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Syracuse University Dependent Tuition Benefit Policy

Scope

Benefits Eligible Employees

Policy Statement

  1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    The Syracuse University Dependent Tuition Benefit Policy ("Policy") describes the educational benefits available to eligible dependents ("Eligible Dependents") of eligible employees ("Eligible Employees") as those terms are defined in Sections III and IV.

    To receive benefits under the Policy, an Eligible Dependent must meet all requirements leading to admission by a college or university and be enrolled in a program of study leading to his or her first baccalaureate degree. To continue receiving tuition benefits, an Eligible Dependent must continue to meet the academic requirements of his or her specific program.

    Benefits under this Policy are applicable towards regular tuition charges only. Charges for housing and meals are excluded as are all fees including, but not limited to, fees for student activity, laboratory, individual instruction, music and voice lessons, health and athletics.

    Benefits under this Policy do not cover any tuition charges incurred before the Eligible Dependent's initial matriculation date including fees or tuition for Project Advance, Advance Placement or Pre-College Programs.

    An Eligible Dependent is eligible for only one Dependent Tuition Program at a time. No additional benefits are granted to Eligible Dependents for whom both parents are Eligible Employees.

  2. DEPENDENT TUITION PROGRAMS

    1. SU Tuition Waiver Program: An Eligible Dependent who is matriculated and enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at Syracuse University may apply to receive a tuition waiver. The waiver can be applied only to the minimum number of credit hours required for completion of the first baccalaureate degree. An Eligible Dependent enrolled in a combined baccalaureate/master's program will be limited to the minimum number of credits required for the equivalent of the baccalaureate degree.

      An Eligible Dependent enrolled in the SU Tuition Waiver Program may have his or her tuition waiver applied to regular tuition charges for SU Summer Session courses, including at less than full-time enrollment, or a study abroad program through SU Abroad provided the Eligible Dependent has met the acceptance requirements.

      All credit hours for which some or all of the tuition waiver is received reduce the allotment under the SU Tuition Waiver Program regardless of whether the Eligible Dependent can ultimately use the credits toward his or her baccalaureate degree.

      Applicants for the SU Tuition Waiver Program are required to apply in a timely fashion for a New York State TAP award each year benefits are being used. This requires filing, within federal deadlines, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to automatically generate a pre-printed New York State TAP application.

      An exemption from the New York State TAP award is available if either the following income or residency requirements are satisfied:

      • Income Test: The combined family NYS taxable income must exceed $80,000. This includes the parent's and student's net taxable income plus any state, local or federal pension income and/or private pension annuities that were excluded on their NYS tax forms. Support amount reported for an excluded parent must also be reported.

      • Residency Test: The Eligible Dependent does not satisfy the New York State residency requirements as required by the New York State Higher Education Services Cooperation. Please refer to the New York State Higher Education Services Cooperation for more information.

      A copy of the appropriate documentation needed to satisfy the exemption must be submitted to the Bursar's Office prior to the beginning of the academic year in which the SU Tuition Waiver is being requested. For more information on the New York State TAP award exemption filing process, please contact the University's Bursar's Office New York State Awards Coordinator at 443-4800. Failure to apply for a New York State TAP award or satisfy the exemption requirements will result in a $1,000 reduction of the waiver ($500 each semester).

      The value of the tuition waiver will be provided in accordance with the following schedule:

      1. Eligible Dependents matriculated prior to Fall 2011

        The tuition waiver is 100% for all Eligible Dependents matriculated prior to Fall 2011.

      2. Eligible Dependents matriculated on or after Fall 2011 but prior to Fall 2014

        For eligible courses taken during the Fall 2011 - Summer 2012 academic year, the tuition waiver is 100% if the Eligible Employee's University salary as of November 1, 2010 is less than $150,000 and 90% if the Eligible Employee's University salary as of November 1, 2010 is greater than or equal to $150,000.

