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Apply Online for Your Tuition Benefits
April 17, 2007, Volume 53, No. 30

Applying for and managing your tuition benefits at Penn is just a few clicks away! You can now use our online tuition management system to apply for these benefits, as well as track the status and view the history of your requests. Penn provides generous tuition benefits for eligible faculty and staff, and their dependents. Human Resources has enhanced our online tuition system so that, beginning with the Summer 2007 terms, you can utilize it to manage tuition benefits for you and all of your eligible dependents. Previously, this system was only available for tuition benefits for dependent children attending schools other than Penn.

Paper applications are now a thing of the past! With this convenient, self-managed system, all you need is your PennKey and password. Simply enter the online application system at www.hr.upenn.edu/tuition and follow the instructions. Keep in mind that you must go online to apply for the benefit each term, and you have to apply by the specified dates for each term. Application deadlines are listed in the tuition policies on the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/tuition/default.asp. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Tuition Administrator at tuition@hr.upenn.edu or (215) 898-4812.

Taxability of Tuition Benefits

When you apply for tuition benefits at Penn, you should be aware that some tuition benefits may be taxable to you, based on current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. In addition, recent changes in federal tax law—which will be effective for tuition benefits starting with Summer 2007 terms—may change the taxability of undergraduate tuition benefits for some dependent children.

If your child does not meet the federal tax law definitions listed below, the tuition benefits received will be taxable to you as additional income. If tuition benefits are considered taxable, taxes are withheld directly from the benefit and the net amount is paid to the school. The gross tuition amount and taxes withheld are reported to the IRS as a part of your earnings. In this case, you may want to make payroll withholding adjustments. You should contact your tax advisor for more information.

The following table shows when tuition benefits will be taxable. For more information, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/tuition/default.asp and review the tuition policies.

Spouse / same sex domestic
Dependent child
Meets federal
tax law
Does not meet
federal tax law
Child of same-sex
domestic partner
(whom you have
not adopted)
Not taxable
Not taxable for
spouse; taxable*
for same-sex
domestic partner
Not taxable
Tuition benefits in excess of $5,250 per calendar year
are taxable*

*Subject to federal income tax, FICA (Social Security tax), Medicare tax and city wage tax.

Federal Definitions of Dependent Children

Your dependent children eligible to receive tuition benefits include a “qualifying child” or a “qualifying relative” under applicable federal law.

A “qualifying child” is a child who:

1. is your biological child, adopted child or stepchild;

2. lives with you for more than one-half of the year;

3. has not attained age 19 as of the close of the year or has not attained age 24 as of the close of the year if the child was a full-time student for at least five months of the year (Note: These age limits do not apply in the case of a child who is permanently and totally disabled); and

4. does not provide over one-half of his or her own support for the year.

A “qualifying relative” is a child who:

1. is your biological child, adopted child or stepchild;

2. receives over one-half of his/her support for the year from you (subject to a special rule in situations where a child’s support is provided by two or more individuals);

3. does not have gross income in excess of a specified amount ($3,400 for 2007, but not including certain income earned by a disabled individual at a sheltered workshop); and

4. is not a qualifying child (as defined above) of you or any other taxpayer for the year.

For purposes of any requirement above that a child live in your household, temporary absences due to special circumstances, including absences due to illness, education, business, vacation or military service are not treated as absences. Special rules apply in the case of parents who are divorced or legally separated. Please contact your tax advisor for more information regarding these definitions.


Almanac - April 17, 2007, Volume 53, No. 30