Education Benefits Policy

University of Puget Sound Education Benefits Policy

The University of Puget Sound Education Benefits Policy provides various education benefits for eligible faculty and staff members, their partners and eligible dependent children.

I. Minimum Eligibility

The following criteria are the minimum eligibility requirements for education benefits. The remainder of this policy applies to individuals who meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements in this section.

  • An eligible staff member is defined as one who is scheduled to work at least 1,560 hours per year (i.e., a 3/4 time appointment).
  • An eligible faculty member is defined as one who has a contract with the University of Puget Sound to teach six units of coursework or the equivalent during an academic year.
  • An eligible staff or faculty member must have continuous employment with the university at the qualifying level during the full term of the benefit utilization.
  • If the faculty or staff member goes to a reduced schedule such that they are no longer eligible for the benefit, or they have separation of employment with the university for any reason, the benefits under this policy will cease as of the last day of employment or effective date of the reduced schedule.  Any tuition not covered by the benefit, to be determined on a prorated basis, will be due and payable by the faculty/staff member.
  • For purposes of this policy, “hired or rehired” means the first day of employment or reemployment as established in the contract (faculty) or appointment letter (staff).
  • A student may use only one education benefit at a time.  Benefits may not be combined.
  • There are additional eligibility requirements for education benefits for partners and dependent children, as specified later in this policy.  

Demographic information regarding dependent children will be collected at time of hire and annually during the benefits open enrollment period.

II. Amount of Education Benefits

Covered Costs

The benefits under this policy apply to tuition only.  The benefits do not apply to the non-tuition expenses associated with room (housing), board (meals), books, student government fees, health insurance, laboratory fees, material fees, occupational therapy and physical therapy affiliation fees, physical education activity fees, study abroad programs, travel expenditures, applied music lesson costs, or any other expense that is not tuition. 

Faculty and Staff

Eligible faculty and staff may receive a 100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship when enrolled for credit in undergraduate or graduate courses at the University of Puget Sound.

Partners

Partners of eligible faculty and staff may qualify for a Tuition Remission Scholarship at University of Puget Sound for undergraduate or graduate courses depending on the number of years the faculty or staff member has been employed by the university.

Dependent Children

Dependent children of eligible faculty and staff may qualify for the following undergraduate education benefits depending on the number of years the faculty or staff member has been employed by the university:

  • a Tuition Remission Scholarship at University of Puget Sound;
  • a National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarship;
  • a Northwest Independent Colleges (NIC) Tuition Exchange Scholarship (available through fall 2015);
  • a Northwest Liberal Arts (NWLA) Tuition Scholarship; or
  • an Open Tuition Scholarship.

This benefit provides for a maximum of four years (8 semesters or 12 quarters) or the attainment of their first baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.  Read a summary of the benefits and eligibility requirements.

i. Faculty and staff members hired or rehired after July 1, 2012

After five years of continuous qualifying employment with the university, eligible faculty and staff members may apply for the following benefits:

Partners:  100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for coursework at University of Puget Sound;

Dependent Children

a) 100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for undergraduate coursework at University of Puget Sound; or

b) National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarship; or

c) Open Tuition Scholarship.

ii. Faculty and staff members hired or rehired between July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012

After five years of continuous qualifying employment with the university, eligible faculty and staff members may apply for the following benefits:

Partners:  100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for coursework at University of Puget Sound;

Depndent Children

a) 100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for undergraduate coursework at University of Puget Sound; or  

b) a National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarship; or

c) a Northwest Liberal Arts (NWLA) Tuition Scholarship; or

d) an Open Tuition Scholarship.

iii. Faculty and staff members hired before July 1, 2011[1]

During the first two years of continuous qualifying employment with the university, eligible faculty and staff members may apply for the following benefits:

Partners:  50 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for coursework at University of Puget Sound;

Dependent Children:  50 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for undergraduate coursework at University of Puget Sound.

