Federal employees eligible for tuition reduction through World Campus

June 14, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  Some 1.8 million federal government employees, their spouses and legal dependents are now eligible for a tuition reduction to attend Penn State World Campus, the online campus of Penn State, a premier public research university.

The benefit is through an agreement that has been signed by Penn State World Campus and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on behalf of the federal government. The agreement, announced Tuesday (June 14), provides for a 5 percent tuition reduction on programs and courses offered online.

The benefit takes effect immediately and is available to all federal employees, their spouses and legal dependents. It applies to all World Campus courses and programs, with no program exclusions or out-of-state tuition rates.

OPM is the arm of the federal government that provides human resources and leadership support to all federal agencies and their employees.

Penn State World Campus, which has been offering programs online since 1998, has a portfolio of more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. The portfolio includes programs that teach what the federal government considers mission-critical occupation skills in the areas of cybersecurity, acquisition, human resources, auditing, economics, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

“The agreement we have with the Penn State World Campus benefits us all,” said Beth F. Cobert, acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. “In particular, it allows federal employees to obtain the education they need to meet today’s workplace challenges. This effort will also help agencies across government close critical skills gaps, enabling the federal workforce to fulfill its mission to serve the American people more efficiently and effectively every single day.”

Federal employees who plan to enroll as undergraduates and have completed college courses at other institutions can have their transcripts evaluated to see how many credits will transfer.

In addition, Penn State World Campus offers academic advising, a dedicated advising team for military students, disability counselors, tutoring and career counseling. World Campus also offers a free, optional online course called Transitions that introduces students to online learning while increasing computer, study and research skills.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Penn State World Campus No. 1 for the best online bachelor’s degrees in 2015 and 2016, and several of Penn State’s graduate programs were also ranked in the top 10.

“We are proud to provide the kind of high-quality education that can help strengthen the federal workforce,” said Craig Weidemann, Penn State’s vice president for outreach and vice provost for online education. “The agreement with the federal government helps the University achieve its mission of expanding access to higher education.” 

Penn State World Campus will hold three informational webinars for federal employees: 11 a.m.-noon June 21, 2-3 p.m. June 23, and 11 a.m.-noon June 29.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about online programs and admissions or to register for one of the webinars.

For media inquiries:
Penn State World Campus: Mike Dawson at mdawson@psu.edu or 814-865-5818.

Office of Personnel Management: Samuel Schumach at media@opm.gov or 202-606-2402.

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Last Updated June 15, 2016