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Policy 608-B - Tuition Remission for Spouse/Children of Administrators and Staff

Section: Benefits
Policy Number: 608-B
Responsible Office: Student Financial Services
Effective Date: Rev. 04/01/01
Clarified: 11/01/02; 11/11/08; 01/26/11; 02/22/11
Revised: 11/13/03; 09/01/07; 09/01/10; 01/01/14, 01/01/15

Scope

The spouse, qualifying children/eligible designee of full-time administrators, staff and qualifying retirees whose employment began prior to June 1, 2010 or who have an Adjusted Service Date prior to June 1, 2010 are eligible for this benefit. No courses or degree programs in the School of Law are covered by tuition remission benefits. For employee and retiree tuition remission benefits, see policy #608-A, Tuition Remission for Administrators, Staff and Qualifying Retirees.

Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the following terms are defined:

Employee: Full-time administrator or staff member whose employment began prior to June 1, 2010 or who has an Adjusted Service Date prior to June 1, 2010.

Dependent child: An employee’s biological child, legally-adopted child, stepchild, legal dependent child, or a foster child who has been supported by, and living in the home of, an eligible employee for at least five years prior to registration of approved study. A legal dependent must be a child who meets the IRS guidelines for financial dependence on the employee. If the child for whom the employee is applying for tuition remission benefits does not meet the IRS guidelines for tax dependency on the employee, the benefits received will be taxable to the employee.

Non-dependent child: Tuition remission benefits for non-dependent children are limited to graduate degrees only, in accordance with the guidelines and conditions listed in this policy. All graduate tuition is taxable to the employee.

Eligible designee: An employee who has at least ten (10) years of continuous full-time employment at the University, as defined by his or her Adjusted Service Date, and who has no children may designate one person for tuition remission on the same basis as a dependent child. The designee must be related to the employee by blood, marriage or by another qualifying legal status, such as adoption, that is recognized by the University. Examples of qualifying eligible designees are niece, nephew, sibling, and 1st cousin. If the eligible designee does not meet the IRS definition of a dependent and is not claimed as a dependent by the employee then the benefits are taxable to the employee.

Policy

The following benefits are provided in accordance with the guidelines and conditions of this policy:

Benefits for dependent children and spouse: The qualifying dependent children and spouse may pursue one Associate’s and one Baccalaureate degree for one major; also one Master’s degree, one Professional Diploma/Advanced Professional Certificate/first professional degree, and one Doctoral degree provided they meet the undergraduate and graduate degree conditions listed below.

Benefits for non-dependent children: The qualifying non-dependent children may pursue one Master’s degree, one Professional Diploma/Advanced Professional Certificate/first professional degree, and one Doctoral degree provided they meet the graduate degree conditions listed below.

Benefits for eligible designee: An administrator or staff member who has no children and who has at least ten (10) years of continuous full-time employment at the University may, during his or her term of full-time employment or after retirement, designate one person for tuition remission on the same basis as a dependent child. The person designated must meet the University’s definition of an eligible designee, provided above. See also examples of qualifying eligible designees under “Definitions” above.

Undergraduate Degree Conditions:

1. A dependent child may pursue an undergraduate degree provided he or she does not already possess a degree at this level financed by St. John’s University tuition remission benefits. He/she must be a full-time student in the Day Session. For summer study see “E”; for “visiting student” summer study see “F.”

2. An undergraduate child is expected to complete all courses for an Associate’s degree in two years, a Bachelor’s degree in four years and a Pharmacy degree in six years. A student who changes majors will receive tuition remission benefits for a maximum of four years. Any exception to the above must be presented in writing to the Assistant Vice-President and Executive Director of Financial Aid.

3. A spouse may be a full-time or part-time student on the undergraduate and graduate level - in the day, evening or weekend. A spouse may pursue an undergraduate degree provided he/she does not already possess a degree at this level financed by St. John’s University tuition remission benefits.

4. Undergraduate tuition benefits for spouses, qualifying children and eligible designees who do not meet IRS guidelines for tax dependency on the employee are taxable to the employee.

Graduate Degree Conditions:

1. A child/spouse may pursue a graduate degree provided he/she has not already achieved a degree at this level financed by St. John’s University tuition remission benefits. A child/spouse with a graduate degree from another institution may pursue a graduate degree financed by St. John’s tuition remission benefits. A child of an administrator or staff member need not be dependent to pursue a graduate degree.

2. Tuition remission benefits begin for the child/spouse at the time the employee begins employment at St. John’s. If the employee begins employment during a semester in which the student is already enrolled in class, the benefits will be pro-rated accordingly.

3. All graduate tuition for dependents/children/designees and spouses is taxable and will be included in the employee’s income subject to Fica/Medicare withholding and applicable federal and state taxes.

Recipients of Tuition Remission Benefits Must Observe the Following Guidelines and Procedures:

A. A child/spouse must submit all required test scores and official transcripts and be admitted to the program of study by the Dean of Admissions of the University for the applicable campus. Students admitted in the College Admissions Program (CAP) will receive benefits for this remedial program one-time only.

