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Employee Tuition Waiver/Scholarship Authorization 2.10-1

Details

Category:
Human Resources
Authorizing Body:
Executive Vice President for Administration & Business Affairs – EVP-ABA
Responsible Department:
Human Resources
Applies To:
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Adopted Date:
08/08/2018
Print Policy

Introduction/Purpose:

Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU or the University) recognizes the importance of employee self-development through academic improvement. The Employee Tuition Waiver/Scholarship Program has been developed to assist faculty, staff, retirees and their spouses, and/or children with educational expenses. The Tuition Waiver/Scholarship Authorization program encourages enrollment in both SVSU undergraduate and graduate classes at a reduced cost.  

Policy: 

Upon employment, qualified employees are eligible to receive 50-75% of their SVSU tuition waived.  In addition, spouses and eligible children of full-time employees, benefit eligible part-time employees and SVSU retirees’ may receive a 50% tuition waiver. 

The waiver/scholarship covers only tuition, course related fees and listeners permits but does not extend to study abroad, books, late registration or other related fees.

Participants in this program must meet all academic requirements necessary for a potential student to be enrolled in SVSU courses. 

Employees must receive permission from their supervisor to attend classes during working hours. 

Support Staff must have written permission (Request to Take Classes during Work Hours Form) from the appropriate Vice President, which shall include an agreement to make up hours or utilize paid or unpaid leave time if attending class during working hours.  In addition, Support Staff are eligible for tuition assistance for courses taken at a Community College.  Refer to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for additional details.

This Program incorporates educational benefits offered by the University under various plans operated in accordance with the following Internal Revenue Code sections:

  • Section 117 - Qualified Tuition Reduction Program
  • Section 127 - Tuition Assistance Program
  • Section 132 & 162 - Working Conditions Fringe Benefits 

Scope and Applicability:

The tuition & course related fees waiver percentage is noted below for the eligible employee groups:

  • Full-time Employees (Administrative Professional, Faculty & Support Staff) - 75%
    • Spouse/Eligible Children - 50%
  • Benefit Eligible Part-time Employees - 75%
    • Spouse/Eligible Children - 50%
  • SVSU Retirees - 75%
    • Spouse/Eligible Children - 50%
  • Aramark & Barnes & Noble full-time employees working at SVSU - 75%
    • Spouse/Eligible Children - 50% 

Additional Information:

The employee tuition waiver benefit at SVSU allows eligible children to receive a 50% discount if they are under 30 years of age during the entire academic semester enrolled.  The spouse of a faculty/staff member, SVSU retiree, Aramark or Barnes & Noble full-time employee are not restricted by age.

The tuition waiver benefit may not be combined with those of another employee for more than the maximum allowed to either employee separately.   For example, if both parents are employees of the University, the amount of the tuition waiver for eligible children is limited to 50%. 

Procedure:

  1. Employees/Retirees are responsible for initiating the process by completing the Request for Tuition Waiver/Scholarship Authorization form each semester and submitting it to the Human Resources office prior to the beginning of the semester in which they or their spouse/children wish to enroll.
  2. Human Resources is responsible for eligibility verification and upon approval will forward the form to the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid. 
  3. The Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid calculates the tuition waiver/scholarship, applies the benefit to the student’s account and forwards a copy to the Payroll Office at the end of the drop/add period.
  4. Employees/Retirees are responsible for notifying the payroll manager by the final posted drop/add periods of any class schedules changes that may reduce the taxable benefit.
  5. Employees/Retirees make their tuition and fee payment once the tuition waiver/scholarship has been applied to the account, but no later than the tuition due date. 

Tuition Waiver as Taxable Income:

The tuition waiver is available for Saginaw Valley State University undergraduate and graduate courses; however, in some cases it may be considered a taxable benefit.  Refer to the Summary of Educational Benefits Tax Implications Chart (50KB) .  The taxable value is computed each semester and is included in compensation over the number of pay periods during the semester.  Graduate tuition wavier for the employee is considered a taxable benefit once the cumulative waiver exceeds $5,250 during the calendar year.

The University must adhere to any applicable IRS regulations in reporting tuition waiver amounts as taxable compensation.  The Internal Revenue Service determines whether courses taken by employees, spouses or dependent children are taxable income to the employee and may be subject to change.  All employees should consult with his or her tax or financial advisor regarding how this may impact the employee’s specific tax reporting. 

Summary:

This program is provided by the University as a privilege and a benefit for faculty and staff, SVSU retirees, Aramark and Barnes & Noble employees working at SVSU, spouses, and eligible children. Abuse of the plan by an individual may result in the loss of the privilege of participation as well as disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Any questions regarding policy interpretation should be directed to Human Resources.

The University reserves the right to modify this policy at any time without notice. 

Definitions:

Spouse - person to whom the staff member is currently and legally married.

Eligible children - include sons, daughters, stepsons, stepdaughters and legally adopted sons and daughters under age 30.

Tax Dependent Child - as defined by the Internal Revenue Service publication (IRC Section 152).  Generally, to be a tax dependent, a child must not have attained age 19 as the close of the calendar year or is a student (full-time for at least five months of the calendar year) and had not attained age 24 as of the close of the calendar year.

SVSU Retirees - SVSU employees who meet either of the following criteria at the time of retirement are eligible:

  • Administrative Profession (AP) & Support Staff (SS) at least 55 years of age and at least ten (10) years of service with SVSU
  • Faculty at least 62 years of age and at least five (5) years of service with SVSU

Related Policies & Forms:

Appendix:

Summary of Educational Benefits Tax Implications Chart (50KB)