Professional & Organizational Development

Tuition exemption

The Washington State Employee Tuition Exemption Program is one of the most valuable benefits offered to UW employees. For eligible staff and faculty, this state program covers about 6 credits per term (quarter or semester) for classes taken at the UW or other participating state, community, and technical colleges.

POD processes tuition exemption forms for UW faculty and staff for non-UW schools only. However, if you’re a UW employee, we’re happy to help you determine your eligibility for tuition exemption at UW campuses or answer related questions. (Other Washington state employees should contact their respective HR department for eligibility and tuition exemption paperwork.)

Are you a UW employee looking to request a tuition waiver for UW Seattle courses? If so, see this overview and use Faculty/Staff Tuition Exemption Request (PDF). For UW Bothell and UW Tacoma tuition exemption forms, see “Request tuition exemption at UW” below.

To be eligible for tuition exemption your position must be 50% FTE or more.

  • If you are Classified staff you must satisfy a 6-month probationary period before becoming eligible for the program.
  • If you are a regular hourly employee from the Print Plant or UWMC Northwest you must satisfy a 6-month probationary period before becoming eligible for the program.
  • If you are Professional staff, you are eligible immediately.

Fixed duration Classified staff project appointments are not eligible for the program, nor are most hourly employees (exceptions noted above). Spouses and dependents of UW employees are not eligible.

Tuition exemption is a space-available waiver program. To access this benefit:

  • First, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the college you wish to attend.
  • Next, determine your school’s tuition exemption form and procedure. See “Request tuition exemption at schools other than UW” for additional information.
  • Once any required forms have been completed, you must attend class on the first day of the term and check in with the instructor about available space on the roster and your intention to use the Washington State Employee Tuition Exemption Program.

NOTE: You may register for a class only after space has been determined. Registration prior to the determination of space availability is strictly prohibited and will disqualify you from utilizing the tuition exemption program for that term.

Tax liability

If you’re using tuition exemption to take graduate courses that are not job-related, you may have to pay taxes on excess savings. For details, see tuition exemption tax withholding.

To request a tuition exemption waiver, you’ll need your employment verified by POD. Each school has a different tuition waiver form and procedure. We’ll send you the specific waiver for your school with the employment verification portion completed.

Request a form for Summer 2024

We begin taking tuition waiver requests six weeks before each term begins, and will prepare and mail forms back to you two weeks before the term begins. You must submit a new request and have your employment verified each term you’re interested in using the program.

If you have questions about applying for student status, or about whether a certain course or program permits tuition exemption, please contact the school you’re interested in attending using the table below.

Don’t hesitate to contact POD if you need more help.

School and tuition information Phone number
Bellevue College 425-564-2222
Cascadia College 425-352-8860
Central Washington University 509-963-3001
Clover Park Technical College 253-583-8904 (Puyallup)
253-583-8904 (Lakewood)
Eastern Washington University 509-359-2321
Edmonds Community College 425-640-1459
Everett Community College 425-388-9219
The Evergreen State College 360-867-6180
Green River College 253-833-9111 ext. 2500
Highline College 206-878-3710 ext. 6216
Lake Washington Institute of Technology 425-739-8104
North Seattle College 206-934-3627
Olympic College 360-475-7200
Renton Technical College 425-235-2352
Seattle Central College 206-934-3800
Shoreline Community College 206-546-4611
Skagit Valley College 360-416-7700
South Seattle College 206-934-7938
Spokane Falls Community College 509-533-3512
Tacoma Community College 253-566-6042
Washington State University 509-335-5346
Western Washington University 360-650-3432

POD does not process the tuition exemption forms for the three UW campuses. Your supervisor or the head of your department can verify your eligibility and sign these forms for you. To get the correct form and learn other tuition exemption details, contact the school or department directly, or visit the campus’ website:

School and tuition information Phone number
UW Seattle 206-543-8580
UW Bothell 425-352-5000
UW Tacoma 253-692-4400

Get the tuition exemption essentials from this Whole U article that helps clarify the process of using this benefit.

The Washington State Legislature gives State supported schools legal authority to offer tuition exemption to State employees. Read the Revised Code of Washington 28B.15.558.

Administrative Policy Statement 22.1 provides further information about the UW Tuition Exemption Program, eligibility, and excluded courses.

If you plan to take courses during your normal working hours, review the UW release time policy first.