After two years of continuous qualifying employment with the university, eligible faculty and staff members may apply for the following benefits:

Partners:  100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for coursework at University of Puget Sound;

Dependent Children

a) 100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for undergraduate coursework at University of Puget Sound; or

b) a National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarship; or

c) a Northwest Independent Colleges (NIC) Tuition Exchange Scholarship; or

d) a Northwest Liberal Arts (NWLA) Tuition Scholarship.

After five years of continuous qualifying employment with the university, eligible faculty and staff members’ dependent children may apply for the following benefits:

a) 100 percent Tuition Remission Scholarship for undergraduate coursework at University of Puget Sound; or

b) a National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarship; or

c) a Northwest Independent Colleges (NIC) Tuition Exchange Scholarship; or

d) a Northwest Liberal Arts (NWLA) Tuition Scholarship; or

e) an Open Tuition Scholarship.

iv. Faculty and staff members in exempt positions who were eligible for education benefits during fiscal year 1974-75, and who continue in the employ of University of Puget Sound

Faculty and staff members in this category may apply for a benefit for their dependent children in the form of a tuition scholarship when the dependent children are enrolled at any accredited institution of higher education.  The amount of the tuition scholarship will be equal to the actual undergraduate tuition at the institution, but will not exceed the applicable tuition charge at University of Puget Sound.  Faculty and staff members who commenced employment after fiscal year 1974-75 are not eligible for these grandfathered tuition scholarships for their dependent children.

v. Retired faculty and staff members

Individuals who were employed by the university on a regular, full-time basis for at least 20 years immediately preceding retirement at or after age 55 or faculty members who retire under the provisions of the faculty Early Retirement and Career Change plan shall be eligible to receive tuition benefits for themselves and for their partners and dependent children, on the same terms as those for which they would have been eligible if they were not retired.

Retirement means the faculty or staff member leaves the regular, full-time workforce.

vi. Disabled and deceased faculty and staff members

Partners and dependent children of disabled or deceased faculty and staff members who become disabled or die after ten years of employment with the university will continue to be eligible for tuition benefits on the same terms as those for which they would have been eligible if the faculty or staff member were still employed at University of Puget Sound.

 III. Description of Benefits

Tuition Remission Scholarships at University of Puget Sound

A tuition remission scholarship allows eligible faculty, staff and their partners and dependent children to take courses at the university at the levels described in Section II of this policy.  Eligible faculty and staff members will be enrolled in classes if space in the classes is available after the enrollment of regular, tuition-paying students.  If space is limited in any class, faculty and staff members eligible for tuition remission scholarships will be enrolled in the order in which they registered for the class.

With prior approval from their supervisors, staff members may take courses during their normal working hours, if absence during course meeting times does not significantly impair normal department routine or burden other staff members.  Absence for classes during normal working hours must be made up at times mutually agreed upon with the supervisor.

Eligible faculty, staff, partners and dependent children are subject to applicable admission requirements and, once admitted, to the same policies and procedures to which other students are subject.

Dependent children of eligible faculty and staff may use the tuition remission scholarship for up to four academic years or the equivalent (34 units of coursework) or the attainment of their first baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.

If a student withdraws from a course after the last day to withdraw without record, the course will be counted toward the 34 unit limit.  Courses a student has failed or repeated will also be counted toward the limit.  The tuition scholarship limit covers units attempted, to a total of 34.  Activity units in excess of the two allowed in the degree will not be counted toward the 34 units unless they would have triggered an extra tuition charge beyond the full-time rate.  Medical withdrawals supported by an official withdrawal petition will not be counted toward the 34 unit limit.

Partners of eligible faculty and staff members may audit any regularly scheduled class offered for credit at the university, when space is available and with permission of the instructor of the class.

