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Tuition Rebate Policy

  • Related Documents:  Tuition Rebate Procedure
  • Owner:  Human Resources
  • Approver:  Vice-President, Administration and Operations
  • Approval Dates:  February 2004, August 2007


The primary objective of training and development programs and services, including tuition support, is to enhance both individual and organizational performance.  The growth and development of Ryerson employees must be achieved in the context of the University’s limitations and opportunities.

Through this policy the University is committed to:

1.    supporting employee development to ensure that employees maintain their acquired skills and occupational qualifications;

2.    providing opportunities for employees to add to and improve their skills;

3.    promoting shared accountability between Ryerson and the employee for the employee’s professional development;

4.    fiscal responsibility in supporting learning opportunities;

5.    fairness and equity in the application of employee development programs through its tuition rebate policy;

6.    ensuring that employees who receive a tuition rebate uphold the academic integrity of University programs.

This policy references other University policies and collective agreement provisions that may change from time to time. Where there is a difference between the information contained in this policy concerning eligibility, the actual collective agreement provision is the authoritative source.


The purposes of this policy are to:

1.    provide a framework by which the University will administer the Tuition Rebatepolicy to ensure consistency in the application of collective agreement provisions, and with other University policies concerning staff development;

2.    inform employees about provisions and processes for tuition rebate.


The principles and purpose of this policy apply to all Ryerson University employees.

Eligibility may vary amongst the different constituent groups, for example, MAC, OPSEU, CUPE 233. Where there are provisions in collective agreements concerning tuition rebate, this policy will reference those provisions. Where there are no collective agreement provisions that apply, this policy will detail eligibility.


For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply.

Tuition Rebate:  Reimbursement of the tuition portion of fees paid by employees to another institution for work-related or professional development courses approved by Ryerson.  It does not include fees such as ancillary fees, late fees, default fees, books, course materials and equipment.

Tuition Waiver:  An exemption of the tuition portion of fees for eligible employees and their spouse and/or dependents for approved Ryerson University courses and/or programs of study. The specific courses and/or programs that are subject to this exemption are defined in this policy or in applicable collective agreements. It does not include fees such as ancillary fees, late fees, default fees, books, course materials and equipment.

Tuition Fee: The portion of the total fee designated as tuition for attendance at a specific program, or for a specific credit or non-credit course.  It does not include fees such as ancillary fees, late fees, and default fees, books, course materials and equipment.

Academic Term: Academic term refers to terms defined by the University in its academic calendars.

Course:  Regular periods of class instruction scheduled at intervals over a substantial part of the year.

Work-Related:  Learning that enhances the knowledge and skills required for work the employee is currently doing, as outlined in the position description.  Work-related programs or learning are job specific, a bonafide requirement of the position and address the skills and competencies required to meet job expectations and the performance standards of the present position.

Professional Development:  Programs that develop professional potential and help staff to prepare for the achievement of broader professional goals within the University or learning that is indirectly related to the employee’s job as outlined in the position description or job posting.  Learning that is not a bonafide requirement of the position; for example, courses that lead to a graduate or postgraduate degree, are considered professional development. 

Spouse:  The employee’s spouse by virtue of a legal marriage, or the employee’s partner of the same or opposite sex who is publicly represented as the employee’s spouse and has been continuously so represented for at least the previous year.

Dependent:  The employee’s child at the start of the academic year provided that the child is dependent upon the employee for support and maintenance. A natural or adopted, unmarried child of the employee who is under the age of 21; or who is a full-time student and under the age of 25; or who is incapable of self-support due to mental or physical infirmity regardless of age.

Manager:  Manager refers to any individual who exercises full supervisory responsibility for an employee.  This may include executives, chairs, directors, deans, managers and supervisors, as applicable.

Department:  Department includes work unit, school or division, as applicable, unless referring to a particular department’s role.

Roles and Responsibilities


1.    Understand and apply this policy and any relevant collective agreement provisions concerning tuition rebate.

2.    Determine whether to approve or deny requests submitted for approval, and determine if the request is work-related or professional development.

3.    Identify the budget implication for the department, when managerial approval is required.

4.    Document rationale for decisions made under this policy and communicate decisions to employees and Human Resources.

