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 James Madison University supports the university's committment to employee personal and professional development, as outlined in the core qualities and goals of its Strategic Plan. The Tuition Waiver Program allows employees to have tuiton waived for courses taken at JMU. See below for information about eligibility, limitations, and more!

Tuition Waiver Program

for Full-time Employees Taking Courses at JMU

As a full-time, benefitted employee, you are eligible for two courses and one lab per semester.  

  • Employees working in multiple jobs receive the waiver, but not to exceed the maximum for the classification providing the most benefit. For example, a Classified staff or Faculty member who is also working a wage job may receive a waiver for a maximum of 2 courses and 1 lab per semester

  • Tuition Wavier is not authorized for private vocal or instrumental instruction (unless your degree program requires it), or for non-credit courses (such as Project Management Certificate through School of Professional & Continuing Education (SPCE)

  • Departments cannot pay for or reimburse an employee for more courses than allowable per policy

  • Tuition Waiver covers the cost of tuition only.  Any fees associated with a course are the responsibility of the employee
1. Ask yourself: are you looking for a degree or want to just take some classes?

You can start out just taking some classes to try and then start a degree/program or you could dive right into a degree/program.  We suggest taking a look at the available programs for which level applies to you: UndergradateGraduate, or School of Professional and Continuing Education.

2. Apply: figure out which route fits your needs the most

3. Register: once you're accepted, you'll have a student ID and a timeframe where you can select your class(es)

If you have questions about this step, please refer to your program advisor, Office of the Registrar, or School of Professional and Continuing Education.  Remember, it is your responsibility to register for classes; filling out the Tuition Waiver form does not register you for a course. 

4. Fill out & Submit the Tuition Waiver Form

Once you have registered for your class(es), you can fill out the Tuition Waiver Form. This form must be submitted to Human Resources before 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the add/drop period.  See the Office of the Registrar for dates and deadlines. Scanned forms are welcome to be emailed to

You will need a total of three signatures on this form: your signature, your supervisor, and the next level above them. Failure to obtain all three signatures will result in a delay in processing time. 

 5. Watch your tuition balance

Once your form is turned in, we'll process it and send it to the University Business Office. You'll get a confirmation email (to your JMU email) once it's been processed. You will want to watch how much tuition is waived during the calendar year. 

NOTE: Graduate Courses- The IRS allows each employee $5,250 tax free but once you go over that threshold, you will be taxed on any tuition after that. Each quarter, over two pay periods, Payroll Services will collect the appropriate taxes from each employee who exceeds the $5,250 value set forth by the IRS for graduate courses. Quarters collected: 3/30, 6/30, 9/30, 11/30* 

*for Payroll purposes the last quarter's taxes will be collected on the 11/30 pay period


For questions not answered here or in the FAQ section, please email

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