Under the guidelines of West Virginia Code §18A-3-3a, and also West Virginia Board of Education Policy 5202, §126-136-23.1, state tuition reimbursement for educators is available on a first-come, first-served, limited basis for those taking coursework in a verified critical shortage area, as verified by the county of employment. Coursework for those required to complete renewal hours for professional teaching, student support, or administrative license renewal is also available under the renewal area option. However, please note that coursework completed in a verified critical shortage area has been made a legislative priority.
23.1. Tuition Reimbursement for License Renewal or Shortage Areas.
23.1.1. Criteria. — As stated in W. Va. Code §18A-3-3a, an educator applying for tuition reimbursement must meet the following criteria: 1) holds either a valid West Virginia Certificate or First Class Permit for full-time employment and is seeking an additional endorsement in a shortage area, and either resides in the state or is employed regularly for instructional purposes in a public school in the state; or 2) is seeking certification renewal, and has a continuing contract with a county board.
23.1.2. Limitations. — Reimbursement is limited to the cost of tuition, registration and other required course fees only for appropriate college or university coursework used for license renewal or for an additional endorsement in a verified shortage subject area. Reimbursement for an educator who has prior approval to attend an out-of-state institution of higher education as described in W. Va. Code §18A-3-3a(d)(2), or a private institution of higher education may not exceed the amount of the highest corresponding tuition charged at a West Virginia state-supported college or university. Reimbursement for courses completed in a verified critical shortage area is limited to 15 semester hours of coursework for any educator. The educator must have completed the appropriate college or university coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Reimbursement Schedule. — The WVDE shall make the reimbursement for courses completed in an area of critical shortage a priority.
A Form 36 application for tuition reimbursement must be received by the WVDE no later than June 15 of the year for coursework completed during that same fiscal year. Each fiscal year begins on July 1. Form 36 applications submitted for prior fiscal year coursework will be rejected for log-in and returned to the applicant.
To apply: Immediately after completing appropriate coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a completed Form 36 application for tuition reimbursement, should be submitted. The county of employment must also complete and sign the Form 36 application to verify appropriate employment and eligibility for state tuition reimbursement under the appropriate option.
State tuition reimbursement is made at the allowable WV public tuition reimbursement rate.
All tuition reimbursement application results for Form 36 applications accepted for log-in are verified as approved or denied online only. Reimbursement status (pending, approved, or denied) may be viewed through the certification check site for an applicant, and through the "Reimbursements — View Details" link. An email notification will be generated when the Form 36 application has been processed.
All checks or direct deposits for any state-approved amount listed for an approved Form 36 reimbursement application will be provided through the employing county. Upon a Form 36 application approval, please contact the county payroll office/CSBO, or county certification specialist concerning exactly when the employing county will provide the reimbursement check or direct deposit for the approved amount.
Incomplete Form 36 applications received by the WVDE are denied, and a new Form 36 application must be submitted to re-apply.
If all state funds for tuition reimbursement are expended by the time the Form 36 application is reviewed in order by date received and an Out of Funds denial is issued for the application, an applicant may choose to apply at that time to the employing county for possible reimbursement through county funds or through the county's Title I, Title II, or Title III federal program funds, where available.