Education Benefits

UVA Education Benefits Program


UVA encourages our employees to be lifelong learners who expand their knowledge through education. The University’s Cornerstone Plan guides us to “invest in employees to foster a culture of excellence and achievement." The Education Benefits Program puts those beliefs into practice to help you reach your educational and professional goals. As a Medical Center team member, you can earn a degree, take a review course for professional certification, or earn a professional certification from an accredited institution. As an Academic Division employee, you can earn a degree or professional certificate from an accredited institution, take continuing education courses, and/or attend a conference related to your work. UPG employees are encouraged to become more proficient in their occupation and professions by advancing their education in areas that have a vocational relationship to their current or future roles at UPG. Education benefits enable you to accomplish this by providing financial support.

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What are Education Benefits?

Academic Division

To increase the career building opportunities available to employees at the University of Virginia, enhance the performance of staff members and their units, and encourage professional growth, the University offers an Education Benefit that includes two components:

  • Tuition
  • Professional Development

These are two separate offerings with different requirements and financial amounts. In addition, departments may choose to offer additional education benefits through departmental funding.

Education Benefits are paid through your paycheck within two pay periods from the date of approval. Employees are encouraged to submit requests far enough in advance to obtain approval prior to registering for courses.

Medical Center

To recruit, develop, engage, and retain a quality workforce requires investment in the ongoing career and educational goals of employees. The Medical Center provides centrally funded Education Assistance for professional credentialing certification and academic coursework that includes two components:

  • Centrally Funded Tuition Assistance - for courses earning college credit taken towards a degree
  • Centrally Funded Professional Credentialing Certification - for job-related credentialing certifications, or eligible courses (English as a Second Language - ESL, literacy and related classes, LEAN or other related classes, or review course for a professional credentialing certification that is of value/benefit to the Medical Center)

These are two separate offerings with different requirements and financial amounts. In addition, departments may choose to offer additional education benefits through departmental funding:

  • Departmental funding - for courses or educational activities agreed upon by you and your department. These may be expenses for either tuition or professional credentialing certification assistance that are ineligible, or funding beyond the $5,250 that is allotted for you from UVA. Departmental funding varies according to availability of a funding source to support team member education opportunities.

Education Assistance is paid through your paycheck within two pay periods from the date of approval. Employees are encouraged to submit requests far enough in advance to obtain approval prior to registering for courses.

Watch this short video to learn about the 2023 changes to your education benefit.

Medical Center Team Members, Come Meet with Us in Person!

Come to one of the Education Benefit Labs offered at UVA Human Resources and Medical Center Dining Conference Room in January to see a walkthrough of the new education benefit process. Dates for the labs are:

January 4, 2023

COMPLETE - Come to the January 19 Lab ----->

January 5, 2023

COMPLETE - Come to the January 19 Lab ----->

January 19, 2023

UVA Health Dining, Conference Rm 3, 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Eligibility

  • Academic Division Employees (includes UVA Wise, SOM, and SON)

    Personal Eligibility

    • Be a full-time or part-time (20+ hours) benefits-eligible employee (Classified Staff, University Staff, Faculty, and Professional Research Staff).
    • Have had six months of service in a benefits-eligible position at UVA by the start date of the class, with the intent to remain on the active payroll during the entire term of the class. Eligible service time for this benefit does not include employment at previous state agencies, temp, or wage employment.

    Temporary, wage, and other non-benefited employees are ineligible for the Education Benefit.

    If attending a conference or event, you must receive CEUs, certification credits, or the conference must be directly related to your current position at UVA.

