Tuition Assistance Program
Announcing the ACR Homes Tuition Assistance Program for part-time and full-time students!
We are pleased to now offer this benefit to our student employees starting November 1, 2020.
Our tuition assistance program is an amazing opportunity to get the same great experience with our residents, with the added benefit of financial support for your schooling costs.
In order to receive tuition assistance, you will need to be a student and work at least 1000 hours of direct care between September through May. Summer hours do not count toward your hour requirement. You can start counting hours worked doing direct care once you have completed all tuition assistance paperwork, applied to the program and received approval. You will track your own hours on SharePoint. Application form for current employees can be found HERE!
In order to qualify for this program, you must be an hourly employee working direct care and enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester that are pertinent to advancing your education (e.g. if you're taking a scuba course at Century for fun, that would not qualify :)) You must receive approval to begin the program by applying through Human Resources.
After receiving approval, you are eligible to begin tracking your hours toward your goal. When the goal is completed within the plan year, you will need to demonstrate proof of tuition expenses and submit your transcript from your spring semester showing completed coursework. Salaried employees are not eligible to apply per IRS restrictions. You will need to meet the minimum hour requirement from September-May which is explained below. In addition to hour requirements, the applicant will need to maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Level 1: 1000 hours of direct care between September-May = $1000 in tuition assistance
Level 2: 1200 hours of direct care in qualifying months = $2000 in tuition assistance
You can DOUBLE your tuition assistance if you work on average just another 6-7 hours per week! PLUS, any shift that is offering holiday pay will qualify for TRIPLE the hours that you worked. For example, if you work an 8-hour morning shift on New Year’s Day, you will be able to count 24 hours toward your hour requirement.
Wondering what other shifts qualify? ACR’s Employee Handbook lays out all the details of which shifts are considered holiday pay that fall within the Tuition Assistance plan year, so take a look and get yourself scheduled to snag the shifts that qualify for triple hours:
New Year’s (from 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day), Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day (from 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 6 a.m. on Friday after Thanksgiving), and Christmas (from 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve to 12:00 midnight on Christmas Day--32 hours).
If you qualify for tuition assistance, that is like adding an extra $1.00-$1.70 per hour to your wage September-May, and that's tax free so it's actually more like $1.20-$2.00 per hour!
When does it start?!
A typical Tuition Assistance plan year will begin September 1st and run through May 31st. Since it’s already October, we are prorating this first plan year of tuition assistance to run from November 1, 2020-May 31, 2021. After this year, we will return to the typical plan year details, listed above. The hours and the tuition assistance are adjusted for this first year to reflect the same levels but fitting into fewer months. After approval of your application, your hours become eligible beginning November 1, 2020. We are excited to get started and not have to wait until September 2021 to offer this benefit!
Here are the prorated hour and assistance amount for November 1, 2020- May 31, 2021:
Level 1: 750 hours for $750 of tuition assistance
Level 2: 900 hours for $1500 of tuition assistance
The fine print:
Trainings, asleep, shadows, admin, and meeting hours do not qualify. You must be a non-salaried employee who is not on probation or suspension. Due to federal regulations, you will need to be employed at ACR before you begin the semester for which you are seeking assistance, and you must still be employed at ACR and still be a student at time of receipt of tuition assistance.
You will be required to track your own direct care hours and add them to our SharePoint site for confirmation and review. If you fail to track your own hours, you will not qualify for tuition assistance. Hours worked during the months of June, July and August do not count toward your tuition assistance hours. Your deadline for completing hours worked will be 11:59 p.m. on May 31st. Courses that qualify cannot be related to sports or hobbies unless it’s part of a degree program.
This tuition assistance is tax free. Payment of tuition assistance will be made directly to the employee, only after receiving documentation of expense (i.e. receipts for tuition and related books and lab fees). This program is subject to change/cancellation between plan years.