Tuition Reimbursement

  • Tuition Reimbursement is for eligible employees taking classes at accredited institutions other than PCC (e.g. Portland State University, Oregon State, etc.).
  • Tuition Waiver is for eligible employees, spouses/domestic partners and dependent children under the age of 24 (as defined by the IRS) taking classes at PCC.

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Tuition reimbursement

Eligible Employees:

  1. Full-time employees (Faculty, Classified, Management, Academic Professional, Confidential).
  2. Faculty & Academic Professionals participating in a job share and working at least .5 of a 1.0 FTE position.

To qualify for reimbursement, guidelines must be met and the course must not be available at PCC.  The Tuition Reimbursement form outlines the eligibility and other guidelines for the tuition reimbursement program.

Each term, print out the Tuition Reimbursement Form, fill it in and send it to Melissa Morton, Downtown Center 3rd Floor. You will be notified of your reimbursement amount via email. Print out the information below or send a link to this web page to your supervisor.

Tuition Reimbursement Form
Term Submission deadline
Summer 2023 7/6/23
Fall 2023 10/10/23
Winter 2024 1/24/24
Spring 2024 4/18/24

Instructions for supervisors

Your signature verifies that the participant is eligible.

On the Tuition Reimbursement Authorization Form, there is a section that is “To be completed by Applicant’s Supervisor.” The following explains the significance of this section.

  1. Participants of the tuition reimbursement program must be either:
    1. Full-time employees or
    2. A Faculty or AP in a job share working at least .50 of a 1.0 FTE position. Your signature verifies that the participant is eligible.
  2. While only credit courses are reimbursable, the classes do not have to be job-related. Each term, the supervisor must check courses being taken and determine whether  they are related to the employee’s current job. The answer determines whether  reimbursement is considered taxable or non-taxable income. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to check the appropriate choice.
Tax information:

Courses that are related to an employee’s current job or that help maintain or improve the knowledge and skills required for that job are eligible for the tax exclusion. Reimbursements for educational expenses that qualify employees for a promotion or transfer to a different type of work, new trade or business are taxable. Such broad interest courses such as art or music appreciation or a foreign language would not be eligible for a tax break unless they are explicitly needed for an employee’s current job.

Further, tuition paid for refresher and update courses also qualifies for the tax break. If duties or requirements for a job are changed, additional courses will be tax-free. After a job’s minimum requirements are met, reimbursements for education that are required by an employer or by law to maintain employees’ present salaries, status, or jobs are tax-free.

The legal differentiation between job-related education and non-job-related education can be confusing. For instance, nurses reimbursed by a hospital to take necessary courses to advance from licensed practical nurse to registered nurse would be taxed on the tuition they receive because the courses were not necessary for their current job – even though the courses would enhance the nurses’ skills. Likewise, an accounting clerk who takes courses to become a CPA would not receive a tax-free tuition reimbursement, regardless of whether the clerk’s employer believed the additional credential was necessary.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Melissa Morton.

Tuition reimbursement amounts from previous years

A chart showing the reimbursement amounts from prior years is available.  Tuition reimbursement is based on Portland State University rates, regardless of the institution you attend. This information is only provided as a guide.   There is no guarantee that employees will receive these amounts in the future.   The actual amount of tuition reimbursement employees receive varies from term to term and from year to year based on the number of requests and the funds available.