Tuition Waiver/Tuition Reduction Policies

Issue Date: August 1994; revised, July 2010; revised July 2011; revised August 2013; revised May 2014

Policy Number: 34

Policy Applies To: All Benefits-Eligible Employees and Eligible Vendor Employees.

This policy is applicable to all centers and programs in the University and applies to tuition for NSU academic courses, University School, Mailman Segal Center and Camp Nova.

The tuition waiver benefit is available to all eligible employees who have successfully completed six months continuous employment.  The tuition reduction benefit is available to qualifying family members of eligible employees who have successfully completed six months of continuous employment and to certain vendor employees, defined below, who are contracted through the Business Services or Facilities Management Department and have successfully completed six months of continuous service to NSU as employed by outside NSU vendor.  All fees -- including but not limited to application, registration, student services, and late fees -- are the sole responsibility of the student.  Note:  For employees hired before July 1, 2010, application and registration fees will be waived until June 30, 2020.

General information regarding the tax consequences of receiving a tuition benefit is discussed in the section Taxation, below.  It is recommended that employees consult with their tax advisor regarding their particular situation.

Non-degree seeking Student A Non-degree seeking Student is anyone taking a class or program that is not enrolled as a degree-seeking or certificate-seeking student.

Degree-seeking Student – A Degree-seeking Student is anyone taking a class or program that is enrolled as a degree-seeking or certificate-seeking student.

Employees - All benefits-eligible faculty and non-faculty employees (including part-time employees regularly working in excess of 19.2 hours a week) are eligible to receive a tuition waiver after successfully completing six months of continuous employment from his or her date of hire.  An employee is not eligible for a tuition waiver during a leave of absence, except for the purpose of an approved practicum leave that is required for degree completion.

Family Members -

For the purpose of this policy, “Family Members” are defined as 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 after the employee’s successful completion of six months of continuous employment from his or her date of hire.  A child of two eligible NSU employees is entitled to receive only one tuition reduction per class or program.  The definition of “Family Member” is applicable to University School, Mailman Segal Center and Camp Nova programs.

Vendor Employees -

For the purpose of this policy, “Vendor Employees” are defined as persons employed by certain service providers independently contracted through the Office of Business Services or Facilities Management and regularly working in excess of 19.2 hours a week.  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.  Family members of Vendor Employees are not eligible for the Tuition Reduction program.

Policy Application

Dean/Center Head Approval – An employee’s first priority is the successful completion of his or her job responsibilities.  Accordingly, permission to attend classes during an employee’s regularly scheduled working hours is at his or her supervisor’s discretion, subject to the operational needs of the work center or department and must be pre-approved by the dean or center head.  The dean or center head may deny a tuition waiver request if the dean or center head believes that attending classes during regularly scheduled working hours may interfere with the employee’s work performance or department/center operations.

Overall Good Academic Standing Requirement – Employees who are enrolled as degree-seeking or certificate-seeking students must maintain “overall good academic standing” status as defined by their academic program, or they will lose their eligibility for the tuition waiver benefit.  Employees will remain ineligible for the tuition waiver benefit until overall good academic standing status is regained.  If eligibility is lost, the cost of all class work required to regain overall good academic standing status will be the responsibility of the employee.  Once overall good academic standing status is regained, eligibility for the tuition waiver benefit will be restored.  

Other Requirements – Employees taking classes paid for by tuition waiver have the same financial and academic responsibilities as non-tuition waiver students.  Employees are enrolled in tuition waiver classes on a space-available basis.  No classes or clusters will be created solely for employees receiving a tuition waiver.

Employees hired after June 30, 2010 may receive a tuition waiver for a maximum of two classes per semester.  After June 30, 2020, all employees, regardless of hire date, may receive a tuition waiver for a maximum of two classes per semester.

Tuition Waiver Form Completion – A Tuition Waiver form (available from the Office of Human Resources and department HR contacts) must be completed as described below:

  • Section I:  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:  completed by the employee's department/center authorized signatory.
  • Section III:  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 semester or term only.
  • Section IV:  completed by the Enrollment and Student Services scholarship area.  This area will verify overall good academic standing status and will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Waiver form to Payroll. 
  • Section V:  completed by the Payroll Department.  This department will determine taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed tuition waiver form to the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Waiver Due Date – The Tuition Waiver form must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the published start date of the class.  Tuition Waiver forms received after two weeks of the published start date of the class will NOT be accepted.

