Employee Education Program

The Employee Education Program (EEP) assists with educational guidance and financial support for employees on the Brown University regular payroll desiring to obtain additional formal education and training.

Administered by the Benefits Office, the EEP allows eligible employees to achieve professional growth and greater job satisfaction by enrolling in traditional or distance learning (on-line) degree programs, job-related courses, or traditional or distance learning (on-line) job-related certificate programs. Courses may be taken at Brown University, or degree granting accredited colleges/universities outside of Brown, recognized by the Department of Education and belonging to one of  six regional accrediting agencies. (A)


Brown staff must be:

  • regularly scheduled to work at least 67% time (1300 hours per year)
  • be in good standing, and
  • must have completed six months of employment at the time of application

(Union members will receive education benefits as described in their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements). Faculty members, dependents and spouses are not eligible to receive education benefits under this program.

Program Benefits

Eligible staff may enroll in undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. degree or job-related courses at Brown or outside of Brown at degree granting, accredited colleges belonging to one of  six accrediting agencies. (A)

Job-related courses must maintain or enhance the employee's skills needed in his/her present position at Brown or must be a requirement either by law or of Brown University.

    Brown University Courses  

    • Eligible employees are allowed to enroll in three degree or job-related courses per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) with Special Student status.

    Brown Degree Programs:

    1. Employees enrolling in an undergraduate degree program must also apply to the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program. 
    2. Employees enrolling in a Graduate degree program must also apply to the Graduate School.
    3. Employees must notify RUE or the Graduate School, and Academic Advisors of any impending interruption in course work.

    Please note:

    • EEP applications must be submitted prior to the start date of the course for approval. Two weeks preferred.  
    • Course fee for the 2015-2016 academic year is: $6,034 per course.
    • Brown University courses are taxed in accordance to IRS regulations under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. (B)
    Non-degree, job-related Brown courses:

    Special students taking job-related courses must complete the following steps:

    1. Complete and submit the EEP Application with supporting documents. Approved applications will be scanned and forwarded through email.
    2. Registration packets will be forwarded via campus mail. Special Students must be signed into class by the instructor on the first day of class.
    3. Special Students must formally register for courses at the Registrar's Office, located at J. Walter Wilson Student Services building, 69 Brown Street once the instructors signature is obtained.

    Important Dates for the Spring/2015 Semester

    • Wednesday, September 9, 2015– Classes begin
    • Wednesday September 23, 2015– Last day to add a course without a fee (not covered by the EEP)
    • Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - Last day to change a grade option
    • Friday, October 16, 2015 (mid-semester) – Last day to drop a course without penalty for those taking job-related courses

    If enrolled in a non-degree job-related Brown course, a penalty fee will be charged if:

    1. The course is dropped after the drop deadline date
    2. The course is not satisfactorily passed with a grade of C or better, satisfactory, or pass.

    Upon course completion, the Registrar's Office will forward a copy of the employee's grade report to the Benefits Office.

    Non-Brown Courses

    Courses supported through the EEP must be taken at a degree granting accredited college or university recognized by the Department of Education and one of six regional accrediting agencies. (A)

    Eligible employees may enroll in an unlimited number of degree or job-related courses per fiscal year, not to exceed the maximum fiscal year limit of $2,500.   Distance learning (on-line) options apply to those in degree programs.

    Job-Related Certificate Programs

    Eligible employees may enroll in an unlimited number of job-related courses pertaining to a certificate program (consisting of 6 or more courses) per fiscal year, not to exceed the maximum fiscal year limit of $2,500. Distance learning (on-line) options apply to those enrolled in certificate programs.


    Brown Courses
    • No money is exchanged for Brown courses.
    • Employees must receive a grade of C or better, satisfactory or pass
    Non-Brown Courses
    • Reimbursement occurs at course completion for tuition only.  Payment is not provided for books, registration fees or other charges.
    • Employees must receive a grade of C or better, satisfactory or pass, and/or certificate of completion. 
    • Employees are notified through an email when checks are ready to be picked up.

    (A) Accrediting Agencies

      • Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE)
      • New England Association of Schools and Colleges  (NEASC)
      • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools  (NCACS)
      • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) -formerly Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or NASC
      • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools  (SACS)
      • Western Association of Schools and Colleges  (WASC)

      (B) IRS Tax Regulations

      Brown University is allowed under Section 127 to provide up to the IRS limit of $5,250 per calendar year in tax-free educational assistance. Once the maximum IRS limit is exceeded, either at the undergraduate or graduate level within a calendar year, the amount that exceeds this limit will be taxed according to IRS regulations.

      For example:  Employees who enroll in their first Brown course in calendar year 2015, will be taxed on the amount that exceeds the IRS allowance of $5,250 in tax free educational assistance.  Employees who enroll in a 2nd Brown course within the same calendar year, will be taxed on the full value of tuition. Taxing of courses is calculated per individual and will be payroll deducted on an agreed upon schedule.

      For help related to educational pursuits and/or guidance pertaining to the selection of courses or schools, contact Michele Wise at 401-863-2459 or email: Michele_Wise@brown.edu.