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Educational Assistance

Are you thinking about going back to school at UT and don’t know where to start? The Educational Assistance benefit is designed to assist regular employees with payment of undergraduate or graduate level tuition. This benefit also provides a student fee discount for regular employees’ spouses and dependent children who are classified as undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee.

Testimonials: Going back to school, whether immediately or after several years, may be a challenging decision. To help you think through this, here are some testimonials from your peers:

A note from Mary Lucal, Associate Vice Chancellor for UTK Human Resources: “I was able to earn my Ph.D. while growing in my leadership role at the University. Educational assistance can help you to reach your professional goals and further your personal growth.”

Jennifer Daniels, College of Veterinary Medicine: “The fee waiver saved me over $15,000 while obtaining my Master’s Degree. Without it, I may not have been able to go back to school! Thanks, UT!”

Summer Johnston, Student Media: “UT’s educational assistance is a wonderful benefit: I have used it to make college more affordable and to take the financial worry off my family. It makes me believe that the University cares about the well-being and education of its employees and is willing to reinvest in its people.”

Janice Branch Hall, Haslam College of Business: “If it were not for the educational assistance benefit the University of Tennessee provides, I may not have been able to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a Ph.D. As a first generation college student, my family and I are honored that my employer has made such an investment in our future.”

Undergraduate: Whether you are degree-seeking or non-degree seeking, your first step is to complete an application. The University will waive the $50.00 application fee for active university employees applying to take undergraduate classes. For questions about the application process or application fee, contact Norma Harrington at nharring@utk.edu or 974-2184.

Graduate: If you are interested in attending graduate school, your first step is to visit the Graduate Admissions website to find a wide range of graduate degree offerings as well as how and when to apply. When completing the online application, all materials can be conveniently uploaded into the application. If you have questions, contact Graduate Admissions at graduateadmissions@utk.edu or 974-3251.

Important Notice for Those Interested in Taking Graduate Classes!

For an employee who pursues a graduate degree using Educational Assistance (Fee Waiver), it is important early on to familiarize yourself with Policy FI0910 – Taxability of Graduate Tuition Waiver for Employees. If your classes are job-related, you may need to complete the Employee Request for Job Related Tuition Waiver Form and submit it to the Payroll Office each semester. For questions, contact the Payroll Office at (865) 974-5251.

Here is a checklist of things to consider as you complete the Employee Request for Course Approval and Waiver of Fees Form for approval to enroll in classes.

If your spouse and/or dependent children are going to obtain an undergraduate degree, you will need to complete the Request for Student Fee Discount For Spouse and Dependent Child Form for the student fee discount for your loved ones.

To learn more about the UT Educational Assistance policy, visit Policy HR0330 & Policy HR 0331 or contact Human Resources 865-974-6642.

Returning to school can be overwhelming. Here are some additional resources to help you prepare:

  • To learn more about curriculum and class registration, visit Registrar
  • To find more information about tuition, fees, and financial aid, visit Office of the Bursar
  • To determine which program may be right for you and to learn more about the admission process, visit:
  • To purchase textbooks and other supplies, visit VolShop
  • To learn more about student support services, visit any one of the following resources:
    • The Dean of Students engages and supports students throughout their learning experience by providing co-curricular programs and services.
    • The work of the Student Counseling Center revolves around clinical service delivery, prevention and education, mental health wellness, and training a new generation of professionals.
    • The Office of Student Disability Services helps students recognize their potential by removing possible barriers to their education.
    • The Division of Student Life is charged with improving the student life at the University of Tennessee. Its various departments encompass many different aspects of university life, but all work toward one goal – providing students with an engaging and enlightening atmosphere of living and learning.
    • The Office of Research & Engagement is the primary resource for information and assistance with grants and contracts, compliance, and other technical and administrative matters.
    • The Student Success Center promotes undergraduate student excellence and persistence to graduation through tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic coaching, and student support programs.
    • The Education Advancement Program assists students in building a strong foundation for academic success through tutoring, academic advising, basic skills assessment, smaller academic courses, social networking and group activities.

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