Office of the University Registrar

State Employee Tuition Waivers

The information on this page applies to enrolling and registering for courses at the UW Seattle Campus only. Those intending to take a course or earn a degree at a school other than the UW, please contact the Professional & Organizational Development (POD) office for assistance. POD Tuition Exemption.

Tuition Exemption at Other Campuses

UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses maintain their own policies regarding tuition exemption. Please review the following resources and contact their respective registration offices for more information or assistance.

Who is eligible for Tuition Exemption?

The University’s Tuition Exemption Policy is governed by Chapter 28B.15.558 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and UW Administrative Policy Statement 22.1.

For questions about if your position is eligible to participate in the tuition exemption program, please contact the Professional & Organizational Development (POD) office at pod@uw.edu, and include your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and quarter you wish to attend in your email. The Office of the University Registrar cannot determine an employees’ eligibility to participate in this program.

UW Employees

Employment Program Eligible for Tuition Exemption Eligibility Begins
Classified Staff (minimum 50% FTE) Yes Completed 6 month probationary period
Professional Staff (minimum 50% FTE) Yes First day of employment
Faculty (minimum 50% FTE) Yes First day of employment
Hourly or Temporary Staff No NA

Washington State Employees

“State of Washington employees” means persons employed half-time or more in one or more of the following employee classifications:

  • Permanent employees in classified service under chapter 41.06 RCW;
  • Permanent classified employees and exempt paraprofessional employees of technical colleges; and,
  • Faculty, counselors, librarians, and exempt professional and administrative employees at institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016
  • Classified staff may receive waivers as part of teacher preparation programs (as an alternative to the current limitation to being relevant to their work assignment as defined in RCW 28B.15.558

Obtaining Student Status

The first step to being a tuition-exempt student at the University of Washington is to decide what kind of student you will be and how to apply for that status. Below is the list of student statuses at UW and their contact information. Active student status is required in order to register for courses.

Employees need only apply for student status once as long as continuous enrollment is maintained in the same status. In order to change statuses, employees will need to reapply to the appropriate status.

Types of Student Status

Undergraduate or Postbaccalaureate

To apply to be an undergraduate student or Postbaccalaureate (Fifth Year student), please contact the Office of Admissions to apply to a program – 206-543-9686 or 301 Schmitz Hall.
Undergraduate and Postbaccalaureate students: After taking two quarters or more off consecutively (not including Summer quarter), please complete the Returning Student Form.

Graduate Student

Contact the Graduate Program you are interested in for advising and to determine if the program is eligible for tuition exemption. To apply to be a matriculated student in a graduate program, submit a Graduate application. Continuous enrollment is required of Graduate students in order to maintain student status. Failure to maintain this status requires reinstatement to the University of Washington. Students who desire to take a quarter or quarters off without going through the reinstatement process must apply for on-leave status for each quarter they do not register.

Non-matriculated (NM) Student

To apply to be a first time or returning non-matriculated (not seeking a degree) student under the tuition exemption program, please complete the following online Non-Matriculated Application for tuition exemption. This application requires payment of a $80 non-refundable application fee.

  • Please note: Non-matriculated students may take undergraduate and graduate level courses. However any graduate level courses cannot be counted towards a graduate degree at UW.
  • Taking two quarters or more off consecutively (not including Summer quarter), you require another Non-Matriculated Tuition Exemption Application to be submitted.
    • Please be sure to complete and submit the Non-Matriculated for Tuition Exemption application – not the Returning Students application. Do not complete the Returning Student form if you have never attended the University of Washington.

Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) Student

Contact the Graduate Program you are interested in for advising and to determine if they accept GNM applications or tuition exemption. To apply as a GNM student, submit a Graduate Non-Matriculated application online. Continuous enrollment is required of Graduate students in order to maintain student status.

Returning Student

If you have attended the University of Washington before as an undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or professional student, AND ARE RETURNING TO THE SAME STATUS, please complete the Returning Student Form. This form must be accompanied by a $80 non-refundable fee, which you can pay online. If you have never attended the University of Washington, do not complete the Returning Student Form.

  • If you are returning to a graduate program or as a GNM, please contact Graduate Admissions. If you are returning to non-matriculated status, please complete the NM application.

 

Tuition Exemption Forms and Instructions

A Tuition Exemption Request Form must be submitted every quarter that you wish to register for courses and is due at the Office of the University Registrar, 2nd Floor Schmitz Hall, no later than two (2) weeks or ten (10) business days before the first day of the quarter. Forms submitted after this date are considered late. You may have one late submission only; after that we cannot accept your tuition exemption form.

We accept forms by mail, in person, faxed to 206.616.3222, or scanned and emailed to regoff@uw.edu. Mailing address: University of Washington Tuition Exemption Registration, Box 355850, Seattle, WA 98195-5950

The form cannot be processed without the required signatures from the employee and the supervisor.