B. Child/spouse must be matriculated in an undergraduate or graduate program to receive tuition benefits. Student taking courses without pursuing a degree will not receive benefits.

C. Each year, a child/spouse accepted into a program must request tuition remission benefits online via the University’s website. The student will receive tuition benefits for the number of credits required for one degree and one major on the undergraduate and graduate level. The student is responsible for all fees and books.

D. An undergraduate child must be enrolled full-time (12-18 credits) in the Day Session during the fall and spring semesters. He/she may take six (6) credits in each summer session and three (3) credits in the mini-session.

E. Visiting Student– a child/spouse of an employee matriculated at another university may register only for summer session courses at St. John’s provided he or she submits a tuition remission authorization with written permission from said university stating St. John’s University credits will be acceptable toward his or her degree.

F. Tuition remission benefits will not cover: a) auditing courses; b) off-campus portion of a student’s degree (e.g.: engineering, medical, non-St. John’s study abroad). Tuition remission for St. John’s study abroad courses offered through the Office of Global Studies are covered on the same basis as domestic programs. The University reserves the right to limit the number of tuition remission recipients who may participate in any given study abroad course or program.

G. Academic standing/Program pursuit – All recipients of tuition remission benefits must maintain satisfactory academic standing and make proper program pursuit toward their degrees. Continual withdrawals, failures, or poor grades will be monitored and can jeopardize tuition benefits. The Academic Progress Requirements brochure details the progress standards required of students. It is provided to all students and is also available from the Office of Financial Aid.

H. Benefits for the spouse and children of a Qualifying Retiree – The spouse and each child of a qualifying retiree are entitled to tuition benefits for one undergraduate and one graduate degree according to the guidelines and conditions of this policy. A child/spouse who, during the qualifying retiree’s active employment, had already received benefits at every degree level offered by the St. John’s tuition remission policy, would be considered “maxed out” and not eligible for any additional tuition benefits during the qualifying retiree’s retirement. The retiree must submit a written request for benefits to the Office of Financial Aid.

A Qualifying Retiree is a St. John’s University employee who, upon retirement from the University, met all of the following eligibility criteria: Employee was at least 55 years of age; and employee had at least 10 years of full-time service with St. John’s; and employee’s age and years of full-time service combined equaled 75 years or more. (For more on retirement, see policy #620, Benefits for Retired Employees.)

I. Survivor Benefits – The spouse and qualifying children of a current full-time employee who has completed 10 years or more of full-time employment and who dies while in active employment are entitled to tuition benefits for one undergraduate (Associate or Baccalaureate) and one graduate degree (Master’s, Professional Diploma/Advanced Professional Certificate/first professional degree, or Doctorate) in accordance with the guidelines and conditions of this policy. The spouse and qualifying children of a current full-time employee who has less than 10 years of full-time employment and who dies while in active employment or on LTD status are eligible to complete the degree in progress that the child/spouse was enrolled in and pursuing under tuition remission benefits at the time of the employee’s death. (Refer to policy #621, Benefits for Survivors, for information on other benefits.)

J. Termination – Tuition benefits cease for the spouse and children when the employee’s employment with the University terminates. The amount of tuition will be prorated for the semester. Employees who are on an LTD leave status will not lose eligibility for tuition remission benefits during their period of disability. See “H” above for tuition benefits for spouse/children of qualifying retirees.

K. A child/spouse is entitled to tuition benefits for a post-baccalaureate program for which a Master’s degree is not offered at St. John’s (i.e. Certificate Program). He/she must request tuition remission benefits via the University’s website. There are no tuition benefits for Certificate Programs that do not require the possession of a Baccalaureate degree.

L. “Special/non-matric” students: The child/spouse of an employee who is accepted as a “special/non-matric” student is entitled to tuition benefits for only 12 prerequisite credits. He or she must submit all of the following: a) the tuition remission authorization; b) the “special/non-matric” form signed by the dean; c) the letter of acceptance from the Office of Admissions.

M. A child/spouse of an employee who is a New York State resident, and a full-time (12 credits) undergraduate/graduate student in fall and spring semesters (8 credits in each trimester) must file for New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) every year – 90 days prior to the start of the semester. Any TAP monies will be applied to the University.

N. A child/spouse of an employee must forfeit eligibility for any other form of University financial aid (i.e. scholarships, grants-in-aid, etc.).

O. Student employment on campus by a child/spouse of an employee is permitted.

P. A child/spouse of an employee employed by a company with a tuition refund program must file for such benefits and apply them to the tuition charge at St. John’s University. St. John’s tuition remission benefits will extend only to that portion of tuition not covered by the external benefits.

Q. A child/spouse of an employee may file for other types of financial aid (i.e.: Pell Grant, external scholarships, and loans); such aid may be retained by the student.

R. Niagara University - a dependent child of an employee who chooses to attend Niagara University (our sister school) for an undergraduate degree is entitled to $1000 tuition remission each semester.

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual