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Tuition/Fee Reimbursement Procedure - 63.07.13

College Policy Number/Title:

Full- and part-time budgeted and temporary with benefits employees of Howard Community College (HCC) are eligible for tuition reimbursement for courses offered by an accredited or professionally recognized educational institution other than HCC according to established priorities and within available resources. Qualified dependents and spouses of full- and part-time, budgeted and temporary with benefits employees will be eligible for deferral/reimbursement for any courses successfully completed at Howard Community College according to established priorities and within available resources. If a full- or part-time, budgeted or temporary with benefits employee passes away, their spouse and dependents may be eligible for deferral/reimbursement. See Internal Revenue Service guidelines for clarification on dependent status.

Adjunct faculty may also be eligible for limited tuition reimbursement, see procedure 63.07.15, Adjunct Faculty Reimbursement. Criteria and application forms are available in the office of the vice president of academic affairs.

For information on tuition waivers for budgeted and temporary with benefits HCC employees who take courses at HCC, please reference procedure 63.07.14, Tuition Waiver.

CRITERIA

  1. In instances where a full- or part-time, budgeted and temporary with benefits employee receives full or partial tuition support in the form of a grant or scholarship, the financial aid will be applied first, with tuition reimbursement defraying only those costs not covered by such arrangements and in accordance with the criteria listed in this procedure.
  2. Employees will not be allowed to take courses during their regular working hours unless they are on an approved sabbatical, administrative, or other leave.
  3. Tuition reimbursement approval must be obtained prior to registering for a course or program. Forms are available on the portal (myHCC) and in the office of human resources.
  4. Tuition reimbursement is for courses offered by an accredited or professionally recognized institution. Job-related workshops, seminars, certificate programs for which credits are not awarded, special supervised training sessions, etc. will not be funded under the tuition reimbursement program. Participation in such activities must be approved by an employee's supervisor and budgeted for in the department’s cost center.
  5. Employees must be employed at the college through successful completion of the course; employees who leave the college prior to completion will not be eligible for reimbursement, and will be responsible for the full cost of the course(s).

Successful completion is required for reimbursement. Successful completion is defined as a passing grade in a credit course, and a certificate or letter of completion in a noncredit course. Auditing a course is not considered successful completion unless the student has completed all course requirements as certified by a letter from the instructor.

PROCESS

All full- and part-time, budgeted and temporary with benefits employees or their dependents or spouses must complete a tuition reimburse­ment form. The employee must obtain the approval of the employee’s immediate supervisors prior to registration if the course is for the employee.

  1. a) Employee: The approved tuition waiver/fee reimbursement request form should be submitted to human resources, along with a completed tax determination form, prior to registration in the course or

b) Dependent: The tuition deferral/reimbursement request form should be submitted to human resources along with a completed tax determination form prior to registration in the course.

  1. The employee or dependent or spouse may then register for the course and submit a copy of the course registration and receipt for any fees or tuition that has been paid in advance.
  2. Upon completion of the course, employees or their dependents or spouses are to submit a completion certificate, final grade or statement of completion from their instructor to human resources.

PRIORITY 1 – College Employees (Courses that are Job, Career, or Degree Related)

Tuition Reimbursement
The first priority is to provide tuition reimbursement up to $3,500 per fiscal year for full-time and $1,750 for part-time, budgeted and temporary with benefits employees who request to take courses at another college or university. The courses must be: job-related, career-related, wellness-related, or required as part of a degree program. The college reserves the right to reject applications for courses that will not benefit the college.

Fee Reimbursement
The first priority also includes fee reimbursement for: (1) courses taken by employees at HCC that are job-, career-, or degree- related or taken as part of the wellness program and (2) course fees only for courses taken at another college or university that are job-, career- or degree-related. For courses taken at Howard Community College, which are job-, career-, or degree- related, employees may request to have fees deferred, provided the employee agrees to pay the fees if the course is not completed successfully. Employees must agree to have an automatic payroll deduction if it is necessary to refund the fees. Paperwork to request the fee deferral is available on the portal (myHCC) or in the office of human resources.

