Tuition benefit options to expand this fall

The usefulness of CU’s tuition waiver benefit is being expanded as part of a three-year pilot study launching in fall 2017.

The pilot program recently was presented to President Bruce Benson and all campus chancellors, who approved the implementation. The recommendation was advanced by a task force at the direction of President Benson and led by chair Susan Szpyrka, senior vice chancellor, Administration and Finance, UCCS.

Susan Szpyrka led a tuition waiver benefit task force.

A benefits-eligible employee at any campus will be able to use the proposed benefit – up to $2,400 per academic year – for a dependent enrolled at any other CU campus for undergraduate study. The employee’s home campus will be responsible for payment of the benefit to the CU host campus chosen by the student.

Under the pilot rules, employees must waive their benefit to provide it to the dependent. The employee-only tuition benefit remains unchanged as it already includes a provision for attending classes, space available, on any CU campus.

Last April, President Benson charged the chief financial and human resources officers for the campuses and system to conduct a study to determine the financial feasibility of adding an intercampus tuition benefit for dependents to the tuition benefit plan. The task force began its work last summer.

“I appreciate the work of the task force to get us to this pilot program and I am looking forward to seeing its result,” Benson said.

Szpyrka noted that the task force consisted of administrators who worked with faculty and staff who were appointed by their respective governance groups. Faculty Council and Staff Council for years have advocated for an improved dependent tuition benefit.

Specifics of the pilot’s design and procedures will be detailed on the Employee Services Tuition Benefit webpage in the coming weeks and months.

The pilot will be studied for usage, value and feasibility, specifically whether the model is sustainable financially.

–This article originally appeared in the Jan. 19 edition of CU Connections.

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