Human Resources Policies
HR37 Grant-in-Aid for Dependents
Policy Steward:Vice President for Human Resources>
POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: January 28, 1938
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: October 16, 2020
To provide dependents of full-time employees, retirees, and those with emeritus status, the opportunity to take University courses at reduced fees.
Regular tuition will be assessed for each dependent. A dependent is eligible for University Grant-in-Aid tuition discount provided application is made by a full-time employee or retiree, or in the case the full-time employee is deceased, the person authorized to act for the dependent. The amount of the Grant-in-Aid would result in out-of-pocket costs for employees to be 25% of the effective in-state tuition rate (excluding other student fees).
NOTE: Tuition reduction for a spouse taking graduate level classes may be subject to taxes. Please contact the Payroll Office for tax information.
The educational privilege is a reduction of 75% of the tuition payable per credit.
Dependents of the following employees are eligible for University Grant-in-Aid:
- Full-time employees during active periods of employment and certain inactive periods of employment. See University policies HR16 Leave of Absence without Salary (other than for Extended Active Military Service), HR19 Leave of Absence for Active Military Service or Training, HR34 Employment Conditions for Staff Employees, HR105 Reduced FTE Schedules, and HRG11 Family and Medical Leave for eligibility during inactive periods of employment.
- A member of the armed services who is on the staff of the Department of:
- Military Science
- Air Force Aerospace Studies
- Naval Science
- A retired employee provided the retiree meets the requirements for the continuation of benefits after retirement (see University policy HR54 Continuation of Group Insurance after Age 60, Age 65, and after Retirement or Death) and those with emeritus status under University policy AC25 Emeritus Status.
Note: Technical-service employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the University and Teamsters Local Union No. 8 are eligible for the Grant-in-Aid provisions that were in effect on January 1, 2018, as specified in Article XXXVI of the collective bargaining agreement. Such employees are not eligible for the Grant-in-Aid provisions outlined in this policy.
The Grant-in-Aid for a dependent child or spouse is available for any semester or summer session in which classes begin on or after the employee’s date of full-time employment. If the employee becomes ineligible for the tuition discount due to changes in appointment status or employment status after the beginning of a semester, the dependent shall continue to receive the discount through that current semester only.
Dependents are not eligible for Grant-in-Aid for any semester or summer session in which classes begin after the employee's final day of employment. These limits do not apply to an eligible retiree as indicated in "3" in the section above. At such time that a dependent becomes ineligible for benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to notify HR Services at 814-865-1473 immediately.
The following dependents of eligible full-time employees and retirees are entitled to University Grant-in-Aid tuition discount:
- A spouse (unless appointed as a graduate assistant, graduate fellow, or non-stipend scholar);
- Children up to age 26 (regardless of whether they qualify as the employee's tax dependent, are a full-time student, or are married) until they attain their first Penn State bachelor's degree. The discount applies to undergraduate credits only; the student cannot be enrolled in a master's level or higher-level program.
An eligible child is defined as: a biological child, a step-child, or a legally adopted child, or a child for whom the employee is the legal guardian.
Dependents who are eligible for the educational privileges provided by University policy HR36 Educational Privileges for Faculty, Staff, and Retirees are not eligible for the Grant-in-Aid provisions of this policy.
Employees and retirees seeking Grant-in-Aid for an eligible dependent must initiate the request for each dependent using the appropriate form as outlined in the Application Procedure for Grant-in-Aid. Grant-in-Aid requests must be made in accordance with the current Application Procedure for dependent Grant-in-Aid in order to be valid. A separate Grant-in-Aid request must be made on behalf of each dependent for each new semester or summer session. Grant-in-Aid requests made after the deadlines outlined in the Application Procedure for dependent Grant-in-Aid will not be retroactively applied and the student will be responsible for the full cost of tuition in accordance with the policies of the University Bursar.
