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Benefits: Tuition Remission

SECTION: HR - Benefits NEXT REVIEW DATE: February 2017
APPROVED: July 2011 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: July 2016

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In keeping with the Wheeling Jesuit University philosophy of "total rewards," the University offers no-cost or reduced cost tuition to eligible employees as an additional benefit of employment.


2.1 Policy Statement
Tuition remission is provided to benefits-eligible employees at the levels and per the schedules noted herein.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 "Tuition remission" - Tuition remission applies to both undergraduate and graduate level courses for benefits-eligible employees and undergraduate level courses for both spouses and dependents of benefits-eligible employees. Benefits-eligible employees and their spouses / dependents can enroll in up to eighteen (18) undergraduate credit hours per semester at no cost to the employee or student. Benefits-eligible employees can enroll in up to eighteen (18) graduate credit hours per semester; however, graduate tuition in excess of the IRS limits must be reported by the employee as compensation and taxable income (see 2.7).

2.2.2 "Overload charges" - Credits in excess of 18 hours per semester which must be paid at the full rate by the benefits-eligible employee or dependent student.

2.2.3 "Dependents" - Dependency of children and step-children is determined by federal financial aid guidelines which are available in the Student Financial Planning Office.

2.2.4 "Benefits-Eligible" - Full-time employees (Faculty, Staff, and Administration) are provided, as a part of their overall package, access to health and welfare benefits for themselves and for qualified dependents. Participation is optional with some costs being shared by both the University and the employee through payroll deductions as premium contributions. Full-time is defined in the policy "Types of University Employment."

2.2.5 "Semester in which they begin employment" - The employee's first official day of work determines the semester in which they begin employment. The semesters are pre-determined by the Academic Department (official first day of class and finals week determine the length of the semester) and the employee's first official day of work will fall into one of those pre-determined semesters.

2.3 Eligibility

2.3.1 Benefits-eligible employees are eligible for tuition remission beginning the semester immediately following the semester in which they begin employment.

2.3.2 Spouses and dependents of employees noted in (2.3.1) enrolled in undergraduate degree-seeking programs are eligible for tuition remission beginning the semester immediately following the semester in which the spouse or parent begins employment.

2.3.3 Requests for tuition remission must be timely. Tuition remission requests must be entered and approved no later than the semester prior to the semester in which the employee, the employee's spouse, or the employee's dependents are scheduled to begin classes. All requests for tuition remission must conform to the requirements noted by Financial Aid, the Registrar, and Human Resources. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the three University departments noted herein and will only be available for the semester in which the employee, the employee's spouse, or the employee's dependents have actually begun class. Requests for tuition remission after the conclusion of the semester for which tuition remission is being sought must be directed to the Financial Aid Office to determine if tuition remission can be retroactive after the semester concludes due to federal funding; in those instances, the decision of the Financial Aid Office will be final.

2.4 Coverage

2.4.1 Tuition remission is available for benefits-eligible employees per the conditions noted within this policy:
At 100% of the cost at undergraduate level.

  • At 50% of the cost at the graduate level per IRS limitations.
  • At 25% of the cost for the Accelerated Certification of Teaching (ACT).

2.4.2 Full tuition remission is also available at 100% of the cost at the undergraduate level for spouses and dependents of benefit-eligible employees.

2.4.3 Benefits-eligible employees can enroll in the ACT program and receive 25% tuition remission provided they already possess a bachelor's degree.

2.4.4 Tuition is the only covered benefit; fees, room, board, overload charges, continuing education fees / costs and textbook expenses must be paid by the employee or the student.

2.4.5 Tuition remission for the Evening Division, Summer School or Graduate Programs is applicable only when a sufficient number of paying students are enrolled.

2.4.6 Tuition Remission for the Physical Therapy program will be limited to the day graduate program fee.

2.4.7 Through a reciprocal agreement, Belmont Technical College offers full tuition waiver for all full-time benefits-eligible employees and their spouses and dependents.

2.4.8 Tuition remission (undergraduate level) extends to other colleges and universities through three tuition exchange programs: Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Tuition Exchange (TE) and select Jesuit colleges and universities (FACHEX). Tuition remission through exchange programs is limited to dependents of full-time employees and retirees as defined in 2.6(e) subject to specific rules which are applied after Wheeling Jesuit University eligibility is determined. Questions regarding where to locate information on the colleges and universities included should be directed to Human Resources.

2.4.9 Graduate tuition remission for benefits-eligible full-time employees will only apply to Wheeling Jesuit University courses and programs of study and will not be available through tuition exchange programs.

