Penn offers college tuition assistance for dependent children

Tuition Benefit

Buy extra-long twin sheets and dorm room essentials … check.

Attend a college information session … check.

If you’re a Penn employee preparing to send a dependent child off to college, don’t forget to add this to your checklist: Apply for the University’s dependent child tuition benefit.

Eligible faculty and staff can save thousands of dollars per year on dependent children’s college tuition costs through a program administered by the Tuition Benefit Office in the Division of Human Resources (HR).

Dependent children attending an accredited college or university other than Penn can receive a maximum of $15,635 for the 2012-13 academic year, or coverage of the school’s line-item tuition charge, whichever is less. Dependent students attending Penn at the full-time regular undergraduate rate can receive 75 percent off the tuition and technology fee. The benefit for the upcoming academic year totals $29,835. This is restricted to the line-item tuition charge and does not cover course fees, room and board, or other charges.

To apply for the tuition benefit, visit the HR website as soon as your child’s school sends his or her tuition bill. Employ the user-friendly online system to track the status and view the history of requests. The cut-off date to apply for tuition benefits for the Fall 2012 semester is Thursday, Nov. 15.

“We’re just beginning the peak time for Fall semester requests. We’ve seen things pick up dramatically,” says Meg Lewis, tuition benefits specialist in HR. “We open our system June 1 and start making weekly payments as of July 1. The bulk of our Fall payment requests are made from mid-July through August.”

Full-time faculty in a benefits-eligible title, regular full-time staff, and limited service staff who have met the three-year service requirement for dependent eligibility can apply.

A child is considered an eligible dependent when a faculty or staff member provides 50 percent or more of the child’s support. The child must be the faculty or staff member’s dependent at the time the benefit is awarded, and for any previous three years during the child’s lifetime. Employees must continue to provide 50 percent or more of the child’s support during the term(s) that the benefit is received.

Both plans for dependents attending Penn or another four-year accredited school offer up to eight semesters of financial assistance towards an undergraduate associate’s and/or bachelor’s degree.

In fiscal year 2012, almost 300 employees used the tuition benefit for dependents attending Penn. Nearly 1,200 people used it for dependents attending another school, and some 40 employees used both dependent benefits for children attending Penn and another school.

Originally published on July 19, 2012