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Tuition Waiver Policy

  • Related Documents:  Tuition Waiver 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 the employees at Toronto Metropolitan University (the "University") 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 the University 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 waiver/rebate policy;

6.    ensuring that employees who receive a tuition waiver/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 Waiverpolicy 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 waiver.


The principles and purpose of this policy apply to all University employees. Eligibility may vary amongst the different constituent groups. For example, OPSEU, CUPE and RFA have different eligibility requirements for tuition waiver. Where there are provisions in collective agreements concerning tuition waiver, this policy will reference those provisions. Where there are no collective agreement provisions that apply, this policy will detail eligibility.


Tuition Waiver:  An exemption of the tuition portion of fees for eligible employees and their spouse and/or dependents for approved 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 Rebate:  Reimbursement of the tuition portion of fees paid by employees to another institution for work-related or professional development courses approved by the University.  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:  Programs which enhance an employee’s ability to contribute to the growth and development of the University.  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, or not 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.           

Cost Recovery Programs:  Cost recovery programs are those that must recover the cost of running the programs through tuition fees. 

Non-Cost Recovery Programs:  Non-cost recovery programs are programs for which an annual tuition fee is set for both domestic and international students.

Roles and Responsibilities

1.    Managers

a.    Understand and apply this policy and any relevant collective agreement provisions concerning tuition waivers or rebates.

b.    Determine whether to approve or deny requests for more than 2 courses per term, submitted for approval.

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

2.    Employees and/or Spouse or Dependents

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

b.    Follow the University's process for applying for a tuition waiver.  For example, an employee must apply for a tuition waiver prior to registering in a course or program.

c.    Pay any additional costs not covered by tuition waiver. 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.

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

3.    Human Resources

a.    Review applications for tuition waiver and ensure that appropriate documentation and approvals have been provided.

b.    Ensure consistent application of processes across the University.

c.    Approve or deny requests for tuition waiver based on eligibility and policy provisions.

d.    Track, analyze and report on tuition waiver usage for an academic year.

e.    Administer and approve expenditures.

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

g.   Establish application process and application forms.

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

4.   Student Fees/Cashier’ Office

a.   Identify tuition fees to be waived and any other fees to be paid.

b.   Waive the applicable tuition fee based on the policy.

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

d.   Provide the final copy of tuition waiver application form to Financial Services and Human Resources.

Eligibility for Each Constituent Group

1.    MAC, CUPE 233, OPSEU

a.    A full time career employee (FTCE) is eligible to take 2 courses per academic term. A spouse and/or dependent of an FTCE employee is eligible to have tuition fees waived once the employee successfully completes his/her probationary period.

b.    A term MAC or OPSEU employee with more than four months of continuous service is eligible to take one course during the first 12-month period of completed service under tuition waiver or one course taken through tuition rebate.  After 12 months of continuous service, he/she will be eligible to take two courses per academic term.  A CUPE 233 temporary or term/task employee with more than 12 months of continuous service are entitled to 2 half-courses taken at the University per calendar year.

c.    A spouse and/or dependent of a term MAC, CUPE 233 or OPSEU employee is eligible to have tuition fees waived after the employee has completed 12 months of continuous service.  For CUPE 233 employees only the employee is entitled to have 2 half-courses waived.

3.    OPSEU Research Assistants (RA)

An employee is eligible to take one course per year after 6 months of continuous service or 628 hours, whichever comes first. There is no eligibility for a spouse and/or dependent of OPSEU research assistants.

4.    CUPE Unit 1 (Part-time & Sessional Instructors)

An employee is eligible to take two credit courses per academic term.  A spouse and/or dependent of a CUPE Unit 1 employee is eligible to take two credit courses per academic term.

5.    CUPE Unit 2 (Continuing Education Instructors)

An employee is eligible for the waiver of three (3) credit courses per academic year, offered through The Chang School, up to a maximum of $750.00 per course.  There is no eligibility for spouse and/or dependents of a CUPE Unit 2 employee for a tuition waiver.  The CUPE Unit 2 employee must have successfully completed three (3) terms of instruction and must be an active employee of the University when requesting the waiver. Employees are expected to take such courses outside of their normal work hours.

6.    Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association (TFA)

a.    Tenure/Probationary, Professional Counsellors and Librarians:  An employee is eligible to take courses upon initial hiring. A spouse and/or dependent is eligible to have academic fees waived.

b.    Limited-Term Faculty (LTF), Term Counsellors and Term Librarians:  After 12 months, an employee is eligible to take courses during the duration of their appointment. After 12 months of an employee’s initial hiring, spouses and/or dependents are eligible to have academic fees waived.

General Provisions for Tuition Waiver

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

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

3.    Employees must normally work a minimum of 24 hours per week in order to be entitled to the tuition benefits.

4.    The provisions of the Tuition Waiver 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 and spouse and/or dependent 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 Waiver Policy

1.    The University shall waive for the employee, his/her spouse and/or dependent, a maximum equivalent dollar value that reflects the current annual domestic undergraduate tuition fee in non-cost recovery programs, per year, per eligible person, as determined by the University.

2.    Eligible courses include all regular offerings published in the full-time, part-time, and Continuing Education calendars, where the University collects the tuition fees.  Courses in special contract programs with other educational institutions and special offerings hosted outside of Ontario are not eligible courses.

3.    An employee or his/her spouse, or dependent is required to provide proof of successful completion of any course.  When an employee or his/her spouse and/or dependent does fail to complete a course in which they are enrolled in (2) successive occasions, the tuition waiver provisions shall be suspended.

4.    A spouse and/or dependent taking a full time course load is eligible to continue as long as the University academic policies allow them to continue. For example, a spouse and/or dependent taking full-time studies may fail a course in two terms.  If the University academic policy permits the student to continue then tuition waiver will continue.

5.    All eligible candidates are expected to follow the policy and process for tuition waiver.  Candidates who do not follow the process will be responsible for paying default fees.  For example, an employee who registers for a course first then applies for tuition waiver after the course start-date will be responsible for interest fees or late fees applied.


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