About the Tuition Reimbursement Awards Program
The STEP Fund offers Tuition Reimbursement Awards to employees of contributing employers who are attending or taking courses at a Higher Learning Institution (Community College or University) or at a vocational or culinary institution. Employees may request reimbursement for the actual cost of tuition—up to a maximum of $4,000 per year — for successfully completed courses. The maximum lifetime reimbursement for each employee is $12,000.
In order to be eligible for a Tuition Reimbursement Award, you must be:
- A current employee of a contributing employer and
- Your contributing employer must have made contributions on your behalf to the Fund for at least 12 out of the last 18 months.
COVID-19 Limited Exception:
For Scholarship Award Benefits and Tuition Reimbursement Awards, the Board has created a limited exception to the requirements for Employees and their contributing employers. Now through June 2021, Employees interested in applying for a Tuition Reimbursement Award and their eligible dependents interested in applying for a Scholarship Award Benefit will be able to do so if, as of March 2020:
- The Employee was a current employee of a contributing employer; and
- The contributing employer made contributions to the Fund on the Employee’s behalf for the last 12 out of 18 months.
Tuition Reimbursement Awards are available year-round. The deadline to apply for reimbursement is January 30 for prior year classes, but you can apply as soon as you have successfully completed your class or training program. (For example, if you take a class that ends in March, you can apply and receive reimbursement as soon as April. But you have until January 30th of the following year to submit an application.) You can find the Tuition Reimbursement Award application here, or you can text or call 301-876-4419. You can also email [email protected] for more information. SPECIAL EXCEPTION: if you took classes or completed training in 2021, the deadline to apply for reimbursement is March 31, 2022.
How Tuition Reimbursement Awards Are Determined
The amount of the Tuition Reimbursement Award is based on the cost of your course, but you can receive up to $4,000 per year. You must provide proof of payment in order to be reimbursed. You must have passed your classes or obtained a certification related to career development.