Human Resources Policies
HR37 Grant-in-aid for Dependents of Members of the University Staff
Policy Steward:Vice President for Human Resources>
POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: January 28, 1938
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: September 1, 2015
To provide dependents of faculty, staff, and retirees, 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 faculty or staff member, or in the case the faculty or staff member 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.
The following dependents of eligible faculty, staff, 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 he/she qualifies as the employee's tax dependent, is a full-time student, or is married). 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 natural child, a step-child, or a legally adopted child.
Dependents who are eligible for the educational privileges provided by policy HR36 Educational Privileges for Faculty, Staff, and Retirees are not eligible for the grant-in-aid provisions of this policy.
The following employees are eligible for a University grant-in-aid:
- Standing, Fixed-Term I, or Fixed-Term Multi-Year faculty, staff, administrators, academic administrators or executives during active periods of employment and certain inactive periods of employment. See HR16, HR19, HR34, HR88, and HRG11 for eligibility during inactive periods of employment.
- A faculty or exempt staff member appointed on a full-time Fixed-Term II for at least one semester or summer session, during any time covered by that appointment which encompasses both the beginning and end of a semester or summer session.
- 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 HR54).
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 July 1, 2014, 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/same-sex domestic partner is available for any semester or summer session in which classes begin on or after the faculty or staff member's date of full-time, regular employment.
If the faculty or staff member 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 full-time, regular employment status. These limits do not apply to an eligible retiree as indicated in "d" in the section above.
At such time that a dependent becomes ineligible for benefits, it is the responsibility of the employee to notify the Employee Benefits division immediately.
To apply for a dependent grant-in-aid, the faculty or staff member must complete the on-line Dependent Grant-In-Aid request form. The online form must be completed before the end of the semester or summer session in which the grant-in-aid is to begin. Grant-in-aid will NOT be applied retroactively to previous semesters.
Eligibility for a University grant-in-aid applies at all University locations, including Pennsylvania Technical Institute and World Campus.
- Any dependent 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.
- A dependent who reaches the maximum age of 26 will continue receiving the tuition discount until they attain a 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 b) 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 a 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 a Penn State bachelor's degree; after two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) of non-registered status, the tuition discount will be permanently discontinued.
- 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, and the Dickinson School of 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 son or daughter applies only for non-Master's level program classes, excluding those outlined above.
- When both parents are employed by the University, the grant-in-aid for a son or daughter is available to only one parent.
Eligible dependent children or a spouse/same-sex domestic partner of a faculty or staff member 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, Spouses, and Same-Sex Domestic Partners:
- 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 the Employee Benefits Division.
HR16 - Leave of Absence without Salary (Other than for Extended Active Military Service)
HR18 - Graduate Study Leave of Absence
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
HR88 - Alternatives to Regular Twelve Month Staff Employment
HRG11 - Family Medical Leave
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