Tuition Exemption for State Employees

Eligible University and state of Washington employees may enroll for and receive a tuition exemption for up to six credits each quarter, provided they enroll on a space-available basis. Eligible students are allowed to enroll for more than six credits and will be charged tuition accordingly for the additional credits. Tuition-exempt students may register beginning the third day of the quarter (UW staff and faculty) or the fourth day of the quarter (all others). Any credits in excess of six are subject to the same "space available" registration dates.

Space-availability applies to degree programs as well as courses, and fully enrolled programs may not have space to accommodate students using the tuition exemption.

The deadline for submitting appropriate tuition exemption paperwork is two weeks prior to the first day of the quarter. The exact date is published online in the Registration Guide. Paperwork may be submitted beginning the third week of the quarter prior to the quarter of enrollment. All students participating in the tuition-exemption program will be assessed a quarterly $30 registration fee and must pay other applicable fees, including the technology fee.

Who is Eligible?

  • University of Washington employees: Permanent classified or contract classified staff who are employed half time or more with six months or more of continuous service prior to the first day of the quarter and faculty/professional staff employed half time or more on the first day of the quarter.
  • State of Washington employees:  Permanent classified or contract employees who are employed half-time or more.
  • Technical college employees: A permanent classified or exempt paraprofessional employees of a technical college employed half-time or more.
  • Employees of state institutions of higher education other than the University of Washington: A non-academic employee or member of the faculty or instructional staff employed half-time or more.

Eligible state employees must hold this status on the day the exemption form is approved, and must be in that status on the first day of the quarter for which the tuition-exemption is granted. The university's tuition-exemption program does not cover English 100, 101, 102, Math 098, UW Extension or Distance Learning courses, graduate level independent study courses numbered 600, 700, and 800, or any fee-based courses. Other exclusions are independent study, thesis, dissertation, research, internships, tutorials, private lessons, culminating projects or practicums. In addition, certain state funded courses or programs may be excluded from the tuition exemption program on the basis of academic or fiscal consideration.

Admission Status

Individuals who wish to participate in the tuition-exemption program must also apply for admission to the University of Washington Tacoma. Applicants are subject to the same priority application dates as other new students. Individuals wishing to apply as a matriculated student, non-matriculated, or as a graduate non-matriculated student should contact the specific UW Tacoma program office for details regarding the application process and space availability in the program. New non-matriculated students should submit an application for admission to the Office of Admissions.

Because tuition-exempt paperwork must be submitted two weeks prior to the start of the quarter, new applicants are encouraged to submit their exemption paperwork regardless of their pending application status.

Program participants who are former UW Tacoma students returning in the same classification or as non-matriculated students should submit their application for admission to the Office of Admissions.

Registration & Fees

The Tuition Exemption form must be complete, including required signatures and verification of employment, or it will be returned to you. Paperwork that has been returned must be completed by the same deadline.

Actual registration for courses begins on My UW on or after the appropriate eligibility dates. A $25 late fee will be assessed if you initially register after the first day of the quarter. Under the tuition exemption program you must also pay the quarterly Technology Fee. You will be billed these fees, and any other applicable fees, plus the $30 tuition exemption registration fee once you have registered for a course.

With the the instructor's permission, state employees planning to register on a space-available basis may begin attending classes the first day of the quarter, if space is available. Registration, however, will not be permitted until the assigned space-available registration day. Students may not register in advance of their assigned date. Students who do register for any classes in advance of this date will not be allowed to convert to tuition-exempt status and will be required to pay regular tuition for the quarter.

UW faculty/staff ID cards may be used for library services. Participating state of Washington employees may obtain student ID cards for library services from the Office of the Registrar in MAT 253.

Note: UW employees pursuing graduate programs or graduate-level coursework claim the amount of the quarterly exemption as income on their federal income tax return unless the supervisor has certified that the program or coursework is job-related. If it is determined that the course is not job-related, the value of the exemption will be considered income and subject to withholding.