Human Resources Policy Manual
7. Tuition Program Benefits
* = Policies and procedures that apply to Faculty.
Employees of the University are encouraged to improve their skills and knowledge in areas related to their work and for general self-improvement. Law School faculty and staff employed at the law school as of January 14, 1994, should consult the HR Benefits Office for further details.
7.1 *Tuition Programs
The University provides three tuition remission/tuition exchange programs:
- Tuition Remission - the University's program for employees and their spouse/dependents
- Faculty and Staff Children Exchange (FACHEX) - Jesuit-to-Jesuit school reciprocity for tuition
- Tuition Exchange - 500 universities participate in a general reciprocity agreement
These programs are designed to provide employees, their spouses, and dependents with financial assistance to take advantage of educational opportunities.
The University retains the right to modify or change the tuition programs at any time with thirty (30) days' notice to employees. Any change that occurs during a quarter will be effective as of the start of the next quarter.
[return to top]
7.2 *Tuition Remission for Seattle University Employees
The tuition programs are open to employees to further their education, and all academic programs, except Law, are available. Regular employees (see Section 2.1) are granted a paid educational benefit to take courses at the University under the following conditions:
- The employee must be employed for not less than three (3) consecutive full months
- The employee must be admitted to the University in accordance with the University's admissions standards and the employee must follow student registration and academic regulations. The employees are entitled to 100% tuition remission for a maximum of twenty-one (21) attempted credits (pro-rated for part-time employees) per academic year - summer quarter through spring quarter.
- Full-time employees receive tuition remission for a maximum of twenty-one (21) credits per academic year. Employees are required to have HR and supervisor's approval for classes that are scheduled during the employee's work hours and for any cohort program offered by the University. Part-time employees receive tuition remission pro-rated based on their FTE ratio. For example, a part-time employee with an FTE of .60 would be eligible to receive 100% tuition remission for 12.60 credits per academic year (.60 FTE x 21 credits = 12.60 credits).
- There is no charge to employees for courses that are audited once they qualify as eligible to participate in tuition remission programs.
- Tuition remission for employees does not extend to course materials or to course fees such as private music lessons, lab fees, matriculation fees, program continuation fees, or late fees. The application fee is waived.
- The employee must complete a Tuition Remission (Educational Privilege) Application form each quarter and turn the completed form into HR (this is due before the Tuition Due deadline to avoid a late charge).
- Employees must be actively working at the University through the completion of final exams for that quarter in order to receive tuition remission. For employees who separate from service during any academic quarter, tuition remission benefits are pro-rated according to the number of completed weeks of employment, excluding any vacation or other leave, and the employee must pay any balance owing.
A. Balancing Work Schedule/Class Schedule
When an employee is enrolled as a student through a tuition remission program, the University recognizes the employment relationship as the primary relationship. Therefore, employees may not enroll in courses that overlap with their regular work schedule without first obtaining the department head's written approval. The decision to allow time for the employee to attend a class during work hours is within the discretion of the department head and is based on factors that include the operational needs of the work unit.
B. Tuition Benefits for Spouse and Dependents
Regular, benefits-eligible employees of the University who have twelve (12) months of continuous service are entitled to pro-rated tuition remission for University tuition-based undergraduate courses for their legal spouse and dependent children. (For employees whose work schedule is less than full-time, the University provides a proportionate tuition benefit. For details, contact the Benefits Department.) Dependent children are defined as natural born, adopted or stepchildren under the age of 25. To be eligible, stepchildren must be under the assigned joint custody of the employee/spouse. Children must be financially dependent on the employee and meet the definition of "dependent" set by the Internal Revenue Service. The University reserves the right to require proof of dependency. For the IRS definition of a dependent, visit http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/26/subtitles/a/chapters/1/subchapters/b/parts/v/sections/section%5F152.html.
The tuition program is limited to the first (1st) bachelor's degree for spouses or dependent children (i.e., if a spouse/dependent child has an undergraduate degree, he cannot participate in the University tuition remission/Tuition Exchange/Fachex programs). Once a spouse/dependent child completes the credits required to graduate with a single bachelor's degree in his degree program, the tuition benefit ceases. The spouse and dependent children must meet the University's admission requirements and must follow student registration, financial aid, and academic regulations. This includes completing an Education Privilege form prior to the tuition due deadline each quarter and submitting the completed form to HR. Dependents eligible for tuition remission are required to annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available in the Student Financial Services Office or online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
Both parents, if employed at the University, can accrue a tuition benefit, based on the combined years of service. In no event, however, will the tuition benefit exceed 100% of the tuition costs.
