Wilkes University Tuition Benefits
Wilkes University will provide tuition benefits for undergraduate and graduate credits to all full-time employees who have successfully completed ninety (90) calendar days of service. Employees are strongly encouraged to take courses during times other than their normal working schedule because their primary role and responsibility at Wilkes University is that of an employee. Supervisors are charged with the responsibility for approving a course(s) to be taken during an employee's regular work schedule. Supervisors will first consider the business needs of the office before granting such approval. Employees are reminded that the federal tax exemption for employee tuition benefits applies to eligible expenses for graduate and undergraduate level courses up to $5250.00 per calendar year.
Undergraduate and graduate tuition benefits will also be extended to employee spouses, same-gender domestic partners, and dependent sons and daughters after the employee has completed (90) ninety calender days of service. Please contact the Human Resources Development Office for information on establishing eligibility based on same-gender domestic partnership. A dependent is defined in accordance with Federal Government Financial Aid Regulations. Dependent status is determined according to criteria set in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), except that a student who is determined independent solely due to enrollment in graduate level courses will still be eligible as a dependent for tuition remission purposes. Upon request, the appropriate documents (e.g., adoption documents, birth certificates, federal income tax return) must be furnished to the Financial Aid Office.
Tuition benefits do not apply for coursework beyond the traditional scheduling including, but not limited to, study abroad, study tours, Continued Learning or other non-credit courses and Interinstitutional Agreements that are contingent upon payments to a host institution. Tuition benefits are also exclusive of all fees, room and board, book expenses, and any taxation that may apply. Employees, spouses, same-sex domestic partners, and dependents are permitted to audit courses.
Employees, spouses, same-sex domestic partners, and dependents who do not already hold a Bachelor's degree and who plan to register for undergraduate credits must apply for all available federal and state grant aid by May 1 of each year. In addition, the employees, spouses, domestic partners, and dependents must supply to the Financial Aid Office and/or PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) any information requested to enable that office to process the student's aid. Failure to apply for aid by May 1 will result in an adjustment of remission benefits equal to federal and state aid that would have been received. Federal and State aid and private grants and scholarships will be applied toward tuition. Remission will be adjusted appropriately. Students who qualify for tuition remission will not be eligible to receive any other institutional grant(s) or scholarship(s). Eligibility for student employment (work study) is based solely on need. Dependent students receiving tuition remission, who do not demonstrate financial need, are ineligible for student employment.
Employees must complete a tuition benefits application form for themselves, spouse, domestic partner, and dependents prior to the beginning of each semester that a course(s) will be taken. Application forms may be downloaded from the Wilkes Website (HR forms). Failure to complete a tuition benefits application form may result in loss of benefits.
Federal Tax. Approved eligible expenses for graduate and undergraduate level courses up to $5250.00 per calendar year will not be considered federal taxable income to the employee. Based on IRS regulations, this tax exemption does not apply to employees' spouses or dependents. Employee spouses or dependents pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level only are exempt from federal income tax.
State Tax. Employees, their spouses and dependents pursuing degrees at the graduate and undergraduate level at Wilkes University will not be subject to Pennsylvania personal income tax. Eligible expenses paid to employees, spouses and dependents pursuing degrees at other educational institutions are subject to Pennsylvania personal income tax and withholding.
Local Tax. Employees, their spouses, and dependents pursuing degrees at the graduate and undergraduate level at Wilkes University will not be subject to local tax. Eligible expenses paid to employees, their spouses and dependents pursuing degrees at other educational institutions are subject to local tax and withholding. Upon resignation or involuntary termination from Wilkes University's employment, tuition remission benefits will cease at the end of the semester in which the employee resignation/termination is effective and the employee and/or dependent(s) is enrolled.
For additional information on Tuition Benefits see Policies #382 (King's College) and # 383 (College Misericordia).
Policy No. 381 Effective Date: 1/1/2005 Revision Date: 8/5/2005