May 25, 2024  
ACE Employee Handbook 2022 
ACE Employee Handbook 2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education Assistance: ACE Tuition Reimbursement

American College of Education recognizes the need and desire to continue professional development and education. The Education Assistance Program encourages and supports employees who want to further their knowledge, skills, and job effectiveness through higher education.

As a member of the ACE community, you have the opportunity to apply to be a student in a degree program at ACE or receive tuition reimbursement from external accredited colleges and universities. 

The policies found here contain all the details including definitions of those who are eligible for the benefits, as well as the approval process. The administration of tuition reduction benefits is the responsibility of the Finance Office in coordination with the Human Resources Department.  Participation in the Education Assistance Program does not affect the employee’s status as an “At Will” employee (employment is for an undefined period and is terminable at will be either the employer or employee with or without cause).

ACE Tuition Reimbursement Policy:

January 1, 2018

American College of Education (“ACE”)

Policy Regarding Employees and Core Faculty members requesting reimbursement of tuition expenses from an external, accredited college or university.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Overview:

    1. Full-time employees who have worked at least six (6) months at ACE are eligible to apply for reimbursement of tuition from an accredited college or university up to $5,000 per calendar year if the coursework benefits both the employee and ACE.  All tuition reimbursement benefits will adhere to IRS regulations. See Taxable Benefit Guidelines for additional information.
  2. Definitions

  1. ES (Employee Student): Full-time Employee who is approved for tuition reimbursement benefits.
  2. Staff or Faculty Member: Any full-time.
  3. Supervisor: The ACE supervisor of Staff or Faculty Member who is seeking to be an ES.

III. Pre-approval for tuition reimbursement benefit:

Prospective ES must complete the following to be considered for reimbursement.

  1. Staff or Faculty Member must be meeting performance expectations of his or her current position, and not have been on a performance improvement plan for 12 consecutive months. 
  2. Staff or Faculty Member must complete the mandatory Education Assistance Program course in Canvas.  Screenshot of completion must be sent to [email protected].
  3. Staff or Faculty Member must complete the Pre-Approval Request for Tuition Reimbursement form, obtain supervisor approval, and submit to [email protected].

IV.  Approval for tuition reimbursement benefit:

Once approved and course(s) have been completed, the ES must complete the following within 60 days of course completion in order to be reimbursed.

  1. Complete the Request of Education Assistance Reimbursement form and submit to [email protected].
  2. Attach the necessary documentation of grades and tuition payment from the accredited institution.  Acceptable forms of documentation include grade transcripts and an itemized statement of account.
    • Must earn a grade of A, B, or C to receive reimbursement.
    • Must show proof of tuition payment.  Expenses outside of tuition, such as fees, books, travel, etc. are NOT eligible for reimbursement.

V.  Taxable Benefit Guidelines:

IRS Section 117 regulations allow for preferential tax treatment for under­graduate-level courses. Undergraduate Tuition Benefit amounts are excluded from the employee’s taxable income.

Tuition benefits will be awarded based on the number of registered credit hours for the term enrolled. The tuition benefit for undergraduate coursework is not taxable to the employee under I.R.C. section 117 (d).

Note: Recipients of tuition benefits for undergraduate studies should consult their tax advisor as to the applicability of federal and state income taxes.

IRS Section 127 allows for the preferential tax treatment of up to $5,250 annually for employee subsidies received/paid toward graduate level tuition. Graduate level tuition subsidies for an employee above the $5,250 IRS annual limit are treated as taxable income to the employee.

Tuition benefits will be awarded based on the number of registered credit hours for the term enrolled. The tuition benefit for an employee for graduate level coursework is not taxable up to $5,250 per calendar year under I.R.C. section 127.

Note: Recipients of tuition benefits for graduate studies should consult their tax advisor as to the applicability of federal and state income taxes.

In accordance with IRS regulations, applicable taxes will be withheld from the employee’s pay at the employee’s normal rate for income and FICA taxes. The employee’s pay notice will include reference to the amount of Tuition Benefit included as taxable income.

To the extent that the Tuition Benefit is taxable under IRS regulations, the Tuition Benefit will be added to the employee’s taxable income during or after the payroll cycle following the reimbursement. 

VI.  Other Terms:

  1. Administration of tuition reimbursement benefit is the responsibility of the Finance Office in coordination with the Human Resources department.
  2. The ES must adhere to ACE’s policy concerning Conflict of Interest when enrolled in academic offerings of any kind.
  3. Tuition reimbursement will not exceed $5,000 per calendar year for any ES. 
  4. The ES tuition reimbursement ends upon the Employee’s or Faculty Member’s (as applicable) separation from employment with ACE. The Employee or Faculty Member (as applicable) must be employed on the day the ES requests reimbursement.
  5. The ES must remain an employee at ACE for 12 months following the final reimbursement payment unless involuntarily terminated.  Voluntary separation from the college within 12 months of reimbursement will result in the ES repaying any tuition reimbursements received during the previous 12 months.  
  6. Payment of the tuition reimbursement is dependent on the recipient being a student in good standing and a grade of A, B, or C in all courses.
  7. The ES is responsible for any tax liability or reporting requirements with respect to the tuition benefits described in the Taxable Benefits Guidelines section.
  8. This program is reviewed annually by the President and the executive team; restrictions such as number of recipients who can be enrolled at any one time may be instituted by the President and the executive team at their discretion.
  9. In no event shall a participant be entitled to receive any benefits under this plan in lieu of cash or any other taxable compensation that he or she might otherwise be entitled to receive from ACE.