2.5 Requirements

2.5.1 Classes taken by employees should be outside normal working hours. As an exception and in some circumstances, employees may be permitted to take a course during their work day. Requests to do so must be submitted in writing and directed to the executive administrator responsible for the department; both the executive administrator and the Director of Human Resources must approve the request. For example, an employee who is within thirty (30) hours of graduation and requires a course that is only offered during the day may be granted an exception.

2.5.2 Any employee wishing to drop a class (es) must do so during the University's specified add / drop period. Tuition remission will not be provided for any class (es) dropped after that time. Employees must check with the Registrar's Office to determine the final date a class may be dropped without incurring additional expense.

2.6 Limitations and Special Considerations

2.6.1 Tuition remission for spouses and dependents of employees is limited to one (1) undergraduate degree from Wheeling Jesuit University. Dependents must graduate within eight (8) semesters. Courses taken after eight (8) semesters will not be covered by tuition remission; however, dependents may appeal to the financial aid committee for consideration of additional time under extenuating circumstances.

2.6.2 Tuition remission is provided for employees, their spouses, and their dependents to earn their first (1st) undergraduate degree. Wheeling Jesuit University will not apply tuition remission toward a second (2nd) undergraduate degree regardless of where or when the first (1st) undergraduate degree was obtained. Eligible individuals may apply tuition remission to complete an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree initiated elsewhere or after completion of an associate's degree earned elsewhere per the conditions defined within this policy. Acceptance of credits and courses transferred from another institution will be per Wheeling Jesuit University's admissions and academic criteria in place at the time of application.

2.6.3 Employees must remain employed at Wheeling Jesuit University during the period of enrollment for the employee, spouse or dependent to continue to receive tuition remission (exception: retirees - see "e" below). In the event an employee loses his/her position through no fault of his/her own (ex: reduction in force), the employee, spouse, or dependent will be permitted to complete the balance of the semester in which they are enrolled on tuition remission.

2.6.4 Nieces and nephews of any Jesuit employed as an administrator at Wheeling Jesuit University are eligible for the tuition remission program. Such arrangements will be made through the president.

2.6.5 Tuition remission is available for dependents of employees who are retired ("retired" is defined as: 1.) completing a minimum of ten (10) years of continuous service with the University, 2) being eligible for retirement benefits as defined by a 403(b) plan or social security for those who are not enrolled in a 403(b) plan, and 3) actually tendering your retirement from the University), are incapacitated or deceased. Dependents may receive full tuition remission until a bachelor's degree is earned.
Some of the tuition remission benefits offered by the University may represent taxable income to the employee; Employees are urged to consult their tax professional concerning the tax implications of this benefit (see 2.7).

2.6.7 The employee portion of graduate tuition (after the University portion has been deducted) can be paid via payroll deduction.

2.7 IRS Guidelines

2.7.1 Section 127 of the IRS Code allows all employers, regardless of whether or not they are an educational institution, to provide their employees with educational assistance for both undergraduate and graduate work. IRS regulations consider anything of value provided to an employee by an employer to be a form of compensation. All compensation must generally be reported as taxable wages and is subject to income tax withholding unless specifically excluded by the Internal Revenue Code. Undergraduate tuition remission is generally excluded and not taxed; however, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that the graduate tuition remission benefit may be taxable income.

2.7.2 Under section 117(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, educational institutions offering a full reduction of tuition charges (tuition remission) to employees, their spouses, and their dependent children for undergraduate coursework may exclude the value of this education from their employees' taxable wages.

2.7.3 The tuition remission that the University offers employees for graduate-level education is eligible for a partial exclusion; therefore, the full exclusion noted in "b" does not extend to graduate coursework. Employers may provide each employee with up to $5,250 of educational assistance per year on a tax-free basis for graduate coursework. The Internal Revenue Code requires that educational assistance in excess of the $5,250 exclusion must be added to employees' taxable wages and employment taxes must be withheld. Therefore, employees who are approved for graduate coursework and begin registering for graduate level courses at the graduate tuition rate must be aware that the University benefit is for 50% of tuition up to the amount permitted by the IRS which is currently $5250. Any amount in excess of that dollar amount will be considered compensation and the employee will be required to pay taxes on that amount. When registering for classes, the employee should be cognizant of the number of credits hours he/she is registering for both in the semester and cumulative for the calendar year, the cost of those credits hours, the amount of the University benefit, and the residual amount on which the employee may be taxed.

The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice and with the approval of the University President or his designee.


Tuition Remission Application


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