    Course/Conference Eligibility

    A course/conference is eligible if it meets at least one of the following criteria:

    • Enrollment fees for a conference that is directly related to your position at UVA (Professional Development)
    • Courses which earn CEUs, or are job-related (Professional Development)
    • For-credit courses, working towards a degree or certificate program at an accredited institution (Tuition)

    Non-eligible programs or expenses include:

    • Subscriptions to learning services/sites (exceptions: 1-sites that earn CEU’s and/or credit toward professional certifications, 2- CBT Nuggets, Code Academy, and Pluralsight for ITS employees)
    • Books
    • Certification exams (exception - initial exam for a job-related professional certification)
    • Course materials
    • Food
    • Games
    • Hobbies
    • Lodging
    • Management/leadership development programs
    • Personal enrichment courses
    • Private consultant refresher courses to take examinations
    • Seminars
    • Special examinations for admission to degree programs
    • Sports
    • Travel
    • Workshop
    • Courses related to mindfulness, yoga, and other similar-related topics could be supported by Hoos Well or other vendors
  • Medical Center Team Members

    Personal Eligibility

    • Full or part-time employees (20+ hours/week), flex staff, and management team members who have completed six consecutive months of employment with the Medical Center or Academic Division prior to the beginning of their course
      • Includes prior employment at the University or affiliated Health System employer (e.g., Novant, Community Health, etc.)
      • Does not include employment at previous state agencies 
    • In good standing at the time the tuition assistance or professional credentialing certification request is submitted
    • RN Clinician I -  eligible on day one of hire
    • Temporary, wage, and other non-benefited employees are not eligible
    • Housestaff are ineligible

    Course Eligibility

    A course is eligible if it meets at least one of the following criteria:

    • Academic credit course offered by an accredited school (Visit the U.S. Dept. of Education for resources about accreditation) leading to an Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral degree.
    • English as a Second Language (ESL), literacy and related classes.
    • LEAN and related classes.
    • Eligible courses taken for a grade or credit must be completed with a grade of C- or better for undergraduate courses or a B- or better for graduate courses. Documentation of "pass" is required for non-graded courses.

    Non-eligible programs or expenses include but are not limited to:

    • CEU fees, personal enrichment courses, sports, games, hobbies, workshops, seminars, management development programs, special examinations for admission to degree programs, private consultant refresher courses to take examinations, and admission examinations
    • Courses related to mindfulness, yoga, and other similar-related courses (should be supported through Hoos Well or other vendors)
    • License and/or professional memberships
    • Subscription fees to learning sites 
    • Books, materials, travel and lodging and food

    Professional Credentialing Certification Eligibility

    Professional Credentialing Certification is eligible for education assistance if:

    • The credentialing certification or review course for professional credentialing certification is job related and of value/benefit to the Medical Center
    • Confirmation of mastery or competency must be awarded by a third party, standard-setting organization (e.g. ANA, AMA, AAP, etc.) which results from an assessment process with ongoing requirements to maintain credentialing certification (ex. Certification in Critical Care Nursing CCRN) 

    Additional courses eligible under Professional Credentialing Certification:

    • English as a Second Language, literacy, and related classes
    • LEAN (or other similar programs) that benefit the Medical Center
    • Review course for professional credentialing certification that is of value/benefit to the Medical Center as determined by the department

    Non-eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

    • Professional development programs that are not position required
    • Credentialing certifications that are not related to current job, and do not benefit the Medical Center
    • Conferences, personal enrichment courses, sports, games, hobbies, workshops, seminars, management/leadership development programs or courses, special examinations for admission to degree programs, private consultant refresher courses to take examinations and admission examinations
    • License and/or professional memberships
    • Subscription fees to learning sites 
    • Books, materials, travel and lodging and food

Benefit Levels

  • Academic Division Employees

    The program offers two options - Tuition Benefit or Professional Development Benefit, described below. 

    A maximum of $5,250 is available for use between the two benefits per calendar year.

    Tuition Benefit

    The Tuition Benefit is applied to for-credit coursework toward a degree or academic certificate program. Coursework must be completed at an accredited educational provider (see "How To Apply" section below for list of accredited schools). Tuition is calculated using in-state tuition rates (where applicable), regardless of your residency status, and is based on the current tuition rate at the time of your request.

    Up to the full $5,250 may be used for tuition toward a degree seeking program.