        For eligible courses taken during subsequent academic years, the $150,000 threshold will be increased by an amount equal to the University's annual budgeted salary staff pro-forma increase.

      3. Eligible Dependents matriculated on or after Fall 2014

        For eligible courses taken during the Fall 2014 - Summer 2015 academic year, the tuition waiver is based on the Eligible Employee's University salary as of November 1, 2013 as follows:

        • 100% if the salary is less than $50,000 adjusted by the University's annual budgeted salary staff pro-forma increases for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014;

        • 95% if the salary is greater than or equal to $50,000 but less than $100,000, both thresholds adjusted by the University's annual budgeted salary staff pro-forma increases for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014;

        • 90% if the salary is greater than or equal to $100,000 adjusted by the University's annual budgeted salary staff pro-forma increases for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

        For eligible courses taken during subsequent academic years, the thresholds will continue to be increased by an amount equal to the University's annual budgeted salary staff pro-forma increase.

        For purposes of determining the level of tuition waiver, the University salary to be used is the Eligible Employee's "average base benefits rate" as defined by the University and recorded by the Office of Human Resources. The measurement of an Eligible Employee's University salary as referred to in this policy will be determined as of each November 1 prior to the academic year of receiving a tuition waiver.

      If two Eligible Employees qualify for benefits for the same Eligible Dependent, the tuition waiver is based on the higher of the two University salaries.

      If an Eligible Dependent participates under the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Programs before transferring to SU, the matriculation date for purposes of setting the level of the tuition waiver is the date the student is matriculated at SU. If a student is reinstated in or readmitted to an SU program after an approved leave of absence, the matriculation date for the purposes of setting the level of the tuition waiver is the student's original date of matriculation at SU.

      Certain financial aid, including SU need-based grants, work-study, and loans are available through the University to offset the portion of tuition not covered by the SU Tuition Waiver Program.

    2. Tuition Exchange Program: Eligible Dependents who are matriculated into another participating member institution of Tuition Exchange, Inc. may apply to receive a Tuition Exchange Scholarship for full-time undergraduate study leading to their first baccalaureate degree. The program is limited to a maximum of eight semesters. The Tuition Exchange Scholarship is not guaranteed at any of the participating member institutions. Tuition Exchange Scholarships are awarded by the institutions according to their own criteria. The value and duration of each scholarship may be restricted. Summer Session courses are not available under the Tuition Exchange Program. Admittance to academic programs or courses at Syracuse University are governed by the SU Tuition Waiver Program (see paragraph 1 above). Please refer to the Tuition Exchange website http://tuitionexchange.org/ for complete details.

    3. Cash Grant Program: Eligible Dependents who are full-time undergraduate students and are matriculated into an Eligible Accredited Post Secondary Institution of Learning, may apply to have up to $1,250 per semester applied towards tuition charges. An Eligible Post Secondary Institution of Learning is an institution that offers courses of study leading to an associate's or baccalaureate degree and is accredited in the United States by an agency recognized by the University. Awards are made payable directly to the institution. The program is limited to a maximum of eight semesters. Summer Session courses are not available under the Cash Grant Program. Admittance to academic programs or courses at Syracuse University are governed by the SU Tuition Waiver Program (see paragraph 1 above).

    4. Transferring Between Programs: All credit hours taken under the SU Tuition Waiver Program or semesters used under the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Programs will be considered used benefits and will not be subsequently reinstated.

      Changing academic programs for Eligible Dependents matriculated at SU: An Eligible Dependent transferring from one degree program and/or school or college within Syracuse University to another will be eligible for the minimum number of credit hours required to complete the undergraduate degree program to which the dependent has transferred less the number of credit hours already used under the SU Tuition Waiver Program since matriculation, even if some of the pre-transfer credits may not be applicable to the new degree.