Tuition remission for spouse and dependent children of eligible employees is based on the employee's number of completed years of service as indicated by the following schedule:
Length of Regular Service
% of Tuition Remission
0 through 12 months
13 through 36 months
37 or more months
(Also reference Section 5.10)
- There is no charge to the spouses/dependent children for courses that are audited once they qualify as eligible to participate in the tuition remission programs.
- Dependent children of part-time employees (working a minimum of 1,040 hours per year) receive a percentage of tuition remission equal to the employees' FTE ratio. The FTE ratio is multiplied by the tuition remission percent based on years of service. For example, a dependent child of an employee who has completed one (1) year of service and who works sixty percent (60%) of a full schedule (FTE = .60) would receive sixty percent (60%) of the fifty percent (50%) discount, or a thirty percent (30%) discount (50% x .60 FTE = 30%).
- Tuition remission for spouse and dependent children does not extend to course materials or to course fees such as private music lessons, matriculation fees, lab fees, and late fees. The spouse and dependent child of the employee must pay fees and charges, including the application fee, outside basic tuition costs.
- If a dependent child qualifies for federal or state grants, his tuition remission will be adjusted accordingly.
- Tuition remission will not apply to undergraduate courses in excess of 20 credit hours each quarter.
- Employees must be actively working at the University through the completion of final exams for that quarter in order to receive tuition remission for their spouse/dependent children. For employees who separate from service during any academic quarter, tuition remission benefits are pro-rated according to the number of completed weeks of employment, excluding any vacation or other leave. Employees must pay the pro-rated tuition for their spouse/dependent chidren for all weeks following their employment separation.
[return to top]
7.3 *Dependent's Tuition Programs at Other Schools
For regular employees who have twelve (12) months continuous service and whose children qualify as dependents (as stated above) and attend an accredited institution of higher education other than the University, the University provides a taxable tuition reimbursement for undergraduate coursework equal to 4.25% of the actual amount paid or incurred by the employee for the dependent child's tuition. Tuition reimbursement for dependent children does not extend to course fees such as private music lessons, matriculation fees, lab fees, or late fees. This reimbursement is not to be used in conjunction with any other Seattle University tuition remission or exchange programs such as Fachex or Tuition Exchange. Employees should consult with the HR Benefits Office about procedures to follow for reimbursement.
[return to top]
7.4 *Faculty and Staff Children Exchange (FACHEX) and Tuition Exchange
There are two (2) undergraduate exchange programs that are available to employees: FACHEX (Faculty and Children Exchange) and Tuition Exchange.
- FACHEX is an undergraduate tuition remission program involving 26 of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.
- The Tuition Exchange program is a partnership of approximately 500 colleges and universities offering competitive tuition exchange scholarships to dependent children of university employees employed at member institutions.
These programs are open to eligible dependent children of all Seattle University employees who have at least three (3) years of continuous full-time service with the University, or five (5) years equivalent employment credit at another accredited institution (see Section 5.10). Eligibility for these programs does not guarantee the student will receive an exchange award.
For more information on either program, please contact the Benefits Office.
[return to top]
7.5 *Tuition Benefits for Retired, Disabled or Deceased Employees
7.5.1 Full-time employees with ten (10) or more consecutive years of service who retire at age 60 or older will be eligible for tuition remission for dependent children for undergraduate programs at Seattle University (including FACHEX and Tuition Exchange). Part-time employees will be eligible for dependent tuition remission at Seattle University, based on an average FTE of their last five years of employment, however will not be able to participate in the Fachex or Tuition Exchange programs. Dependents eligible for tuition remission at Seattle University are required to apply to the University and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available in the Student Financial Services Office or online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
7.5.2 If a full-time employee with ten (10) years or more of consecutive service dies or is disabled (in accordance with IRC 72(m)(7) while actively employed, tuition remission (including FACHEX and Tuition Exchange) is made available to dependent children for undergraduate programs. Part-time employees will be eligible for dependent tuition remission at Seattle University, based on an average FTE of their last five years of employment, however will not be able to participate in the Fachex or Tuition Exchange programs. Dependents eligible for tuition remission are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available in the Student Financial Services Office or online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
[return to top]
7.6 *Tax Implications
Federal or state tax authorities may treat awards made under the tuition remission/exchange/grant programs as taxable compensation. Employees should review federal and state tax regulations when participating in the University's tuition programs.
[return to top]
Tuition Exchange: http://www.tuitionexchange.org