Financial Aid – Employees who are Florida residents and studying full-time at the undergraduate level also are required to apply for the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG).  This process does not apply to employees who will use the tuition waiver benefit for the Mailman Segal Institute or University School.   

Upon receipt of the Tuition Waiver form, the Enrollment and Student Services scholarship area 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 designated toward tuition and fees shall not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition Waiver Benefit Amounts – The above definitions and tuition waiver policy are applicable to the following:

  • Undergraduate Degree Programs
    • Eligible employees enrolled in for-credit classes will receive a 100% tuition waiver.
    • The amount of the tuition waiver is determined on a per credit hour basis.
    • Employees who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition waiver was applied for an Undergraduate Degree Program shall lose the tuition waiver benefit for the next applicable term. See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition waiver semester/term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense.  Employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition waiver benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester or term in which the employee is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit.
  • Master’s Degree Programs
    • Eligible employees enrolled in for-credit classes (including enrollment in courses at the Health Professions Division) will receive an 80% tuition waiver. 
    • If hired before July 1, 2010, employees enrolled in for-credit classes in non-HPD courses will continue to receive a 100% tuition waiver until June 30, 2020.
    • The amount of the tuition waiver is determined on a per credit hour basis. 
    • Employees who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition waiver was applied for Master’s Degree Program shall lose the tuition waiver benefit for the next applicable term. See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition waiver semester/term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense.  Employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition waiver benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester or term in which the employee is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit.
  • Doctoral Programs
    • Eligible employees enrolled in for-credit classes (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 in for-credit in non-HPD, Law, and doctoral classes that are offered and taken in an evening, weekend, or online format will continue to receive a 100% tuition waiver until June 30, 2020.
    • The registration of an employee in a doctoral class will not count toward the minimum number of students required to form a class or cluster.
    • Employees who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition waiver was applied for a Doctoral Degree Program shall lose the tuition waiver benefit for the next applicable term. See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition waiver semester/term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense.  Employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition waiver benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester or term in which the employee is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit.

Reimbursement of Tuition – Employees must be classified as benefits-eligible on the first and last day of the class.  Upon termination of employment for any reason, the employee will reimburse the University for the amount of the class tuition and all applicable fees covered by a tuition waiver for classes in which the employee is currently attending and/or for tuition waivers granted for future semesters or terms.  In instances where tuition is paid on a schedule other than class-by-class basis, (e.g. the University School, certain doctoral programs, etc.), the reimbursement amount will be determined on a pro-rata basis.  The reimbursement amount will be deemed payable-in-full at the time of termination of employment.  As a condition of the tuition waiver program, an employee agrees that the University has the right to deduct the reimbursement amount from the employee's final paycheck.

Policy Application

Overall Good Academic Standing Requirement – Family Members must be enrolled as degree-seeking or certificate-seeking students and must maintain “overall good academic standing” status as defined by their academic program, or they will lose their eligibility for the tuition reduction benefit.  Family Members will remain ineligible for the tuition reduction benefit until overall good academic standing status is regained.  If eligibility is lost, the cost of all class work required to regain overall good academic standing status will be the responsibility of the family member.  Once overall good academic standing status is regained, eligibility for the tuition reduction benefit will be restored. 

Other Requirements – Family Members taking courses paid by tuition reduction will have the same financial and academic responsibilities as non-tuition reduction students.  Family Members are enrolled in tuition reduction classes on a space-available basis.  No classes or clusters will be created solely for Family Members receiving a tuition reduction.