    Professional Development Benefit

    The Professional Development Benefit is available for use on job or career-growth offerings relevant to your current job. The offerings must be provided or sponsored by a recognized provider of professional development experiences.

    Up to $2,000 may be used for professional development, including classes, certification training, and conferences. This leaves $3,250 to be used toward the Tuition Benefit if you also choose to pursue a degree or certificate program.

    Departments may choose to offer additional educational benefits through departmental funding. With approval, you would submit the School/Unit/Department funding request and provide both the PTAO of the School/Unit/Department and your supervisor's computing ID.

    Requests can only be approved within a quarter of the start date (ex: January requests can cover course start dates from Oct of the previous year to April of the current year).

    Ed Benefits chart

    1. Itemized invoice and proof of payment required
    2. Proof of passing grade required within 30 days of completion
    3. Proof of certificate required within 30 days of completion
    4. Proof of attendance required within 30 days of completion
    5. Proof of completion required within 30 days of completion
    6. Written statement explaining job relation required
  • Medical Center Team Members

    The amount of the benefit is calculated based on credentialing certification fees and tuition only. Other fees and expenses are not covered under this program (student activity, library fee, etc.). Tuition is calculated using the in-state tuition rate (where applicable), regardless of the residency status of the employee, and is based on the current tuition rate at the time of the request. 

    Course Benefit

    • Team Members receive up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses.
    • Tuition Assistance for eligible courses applies to tuition and the fees associated with the academic coursework (e.g. technology fees, lab fees, supplemental/differential charges for tuition, online course fees, etc.).

    Certification Benefit

    • Benefits are also available for approved professional credentialing certification expenses, for up to $375 per year beyond the $5,250 course benefit. Benefits over the $5,250 threshold will be subject to taxation.

    Benefit Payment

    • Funding for tuition or professional certification can be provided EITHER as advance funding OR as a reimbursement after successful completion of the course or professional credentialing certification. 
    • Non-education related fees (e.g. student activity fees), fees that support programs outside of the classroom, and expenditures for books are not eligible. 
    • Team Members may also receive professional development funding, when available, from their department for non-credit courses or professional conference expenses that are not covered under the Medical Center Educational Assistance Program document. 

    Professional development activities consisting of other educational activities or programs not resulting in academic credit or credentialing certification, such as conferences, professional association programs, training programs, and non-credit continuing education programs are not covered under this program, but may be funded by your unit or department.

    Watch this short video to learn about the 2023 changes to your education benefit.

  • UVA Physicians Group

    It is the policy of the UVA Physicians Group (“UPG”) to encourage employees to become more proficient in their occupation and professions by advancing their education in areas that have a vocational relationship to their current or future roles at UPG.
     
    To access UPG’s Continuing Education Policy, and reimbursement information, please visit Continuing Education and Training v.1 (policytech.com).  You must be on a UPG issued computer to access.

How to Apply

  • Academic Division Employees

    To apply for the benefit, submit an Employee Request in Workday. Use the Job Aids below for detailed instructions.

    Job Aids

    • Please refer to this Job Aid for team members.
    • Managers may refer to this Job Aid for assistance.

    These are temporary job aids. Workday Digital Assist (WDA) is the primary support tool for Workday and provides detailed just-in-time guidance and step-by-step instructions to help complete tasks. We highly
    recommend that you click the “need help” button in Workday to use (WDA) instead of using the job aids. To learn how Workday WDA works, watch this short video.

    To check if an educational institution is accredited, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s list of accredited schools.

    For information about possible fee waivers for employees who take classes at UVA, go to Financial Services Fee Waiver for Employees at Student Financial Services (determination of possible fee waiver is made by SFS).

    IMPORTANT

    The benefit maximum will be based on the calendar year in which the payment is made.

  • Medical Center Team Members

    To apply for the benefit, submit an Employee Request in Workday. Use the Job Aids below for detailed instructions.

    Job Aids

    • Please refer to this Job Aid for team members.
    • Managers may refer to this Job Aid for assistance.