      Transferring credits obtained outside the Dependent Tuition Program to SU: For an Eligible Dependent matriculated at SU who transfers credits obtained without the use of the Dependent Tuition Program, the benefit under the SU Tuition Waiver Program shall be limited to the minimum number of credit hours required for completion of the SU undergraduate degree program to which the dependent is admitted less those credits accepted by SU toward the completion of the degree program.

      Transferring from either the Cash Grant or Tuition Exchange Programs to SU: For an Eligible Dependent who received benefits under the Cash Grant or Tuition Exchange Program while studying at another institution, the benefit under the SU Tuition Waiver Program shall be limited to the minimum number of credits required to complete the SU undergraduate degree program to which the dependent was admitted less 12 credit hours for each semester of benefit used under the Cash Grant or Tuition Exchange Program or the number of transferred credits accepted by SU, whichever is greater.

      Transferring from SU to another institution under either the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Programs: For an Eligible Dependent transferring from SU to another institution under the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Program, the benefit will be eight semesters less the number of semesters used under the SU Tuition Waiver Program. Credit hours for all SU Summer Session courses and courses taken while enrolled through University College will be counted as one semester for each multiple of 12 credit hours taken under the SU Tuition Waiver Program.

      Transferring from one institution to another under the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Programs: For an Eligible Dependent transferring from one institution to another under the Tuition Exchange or Cash Grant Programs, the benefit will be eight semesters less the number of semesters previously used.

  3. ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

    To be eligible for benefits under the Policy, an employee must be classified as a Benefits Eligible Employee (as defined in the Benefits Eligibility Policy) and must have completed the equivalent of a minimum of three (3) years of continuous full-time employment (as that equivalency is determined by the Office of Human Resources). For the purposes of the Policy, employees satisfying the above requirements are referred to as Eligible Employees.

    Under the SU Tuition Waiver Program, tuition benefits may be granted for the semester during which the Eligible Employee satisfies the eligibility criteria. Under the Cash Grant and Tuition Exchange Programs, tuition benefits do not begin until the semester following satisfaction of the eligibility criteria.

    • Leave of Absence: An approved leave of absence for the Eligible Employee, whether paid or unpaid, which is obtained in accordance with applicable University policies, will not affect eligibility for tuition benefits under this Policy so long as the employee remains classified as a Benefits Eligible Employee.

    • Termination or Loss of Eligibility: If an Eligible Employee ceases to be classified as a Benefits Eligible Employee, tuition benefits under the Policy terminate. Any Eligible Dependent receiving tuition benefits under the Policy during the semester in which the employee loses benefits eligibility may continue receiving those benefits for that semester. Tuition for classes taken in subsequent semesters will be the responsibility of the student.

    • Retirement, Long-Term Disability, or Death: An Eligible Employee with seven (7) years of continuous full-time equivalent employment prior to his or her retirement, "long-term disability" (as that term is defined by the Office of Human Resources), or death will continue to be considered an Eligible Employee under the Policy.

    A dependent of an Eligible Employee who does not have seven (7) years of continuous full-time equivalent employment prior to his or her retirement, "long-term disability" (as that term is defined by the Office of Human Resources), or death will continue to be an Eligible Dependent under the terms of the Policy if that dependent was matriculated and receiving benefits under the Policy at the time of the event.

  4. ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS

    In order to be classified as an Eligible Dependent under the Policy, an Eligible Employee's dependent must satisfy each of the following requirements:

    1. The Eligible Dependent must have one of the following relationships with the Eligible Employee:

      1. biological child of the Eligible Employee;

      2. child for whom the Eligible Employee has either legal custody or has been appointed legal guardian, and for whom such legal arrangement has been in force for at least three years unless a special exception has been granted through the Office of Human Resources;

      3. adopted child or a child who has been placed with the Eligible Employee for adoption provided the adoption or placement has been in place for at least three years unless a special exception has been granted through the Office of Human Resources; or