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

  • Section I:  completed by the employee regarding personal and class information. Employee must sign the Tuition Reduction form and indicate acknowledgment of the agreement. Start dates and end dates must be included.
  • Section II:  completed by the employee's department/center authorized signatory.
  • Section III:  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 semester or term only.
  • Section IV:  completed by the Enrollment and Student Services scholarship area.  This area will verify overall good academic standing and will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Reduction form to Payroll.  
  • Section V:  completed by the Payroll Department.  This department will determine the taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed tuition reduction form to the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Reduction Due Date – The Tuition Reduction form must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the published start date of the class. Tuition Reduction forms received after two weeks of the published start date of the class will NOT be accepted.

Financial Aid – 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). This process does not apply to Family Members who will use the tuition reduction benefit for the Mailman Segal Institute or University School.   

Upon receipt of the Tuition Reduction form, the Enrollment and Students Services scholarship area 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 designated toward 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:

  • Undergraduate Degree Programs
    • Eligible Family Members enrolled in for-credit classes will receive a 50% tuition reduction up to 130 attempted credits.  
    • Once the family member has reached a total (including any transfer credits towards the degree program) of 130 credits, the family member is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit at this level.  
    • The amount of the tuition reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis.
  • Master's Degree Programs
    • Eligible Family Members enrolled in for-credit classes (including enrollment in courses at the Health Professions Division) will receive a 40% tuition reduction. 
    • If the eligible employee was hired before July 1, 2010, the employee’s Family Members will continue to receive a 50% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020 if:
      • The employee Family Member is enrolled in for-credit non-HPD classes or
      • The eligible employee is continuously employed at the Health Professions Division for at least five years and the employee’s Family Member is enrolled in for-credit HPD classes.
    • The amount of the tuition reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis.  
    • Family Members who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition waiver was applied for Master’s Degree Program shall lose the tuition waiver benefit for the next applicable term. See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition waiver semester/term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense.  Employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition waiver benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester or term in which the employee is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit.
  • Doctoral Programs
    • Eligible Family Members enrolled in for-credit classes will receive a 25% tuition reduction.   
    • If hired before July 1, 2010, Authorized Family Members of employees of the Health Professions Division who are enrolled in for-credit classes at HPD will be eligible for the tuition reduction benefits until June 30, 2020: 
      • 3 years of continuous service:  30% tuition reduction
      • 4 years of continuous service:  40% tuition reduction
      • 5 years or more of continuous service:  50% tuition reduction   
    • Family Members who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition waiver was applied for a Doctoral Degree Program shall lose the tuition waiver benefit for the next applicable term. See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition waiver semester/term, the employee will do so at his or her own expense.  Employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition waiver benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester or term in which the employee is no longer eligible for the tuition waiver benefit.

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 between May 1, 1978 and June 30, 1986, will continue to receive an 80% tuition reduction until June 30, 2020.

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 – Employees must be classified as benefits-eligible on the first and last day of the class in which their family member is enrolled.  Upon termination of employment for any reason, the employee or family member will reimburse the University for the full amount of the class tuition and all applicable fees covered by a tuition reduction for classes in which the family member is currently attending and/or for tuition reductions granted for future semesters or terms.  In instances where tuition is paid on a schedule other than class-by-class basis, (e.g. the University School, certain doctoral programs, etc.), the reimbursement amount will be determined on a pro-rata basis.  The reimbursement amount will be deemed payable-in-full at the time of termination of employment.  As a condition of the tuition reduction program, the employee agrees and the University reserves the right to deduct the reimbursement amount from the employee's final paycheck.

Policy Application

Center Head Approval – A vendor employee’s first priority is the successful completion of his or her job responsibilities.  Accordingly, permission to attend classes during an employee’s regularly scheduled working hours is at his or her supervisor’s discretion, subject to the operational needs of the work location, and must be pre-approved by the appropriate level supervisor.  The appropriate level supervisor may deny a tuition reduction request if the supervisor believes that attending classes during regularly scheduled working hours may interfere with the vendor employee’s work performance or operations.

Overall Good Academic Standing Requirement – Vendor employees must be enrolled as degree-seeking or certificate-seeking students and must maintain “overall good academic standing” status as defined by their academic program, or they will lose their eligibility for the tuition reduction benefit.  Vendor employees will remain ineligible for the tuition reduction benefit until overall good academic standing status is regained.  If eligibility is lost, the cost of all class work required to regain overall good academic standing status will be the responsibility of the vendor employee.  Once overall good academic standing status is regained, eligibility for the tuition reduction benefit will be restored. 

