Recently, Governor Ricketts announced a new educational benefit that is now available to state teammates beginning May 8, 2022. The Children of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement Program will provide tuition assistance to dependents of state teammates attending any of Nebraska’s community colleges. This program will not only enhance teammates’ work experience, but also help recruit and retain a strong workforce in state government. This is also a great opportunity for the State to partner with our community colleges and highlight all they can offer as a top choice in Nebraska for higher education.
We are excited to share initial information about the program, eligibility requirements and how to submit an Eligibility Verification Request for your child. The attached FAQ provides detailed information and will be updated as needed. To submit an Eligibility Verification Request, complete the attached form and send it, along with the required documentation, to the email@example.com inbox. Some examples of supporting documents are birth certificate, adoption records and other legal documentation that show the legal relationship of your child to you as well as the age of the child. You will be notified regarding the eligibility determination. The community colleges will be provided a regularly updated list of eligible state teammate children.
- A qualifying dependent is defined as any naturally born child, legally adopted child, stepchild, or ward of a current permanent full-time State of Nebraska employee.
- Qualifying dependents must begin their programs of study between the ages of 18-25 years old and complete their programs of study by age 27.
Additional information, including how to submit a Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement form will be shared at a later date. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Reimbursement Request Form (PDF) Eligibility Verification Request Form (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Which Nebraska Community Colleges are participatinG?
Answer: The following community colleges are participating:
- Southeast Community College
- Mid-Plains Community College
- Northeast Community College
- Central Community College
- Western Community College
- Metropolitan Community College
Q2: Who is eligible to participate?
Answer: Qualifying participants are:
- Dependents as follows: Any naturally born child, legally adopted child, stepchild, or ward of a current permanent full-time (1.0 FTE) State of Nebraska employee. Employees of the University of Nebraska and Nebraska State Colleges are not State of Nebraska government employees and are not eligible for this program.
- Dependents who begin their programs of study between the ages of 18-25 years old and complete their programs of study by age 27.
- Dependents under this program do not have to be dependents for tax purposes.
Q3: How does the program cover 100% of the tuition costs at participating Community Colleges?
Answer: Tuition is due and paid to the Community College by the deadline established by each College. After the term has ended and the courses are graded, the student submits all necessary documentation to Department of Administrative Services(DAS). DAS verifies that the student meets eligibility requirements. DAS will process the tuition reimbursement for 75% of the cost of tuition remaining after all other sources of grants, scholarships have been applied. DAS will notify the Community College that the student was eligible for a reimbursement and then the Community College will apply a 25% tuition discount and refund that back out to the student.
Q4: Is there a limit to the number of credit hours eligible for reimbursement and is any course eligible for reimbursement?
Answer: Tuition Discounts under this Program shall only apply to required credits of a degree or certificate program only up to a maximum of 65 credit hours (97.5 quarter hours) per Eligible Participant.
Q5: What do I need to do to determine if my child is eligible?
Answer: Teammates must submit an Eligibility Verification Request form with required documentation to email@example.com for eligibility determination. The documentation will need to verify:
- Your relationship to the child
- Your child’s age
Some examples of supporting documents are birth certificate, adoption records, or other legal documentation.
Q6: Will a teammate's agency be involved in this process?
Answer: No, the Department of Administration will manage the entire process.
Q7: Does a teammate need to complete original probation to participate in this program?
Answer: No, a qualifying teammate does not need to complete original probation, but must be a current full-time permanent State of Nebraska employee at the time any qualifying dependent begins a course(s) and at the time a completed Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement form with required documentation is submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q8: If a teammate transferred to another agency are they eligible for the dependent tuition reimbursement?
Answer: Yes, a teammate need only to be a current full-time permanent State of Nebraska employee at the time any qualifying dependent begins a course(s) and at the time a completed Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement form with required documentation is submitted to email@example.com.
Q9: If the teammate is a rehire and comes back to the state within 5 years are they eligible?
