Tuition Waiver/Tuition Reduction Policies

Issue Date: August 1994; revised, July 2010; revised July 2011

Policy Number: 34

Policy Applies To: All Benefits Eligible Employees

These policies are applicable to all centers and programs in the University, and apply to tuition for NSU academic courses. The tuition waiver benefit is available to all eligible employees as defined below who have successfully completed six months of employment. A tuition reduction benefit is available to family members, as defined below, of eligible employees who have successfully completed six months of employment and to certain vendor employees, as defined below, whose services are contracted through Business Services or Facilities Management and have successfully completed six months of employment. Eligible employees hired prior to July 1, 2010, and their family members, may receive tuition waiver or reduction benefits after successful completion of the three-month Orientation period. Vendor employees hired prior to July 1, 2010 may also receive tuition reduction benefits after successful completion of the three-month Orientation period.

All fees (including, but not limited to Application, Registration, Student Services, and late fees) are the sole responsibility of the employee, family member, or vendor employee. For employees hired before July 1, 2010, Application and Registration Fees will be waived until June 30, 2020.

Tax consequences are discussed in greater detail under the section at the end of the document titled "Taxation." It is recommended that all recipients of tuition assistance consult their tax advisor regarding the treatment of this benefit.

Employees - For the purpose of these policies, "employees" are defined as persons who are employed by the University full-time, or who are regular part-time employees working in excess of 19.2 hours per week or 1,000 hours per year. All regular full-time and regular part-time employees are eligible to receive a tuition waiver six months from the date of hire. All benefits-eligible contract employees (i.e. faculty) are also eligible to receive a tuition waiver six months from the date of hire. An employee is not eligible for a tuition waiver during a leave of absence, except for the purpose of an approved internship.

Family Members - For the purpose of this policy, "family members" are defined as including an employee's spouse, domestic partner, and children. Employees must complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership to certify domestic partnership. Family members are eligible to receive a tuition reduction six months from the eligible employee's date of hire. Children of two NSU employees are entitled to only one reduction under this policy per course or program.

Vendor Employees - For the purpose of this policy, "vendor employees" are defined as persons employed by certain service providers contracted through the Office of Business Services or Facilities Management and working in excess of 19.2 hours per week or 1,000 hours per year. Vendor eligibility in the NSU Tuition Reduction program shall be limited to onsite service contractors as solely determined by the Office of Business Services and the Office of Facilities Management. To verify eligibility for a tuition reduction under this policy, individuals should check with the contracting department and the Office of Human Resources.

Policy Application

Employees' first priority is the successful completion of job responsibilities. To that end, classes taken during regularly scheduled working hours should be kept to a minimum and may only be granted by the supervisor with the approval of the center dean or department head. Supervisors have the responsibility and authority to limit or deny employee tuition waivers when concerned that coursework may reasonably interfere with satisfactory work performance.

Employees hired after June 30, 2010, may waive a maximum of two college level courses per semester. After June 30, 2020, all employees, regardless of hire date, may waive a maximum of two college level courses per semester.

Employees taking courses paid for by tuition waiver will have the same financial and academic responsibilities as paying students. Employees will be eligible for tuition waivers for academic course offerings on a seat-available basis. No classes or clusters will be created solely for employees.

Employees who drop or withdraw from a college level course after the initial drop period or who receive a grade lower than a 'C' (or a 'Fail' in a 'Pass/Fail' setting) for a college level course in which a tuition waiver was applied will lose the tuition waiver benefit for the following applicable term. If taking college level courses in the next term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense. To become re-eligible for a tuition waiver in subsequent terms, the employee must be in good standing as defined by the program.

A Tuition Waiver form (available from the Office of Human Resources and departmental contacts) must be completed as described below:

  • Section I is to be completed by the employee regarding personal and course information. Employee must sign the Tuition Waiver form and indicate acknowledgment of the agreement. Start dates and end dates must be included.
  • Section II is to be completed by the employee's department/center's authorized signatory.
  • Section III is to be completed by the Office of Human Resources where employment eligibility and the percentage of waiver will be verified. Tuition waivers are approved for the upcoming term only.
  • Section IV is to be completed and good standing verified by the Enrollment and Student Services' Scholarship Department, which will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Waiver form to Payroll and the employing department or center.
  • Section V is to be completed by the Payroll Department, which will determine the taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed form to the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Waiver Due Date

Employees are responsible for obtaining department or center approval before registering for classes for which they plan to use a tuition waiver, and for submitting the Tuition Waiver form to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the start of class. Tuition Waivers will NOT be accepted after two weeks of the start date of the course.

