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Educational Assistance Questions



1.  What is the Educational Assistance Program?

The Educational Assistance Program is a benefit to employees that provides funding for tuition and professional certification.  Two previous programs, the Tuition Waiver Program and the Tuition Reimbursement Program, were replaced by this benefit.

2. How is the program different?

The educational assistance benefits (both course tuition and certification expenses) are centrally funded.  Which means a minimum of $2,000 per calendar year in educational assistance is available to all eligible employees regardless of departmental funding.


3. Who is eligible?

All regular full and part-time (20+ hours per week) flex and management employees who have completed six consecutive months (waived for RN Clinician I) of employment with the Medical Center prior to the beginning of the course are eligible. Unit-based and Medical Center pool and temporary employees are not eligible.


4. What courses are eligible?

  • Any course that is of value or benefit to the Medical Center.
  • Review course for a professional certification which has been approved by the employee’s department
  • English as a second language, literacy, Lean, six sigma and other related courses.


5. What expenses are covered?

Registration, tuition, exams and laboratory fees related to the course are covered.  Generally tuition will be paid at the in-state rate when applicable.  Other fees and expenditures may not be covered.


6. Is there a cap on how much educational assistance I can get through this program?

  • Eligible employees may receive up to $2,000 in educational assistance per calendar year.  Additional amounts up to a total of $5,250 may be provided for employees in “ hard to fill” positions, or for degree programs that will prepare an employee for employment in a “hard to fill” position.
  • Professional certification expenses are limited to $325 per calendar year.
  • Departments may also support employee education and professional development through departmental funds.

7. Which positions qualify as “hard to fill”?

Click “here” for a list of positions that qualify as “hard to fill,” or contact the HR Customer Service Center at 243-3344.


8. Is educational assistance provided in advance or reimbursed?

In general, educational assistance will be provided as reimbursement after the successful completion of the course or professional certification.  However, employees who have worked with the organization for at least two continuous years and earn $50,000 or less are eligible for advanced payment of tuition at the time of registration.

In addition, approved courses taken at the UVA will be paid at the time of course registration.


9. Who determines eligibility for certification and recertification reimbursement?

Each department will establish a list of professional certifications that are eligible for funding through this program.


10. What forms do I need to complete and where do I get them?

The Educational Assistance Request Form is available on-line in the forms section of KLink or employees can call the HR customer Service Center at 243-3344.   Employees should complete the form and submit it to the department manager 14 days prior to course registration along with a course description.


11. Does my manager have to put money in the budget for me to get this benefit?

No, although individual departments may elect to provide additional funding for employees’ education.


12. How many courses can I take at a time?

Generally the total number of academic credits should not exceed 7 undergraduate credit hours or 6 graduate credit hours per semester.


13. Do I have to earn a certain grade in order to receive funding?

Employees must earn a C- or better in undergraduate courses or a B- or better for graduate courses.  If the course is not graded (pass/fail) documentation of a pass will meet this requirement.


14. Do I have to stay with the medical center for a certain amount of time after I receive educational assistance? If so, what happens if I leave?

Employees must stay with the Medical Center for 12 months after receiving educational assistance or completion of the course.  If an employee leaves before that time, the employee will have to refund the full amount.

15.  Is there a limit on how many people from the same department can apply for tuition reimbursement?

No, since it is now centrally-funded, the benefit is available to all employees regardless of the departmental funding.  Where an employee works has no bearing on the benefits provided.