Answer: Yes, a teammate need only to be a current full-time permanent State of Nebraska employee at the time any qualifying dependent begins a course(s) and at the time a completed Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement form, with required documents submitted for verification, is provided.
Q10: If a teammate's employment ends before the last day of classes would the dependents benefits continue until the end of the semester?
Answer: No, teammates must be a current permanent full-time State of Nebraska teammates at the time any qualifying dependent begins a course(s) and at the time a completed Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement form with required documentation is submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q11: Are qualifying students no longer eligible for tuition reimbursement when they reach age 27?
Answer: Correct, they are no longer eligible. Qualifying dependents must begin their programs of study between the ages of 18-25 years old, or are high-school graduates under age 18, and complete their programs of study by age 27. This means course work for a degree and/or certificate program must be started before turning age 25 and those programs of study must be completed before turning age 27.
Q12: Is the dependent required to be a full-time student or can they be part-time?
Answer: The student can be full-time or part-time.
Q13: How is tuition reimbursed?
- Answer: The State of Nebraska Teammate (and/or Student) will pay upfront to the community college for the classes.
- After the completion of each semester and/or quarter, and after all other student aid funds have been applied the student will submit the necessary documentation (Paid Receipt for the course(s), Validation of approved program/course, Validation of C grade or better and all submitted within 30 days of the end of the course) to DAS and DAS will determine eligibility for tuition reimbursement. If student is eligible for the reimbursement DAS will process the 75% reimbursement and then notify the College. Reimbursement from DAS will be made directly to the Teammate Parent. The 25% Tuition Discount will be applied by the College once notified by DAS that the reimbursement was processed, and the tuition discount will be refunded to the student.
Q14: What are the tax implications for the teammate or dependent?
Answer: Reimbursement payments are taxable as supplemental wages to the teammate. Reimbursements will be processed through payroll, so the applicable income and FICA taxes are withheld. Retirement will not be withheld on these tuition reimbursements.
Q15: When does this program begin and how long does it run?
Answer: The program begins on May 8, 2022, and runs through June 30, 2023, unless the program is extended.
Q16: Can this program apply retroactively to credits the student has already completed?
Answer: No, this only applies to courses that begin after May 8, 2022.
Q17: Can the reimbursement be made directly to the student if the student personally paid for the tuition?
Answer: No. The reimbursement will only be paid to the teammate parent. It is the responsibility of the teammate parent and the student to work out how the funds should be allocated.
Q18: Does the eligibility determination need to be made before the courses begin?
Answer: No, but teammates are encouraged to submit the forms as early as possible so that community colleges are informed and can process tuition discounts accordingly.
Q19: What is the deadline for reimbursement forms to be submitted?
Answer: All Child of State Teammate Tuition Reimbursement forms are to be submitted within 30 days of the completion of each course(s). Additional information will be provided concerning submission after June 30, 2023, if the program is extended.
Q20: Will the reimbursement be available for courses that begin during the timeframe of the program, but end after June 30, 2023?
Answer: Submissions for qualifying tuition reimbursement must be made by June 30, 2023. Therefore, courses must be completed, and all required information submitted in the tuition reimbursement request by June 30, 2023, unless the program is extended.
Q21: How is the tuition reimbursement program funded, will it affect agency budgets?
Answer: LB 1012 provided for the funding of the program with a transfer to the Community College State Dependents Fund. This fund is managed by DAS and tuition reimbursements are paid with DAS appropriations. Your agency is responsible for the incremental increase in FICA taxes (7.65%) on the reimbursements.
Q22: ARE DUAL CREDIT COURSE FOR STUDENTS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN AND ATTENDING HIGH SCHOOL ELIGIBLE FOR THIS REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM?
Answer: No, this program is for Community College Courses and shall only apply to required credits of a student enrolled in degree or certificate program. (Please note answer to Q2 for eligible students.)