      4. child of an Eligible Spouse or Eligible Same-Sex Domestic Partner (as those terms are defined in the Benefits Eligibility Policy). The child must have one of the relationships to the Eligible Spouse or Eligible Same-Sex Domestic Partner as described in a, b, or c above;

    2. The Eligible Dependent must not be married;

    3. The Eligible Dependent must be under the age of 25 as of the beginning of the academic semester in which the benefit is incurred. An Eligible Dependent with a qualified disability can petition for a waiver of the age requirements if the dependent satisfies such requirements as are specified by the Office of Human Resources;

    4. The Eligible Dependent must be matriculated as a full-time student at an Eligible Accredited Post Secondary Institution of Learning. An Eligible Post Secondary Institution of Learning is an institution that offers courses of study leading to an associate's or baccalaureate degree and is accredited in the United States by an agency recognized by the University.

      There are three exemptions from the above requirements of full-time student status:

      1. An Eligible Dependent using the SU Tuition Waiver Program can petition for a waiver of the full-time student requirements in his or her final academic semester if he or she needs fewer than 12 credit hours to satisfy the baccalaureate degree. This exemption cannot be used for more than one semester; and

      2. An Eligible Dependent with a qualified disability can petition for a waiver of the full-time student requirements if he or she satisfies such requirements as are specified by the Office of Human Resources; and

      3. An Eligible Dependent who is matriculated and enrolled in at least six undergraduate credit hours per semester at University College may apply to participate in the SU Tuition Waiver Program. An Eligible Dependent enrolled in the SU Tuition Waiver Program at University College may have his or her tuition waiver applied to regular tuition charges for Summer Session courses including, if enrolled in less than six credit hours.

    5. The Eligible Dependent must be claimed as a dependent on the Eligible Employee's federal income tax return for each calendar year during which the child receives Dependent Tuition Benefits. If the Eligible Employee is unable to satisfy the requirements in the preceding sentence because of a divorce or a legal separation from his or her spouse, the Office of Human Resources may exempt this requirement if the Eligible Employee can provide such documentation as the Office of Human Resources considers to be satisfactory that the child is the Eligible Employee's dependent child within the meaning of Section 132(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Eligible Employee and the Eligible Dependent satisfy such other requirements as are specified by the Office of Human Resources.

      The Eligible Employee must provide the University with such federal income tax documentation of dependency in a manner and at such time(s) as is acceptable to the University. If the Eligible Employee fails to provide the documentation in a timely manner, the University will have the right, in its discretion, to issue the Eligible Employee a bill for the full costs of the Dependent Tuition Benefits provided or issue a corrected Internal Revenue Service Form W-2 to reflect any additional gross income that may be a result of the Dependent Tuition Benefits being provided. The University may also take any other steps permitted by law to address the Eligible Employee's failure to satisfy any of the above requirements.

    6. The Eligible Employee and Eligible Dependent must satisfy such other requirements as are specified by the Office of Human Resources including, but not limited to, completion of application forms and certifications of dependent status prior to commencement of Dependent Tuition Benefits and at such other times as are specified by the Office of Human Resources.

    The University has the right, in its discretion, to take any steps permitted by law to address the Eligible Employee's failure to satisfy the requirements of the Policy or the Eligible Dependent's change in eligibility status under the provisions of the Policy.

  5. TAXATION OF BENEFITS

    Benefits received under this Policy could, in certain circumstances, be determined by the University to be reportable to the tax authorities or subject to withholding. In those circumstances, the University will withhold whatever taxes are required and/or will issue an amended W-2 Wage and Tax Statement in accordance with applicable law.

  6. RIGHT TO AMEND OR TERMINATE

    As is the case with all of its employee benefits, the University reserves the right to amend or terminate these benefits at any time and from time to time, and retains the discretion to construe any ambiguity or uncertainty that might arise with respect to this Policy.

Policy Administration

Links to Procedures and Related Information

Amended: May 2005
April 21, 2010
March 2011
June 2012


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