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Tuition Assistance for Classified / Unclassified Staff (Non-AFT)

Section:400
Section Title:Administration and Finance
Policy Number:421
Policy Name:Tuition Assistance for Classified / Unclassified Staff (Non-AFT)
Approval Authority:Board of Trustees
Responsible Executive:Vice President for Administration and Finance
Responsible Unit:Human Resources
Date Adopted:February 15, 1989
Date Revised:June 7, 1995; October 2013; January 2014; October 2018; April 26, 2021

Policy

Policy

Ramapo College provides tuition assistance for graduate courses at an accredited institution other than Ramapo College, depending on the availability of funds and whether the employee can pursue a similar program at Ramapo. The College provides this program as a benefit to Classified and Unclassified Staff (Non‐AFT) and reserves the right to suspend the benefit at its discretion.

Reason for Policy

To foster employees’ professional growth and institutional vitality by assisting employees with some of the costs associated with the pursuit of their first master’s or doctoral degree.

To Whom Does The Policy Apply

Permanent full‐time staff with at least one year of State service at the time of application, who are not covered by the AFT contract and who are pursuing their first master’s or doctoral degree may receive tuition assistance in accord with established procedures and depending on the availability of funds.

Related Documents

Contacts

Department of Human Resources
(201) 684-7506

Procedure 421

Ramapo College provides tuition assistance to employees for graduate courses at an accredited institution other than Ramapo College, in accord with established procedures and depending on the availability of funds and whether the employee can pursue a similar program at Ramapo. The College provides this program as a benefit to employees and reserves the right to suspend the benefit at its discretion.

Employee Eligibility

Employees must:

  • Have a minimum of one year of service to the College or the State at the time of application
  • Be in a permanent title
  • Be full‐time
  • Not be covered by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) contract
  • Be pursuing their first master’s or doctoral degree
  • Remain employed by the College for at least one year after completing a degree program; employees who voluntarily separate from the College before one full year after completion of the course(s) for which they received tuition assistance are required to refund all of the assistance awarded to the employee during the 12‐ month period preceding separation.

Note 1: Employees who separate from the College (prior to completion of the courses) waive entitlement to tuition assistance.

Note 2: Tuition assistance is only available from the College through this policy only. Any assistance from other Ramapo College sources is strictly prohibited.

Note 3: All employees pursuing degrees, including those who receive tuition assistance and those who do not, accept that all course work, attendance at classes, and any other requirements relating to courses must be performed and scheduled at a time other than when the employee is scheduled for regular or emergency work assignments at Ramapo College.

Programs of Study Eligibility

Programs of study must:

  1. Be of direct value to the College/State;
  1. Relate to the requestor’s employment duties and responsibilities;
  1. Provide knowledge and skills, which cannot be provided through available in‐service training (including tuition waiver for graduate courses taken at Ramapo);
  1. Be the employee’s first earned master’s or doctoral degree; and
  1. Be accredited degree programs for which tuition assistance has been authorized in advance.

Tuition Assistance Benefit

  1. The rate of assistance per credit shall be consistent with the rate established in the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, or the actual tuition, whichever is less.
  2. Assistance is based on tuition only and excludes course fees, campus fees, course materials, etc.
  3. Employees receiving any other form of assistance specifically granted to defray tuition costs will be ineligible up to the amount of such awards.
  4. No more than 18 credits per fiscal year and no more than a total of 45 credits of coursework required in the master’s program and no more than a total of 60 credits of coursework required in the doctoral degree program may qualify for assistance.

Procedural Requirements

1.The employee must submit a written request for tuition assistance. The written request shall:

a. describe how the desired program of study is of direct value to the College/State;

b. describe how the desired program of study relates to the requestor’s employment duties and responsibilities; and

c. note the anticipated time to completion and the required number of credits for completion.

2. The employee must attach the written request to the employee’s first Non‐AFT Classified/Unclassified Staff Request for Tuition Assistance Form and submit both documents to the unit head for initial approval.

3. The employee must secure all required approvals on the Non‐AFT Classified/Unclassified Staff Request for Tuition Assistance Form prior to enrollment in the degree program.

4. The employee must complete a new Non‐AFT Classified/Unclassified Staff Request for Tuition Assistance Form each semester and submit it with:

a. proof of enrollment in the degree program;

b. proof of payment/billing; and

c. proof of academic progress (i.e. an unofficial transcript), according to the Academic Standing or related policy at the graduate institution.

5. Tuition Assistance disbursements shall be issued to the employee after successful completion of the semester or successful completion of the course(s).

False Statements/Misrepresentation

Any false statement, misrepresentation or factual error when applying for tuition assistance, any attempt to abuse the tuition assistance program, and/or any failure to abide by the rules, requirements, or procedures of this program/the College may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Employees, who are eligible to receive tuition assistance, agree that if they are found to have violated any provision of the program or the rules and regulations of the College they will:

  • repay any tuition assistance issued had such event not occurred; and
  • forfeit the right to receive any future tuition assistance.