PRIORITY 2 – College Employees (Courses that are not Job, Career, or Degree Related)

The second priority is to provide 50 percent tuition reimbursement per fiscal year for full-time and part-time, budgeted employees who request to take courses at another college or university that are not job-, career-, or degree- related. Course-related fees may also be reimbursed to employees, up to 50 percent for Priority 2 courses.

PRIORITY 3 – Family Members Taking Courses at HCC

The third priority is to provide tuition deferral/reimbursement for courses taken at HCC by a budgeted, temporary with benefits and deceased employee’s spouse and dependents. Tuition deferral/reimbursement for the spouse of a deceased employee would expire at the end of seven years following the death of the employee. Tuition deferral/reimbursement for a dependent child of a deceased employee would expire at the end of the year in which the dependent child reaches their 23rd birthday.

The college caps tuition costs at the 15 credit level per semester. Therefore, if a budgeted or temporary with benefits employee’s family member takes and successfully completes 15 or more credits in a single semester no additional charges will be assessed for that semester or counted against the employee’s allotment.

Priority 3: Full-time

For full-time budgeted, temporary with benefits, and spouse or dependents of deceased employees, tuition will be deferred/reimbursed for up to 20 credits per fiscal year, per family member, without any reduction in the employee’s $3,500 allotment for his/her own tuition reimbursement. Tuition for the 20 credits may be deferred in advance of the class rather than reimbursed afterwards; however, the employee, the deceased employee’s spouse or guardian of the dependent of the deceased employee will need to sign an agreement promising to pay the tuition if the class is not completed successfully or the employee separates from the college prior to the end of the class.

Employees may also be granted reimbursement for tuition costs for a family member beyond the initial 20 credits taken in a fiscal year or for any noncredit classes; however, these tuition costs are deducted from the employee’s $3,500 allotment. Any remaining tuition charges beyond the initial 20 credits and the reimbursement dollar allotment must be paid out-of-pocket.

Priority 3: Part-time

For part-time budgeted, employees, tuition will be deferred/reimbursed for up to 10 credits per fiscal year, per family member, without any reduction in the employee’s $1,750 allotment for his/her own tuition reimbursement. Tuition for the 10 credits may be deferred in advance of the class rather than reimbursed afterwards; however, the employee, the deceased employee’s spouse or guardian of the dependent of the deceased employee will need to sign an agreement promising to pay the tuition if the class is not completed successfully or the employee separates from the college prior to the end of the class.

Employees may also be granted reimbursement for tuition costs for a family member beyond the initial 10 credits taken in a fiscal year or for any noncredit classes; however, these tuition costs are deducted from the employee’s $1,750 allotment. Any remaining tuition charges beyond the initial 10 credits and the reimbursement dollar allotment must be paid out-of-pocket.

Courses through Continuing Education, Eligible Youth Programs, and The Music Institute

For full- or part-time budgeted, temporary with benefits, and spouse/dependents of deceased employees taking courses through continuing education and workforce development it should be noted that there are some noncredit classes, for example those denoted with XE in the continuing education catalog, that are not eligible for tuition waiver, but are eligible for tuition reimbursement. Employees, spouse of deceased and all dependents and/or dependents of deceased employees who enroll in these courses and all those through The Music Institute and eligible youth programs, the tuition must be paid at the time of registration and will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the course. Associated fees for these courses are also eligible for tuition reimbursement.

To be eligible for reimbursement for a course in this category, the employee should submit proof of completion of at least 50 percent of the course in the form of: final grade report, confirmation email from instructor, or completion certificate, to human resources to complete the reimbursement process for distribution.

In a period of retrenchment, the president may override these priorities in favor of retraining individuals subject to reduction in force.

Effective Date: 06/04/21 (retroactive to 07/01/20)

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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