Working toward

Nicole Vulcan

When Kim Manske was an undergraduate at the University, she paid for her tuition out-of-pocket, and with student loans and grants.
Now that she works full-time at the Community-University Health Care Center, she doesn’t worry about paying tuition for her graduate credits.
Manske is a participant in the Regent’s Scholarship Program, one of two programs offered by the University to give free tuition to qualified employees of the University.
Eligible employees are those who work at least 75 percent-time or 390 hours in a quarter and receive other employee benefits, such as health coverage.
The Academic Staff Tuition Benefit Program aids academic faculty, academic professional and administrative staff, while the Regent’s Scholarship Program aids civil service and union-represented staff.
The programs offer employees free tuition for up to 10 undergraduate credits or six graduate credits per quarter. The programs do not, however, cover other fees, such as student services or computer fees.
In order to gain access to the tuition breaks, employees must gain approval by their supervisor and submit a request for classes at registration time. But the class offerings are somewhat limited because employees must wait to register until after all paying students have had a chance to do so.
According to Myron Guthrie, assistant to the director of employee benefits, the programs make working for the University all the more valuable.
“There are a certain number of employees who choose to work at the University because of this program. It’s an added attraction to employment,” Guthrie said. “They are good people, and we would like to help them advance themselves, personally and professionally.”
In positions that are hard to staff, managers can use the programs to recruit employees who want to take classes, said Manske, who works in human resources at the Franklin Avenue clinic. The programs are also a good way for University offices to enhance their employees’ professional skills, he said.
But of the more than 13,000 people eligible for the program, only about 400 participate each quarter, Guthrie said. The numbers seem to jump a little during winter quarter, probably because of inclement weather in the winter months.
“It’s a program that is underused by University staff,” Manske said. “I think the program is great. I went back for my whole graduate program.”
This sentiment was shared by Maxine Olurin, a medical records clerk who studies international relations through the program.
“Work comes first right now, unfortunately, but (the tuition break) comes in handy,” Olurin said.