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Division of Human Resources

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Tuition Assistance

As a qualified University of South Carolina employee, you have access to free, nontransferable tuition assistance each academic year.

Free Tuition:

Take a class … earn a degree … become a lifelong learner

The value of education cannot be measured, but when you have the opportunity for tuition-free learning, the benefits are multiplied. The USC Employee Tuition Assistance Program allows you to take up to 16 credit hours per year for free.

You can apply for tuition assistance for up to 16 credit hours per academic year, August-July. All USC credit hour courses are eligible, including:

  • Regional campus courses
  • Summer session courses
  • Online courses 
  • GARNET (Graduation and Retention Network) courses
  • Courses within nontraditional academic terms such as Nursing School, Professional MBA and On Your Time: Summer at Carolina (Columbia campus)
  • Undergraduate courses unrelated to degree program (Graduate students)

Additional courses can be taken per academic year, but employees must pay current tuition rates for courses exceeding tuition assistance program limitations.

USC faculty and staff are eligible if you:

  • Are employed by USC for six months or more
  • Work 30 hours per week or more 
  • Are a full-time equivalent (FTE), research grant (RGP) or time-limited (TL) employee and do not hold a graduate assistantship
  • Are an ROTC affiliate
  • Are admitted by USC as an undergraduate or graduate student

Program Exclusions

  • Temporary or contract employees
  • Children or spouses of employees
  • GRE/GMAT prep courses 
  • Noncredit certificate courses
  • The university waives your application fee and provides up to 16 hours of free tuition assistance per academic year. 
  • Students are responsible for payment of education-related account charges such as books, field trips, lab fees, technology fees, graduate admissions or course-specific fees.
  1. Apply to USC and the program of your choice. 
  2. Once accepted, pre-register for class(es) using Self Service Carolina.
  3. The day after you pre-register, complete a tuition assistance request form (available in Employee Self Service in HCM Peoplesoft). Through automatic workflow, the form will be approved (or denied) by your supervisor and the Bursar’s Office on your campus. You will be notified via email.
  4. Check Self Service Carolina under Account Information to see if your award has been posted to your account.
  5. Any benefits or awards may be taxable. Contact your tax preparer for guidance.

Job aid - How to initiate a tuition assistance request in HCM

On the Columbia Campus

Regional Campuses

  • Contact your campus Human Resources Office.

Financial Aid & Payment


Review the university policy at HR 1.61 Tuition Assistance [PDF]

Final determination of eligibility is made by the Division of Human Resources and does not register or enroll a participant in the requested course, nor does it guarantee admission as a student to the University of South Carolina. Faculty and staff are individually responsible for applying for admission to the university and for receiving academic advisement.

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