    These are temporary job aids. Workday Digital Assist (WDA) is the primary support tool for Workday and provides detailed just-in-time guidance and step-by-step instructions to help complete tasks. We highly
    recommend that you click the “need help” button in Workday to use (WDA) instead of using the job aids. To learn how Workday WDA works, watch this short video.

    IMPORTANT

    The benefit maximum will be based on the calendar year in which the payment is made.

Additional Details and Information

Here is helpful information for employees and team members interested in using education benefits. 

  • Potential Taxation of Education Benefit

    If you receive over the IRS limit of $5,250 for education costs within the year, the excess is considered taxable income to you and appropriate taxes (federal, social security, medicare and state tax, if applicable) will be withheld at the point in time in which you exceed that amount.

    The amount credited to your annual benefit allotment is based on the year the reimbursement is paid. Examples: 

    • An employee requests a $1,500 tuition benefit in November 2023 for classes that begin in January 2024. The $1,500 is paid in 2023 and accrues in the 2023 calendar year.
    • An employee requests a $1,500 tuition benefit in January 2024 for classes that began in December 2023. The $1,500 is paid in 2024 and accrues in the 2024 calendar year.
  • Work Schedule Accommodation

    Academic Division Employees

    You should plan to take courses scheduled at times that will not require absence from work during your regular work hours. Check with your supervisor prior to registration to determine if your supervisor can approve a work accommodation request.

    The decision to grant a work accommodation for the Education Benefit is discretionary with your School/Unit/Department supervisor, and is based on your supervisor's assessment of a number of factors, including anticipated needs of your unit, available resources, and your motivation and potential. Supervisors are encouraged to make a reasonable effort to find an appropriate work schedule accommodation.

    Work time off to attend classes is permitted on Sponsored Projects.

    Several types of work schedule accommodations are possible, including:

    • Revised work schedule
    • Excused absence with use of leave time
    • Release time with pay

    Medical Center Team Members

    Your manager is responsible for determining if the credit load and/or eligible course schedule requested will interfere with your work commitment or performance. If you are a part-time employee, you must take classes outside of your regular work schedule.

  • Payment Process

    Academic Division Employees

    Funds will be deposited through your payroll. This may take up to two full pay cycles.

    You are required to provide an itemized invoice, proof of payment, and proof of completion/attendance are required within 30 days of completion and should be uploaded together in Workday as one document. Providing documentation is an IRS requirement. You must submit the following proof of completion:

    Ed Benefits chart

    If you leave the University before successfully completing the course, or before reimbursing any amounts owing under this policy, or you do not register for or you stop attending a course for which you have received an education benefits disbursement, you are responsible for immediate repayment of the full amount of the benefit disbursement.

    Medical Center Team Members

    Request for Education Assistance

    An employee who wishes to take advantage of the Education Assistance Benefit must submit the request through Employee Self-Service in Workday effective 1.1.2023.

    Requests can only be approved within a quarter of the start date (e.g. January requests can cover course start dates from October of the previous year to April of the current year). 

    Expenses that have been waived or paid through other sources such as scholarships or grants are not eligible for reimbursement.

    Payment Process

    Upon approval, funding will be deposited through the employee’s payroll on the next available pay period. Please allow up to two pay periods to receive payment. 

    In accepting Education Assistance under this program, the employee will provide (within thirty (30) days following the end of course or credentialing certification) documentation through employee self-service. This will include: 

    • An official grade report or copy of transcript (Tuition Benefit) or appropriate credentialing certification document (Professional Credentialing Certification Benefit) 
    • Itemized invoice 
    • Proof of payment (paid bill or receipt)  

    Failure to complete all documentation requirements will result in the full repayment of the benefit as a deduction from the employee’s next available paycheck. No additional benefits will be paid until all deductions have been processed. 

    Employees who leave employment at the Medical Center and are not transferring to the Academic Division will be required to repay any education assistance received within six (6) months prior to their termination. Appropriate deductions will be made to recoup the full amount of the assistance payments from the employee’s final pay. 

