Completed forms must be submitted directly to the enrolling higher education institution for approval and processing. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission does not accept, approve, or process Fee Waiver forms.
The fee waiver program allows full-time employees of the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of State government to take one course, undergraduate or graduate, at any State supported college, university, or College of Applied Technology, as well as the Tennessee Language Center.
- Full-time employee is defined as employee of one of the three branches of government in a position classified as “full-time” and expected to work 1,950 per year, or an employee, regardless of classification who is expected to work 1,600 hours per year and who receive employment benefits provided to all full-time employees.
- The employee must have been employed by the State at least six continuous months immediately prior to the first day of the class.
- Public school teachers are not eligible for this program.
All fees are waived except for parking fees, lab fees and fees over and above tuition charged for courses within a particular discipline. Additionally, special fees for on-line courses are not waived except for on-line courses taken through the Regents Online Degree Program.
An employee may receive the waiver for only one course per semester or mini-semester, not to exceed a maximum of four (4) courses per academic year. (A mini-semester is an abbreviated semester scheduled between the end of Fall and beginning of Spring semesters or between the end of Spring and beginning of Summer semesters.) The one possible exception to this rule relates to the number of classes that may be taken during two terms that make up the Summer semester. A state employee can take one class in each of the two terms of the Summer semester under two conditions:
- First, the two Summer semester courses can not overlap.
- Second, one or both of the Summer semester courses will not result in the employee utilizing the fee waiver to more than four (4) courses for each academic year. This presumes the employee has not used the fee waiver during one of the institution’s mini-semesters.
The fee waiver form must be signed by the employee and by the employee's supervisor or other person in the employee's department/agency who by virtue of his position has knowledge of and can verify that the employee meets the eligibility requirements.
Enrolling in a course using the fee waiver is on a space available basis. Some institutions limit when a person utilizing a fee waiver may register for courses. Each institution's procedures vary and the employee is encouraged to contact the Bursar or admissions office of the institution to determine when they may register and when the form must be submitted.