Employee Tuition Exemption

This policy applies to all George Mason University Korea full-time faculty and full-time staff. Part-time faculty and staff, full-time students, graduate assistants, research assistants, and interns are not eligible for employee tuition exemption under this policy. Definitions are available in Section V.


As part of our commitment to professional development of staff and faculty, George Mason University Korea offers an Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit that permits GMUK staff and faculty to enroll in GMUK courses free of charge.

Employee tuition exemptions cannot be applied against other charges and are not refundable. Individuals must have completed one year of service, be current, and active employees of George Mason University Korea to use this benefit.

A. Maximum Allowable Benefits – The following table sets forth the maximum allowable benefits for each employment classification:

Full-time faculty 12 6
Full-time staff 12 6

B. Eligibility – Eligibility under this benefit will commence upon completion of one full year of employment and extend through the academic terms of the class(es) in which the employee is enrolled.

D. Costs – In the event employment terminates at any time of the relevant academic terms, the employee will be responsible for the costs associated with the course(s) in which he or she is enrolled.

E. Transfer between employment classifications – Where an employee transfers between two or more employment classes in any given academic year, he or she is not permitted to combine the benefits of two or more employment classes. Employees will be restricted to the relevant maximum benefit under the employment classification that governs at the time of their enrollment in a course.

F. Transfer of credits prohibited – If a portion of an employee’s allowable benefits remain unused at the end of a given academic year, they may not be transferred to another future academic year.

G. Academic Requirements – Employees must meet the same academic requirements as any other student. Non-native speakers of English must provide recent proof of English proficiency at the same standards required for all Mason Korea students. (This requirement may be waived under certain circumstances approved by Fairfax.)

Like all students at GMUK, employees are bound by the GMUK Honor Code, including the Honor Council investigation process. Employees found in violation of the Honor Code will not be allowed to enroll for one year, forfeit the tuition exemption benefit, and/or face other personnel action.

Employees should contact Jiye Chang in the Office of Academic Affairs about course selection, registration, and classroom expectations.

H. Tax Implication – Please note that there may be tax implications when the employee receives tuition exemption benefit. The employee tuition exemption benefit may be considered taxable income calculated at a progressive rate based on yearly income. The HR Office will be available to provide detail information and help answer other questions.

Employees will not receive any special priority for registration, but will follow the priority of their academic category.

Employees shall make every effort to schedule classes outside of their normal working hours. Where circumstances require, an employee may request an alternative work schedule with his/her supervisor and by submitting Flexible Work Hour form to HR Office. Such request will be granted only with the consent of the supervisor, and operational service effectiveness must not be jeopardized. Time missed from work as a result of class attendance must be made up by the employee or charged to an appropriate leave balance.

Availability of courses may be limited by caps, pre-requisites, or other restrictions. Course offerings may be viewed at the MKAA website. Employees are not eligible to cross-register at other IGC campuses or in main campus distance learning courses. Application of the tuition exemption benefit shall not be used for programs that include revenue sharing agreements with external partners.

The tuition exemption does not apply to orientation, new student, or special instructional fees such as individual vocal or instrumental instruction, which must be paid by the employee. Tuition for consortium courses that include foreign travel, and contract courses, are not eligible for exemption under this policy.

Exemptions will not be granted in anticipation of future work, nor will they be granted retroactively.

The following definitions apply only for purposes of this policy; they do not apply to any other policy or handbook of the University or its employees.

Academic year – for purposes of this policy, a given academic year is defined as beginning on the first day of the fall semester, and ending on the last day of the spring term.

Full-time faculty – faculty employees who work in a 9- or 12-month faculty position, and whose employee status is identified as 1.0 FTE.

Full-time classified staff – staff employees who work in a position identified as 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week).

A. The HR Office maintains procedures related to administration of this policy. As part of those procedures:

(1) Employees must complete the Employee Tuition Exemption Request. The form must be signed by their supervisor and routed to GMUK HR Office (gmukhr@gmu.edu) prior to the payment due date for that registration (see the Student Accounts Office website for payment deadlines). Failure to complete the exemption request in a timely manner may result in late payment penalties to the employee.

(2) HR will verify employment eligibility and previous record of tuition exemption.

(3) The Office of Academic Affairs will verify request against academic policies. The student will be notified whether the employee is allowed to enroll in the desired course.

(4) Once the employee enrolls, GMUK Student Accounts (Office Finance & Planning) will apply the exemption and the employee’s student account will reflect a zero balance for exempt coursework.

(5) HR will provide information to the employee with respect to payroll tax implications.

The Human Resources Office, in conjunction with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Finance & Planning, will administer the Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit.

The policies herein are effective upon the date of approval. This policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually and become effective immediately.

This is a draft and subject to change.