Financial Aid

All employees requesting a tuition waiver for either undergraduate or graduate courses for credit and voluntarily seeking Federal Student Aid will be required to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to processing a tuition waiver. Employees who are Florida residents and studying full-time at the undergraduate level are required to apply for the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) as well. This process does not apply to employees who will use the tuition waiver benefit for the Mailman Segal Institute or University School. International students are also exempt from this process.

Upon receipt of the Tuition Waiver form, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will make the necessary adjustments to the financial aid award of an eligible employee to ensure that the tuition waiver is considered as a resource for financial aid purposes.

The monetary value of the tuition waiver benefit, in combination with other financial aid assistance restricted for tuition and fees, shall not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition Waiver Amounts

The above definitions and tuition waiver policy are applicable to the following:

  1. Undergraduate Degree Programs
    Eligible employees enrolled for credit will receive a 100% tuition waiver. The amount of the waiver is determined on a per credit hour basis and will be credited to the program in which the employee is enrolled.
  2. Master's Degree Programs
    Eligible employees enrolled for credit (including those enrolled in courses at the Health Professions Division) will receive an 80% tuition waiver. If hired before July 1, 2010, employees enrolled for credit in non-HPD courses will continue to receive a 100% tuition waiver until June 30, 2020. The amount of the waiver is determined on a per credit hour basis and will be credited to the program in which the employee is enrolled.
  3. Doctoral Programs
    Eligible employees enrolled for credit (including those enrolled in courses at the Health Professions Division and the Law Center) will receive a 50% tuition waiver. If hired before July 1, 2010, employees enrolled for credit in non-HPD and Law courses will continue to receive a 100% tuition waiver until June 30, 2020 in doctoral programs that are offered and taken in an evening, weekend, or online format. Enrollment by an employee in any doctoral program will not be considered in the number of students required to form a class or cluster.

Reimbursement of Tuition

Upon termination of employment for any reason, the employee will reimburse the University for the full amount of the course and any applicable fees for which the employee is presently enrolled, or for which advanced waivers have been granted. In those instances where tuition is paid on a schedule other than course-by-course, the reimbursement will be on a prorated basis; e.g., the University School, certain doctoral programs, etc.

Employees must be a benefits-eligible employee on the first and last day of the course. Otherwise the reimbursement procedure, as stated above, will be applied.

Further, the University reserves the right and the employee agrees to deduct tuition owed from the employee's final paycheck, and any additional monies owed will be payable in full at the time of termination of employment

Policy Application

Family members taking courses paid with a tuition reduction will have the same financial and academic responsibilities as paying students. Family members will be eligible for tuition reduction for academic course offerings on a seat-available basis. No classes or clusters will be created solely for family members.

Family members who drop or withdraw from a college level course after the initial drop period or who receive a grade lower than a 'C' (or a 'Fail' in a 'Pass/Fail' setting) for a college level course in which a tuition reduction was applied will lose the tuition reduction benefit for the following applicable term. If taking college level courses in the next term, the family member will do so at his or her own expense. To become re-eligible for a tuition reduction in subsequent terms, the family member must be in good standing as defined by the program.

A Tuition Reduction form (available from the Office of Human Resources and departmental contacts) must be completed as described below:

  • Section I is to be completed by the employee regarding personal and course information. Employee must sign the Tuition Reduction form and indicate acknowledgment of the agreement. Start dates and end dates must be included.
  • Section II is to be completed by the employee's department/center's authorized signatory.
  • Section III is to be completed by the Office of Human Resources where employment eligibility and the percentage of waiver will be verified. Tuition reductions are approved for the upcoming term only.
  • Section IV is to be completed and good standing verified by the Enrollment and Student Services' Scholarship Department, which will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Reduction form to Payroll and the employing department or center.
  • Section V is to be completed by the Payroll Department, which will determine the taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed form to the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Reduction Due Date

Employees are responsible for obtaining department or center approval before family members register for classes for which they plan to use a tuition reduction, and for submitting the Tuition Reduction form to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the start of class. Tuition Reduction forms will NOT be accepted after two weeks of the start date of the course.

Financial Aid

All family members requesting a tuition reduction for either undergraduate or graduate courses for credit and voluntarily seeking Federal Student Aid will be required to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to processing a tuition reduction. Family members who are Florida residents and studying full-time at the undergraduate level are required to apply for the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) as well. This process does not apply to family members who will use the tuition reduction benefit for the Mailman Segal Institute or University School. International students are also exempt from this process.

Upon receipt of the Tuition Reduction form, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will make the necessary adjustments to the financial aid award of an eligible family member to ensure that the tuition reduction is considered as a resource for financial aid purposes.