If you are a non-matriculated student or undergraduate student, please leave the second half of the form blank, you are only required to fill out the top part. The bottom is reserved for graduate, post bac, and GNM status (see job related and tax information in the FAQs at the bottom of the page).

For UW Employees only: Your Employee Identification Number (EID) is required in order for us to process the form.

Registering for Classes

After you have obtained current student status and have submitted your tuition exemption request form, you will register using the registration page on MyUW starting on the appropriate registration eligibility date. Tuition exempt students do not register using the Non-Matriculated (NM) or Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) paper registration approval or registration forms and do not require instructor signatures to register. See the Student Systems Help Center for more information on the registration process.

Registration eligibility dates

  1. All UW employees register on the 3rd day of the quarter
  2. All non-UW Washington state employees register on the 4th day of the quarter

See the Academic Calendar for specific registration dates for each quarter.
Course enrollment is not permitted prior to the appropriate registration eligibility date for all courses when using a tuition exemption, this includes any additional courses even if they are not taken as tuition exempt. However, students may attend classes with instructor permission prior to the registration eligibility date.

Students registering before the assigned tuition exemption registration eligibility date will not be permitted to convert to the tuition exemption program, and will be required to pay regular tuition for all registered credits. There are no course adds accepted after the third week of the quarter.

Courses covered by tuition exemption

Generally, all state-funded courses 599 and below are covered with tuition exemption with exceptions listed below. All fee-based sections and certificate programs offered through the UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) are not covered by tuition exemption, please see this webpage for an explanation of Fee-Based classes.

In addition, the tuition exemption program does NOT cover:

  1. ENGL 100 through 105
  2. MATH 098
  3. All NCLIN-prefix courses
  4. NMETH 598, 600, 700, 800, 801
  5. NURS 499, 599
  6. All independent study, thesis, dissertation, research internships, tutorials, private lessons, or practicum courses
  7. All self-sustaining or fee-based courses
  8. UW Online or Distance Learning courses
  9. College of Education Matriculated degree students cannot use tuition exemption; only College of Education GNMs and NMs can use the benefit for those courses. More information from the College of Education
  10. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance Matriculated students cannot use tuition exemption; only Evans School GNMs and NMs can use the benefit for those courses. More information from the Evans School.

Also, certain state funded sections or programs may be excluded from the tuition exemption program on the basis of academic or fiscal considerations.

Fees

  • New and Returning Non-Matriculated Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $80 online.
  • Returning undergraduate and professional students who have not attended for two or more quarters must complete the Returning Student Re-enrollment Form and pay the non-refundable $80 submission fee online.
  • After registering for classes, please check your UW student account balance, available through MyUW. You will be billed $30 non-refundable registration fee and any additional tuition for credits over 6. You will also be billed the quarterly Student Technology Fee. This balance is due when UW tuition is due, please see the Academic Calendar for the specific date, it is typically the 3rd Friday of the quarter.
  • A $25 late registration fee will be assessed if the student initially registers for the quarter on or after the eighth calendar day of that quarter. A $75 late registration fee will be assessed if the student initially registers for the quarter on or after the 15th calendar day of that quarter.
  • A $20 fee will be charged for all registration changes made on a single day beginning the eighth calendar day of the quarter.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get all the same student services under the tuition exemption program?

Tuition-exempt students who register for 6 credits or less do not pay the Services and Activities Fee (SAF) and therefore are not entitled to the services or programs funded by those fees. Nor are they eligible to purchase tickets at student rates for athletic, performing arts, or other events funded by SAF. However, tuition-exempt students who do register in excess of 6 credits must pay the SAF and may use SAF-funded services. For a full list of services and programs funded by SAF, please visit the Services and Activities Fee Committee website.

Note: a U-PASS is no longer included as a service with SAF.

Can I use the libraries?

All tuition exempt students may use the libraries with their Husky Card (faculty/staff identification card). Participating Washington State employees may obtain ID cards for library services from the Husky Card Services Center in 014 Odegaard.

Can I buy a U-PASS?

Tuition-exempt students are not automatically billed for the U-PASS Program with their tuition or student services fees. All tuition-exempt students, including non-UW employees, are eligible to purchase a U-PASS from the Transportation Services Office at the employee rate. It is not refundable and not pro-rated. For more information about the U-PASS program and other commuting options, please contact Transportation Services.

How do job related taxes work? Who does this apply to?

Student Fiscal Services monitors the tuition exemption total for each employee student and calculates the tax amount for those who owe tax. For detailed information regarding the tuition exemption tax issues, please go to the Student Tax website. According to the University of Washington’s policy for Internal Revenue Code section 127 tax plan, an employee taking graduate level, non-job-related classes is entitled to a tuition exemption up to $5,250 in a year without tax withholding. Amounts in excess of this limit are subject to a 25% federal income tax, plus 7.6% for Social Security and Medicare Tax. For answers to tax related questions please contact taxquest@uw.edu.