The County of San Mateo is committed to the development of employees and the belief that education is a lifelong process which enhances work performance and increases career mobility within the organization, thereby helping employees provide better service to the public.
The County’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is administered and budgeted through the Learning and Development Division of the Human Resources Department.
TAP is offered to Regular, Term, and Provisional employees. Extra Help employees are not eligible.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Overview
- To provide financial assistance for job-related education in the following areas:
- Degree or certificate programs
- Skill enhancement workshops
Participants must demonstrate that work performance or value to the County will be enhanced as a result of participation. Each course must be related to the employee’s present or probable future work assignment. Participants may not use Educational Leave time and TAP together to attend a class. 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.
Special Note Regarding Waitlists and/or Pending as an "Add-on": If you are currently not registered for a class but anticipate being on a waitlist or pending as an "add-on", you should still submit your forms two weeks prior to the course start date to remain eligible to use TAP should you ultimately be registered. If your course registration attempt is unsuccessful, you can easily cancel your application via Workday post-submission.
How to Apply for TAP
- Identify degree program, course or workshop of interest.
- Discuss course(s) with your immediate supervisor or manager.
- Determine how the course is position-related and/or will enhance your career development plan.
- Ensure that all course work will be completed during off-duty (non-work) hours.
- Complete a TAP application with all required documents via Workday.
- Video: How to Apply for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
- Video: How to Submit a TAP Claim
Submit a TAP claim once you've completed your course. Applications should be submitted at least 2 weeks before the start of your course/workshop.
Your supervisor will:
- Discuss the course and its job relevance and career development goals with you.
- Follow up with you regarding the course and use of new skills on the job.
Human Resources Department will:
- Verify that the application packet is complete, with all necessary supplementary information submitted.
- Determine reimbursement amount.
- Maintain historical records regarding program use by individual.
- Notify employees regarding application approval or denial.
If you have any questions during the application process, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (650) 363-4343.
How to Get Reimbursed
After successfully completing your coursework and within 30 days of receiving your course grade or certificate of completion:
- Log into Workday and access the Tuition Reimbursement (Course Completion) form awaiting in your inbox, located at the top right corner of your screen.
- Fill the form out in Workday and attach your course grade of "C" or better or "pass/credit", or certificate of completion, along with all applicable payment receipt(s) for tuition and/or book(s), and click Submit.
Allow 6-8 weeks for your reimbursement to be processed.
Email us at email@example.com or call us at (650) 363-4343 if you have any questions.
Who is eligible?
TAP 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 TAP application in Workday 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).
Effective August 1, 2023, this will increase to $300 for college courses under 3 units (and workshops less than 30 hours in length), and $600 for courses of 3 units or more (or workshops over 30 hours in length).
Funds do not cover registration fees, examination fees, certificate fees, annual fees, parking passes, etc. TAP 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/handling for books are not reimbursed.
Effective August 1, 2023, the book reimbursement will increase to $100 per course.
What type of coursework is covered under TAP?
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 dropouts or no-shows. At that time, you will learn whether you will be "added on" and officially registered for the course on the first day of class. A TAP application is still required at least two weeks in advance for potential add-on courses.
How do I submit my TAP application?
What is covered?
Reimbursement covers only the cost of tuition. Books may also be reimbursed for college courses only. Ancillary expenses such as registration fees, certificate fees, examination fees, student body fees, and parking passes are not reimbursed. Conferences/retreats are not covered.
Are books covered?
TAP allows up to $50 per course for books for community college, undergraduate, or graduate level courses. Taxes and shipping/handling are not reimbursed.
Is there a due date to apply?
Yes. You must submit your TAP application in Workday 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?
Once you’ve completed and submitted your TAP claim, you can expect a direct deposit within 6-8 weeks.
Tuition Assistance Program Coordinator
Please contact the TAP Coordinator if you have any questions