    If an employee does not register for, or stops attending, a course for which he or she has received an education benefits disbursement, the employee is responsible for immediate repayment of the full amount of the benefit disbursement. 

  • Nursing Scholarship Program

    The Nursing Scholarship Program is offered through the Professional Nurse Staffing Organization (PNSO). Information will be posted on the PNSO web page when the program is open for application, usually in the Spring each year.

FAQs - Eligibility

  • What are Education Benefits?

    Education benefits are central or departmental financial support for approved educational activities.

    • Central Funding for Education Benefit: Use of the annual balance of your Education Benefit for funding, and includes:
      • Academic Division 
        • Tuition funding - Courses must earn college credit and will be taken towards a degree or certificate program at an accredited university or institution.
        • Professional Development funding - Courses or conferences must be job related, career growth related, or a developmental opportunity within your current field.
      • Medical Center
        • Tuition Assistance - Courses must earn college credit and will be taken towards a degree program at an accredited university or institution.
        • Professional Credentialing Certification - Includes job-related credentialing certifications; eligible courses (English as a Second Language, literacy, and related classes); LEAN (or other similar programs) that benefit the Medical Center; or a review course for professional credentialing certification that is of value/benefit to the Medical Center.
    • Departmental Funding: Your department is paying for the course, program, or conference (funding for conferences is permitted for Academic Division only) outside of your Education Benefit limits.
  • Who is eligible?

    Academic Division: Regular full or part-time benefited employees with more than six months of service are eligible.

    Medical Center: Regular full or part-time benefited employees with more than six consecutive months of service in good standing, as well as RN Clinician 1 on day of hire, are eligible.

  • Who is not eligible?

    Academic Division

    • Temp, wage and other non-benefited employees
    • Employees with less than six months of consecutive benefited employment

    Medical Center

    • Unit-based, Medical Center pool, Housestaff, temporary, wage, and other non-benefited team members
    • Team Members with less than six months of consecutive benefited employment
       
  • What is an eligible course for tuition?

    Academic Division: To be eligible for tuition, you must be obtaining transferable college credits towards a degree or certificate program at a nationally recognized, accredited institution. These courses do not need to be related to your position at UVA.

    Medical Center: To be eligible for tuition, you must be obtaining transferable college credits towards a degree at a nationally recognized, accredited institution. These courses do not need to be related to your position at UVA.
     

  • What is eligible for professional development (Academic Division employees)?

    To be eligible for professional development, the courses or conferences must be job or career-growth related offerings relevant to your current job. 

    The offerings must be provided or sponsored by a recognized provider of professional development experiences.

    Professional development funding can also be used to fund the cost of an initial exam for a job-related professional certification.

  • What is eligible for professional credentialing certification (Medical Center team members)?

    Eligible credentialing certifications include:

    • Certifications which lead to credentialing requirements related to your current job 
    • Certifications that are provided or sponsored by a recognized provider of professional credentialing certification
    • Other eligible courses:
      • English as a Second Language, literacy, and related classes
      • LEAN (or other similar programs) that benefit the Medical Center
      • Review course for professional credentialing certification that is of value/benefit to the Medical Center as determined by the department
  • What is eligible for departmental funding?

    Individual departments can offer departmental funding for things that they deem valuable to their department. These may be ineligible expenses for either tuition or professional development or funding beyond the $5,250 that is allotted for each eligible employee from UVA central funding. Employees must submit an FDM/Cost Center from the department granting the funds in their request in Workday.

  • Why do I need an FDM/Cost Center for departmental funding?

    If you are using departmental funding, then the department has approved for you to use the funds from their department finances for their expense. The department extending this benefit must supply the FDM/Cost Center for their department for the benefit to be paid out from their fund.

  • What are considered ineligible expenses?

