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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 17, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 15
New Tuition Support for Staff Classes

Part-time undergrad courses not at JHU will be eligible

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Beginning in summer 2008, university staff members will be eligible for reimbursement of tuition for part-time undergraduate courses at colleges or universities other than Johns Hopkins.

The new offering is a response, in part, to changes in the university's own undergraduate course offerings for part-time students.

Undergraduate programs offered formerly by the university's School of Professional Studies in Business and Education were discontinued or restructured when SPSBE was reorganized into two separate schools. The Carey Business School and the School of Education both began operations Jan. 1, 2007.

Effective in June 2008, the Carey Business School will offer only two upper-division (junior and senior years only) undergraduate programs, a bachelor of science in business and management and a bachelor of science in information systems. It will no longer offer freshman and sophomore (100- and 200-level) courses. The interdisciplinary studies undergraduate degree program has been phased out.

Heidi Conway, senior director for benefits services and HR shared services, said that these changes created a gap in undergraduate education opportunities for Johns Hopkins staff.

"We needed to close this gap for our employees who are trying to advance their education and create opportunities for themselves," Conway said. "We are dedicated to helping our employees, and we feel this new reimbursement policy fills an important need and addresses their concerns." Even before SPSBE's reorganization, Conway said, some staff members had expressed an interest in taking courses elsewhere, either because certain disciplines weren't offered at Johns Hopkins or because other institutions were located closer to their homes.

Effective July 1, 2008, all full-time staff members will be eligible to use the tuition reimbursement plan to attend part-time undergraduate programs outside the university. The new plan does not apply to graduate studies at other schools.

It will provide 100 percent reimbursement of tuition (not of fees) up to $2,000 per calendar year. This reimbursement will be available to employees taking part-time freshman- through senior- level under- graduate credit courses at degree-granting accredited colleges and universities.

Reimbursement will be available only for successfully completed credit courses. Employees, therefore, will have to pay tuition upfront and apply for reimbursement after the course is completed. Reimbursement will not be made for noncredit courses.

Reimbursement forms will be available on the Benefits Services Web site ( benefits/index.cfm) starting in July. The forms must be submitted with appropriate documentation of the grade earned in each course.

The tuition remission plan for classes taken at Johns Hopkins will continue to be offered. Those enrolled here are also eligible to participate in the new reimbursement plan for undergraduate studies taken elsewhere. Staff members planning to participate in both plans will be limited to a calendar year IRS maximum benefit of $5,250 for credit courses for employees and their dependents.

The program and the Carey Business School are currently developing an informative Q&A that will be available on the Benefits Services Web site in the beginning of the year.

For more information, contact the Benefits Education Assistance Program at 443-997-6890.


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