The monetary value of the tuition reduction benefit, in combination with other financial aid assistance restricted for tuition and fees, shall not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition Reduction Amounts

The above definitions and tuition reduction policy are applicable to the following:

  1. Undergraduate Degree Programs
    Eligible family members enrolled for credit will receive a 50% tuition reduction. The amount of the reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis and will be credited to the program in which the family member is enrolled.
  2. Master's Degree Programs
    Eligible family members enrolled for credit (including those enrolled in courses at the Health Professions Division) will receive a 40% tuition reduction.

    If the eligible employee was hired before July 1, 2010, employee family members will continue to receive a 50% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020 if:

    • The employee family member is enrolled for credit in non-HPD courses; OR:
    • The eligible employee is continuously employed at the Health Professions Division for at least five years and the employee family member is enrolled for credit at HPD.

The amount of the reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis and will be credited to the program in which the family member is enrolled.

  1. Doctoral Programs
    Eligible family members enrolled for credit will receive a 25% tuition reduction.

If the eligible employee was hired before July 1, 2010, authorized family members of employees at the Health Professions Division who are enrolled for credit at HPD will be eligible for the following tuition reduction benefits until June 30, 2020:

For employees with at least 3 years of service: 30% reduction
For employees with at least 4 years of service: 40% reduction
For employees with at least 5 years of service: 50% reduction

To maintain this tuition reduction policy, an employee must be continuously employed during the required number of years of service at HPD.

Enrollment by a family member in any doctoral program will not be considered in the number of students required to form a class or cluster.

  1. University School
    Dependent children of eligible employees will receive a 35% tuition reduction. Dependent children of eligible University School employees hired before July 1, 2010 will continue to receive a 50% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020. Dependent children of eligible University School employees with a hire date from May 1, 1978 through June 30, 1986 will continue to receive an 80% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020.
  2. Mailman Segal Institute
    Dependent children of eligible employees will receive a 35% tuition reduction. Dependent children of eligible Mailman Segal Institute employees hired before July 1, 2010 will continue to receive a 50% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020.

Reimbursement of Tuition

Upon termination of employment for any reason, the employee or family member will reimburse the University for the full amount of the course and any applicable fees for which the family member is presently enrolled, or for which advanced reductions have been granted. In those instances where tuition is paid on a schedule other than course-by-course, the reimbursement will be on a prorated basis; e.g., the University School, certain doctoral programs, etc.

Employees must be a benefits-eligible employee on the first and last day of the course. Otherwise the reimbursement procedure, as stated above, will be applied.

Further, the University reserves the right and the employee agrees to deduct tuition owed for the family member from the employee's final paycheck, and any additional monies owed will be payable in full at the time of termination of employment.

Policy Application

Vendor employees' first priority is the successful completion of job responsibilities. To that end, classes taken during regularly scheduled working hours should be kept to a minimum and may only be granted by the vendor. Vendors have the responsibility and authority to limit or deny employee tuition reductions when concerned that coursework may reasonably interfere with satisfactory work performance.

Vendor employees hired after June 30, 2010, may receive tuition reductions for a maximum of two college level courses per semester. After June 30, 2020, all vendor employees, regardless of hire date, may receive tuition reductions for a maximum of two college level courses per semester.

Vendor employees taking courses paid for by tuition reduction will have the same financial and academic responsibilities as paying students. Vendor employees will be eligible for tuition reductions for academic course offerings on a seat-available basis. No classes or clusters will be created solely for vendor employees.

Vendor employees who drop or withdraw from a college level course after the initial drop period or who receive a grade lower than a 'C' (or a 'Fail' in a 'Pass/Fail' setting) for a college level course in which a tuition reduction was applied will lose the tuition reduction benefit for the following applicable term. If taking college level courses in the next term, the vendor employee will do so at his or her own expense. To become re-eligible for a tuition reduction in subsequent terms, the vendor employee must be in good standing as defined by the program.

A Tuition Reduction form (available from the Office of Human Resources and departmental contacts) must be completed as described below:

  • Section I is to be completed by the vendor employee regarding personal and course information. Vendor employee must sign the Tuition Reduction form and indicate acknowledgment of the agreement. Start dates and end dates must be included.
  • Section II is to be completed by the vendor employee's department/center's authorized signatory.
  • Section III is to be completed by the Office of Human Resources where eligibility and the percentage of tuition reduction will be verified. Tuition reductions are approved for the upcoming term only.
  • Section IV is to be completed and good standing verified by the Enrollment and Student Services' Scholarship Department, which will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Reduction form to Accounts Payable, and the contracting department or center.
  • Section V is to be completed by the Accounts Payable Department, which will determine the taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed form to the Office of Human Resources.

