Human Resources Policies

HR37 Tuition Discount for Dependents

Policy Status: 

Active

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources

POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: January 28, 1938

THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: March 18, 2022

 

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Amount of Tuition Discount for Dependents
  • Eligible Employees
  • Active Periods of Employment
  • Eligible Dependents
  • Where Courses are Offered
  • Other Limitations
  • Dependent of a Deceased Faculty or Staff Member
  • Cross References
  • PURPOSE:

    To provide dependents of full-time employees, retirees, and those with Emeritus status, the opportunity to take University courses at reduced tuition fees. 

    AMOUNT OF TUITION DISCOUNT FOR DEPENDENTS:

    A dependent is eligible for a University tuition discount of 75% of the tuition payable per credit. 

    ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES:

    Dependents of the following employees are eligible for the tuition discount:

    1. Full-time employees, including those on approved leave of absence.
    2. An approved member of the armed services who is on the staff of the Department of:
      • Military Science
      • Air Force Aerospace Studies
      • Naval Science
    3. A retiree as outlined in University Policy HR54, and those with Emeritus status under University Policy AC25.

    Note: Technical-service employees should reference their current collective bargaining agreement. 

    ACTIVE PERIODS OF EMPLOYMENT:

    The tuition discount 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 the semester, the dependent shall continue to receive the discount through that current semester only. 

    Tuition discount will not be applied retroactively to prior semesters. 

    Dependents are not eligible for tuition discount 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 under University Policy HR54 and as indicated 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.

    ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS:

    The following dependents of eligible full-time employees and retirees are entitled to University 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 or Integrated Undergraduate Graduate degree. The discount applies to undergraduate credits and Integrated Undergraduate Graduate (IUG) programs 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 are not eligible for the tuition discount provisions of this policy. 

    Note: The tuition discount for spouses with a Graduate academic career (i.e. being enrolled in one or more graduate classes) are taxable. 

    WHERE COURSES ARE OFFERED:

    Eligibility for a dependent tuition discount applies at all University locations, including World Campus and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and is subject to the limitations below:

    1. 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. 
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. When more than one parent is employed by the University, or holds Emeritus Status, the tuition discount for a dependent is available to only one parent.

    OTHER LIMITATIONS:

    The tuition discount applies to all resident instruction and continuing education credit courses for which regular tuition is charged, 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, the Smeal College of Business Executive Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), 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. 

    DEPENDENT OF A DECASED FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER: 

    Eligible dependent children or a spouse of a full-time employee who becomes deceased as an active employee, are eligible for the tuition discount according to the years of service outlined below. 

    Eligible Dependent Children and Spouses: 

    • Employee with 0-5 years of full-tme, continuous service = 2 semesters 
    • Employee with 5-10 years of full-time, continuous service = 4 semesters 
    • Employee with 10 years or more 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 eligible rules apply. 

    To initiate the tuition discount application in this circumstance, please contact HR Services at 814-865-1473. 

    CROSS REFERENCE:

    AC25 – Emeritus Status

    HR36 - Educational Privileges for Faculty, Staff, and Retirees

    HR54 - Continuation of Group Insurance after Age 60, Age 65, and after Retirement or Death

    Application Procedure

    REVISIONS:

    March 18, 2022 - Policy rewrite 

    March 24, 2021 - Eligible Dependents section - Revised to include Integrated Undergraduate Graduate degrees for children. 

    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: 

    March 18, 2022

    Date Published: 

    March 18, 2022

    Effective Date: 

    March 18, 2022