    Academic Division

    • Personal enrichment courses, sports, games, hobbies, workshops, seminars, management/leadership development programs or courses, special examinations for admission to degree programs, private consultant refresher courses to take examinations and admission examinations
    • Courses related to mindfulness, yoga, or other similar related courses
    • Exam fees (if not an initial exam for certification in a job-related professional organization)
    • Certification and re-certification fees, technology fees, student fees, licensure and re-licensure fees
    • Subscription fees sites (Exceptions: 1. /Sites that earn CEUs and/or credit toward professional certifications; 2. CBT Nuggets, Code Academy, and Pluralsight for ITS employees)
    • Books, materials, travel and lodging and food

    Medical Center

    • Professional development programs that are not credit-based classes working toward a degree
    • Certificate programs
    • Professional development programs that are not position-required
    • Credentialing certifications that are not related to current job and do not benefit the Medical Center
    • Conferences, personal enrichment courses, sports, games, hobbies, workshops, seminars, management/leadership development programs or courses, special examinations for admission to degree programs, private consultant refresher courses to take examinations and admission examinations
    • License and/or professional memberships
    • Subscription fees to learning sites
    • Books, materials, travel and lodging, and food
       
  • Who makes the decisions on eligible educational activities?

    HR Benefits Partners make decisions on what educational activities are eligible based on the Education Benefits Program and IRS regulations.

  • I don’t agree with my education benefits decision. What can I do?

    There is an appeals process for those that do not agree with the decision on their education benefits request. The process is located within the Education Benefits Program documentation.

FAQs - Request Education Benefits

FAQs - Documentation Requirements

  • When do I submit documentation for my education benefits?

    You will receive a task in your Workday inbox the day after your class ends. You must upload the documents within 30 days of receiving this task.

  • What documents do I have to upload to complete education benefits?

    Academic Division

    • Itemized invoice and proof of payment
    • Tuition – proof of passing grade (“C” or better)
    • Professional Development Class – proof of completion
    • Professional Development Conference – proof of attendance (thank you email, letter/email confirmation from conference, printed program, or screenshot with conference branding)

    Ed Benefits chart

    Medical Center

    • Itemized invoice and proof of payment
    • Tuition - proof of passing grade (“C-” or better for undergraduate, or a B- or better for graduate courses)
    • Professional Credentialing Certification - proof of completion and credentialing certification
  • How do I submit documentation?

    Follow the instructions in the job aid.

    Contact AskHR@virginia.edu if you need assistance.

FAQs - Funds and Payment

  • How much funding can I receive?

    Academic Division - Eligible employees are allotted $5,250 annually for education benefits ($2000 of the $5,250 can be used for professional development if the employee chooses).

    Medical Center - Eligible team members are allotted $5,250 annually for tuition assistance/job-related courses, and up to $375 for professional credentialing certifications.

  • How do I get the funds?

    Funding is dispersed through the payroll process, and you will receive the funding in your paycheck.

  • How long does it take to receive the funds?

    Please allow up to two pay periods from the approval date to receive funds in your payroll check.

  • Are the funds taxable?

    Education benefits up to $5,250 annually are not taxable.

    Taxability over $5,250 will also apply if individuals receive Medical Center scholarships (i.e., the Annual Nursing Scholarship) or departmental funding.

  • Can the funds be paid directly to a school at UVA if I am taking a course at UVA?

    No. The process must be completed through payroll, and it will be the employee’s responsibility to pay the schools.

  • Do I have to pay back the funds if I leave my position with UVA?

    Academic Division - You must remain employed by UVA through the end of your course or conference. If you leave UVA before completing their course or conference, then you will be responsible for repaying the funding amount granted for that course.

    Medical Center - You must remain employed by the UVA Medical Center for six months following receipt of Education Assistance funding. If you leave prior to the six-month requirement, then you will be responsible for repaying the funding amount granted for that course. The funding will be deducted from your final pay, as well as by collection efforts for unpaid amounts.

  • How do I repay education benefits that I didn’t use or need?

    If you receive education benefits funding and the course/conference is canceled, then you would need to repay the amount that you were granted. 

    Please send an email to AskHR@virginia.edu to make a request to return the funds to UVA. This will be completed by a payroll deduction.