Vendor employees must also complete and attach a W-9 form to the Tuition Reduction form. Tuition reductions will NOT be granted if a W-9 form is not submitted with the Tuition Reduction form.

Tuition Reduction Due Date

Vendor employees are responsible for obtaining department or center approval before registering for classes for which they plan to use a tuition reduction, and for submitting the Tuition Reduction form to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the start of class. Tuition Reduction forms will NOT be accepted after two weeks of the start date of the course.

Financial Aid

All vendor employees requesting a tuition reduction for undergraduate courses for credit and voluntarily seeking Federal Student Aid will be required to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to processing a tuition reduction. Vendor employees who are Florida residents and studying full-time at the undergraduate level are required to apply for the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) as well. International students are exempt from this process.

Upon receipt of the Tuition Reduction form, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will make the necessary adjustments to the financial aid award of an eligible vendor employee to ensure that the tuition reduction is considered as a resource for financial aid purposes.

The monetary value of the tuition reduction benefit, in combination with other financial aid assistance restricted for tuition and fees, shall not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition Reduction Amounts

The above definitions and tuition reduction policy are applicable to the following:

  1. Undergraduate Degree Programs
    Eligible vendor employees enrolled for credit will be given a 100% tuition reduction. The amount of the reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis and will be credited to the program in which the vendor employee is enrolled.

Reimbursement of Tuition

Upon termination of employment for any reason, the vendor employee will reimburse the University for the full amount of the course and any applicable fees for which the vendor employee is presently enrolled, or for which advanced reductions have been granted. In those instances where tuition is paid on a schedule other than course-by-course, the reimbursement will be on a prorated basis.

Vendor employees must be eligible for this benefit on the first and last day of the course. Otherwise the reimbursement procedure, as stated above, will be applied.

Further, the University reserves the right and the vendor employee agrees to deduct tuition owed from the vendor employee's final paycheck, and any additional monies owed will be payable in full at the time of termination of employment.

Tax Implications for Participants

Federal tax law currently excludes the value of certain employer-provided educational assistance benefits from the employee's taxable income. Tax-free educational assistance benefits include payments for tuition, fees and similar expenses, books, supplies, and equipment. This exclusion applies only to benefits provided to eligible participants and may be for either undergraduate or graduate-level courses subject to limitations as set forth below.

Graduate Education

Tuition assistance benefits received by an employee for graduate education are not subject to income taxation if the value of the benefits received does not exceed $5,250 per calendar year. The value of benefits in excess of $5,250 per calendar year is subject to federal income taxation and will be taxed to the employee. These taxes will be withheld from the employee's payroll checks. The value of graduate tuition assistance benefits received by an employee's spouse, child, or domestic partner are not excludable from income and will be taxed to the employee. Taxes will similarly be withheld from the employee's payroll checks.

Undergraduate Education

The value of tuition assistance benefits received by an employee, the spouse and eligible dependent children of the employee (defined below) for undergraduate education are not subject to taxation.

The value of tuition assistance benefits received by an ineligible dependent child or by a domestic partner for undergraduate education is taxed to the employee, and taxes will be withheld from payroll checks.

An "eligible dependent child" includes a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, adopted son, adopted daughter, or a foster child placed with the employee by an authorized placement agency or by judgment or order of the court who has: (i) not attained the age of 24 as of the close of the calendar year; (ii) the same principal place of abode as the employee for more than one-half of the calendar year; and (iii) received over half of his or her support from the employee for the calendar year.

The value of tuition assistance benefits received by vendor employees for undergraduate education is taxed to the vendor employee and will be reflected as non-employee compensation on a 1099-MISC form mailed to the vendor employee at the end of each calendar year. Vendor employees must complete a W-9 form each calendar year in which tuition assistance is received and submit it with the Tuition Reduction form at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the start of class.

It is recommended that all recipients of tuition assistance consult their tax advisor regarding the treatment of this benefit.

Quick Reference Table

Person Receiving Benefits Level Tax Consequences
Employee Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Employee Graduate Value in Excess of $5,250 Taxable
Eligible Dependent* Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Eligible Dependent* Graduate Taxable
Ineligible Dependent* Undergraduate Taxable
Ineligible Dependent* Graduate Taxable
Spouse Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Spouse Graduate Taxable
Domestic Partner Undergraduate Taxable
Domestic Partner Graduate Taxable
Vendor Employee Undergraduate Taxable

*Eligible dependent children with respect to taxation are defined in the section above titled "Undergraduate Education"