Employee Continuing Education Program


Washington and Lee University believes that investments in employee training and development contribute to a high level of job satisfaction and improve institutional productivity. The University offers a staff continuing education program for work-related certification or license and educational opportunities at accredited institutions. Consideration will be made for employees seeking to obtain a college level degree, attend educational courses not leading to a degree, or to attend educational courses in preparation for work-related certification or license. Funds may be available for courses that will benefit the employee in their current position, improve job skills, or position the employee for advancement opportunities at the University. Details are outlined below:


In order to be eligible for this program, an employee must:

  • be an active, full-time employee in a staff or administration position
  • have satisfactory job performance, and
  • preference will be provided to employees with at least one year of continuous service

Eligible Programs

  • Certificate Programs
  • Associate Degree Programs
  • Baccalaureate Degree Programs
  • Master's Degree Programs
  • Ph. D. Programs

Ineligible Programs

  • Second Associate, Baccalaureate, Master's or Ph. D. Programs
  • Conference registrations

Eligible Costs

  • Tuition costs
  • Academic fees associated with the program
  • Related course materials

Timing of Requests

Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis, and subject to the availability of funds.

Policy Detail

Any courses for which this program will be applied require pre-approval by the employee's supervisor, department head and the appropriate Vice President or Dean. Approved requests are submitted to the Office of Human Resources for review and consideration.

The educational program must take place and be completed during the fiscal year for which it was approved (exceptions may be made for summer courses that span two budget years).

The higher education institution providing the course must be an accredited college or university (i.e., listed in the US Department of Education database of accredited institutions).

Classes are expected to be scheduled outside of working hours. Any special considerations or exceptions require prior approval of the Executive Director of Human Resources in consultation with the appropriate Vice President or Dean.

Eligible employees may request funding for up to 100% of tuition, fees, and course materials. Proof of registration will be required for payment to institution or reimbursement to employee. Successful completion of certifications, courses or educational degree attainment is required.

Funding for an employee is limited to a maximum amount of $5,250.00 per calendar year with the following exceptions:

  • An employee who is enrolled in a program for the first time during a fall semester, third quarter, or fourth quarter will receive up to one half ($2,625.00) of the maximum calendar year limit.
  • An employee who is completing their program at the end of a spring semester, first quarter, or second quarter will receive up to one half ($2,625.00) of the maximum calendar year limit.

Washington and Lee University will comply with IRS rules regarding taxation of tuition reimbursement funds. (The Internal Revenue Code Sec. 127 allows employees to receive up to $5,250 of tax-free tuition assistance in a calendar year. Tuition assistance in excess of $5,250 will be reported as taxable income. Employees receiving tax-free tuition assistance may not claim the amount of tax-free assistance as a tax credit when filing income tax returns. Please consult with your tax advisor for further clarification.

Pre-Approval Process

  • Employees interested in pursuing degrees should apply for financial aid first. Requests for funds from the University's Employee Continuing Education Program will be offset by loans, grants and other financial aid.
  • Employees wishing to apply for funds should discuss their professional goals with their supervisors and seek out departmental funds first.
  • Employees interested in participating in the Employee Continuing Education Program must complete and submit the Pre-Approval Form, and must request that their Supervisor complete a form supporting the request.

Funding Request Process

  • Employees may request up to 100% of tuition, fees and material costs at the beginning of the course(s) by providing the Office of Human Resources with an Employee Continuing Education Program Request for Funding and an official invoice from the institution showing evidence of registration.
  • Upon receipt of required documentation, HR will make payment directly to the educational institution or crediting body.*
  • If your department is providing funding for a degree program, your department will need to work with Human Resources to arrange for a transfer of funds. To ensure appropriate accounting of program funds under the Internal Revenue Code Sec. 127, all designated funds will be paid from the same account.

While our preference is to pay the institution directly, we will reimburse an employee who has already made payment. If this is the case follow these instructions:

  • Employees may request up to 100% of tuition, fees and material costs at the beginning of the course(s) by providing the Office of Human Resources with an Employee Continuing Education Program Request for Funds.
  • Following notification of approval from HR (which will note PRG number and Expense Category), you will create an Expense Report in Workday for reimbursement. You will need to attach the invoice to the request.

Program Follow-Up

  • We would like to be able to celebrate employee accomplishments. You will be asked to indicate on the Employee Continuing Education Program request form if you are comfortable with recognition of your accomplishment. Accomplishments may be recognized in university publications with employee permission.
  • At the completion of a degree, please provide transcript to be included in your personnel file. At the completion of a certificate program, please provide certificate documentation. You will also want to update your educational attainment in Workday.

End of Employment

If employment at W&L is ended and the last date of employment is on or before the deadline for drop/add, eligibility for this benefit ceases and the employee is responsible for full tuition. If the end of employment date is after the deadline for drop/add, the course may be completed under the terms of this benefit.