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Human Resources

Human Resources

Policies and Procedures

Approved February 8, 2014

Tuition Remission

I. Purpose
As part of its commitment to lifelong learning and professional development, Eckerd College provides tuition assistance through several means for eligible employees and dependents to further their academic goals. This includes the following programs:
· The Eckerd College Tuition Remission Program
· The Eckerd College Tuition Exchange Scholarship Program

o Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for the Eckerd College Tuition Remission program to qualify for the Eckerd College Tuition Exchange Scholarship
Program.

o Eckerd College is a member of Tuition Exchange, Inc., an association of colleges and universities that subscribe to a program of reciprocal remission of tuition charges for children of the participating schools’ employees. Limited opportunities are available under this plan. Tuition exchange policies and procedures are administered in the same manner as tuition remission; however, the participating college administers acceptance and award amounts. (A student using Tuition Exchange is subject to the participating college’s entrance requirements and tuition remission policies.) Please refer to www.tuitionexchange.org and contact the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.

II. Eligibility
Tuition Remission is available to all full-time employees, spouses, dependent children of full-time employees, certain part-time employees, and retirees. Tuition remission applies to tuition charges only; all other fees and charges must be paid by the student. Those who meet the eligibility criteria may enroll in Eckerd College academic programs [Residential Degree and Program for Experienced earners (PEL)] for credit courses during the regular academic year, regularly scheduled summer school, autumn and winter terms, study abroad, and audit courses. Tuition remission is not available for courses, programs and workshops offered by departments (e.g. Special Programs and private music lessons).

Employee Eligibility
· All full-time employees are eligible for tuition remission after 90 days of employment.
· Part-time staff are eligible for tuition remission after two (2) years of continuous service with a minimum of 1,000 hours worked per year.
· Faculty and staff retirees, as defined by the Eckerd College Personnel Policy Manual, may receive tuition remission benefits for spouses and dependent children with the limitation that the benefit will be extended only if the spouse and dependent children were enrolled at the time the employee retired. Retired employees may continue to enroll in classes.
· Vendor employees and their dependents are not eligible for this benefit.

Dependent Child and Spouse Eligibility
The tuition remission levels for dependent children and spouses of eligible full-time employees are on a graduated scale based upon the employee’s completed years of service with the College:

Graduated Scale
Employee’s Completed Years of Service Tuition Remission Benefit
0 – 1 year 0%
1 – 2 years 20%
2 – 3 years 40%
3 – 4 years 60%
4 – 5 years 80%
> 5 years 100%

Enrollment Eligibility and Requirements

Employees
· Employees/Spouses must meet the standards of admission and continuing academic eligibility of a given program. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained. If suitable academic progress is not made, the benefit will be forfeited. Eckerd College realizes that unusual circumstances, such as illness, a family crisis or other unforeseen circumstances may result in a student not meeting the renewal requirements for tuition remission. Students who have not met the academic requirements for renewal may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for reinstatement. Appeals based on medical reasons must include documentation from a physician.
· Tuition Remission recipients may apply for financial aid through the College’s Financial Aid Office. Any institutional Financial Aid assistance received will be added to the applicable remission rate, with the total award not to exceed 100% of the cost of tuition.
· Tuition Remission recipients must not displace from enrollment in a given course those students who pay tuition. The student may not register for any course which is fully enrolled unless the instructor and the appropriate dean agree explicitly to increase the capacity of the class without increasing its cost to the College. The student will not count towards the minimum enrollment for a class to be offered.

Dependent Children
· A dependent child is defined as one who is a natural child, a step-child or a child legally adopted before obtaining the age of eighteen (18). This definition includes employees in a domestic partnership. A domestic partner affidavit must be on file with Human Resources. A dependent child may also include a child for whom a faculty/staff member has been granted guardianship before that child attained the age of eighteen (18). The faculty/staff member will be required to provide the Human Resources Office with a copy of the court-appointed guardianship documentation.
· Dependent children must meet the standards of admission and continuing academic eligibility of a given program. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained. If suitable academic progress is not made, the benefit will be forfeited. Eckerd College realizes that unusual circumstances, such as illness, a family crisis or other unforeseen circumstances may result in a student not meeting the renewal requirements for tuition remission. Students who have not met the academic requirements for renewal may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for reinstatement. Appeals based on medical reasons must include documentation from a physician.
· Tuition Remission recipients may apply for financial aid through the College’s Financial Aid Office. Any institutional Financial Aid assistance received will be added to the applicable remission rate, with the total award not to exceed 100% of the cost of tuition.
· Tuition may or may not be taxable to the employee. It is the employee’s responsibility to consult with a tax professional
· The dependent child will register for classes under the same procedures and during the same time periods as all other students.

Spouses
· Spouses must meet the standards of admission and continuing academic eligibility of a given program. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained. If suitable academic progress is not made, the benefit will be forfeited. Eckerd College realizes that unusual circumstances, such as illness, a family crisis or other unforeseen circumstances may result in a student not meeting the renewal requirements for tuition remission. Students who have not met the academic requirements for renewal may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for reinstatement. Appeals based on medical reasons must include documentation from a physician.
· Tuition Remission recipients may apply for financial aid through the College’s Financial Aid Office. Any institutional Financial Aid assistance received will be added to the applicable remission rate, with the total award not to exceed 100% of the cost of tuition.
· Tuition Remission recipients will register for classes under the same procedures and during the same time periods as all other students.

III. Unexpected Circumstances and Limitations
Should any full-time or continuing part-time member of the faculty or staff who has been eligible for tuition remission become totally disabled or die while employed, the College will continue to provide tuition remission to those spouses and dependents currently enrolled, subject to the 5-year limit for
participation.

After 5-years of service, future assistance in the form of tuition remission will be provided only to an eligible child that was a dependent at the time of death or total disability so long as they enroll and complete their degree requirements prior to the end of the academic year in which they attain age twenty-six (26). This benefit is limited to enrollment at Eckerd College and excludes availability of the Tuition Exchange Program.

Tuition remission benefits and the Tuition Exchange Program will be limited to five (5) consecutive years as a full-time student towards an undergraduate degree. If a dependent child is entering as a transfer student, the time allowed to complete his/her degree will be adjusted in accordance with the normal progress towards graduation.

Tuition Remission recipients who are not able to complete their degree within the defined period due to extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Human Resources Office.

IV. Tuition Grants for Study Abroad
All benefit eligible employees and all eligible dependents who are enrolled as full-time degree seeking students may participate in Eckerd College study abroad courses and receive the tuition remission benefit in the graduated scale. Travel, lab costs and other expenses will not be covered under the tuition program.

V. Recipient Responsibilities
Submit application for tuition remission to the Human Resources Office prior to the beginning of the initial semester enrolled. HR verifies eligibility for the benefit only, not for admission into the program. HR will verify dependent child and spouse eligibility based on enrollments in other benefit plans or by requesting supporting documentation.

Applications for the Tuition Remission program are available on the Human Resources website (www.eckerd.edu/hr).

· Please note that this benefit is provided for the reduction of tuition only. All other costs (i.e., lab fees, text books, travel fees, other course materials etc.) that are not billed as tuition must be paid by the recipient. All students seeking a Bachelor's degree must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that this process may require the retrieval of the employee’s income tax return to determine eligibility. Students must also apply for the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG). The amount of the Tuition Remission benefit will be the amount of tuition, less the value of FRAG. Full-time eligible students who fail to apply for the FRAG will be required to pay the College the amount that would normally be received in connection with the FRAG. The full Tuition Remission benefit will be provided to part-time students and those students who are non-residents. Please contact the Director of Financial Aid for all the requirements of the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG).