Office of the University Registrar

State Employee Tuition Exemption

The State Employee Tuition Exemption Program is one of the most valuable benefits offered to Washington State employees, covering up to 6 credits of qualifying coursework per quarter on a space-available basis.

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.

All quarterly application, registration, and payment dates referenced herein are based on the Academic Calendar.

Tuition Exemption at UW Seattle

The information on this page applies to state employees enrolling and registering for courses at the UW Seattle campus only.

Tuition Exemption at Other UW Campuses

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

Tuition Exemption at Non-UW Campuses

The Professional Organizational Development (POD) office assists UW staff and faculty who intend to enroll at other participating colleges or universities. Additional information can be found at Tuition Exemption webpage.

Tuition Exemption Eligibility

The Office of the University Registrar cannot determine an employees’ eligibility to participate in tuition exemption program. For UW staff and faculty with questions about if your position is eligible to participate in the tuition exemption program, please contact POD at and include your Employee ID number and quarter you wish to attend.

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

Fixed duration Classified staff project appointments are not eligible for the program, nor are most hourly employees (exceptions noted above). Spouses and dependents of UW employees are not eligible.

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
Non-UW state employees must contact their respective human resources office to determine eligibility and requirements for participating in the tuition exemption program.

Obtaining Student Status

The first step to being a tuition-exempt student at the University of Washington is to decide the appropriate student status and how to apply for that status. The types of student statuses at UW and their contact information are provided below. 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

Employees who intend to enroll as an undergraduate student or Postbaccalaureate (Fifth Year student) must apply to a program through the UW Office of Admissions. For additional information please call 206-543-9686 or visit their office at 301 Schmitz Hall.

Returning Undergraduate or Postbac students: After taking off two consecutive quarters or more (not including Summer quarter), students must follow the Returning Student Process and submit a Returning Student Form.

Graduate Student

Employees who intend to enroll as a graduate student must contact the specific Graduate Program 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

Employees who intend to apply as a first time or returning non-matriculated (not seeking a degree) student under the tuition exemption program must complete the online Non-Matriculated Application for tuition exemption. There is an $80 non-refundable application fee.

  • Please Note: Non-matriculated students may take undergraduate and graduate level courses. However, graduate level courses cannot be counted toward a graduate degree at UW.
  • Taking off two consecutive quarters or more (not including Summer quarter), requires the student to submit an additional Non-Matriculated Tuition Exemption Application.
    • Please be sure to complete and submit the Non-Matriculated for Tuition Exemption Application – not the Returning Student Form. Employees who have already graduated from or who have never attended UW in a matriculated student status should not complete the Returning Student Process.

Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) Student

Employees who intend to enroll as a GNM student must contact the specific Graduate Program for advising and to determine if the program accepts GNM applications or is eligible for tuition exemption.

To apply as a GNM student, submit a Graduate Non-Matriculated application. Continuous enrollment is required of Graduate students in order to maintain student status.

Returning Student

Employees who have previously attended the University of Washington as an undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or professional student that have not completed a degree, and are seeking to return to the same student status, must complete the Returning Student Process. This requires an $80 non-refundable enrollment confirmation fee. Do not complete the Returning Student Form if you have already completed a Bachelor’s degree program at UW.
Employees who have never attended the University of Washington should not complete the Returning Student Form.

  • Students returning to a graduate program or as a GNM must contact Graduate Admissions.
  • Students returning to non-matriculated status must complete the NM application.

Tuition Exemption Forms and Instructions

The second step is to submit the correct Tuition Exemption Request form.



  • Quarterly registration: Students must complete and submit their respective Tuition Exemption Request Form every quarter they intend to register for courses.
  • Employee and supervisor signatures are required in order to process the tuition exemption request.
  • UW Employees only: The Employee Identification Number (EID) is required in order to process the request.
  • Non-matriculated and undergraduate students must complete the top portion of the form only.
  • Graduate, post bac, and GNM students must complete the bottom portion of the form. (Please review job related taxes FAQ.)
  • Application Deadline: Completed forms must be submitted no later than two (2) weeks or ten (10) business days before the first day of the quarter.
  • Late Applications: Forms submitted after the deadline date are considered late. Students may have one late submission only; after which tuition exemption forms cannot be accepted.
In Person Email Fax
2nd Floor Schmitz Hall 206-616-3222

Registering for Classes

The third step, once an employee has obtained student status and submitted a tuition exemption form, is to log into MyUW and register for courses on the appropriate 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. Review the registration resources for additional information.

Registration Eligibility Dates

  • All UW employees register on the 3rd day of the quarter
  • All non-UW Washington state employees register on the 4th day of the 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. Course Adds are not 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 the following exceptions.

Courses Not Covered by Tuition Exemption

All fee-based sections, fee-based degree and certificate programs offered through the UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) are not covered by tuition exemption. Additional information can be found via Fee-Based programs FAQs.

Tuition exemption program does NOT cover:

  • ENGL 100 through 105
  • MATH 098
  • All NCLIN-prefix courses
  • NMETH 598, 600, 700, 800, 801
  • NURS 499, 599
  • All independent study, thesis, dissertation, research internships, tutorials, private lessons, or practicum courses
  • All self-sustaining or fee-based courses
  • UW Online or Distance Learning courses
  • 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 financial aid information from the College of Education
  • 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 financial aid 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.


Registration & Student Fees

Students may check their UW account balance after registering for classes by logging into MyUW.

  • Students will be billed a $30 non-refundable registration fee and any additional tuition for credits over 6.
  • Students will be billed the quarterly Student Technology Fee.
  • 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.
  • Tuition and fees are typically due on the 3rd Friday 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