Eligibility for a University Grant-in-Aid applies at all University locations, including World Campus and the Pennsylvania College of Technology and is subject to the following limitations:
- Any dependent of an executive, administrator, academic administrator, academic, staff employee or retiree who has already been approved for the tuition discount and is beyond the age of 26 as of July 1, 2015, will remain on the tuition discount until they attain their first Penn State bachelor's degree, as long as they do not have two consecutive semesters of non-registration. After two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued.
- Any dependent of a technical-service employee who has already been approved for the tuition discount and is beyond the age of 26 as of January 1, 2018, will remain on the tuition discount until they attain their first Penn State bachelor’s degree, as long as they do not have two consecutive semesters of non-registration. After two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued.
- A dependent who reaches the maximum age of 26 will continue receiving the tuition discount until they attain their first Penn State bachelor's degree, as long as the original approval for the tuition discount was prior to the dependent reaching age 26 and the dependent has not had two consecutive semesters of non-registration after reaching age 26. After two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued.
- If a dependent who meets the criteria outlined in “c” has a serious illness or accident, that prevents them from being enrolled for more than two consecutive semesters, upon re-enrollment to the University, the dependent will be eligible to continue to receive the tuition discount. The dependent will continue eligibility for the tuition discount until they attain their first Penn State bachelor's degree, as long as they do not have an additional two consecutive semesters of non-registration. After two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued.
- If the dependent is an active or honorably-discharged member of the armed services, the dependent will be eligible for the tuition discount beyond the age of 26 with proof of military service. The tuition discount will apply until they attain their first Penn State bachelor's degree; after two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued, unless recall to active service prevents consecutive semesters of registration
- The Grant-in-Aid applies to all resident instruction and continuing education credit courses except for professional curriculum such as those offered at the College of Medicine at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Smeal College of Business Administration Executive MBA Program, Dickinson Law and Penn State Law. It does not apply at summer camps or workshops operated by the University unless University credit is given and regular tuition is charged. The Grant-in-Aid for an eligible child applies only for non-master's level program classes, excluding those outlined above.
- When more than one parent is employed by the University, or holds Emeritus Status, the Grant-in-Aid for a dependent is available to only one parent.
Eligible dependent children or a spouse of a full-time employee who becomes deceased as an active employee, are eligible for the Grant-in-Aid tuition discount according to the years of service outlined below.
Eligible Dependent Children and Spouses:
- Employee with 0-5 years of full-time, continuous service = 2 semesters
- Employee with 5-10 years of full-time, continuous service = 4 semesters
- Employee with 10 years or more of full-time, continuous service = 8 semesters
- Dependent must be enrolled within the number of years equal to the employee's years of service
- All other dependent eligibility rules apply
To initiate the Grant-in-Aid application in this circumstance, please contact HR Services at 814-865-1473.
AC25 – Emeritus Status
HR16 - Leave of Absence without Salary (Other than for Extended Active Military Service)
HR19 - Leave of Absence for Active Military Service or Training
HR34 - Employment Conditions for Staff Employees
HR36 - Educational Privileges for Faculty, Staff, and Retirees
HR54 - Continuation of Group Insurance after Age 60, Age 65, and after Retirement or Death
HR105 - Reduced FTE Schedules
HRG11 - Family Medical Leave
October 16, 2020 - Minor language revisions made throughout policy to clarify process and to update terminology.
June 28, 2019 – Revised to include reference to the updated application procedure. Pronouns update to reflect and promote inclusive culture.
January 1, 2018 – Revised to reflect updates to the benefit for technical-service employees, minor revisions to reflect updates to HR06 Types of Appointments and removal of same-sex domestic partner language.
September 1, 2015 – Revised to reflect removal of two year wait period and to include additional limitations on dependent eligibility.
May 3, 2011 - Revised the Applying for Grant-In-Aid section.
November 12, 2009 - Amount of University Grant-in-Aid section - Language updated to reflect current practices.
August 1, 2007 - Dependent Defined section - clarification added that anyone eligible for HR36 provisions is not eligible for HR37 provisions.
July 1, 2002 - Limitations section - revised to include the Smeal College of Business Administration Executive MBA Program
Date Approved:May 30, 2019>
Date Published:June 28, 2019>