seeking reimbursement for courses taken during Fall and were unable to include the request on the August application (subject to availability of remaining funds).
Summer Term - May 19, 2017 if you are seeking preapproval* for courses taken during Summer OR if you are seeking reimbursement for courses taken during Winter/Spring and were unable to include the request on the November application (subject to availability of remaining funds).
Fall Term (2017) - August 18, 2017 if you are seeking preapproval* for courses taken during Fall OR if you are seeking reimbursement for courses taken during Summer and were unable to include the request on the May application (subject to availability of remaining funds).
*The late application deadline for any academic term is the pre-approval deadline for the following term. Late applications will only be considered if there are unused funds for that application period
The Board provides $120,000 per year for the purpose of reimbursing members for graduate course work tuition.7 For the purpose of this provision, each year will begin on September 1 and conclude on August 31. Unused funds are carried forward. The tuition reimbursement program is administered by the district and the Association per a mutually agreed upon procedure. Members who do not receive fee authorization through the provisions of Article 16.2 will receive first priority in the distribution of tuition reimbursement funds. Members who have less than five years of work experience in the Worthington City School District and who voluntarily resign their position shall be required to reimburse the district for any tuition reimbursement funds they received during their last year of employment.
- Tuition reimbursement fund will be allocated three times per year, based on the previous year's demand for each reimbursement period. For example, more money is allocated toward summer reimbursement because that is when demand is highest.
- The division of the fund between terms each year will be adjusted based on observed patterns of demand. Online, video and other accredited distance-learning courses are reimbursed based on the term the course is completed.
- Tuition reimbursement will be provided to each recipient on a formula basis per hour, specifically up to 75% of member's actual tuition subject to the availability of funds for that period. There will be no distinction in quarter hours and semester hours in determining reimbursement per hour.
- Note that reimbursement is based on the member's net tuition cost. Scholarships, stipends, and other forms of reimbursement are deducted from the gross tuition cost before calculating the amount of reimbursement. Also, courses are sometimes offered in conjunction with conferences or workshops or have other fees connected to them. In these cases, only the actual tuition paid to the university for graduate credit is eligible for reimbursement, NOT registration fees for the conference or workshop, materials fees, or other non-tuition costs.*
- Reimbursement in any given term will be allocated to all who apply on an hour-by-hour basis until all funds have been allocated. Members who are granted fee waivers will not get reimbursed for those hours – no double dipping.
- The fee waiver process outlined in Article 16.2 of the Master Agreement will be followed before tuition reimbursement funds are allocated. If you receive a three-hour fee waiver, you will receive tuition reimbursement only if funds that term are being allocated to a fourth hour of coursework. If you receive a one-hour fee waiver, you will receive available tuition reimbursement only for hours beyond the first hour.
- Limitations may be placed on the number of hours for reimbursement available for each member. Each member is subject to a limit of 6 hours per term (with the exception of summer, which has a 6-hour limit), but this limit may be waived if additional funds are available. Note that these are maximums—actual reimbursement may cover fewer hours. If a request submitted before the deadline is approved, requests submitted after the deadline of the same term. Will not be considered.
- All staff members wishing to receive tuition reimbursement must submit an application prior to the posted deadline. Each approval period may cover classes expected in the upcoming term or workshops/classes already enrolled in for the current term but unanticipated at the time of the previous application period. After all applications have been received, the funds will be allocated and each staff member will be notified of what to expect in reimbursement following the conclusion of the term.
PLEASE NOTE: While it may be possible to receive reimbursement for courses without advance approval, we reserved a small portion of funds to meet these requests. It is especially important if reimbursement is desired for summer that members apply for reimbursement at the time of the May approval deadline.
- Any member who applies for and receives notification of reimbursement but cancels or drops the course, or otherwise learns of changes from the original application, without notifying the WEA office by email prior to the deadline for the next filing of applications may forfeit eligibility for tuition reimbursement for the subsequent 4 quarters or 1 year. It is very important that the WEA Office be notified if there is any change from the original estimated cost of the course work. Failure to do so could prevent other staff members from being approved for as much as they otherwise would receive.
- Upon completion of a course, the member must submit proof of payment and a grade slip to the WEA Office. Completed applications will then be processed and payment will be received from the Treasurer's office within 4-6 weeks. (Tuition reimbursement may be a taxable benefit. Consult your tax advisor for details.) Note that documentation submitted for tuition reimbursement is not used for any other purpose (i.e. class change). Save copies of all records. Please submit documentation as quickly as possible, no later than one year after the pre-approval deadline for that academic period.
*An exception may be made in those instances where necessary professional growth requires activities other than graduate coursework. Non-graduate credit professional activities must be required for certification/licensure or otherwise necessary for fulfillment of job responsibilities. Evidence of CEU credit is required upon completion. Reimbursement is not available for meals, mileage, or other incidental conference expenses.