Tuition Reimbursement FAQ
Who is eligible?
The Tuition Reimbursement Program is offered to Regular, Term, and Provisional employees. Extra Help employees are not eligible. Employees must attend courses in an off-duty (non-work time) status. Employees must be employed by San Mateo County from the beginning through the end of the course and must have submitted their Tuition Reimbursement application with appropriate signatures at least two weeks before the course's start date.
How much is reimbursed and for what?
The current level of reimbursement is $263 for college courses under 3 units (and workshops less than 30 hours in length) and $438 for courses of 3 units or more (or workshops over 30 hours in length). Funds do not cover registration, examinations, parking passes, etc. The Tuition Reimbursement Program may not be used in conjunction with any other programs, including Educational Leave. $50 per course for books will be reimbursed for community college, undergraduate level, and graduate level courses. Taxes and shipping for books are not reimbursed.
What type of coursework is covered under the Tuition Reimbursement Program?
College-level courses or workshops with an evaluation component (i.e. a letter grade or score), taken at or sponsored by an accredited institution (community college or university); CEU credits/workshops sponsored by a recognized professional association. Reimbursement is available for coursework that enables the employee to acquire new skills, knowledge, and/or abilities. Participants must demonstrate that work performance or value to the County will be enhanced as a result of participation. Conferences/retreats are not covered.
Each course must be related to the employee’s present or probable future work assignment. Courses not taken as part of a degree program are evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Courses approved for this program must be attended during off-duty hours.
What does the County consider an "add-on" course status?
An "add-on" course status is a course you are unable to register for, and are instructed to show up to the first day of class to see if there are any drop-outs or no-shows. At that time, you will learn whether or not you will be "added on" and officially registered for the course on the first day of class. A Tuition Reimbursement form is still required at least two weeks in advance for potential add-on courses.
Where do I get the required forms?
You may obtain the application online, and the Demand on the Treasury reimbursement form from your Payroll Clerk.
What is covered?
Reimbursement covers only the cost of tuition and books. Ancillary expenses such as examination fees, student body fees, and parking passes are not reimbursed. Conferences/retreats are not covered.
Are books covered?
The Tuition Reimbursement Program allows up to $50 per course for books for community college, undergraduate, or graduate level courses. Taxes and shipping are not reimbursed.
Is there a due date to apply?
Yes. You must submit all completed paperwork with signatures to the Tuition Reimbursement Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the start date of your course/workshop.
How many courses will the County reimburse per year?
There is currently no limit on the number of courses that are reimbursable.
How long does it take to get reimbursed? When can I expect my check?
Once you’ve completed and submitted your “Demand on the Treasury” form with all necessary paperwork to the Human Resources Department, you can expect a check or direct deposit within 6-8 weeks.
Please note: If you are interested in setting up electronic direct deposit for reimbursement, please contact the Controller's Office at (650) 363-4777 to arrange.