Published: April 28, 2021

Under a new two-year tuition assistance benefit pilot program, eligible CU Boulder employees taking undergraduate or graduate courses may register seven days before the start of the semester or the first day of class, whichever is earlier.

The new program is approved as of July 1 and goes into effect during the fall 2021 semester. 

The University of Colorado offers a tuition assistance benefit to eligible employees and their dependents, governed by the university’s administrative policy statement. The APS allows eligible employees to use up to 9 credit hours per academic year to be applied against tuition costs on a space-available basis at any CU campus for credit-granting courses, compliant with any campus-specific restrictions. 

Under the previous guidelines, faculty and staff using tuition assistance had to wait to register until the first day of the semester. 

“This spring, a group of campus administrators, including the Registrar, Bursar, Human Resources, and Budget and Finance, reviewed the potential of implementing a pilot for the Boulder campus,” said CU Boulder Chief Financial Officer Carla Ho’a. “These efforts were based on ongoing requests from faculty and staff governance for greater flexibility for employees’ registration and new information about how we could fund related costs through the employee fringe benefits rate.”

“We are thrilled to see this change, as it will alleviate stress caused by the uncertainty of having to wait until the first day of classes to see if you actually get into a class or not and be fully prepared for learning,” said Boulder Campus Staff Council Co-Chairs Chris Muldrow, Hannah Simonson and Dylan West. “This small change will also allow staff access to course materials prior to the first day of class. We welcome the campus’s decision to implement this new pilot program, and Staff Council will continue to advocate for improvements to the tuition assistance benefit.”

In addition to the benefits mentioned by the Staff Council co-chairs, the pilot program will also allow employees to be waitlisted in courses that are full, Ho’a said. 

The pilot program will be evaluated after the first year to analyze the impact of the change, discuss other potential changes, and provide a recommendation about whether the policy change should be permanent beyond the pilot’s timeframe, Ho’a said. 

Tuition assistance benefit policies for dependents remain unchanged under the pilot program, and dependents may register starting on CU Boulder’s designated registration day for dependents. There will be no change to the tuition assistance benefit form. 

Deadlines and more information can be found on the Employee Services website.