Senior Director/Dean

1.    Determine whether to approve or deny requests submitted for approval, and determine if the request is work-related or professional development.

2.    Identify budget requirements/implications, where specific entitlement requires senior director’s/dean’s approval.


1.    Respect and adhere to the academic regulations applicable to students at the institution they are attending.

2.    Follow Ryerson’s process for applying for a tuition rebate.  For example, an employee must apply for a tuition rebate prior to registering in a course or program.

3.    Pay any additional costs not covered by tuition rebate. For example, costs associated with a course or program, such as ancillary fees, late fees, default fees, books, materials and equipment are not covered by tuition waiver or rebate.

4.    Provide required documentation to substantiate a request and to verify successful completion of course or program.

Human Resources

1.    Review applications for tuition rebate and ensure that appropriate documentation and approvals have been provided.

2.    Ensure consistent application of processes across Ryerson.

3.    Approve or deny requests for tuition rebate based on eligibility and policy provisions.

4.    Track, analyze and report on tuition rebate usage for an academic year.

5.    Administer and approve expenditures.

6.    Provide advice, policy interpretation and recommendations concerning application of this policy and related collective agreement provisions.

7.    Establish application process and application forms.

8.    Communicate the process to all Ryerson University schools, departments and employees.

Financial Services

1.    Validate tuition receipts and provide reimbursement to student.

2.    Communicate with Organizational and Employee Development, Human Resources regarding problems or concerns that may arise.


Employee groups eligible for tuition rebate are MAC, CUPE 233 and OPSEU.  Tuition rebate applies to either work-related or professional development courses.  Spouses and dependents are not eligible for tuition rebate.

1.    Full-time Career Employees (FTCE) are eligible to apply for tuition rebate for either work-related or professional development courses.

2.    Term Employees with more than 4 months of continuous service are eligible to apply for tuition rebate for one course during the first 12-month period of completed service or one course through tuition waiver.  After 12 months of continuous service, he/she will be eligible for two courses per academic term.  CUPE 233 temporary and term/task employees are not entitled to tuition rebates.

General Provisions for Tuition Rebate

1.    When a program is offered at another institution and the equivalent program is offered at Ryerson, the employee must enroll in and attend the program offered at Ryerson.  In such cases, tuition waiver would apply.

2.    If an employee wishes to enroll in and attend more than two courses per academic term, the employee must have their manager’s approval.

3.    Employees are expected to take these courses outside normal work hours.  Managers must discuss exceptions with Human Resources.

4.    The provisions of the tuition rebate policy are subject to the person taking the course having met the University’s normal admission requirements and being accepted under the usual selection process.

5.    An employee must provide confirmation and verification of successful course completion.

6.    All applicants must respect and adhere to the process for application of tuition benefits.  Candidates who do not will be responsible for paying tuition costs.

Tuition Rebate Policy

1.    Courses must constitute part of a program of study leading towards a certificate, diploma or degree, certifying completion of a post-secondary study program.  Decisions for approval are made on the full program and not individual courses.

2.    Courses in special contract programs with other educational instructions and special offerings hosted outside of Ontario are not eligible programs. Educational institutions requested outside of Ontario will be considered without prejudice, on a case-by- case basis.

3.    Where a tuition rebate is approved, reimbursement is conditional until the employee provides an original proof of a passing mark. Where the institution for the course provides no mark, a proof of attendance is necessary for reimbursement.   Employee must submit within 30 days of course completion, an original copy of a proof of a passing mark or a proof of attendance and an original copy of a proof of payment, to process the reimbursement of an approved tuition rebate application. 

Work-Related Studies:  100% tuition reimbursements for tuition fees are provided for programs that are determined work related (see also definition of "work-related").

Professional Development Studies

1.    Programs approved as professional development, tuition costs will be shared 1/3 by the employee, 1/3 by the employee’s department/school and 1/3 by Ryerson’s tuition rebate program.

2.    Where a program is not a bonafide requirement for the position, such as graduate studies, rebate requests will be considered, without prejudice, on a case-by-case basis.

Personal Development Studies:  Personal development programs or personal interest programs are not covered by tuition rebate.


This policy and its procedure falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance. The administration, interpretation and application of this policy and procedure are the responsibility of Human Resources.