National Tuition Exchange (TE) Scholarships

Tuition Exchange, Inc. is a non-profit association of more than 600 colleges and universities that enables a reciprocal scholarship program among participating institutions. The employing institution certifies eligibility and the receiving institution determines the number and criteria for award decisions. Dependent children of a faculty/staff member who meets eligibility requirements defined in Section II of this policy have the opportunity to compete for TE scholarships.

Scholarships under this program are subject to exchange balances and there can be more applications to some schools than the number of scholarships available. Each participating institution determines how many scholarships they will award each year. TE scholarships are competitive and are not guaranteed.

Northwest Independent Colleges (NIC) Tuition Exchange Program

The NIC exchange is an agreement among the five northwest independent liberal arts colleges (Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Willamette University) through which eligible faculty or staff member’s dependents may apply for NIC exchange scholarships after the faculty/staff member meets eligibility requirements defined in Section II of this policy. The NIC Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program is governed by the terms of the exchange agreement; scholarships are subject to participation limits and are not guaranteed. No new NIC exchange scholarships will be granted after fall of 2015.

Northwest Liberal Arts (NWLA) Tuition Scholarship

When enrolled as a full-time, degree seeking undergraduate student at Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, Whitman College, or Willamette University, dependent children of eligible faculty and staff may apply for a NWLA Tuition Scholarship in the amount of up to 75 percent of the cost of tuition at University of Puget Sound.

Open Tuition Scholarship

When enrolled as a full-time, degree seeking undergraduate student at any accredited institution of higher education, dependent children of eligible faculty and staff may apply for a scholarship toward tuition expenses.  The amount of the tuition benefit is published each year in a schedule that is based on the eligible staff or faculty member’s years of continuous employment with the university. 

IV. Application Process

You are required to submit a new Application for Education Benefits form in advance of each quarter/semester for which a benefit will be used. Refer to Frequently Asked Questions or contact Human Resources for additional information and deadlines for applying for these benefits

V. Taxation

Taxation of benefits offered under the Education Benefits Policy is determined by the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to change at any time.

VI. Definitions

Dependent Child is defined as one who is claimed as a dependent child on the faculty or staff member’s or the faculty or staff member’s partner’s previous year’s income tax return and who is the faculty or staff member’s natural or adoptive child or the natural or adoptive child of the faculty or staff member’s partner living permanently in the faculty or staff member’s home.  A divorced faculty or staff member’s dependent children, for the purposes of the Education Benefits Policy, are treated as the dependents of both parents.  Court-appointed legal wards and foster children are not eligible for education benefits.

Partner means one to whom a faculty or staff member is legally married or as one with whom the faculty or staff member is in a domestic partnership demonstrated by sharing the same regular and permanent residence; sharing an ongoing, personal and committed relationship which they have with no other and which is comparable to marriage; and being jointly responsible for each other’s welfare and the maintenance of their household.  Marriage or domestic partnership will be certified through an Affidavit of Marriage or Domestic Partnership.

Disability means either (1) for the first 24 months of the faculty or staff member’s disability, being completely unable to perform the material and substantial duties of his or her normal occupation and not performing any other occupation; and after that 24 months, being unable to perform the material and substantial duties of any occupation for which the faculty or staff member is reasonably qualified by education, training, or experience.  The disabled faculty or staff member must be under the regular care of a physician, other than himself or herself or a member of his or her family.

VII. Policy Administration

Questions regarding routine administration of education benefits should be directed to Human Resources:

  • Phone number:           253.879.3369
  • Email address:            hr@pugetsound.edu
  • Campus location:        Howarth Hall 016

The Vice President for Finance and Administration oversees the administration of the education benefits policy and has discretionary authority to interpret the policy as needed. 

The university reserves the right to amend or terminate this policy at any time.

Revised: July 1, 2012

 


 

 

[1] For purposes of this category of benefit only, “hired before July 1, 2011” includes faculty and staff members to whom offers of employment were extended and accepted before July 1, 2011, and whose starting dates were on or after July 1, 2011.