Other Requirements – Vendor employees taking courses paid for by tuition reduction will have the same financial and academic responsibilities as non-tuition reduction students. Vendor employees are enrolled in tuition reduction classes on a space-available basis. No classes or clusters will be created solely for vendor employees receiving a tuition reduction.

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

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


  • Section I: completed by the vendor employee regarding personal and class 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: completed by the vendor employee's department or center authorized signatory.
  • Section III: completed by the Office of Human Resources where employment eligibility and the percentage of tuition reduction will be verified.  Tuition reductions are approved for the upcoming semester or term only.
  • Section IV: completed by the Enrollment and Student Services scholarship area.  This area will verify overall good academic standing and will distribute copies of the completed Tuition Reduction form to Payroll.  
  • Section V: completed by the Payroll Department.  This department will determine the taxation requirements and forward a copy of the completed tuition reduction form to the Office of Human Resources.

Vendor employees must 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 Form Due Date The Tuition Reduction form must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources at the time of registration, but no later than two weeks after the published start date of the class.  Tuition Reduction forms received after two weeks of the published start date of the class will NOT be accepted.

Financial Aid – 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).    

Upon receipt of the Tuition Reduction form, the Enrollment and Student Services scholarship area 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 designated toward tuition and fees shall not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees.

Tuition Reduction Amount – The above definitions and tuition reduction policy are limited to undergraduate degree programs only.  There are no tuition reductions available for vendor employees taking masters or doctoral level classes or for dependents enrolled at the University School or Mailman Segal Center.

  • Undergraduate Degree Programs
    • Eligible Vendor employees enrolled in for-credit classes will receive a 100% tuition reduction.
    • The amount of the tuition reduction is determined on a per credit hour basis.
    • Vendor employees who drop/withdraw from a class after the initial drop period or receive a final grade lower than a “C” or a “fail” in a “pass/fail” class for which a tuition reduction was applied shall lose the tuition reduction benefit for the next applicable term.  See the Quick Reference Tables on the last page of the Tuition Waiver Policy.  If taking a class during an ineligible tuition reduction semester or term, the vendor employee will do so at his/her own expense.  Vendor employees receive an email in reference to the loss of the tuition reduction benefit.  This email clearly defines the semester/term in which the vendor employee is no longer eligible for the tuition reduction benefit.

Reimbursement of Tuition – Vendor employees must be classified as benefits-eligible on the first and last day of the class in which the vendor employee is enrolled.  Upon termination of employment for any reason, the vendor employee will reimburse the University for the full amount of the class tuition and all applicable fees covered by a tuition reduction for classes in which the vendor employee is currently attending and/or for tuition reductions granted for future semesters or terms.  The reimbursement amount will be deemed payable-in-full at the time of termination of employment.  As a condition of the tuition reduction program, the vendor employee agrees and the University reserves the right to request of the vendor’s employer to deduct the reimbursement amount from the vendor employee's final paycheck.

Tax Implications for Participants

Tax Implications for Participants – Federal tax law currently excludes the value of certain employer-provided educational assistance benefits from an employee’s taxable income.  Tax-free educational assistance benefits include payments for tuition, fees and related expenses, e.g. books, supplies, equipment, etc.  This exclusion applies only to benefits provided to eligible participants for either undergraduate or graduate-level courses subject to limitations set forth below.

Graduate Education – The value of tuition assistance benefits for graduate education up to $5,250 per calendar year is not subject to income taxation.  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.  Taxes will be withheld from the employee’s payroll checks. The full value of graduate tuition assistance benefits received by an employee's spouse, child, or domestic partner is taxable to the employee.  Taxes will be withheld from the employee’s payroll checks.

Undergraduate Education – The value of tuition assistance benefits for undergraduate education received by an employee, his/her spouse or “eligible dependent child” as specifically defined below is not subject to taxation.

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 an IRS 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 tax treatment of this benefit.

Quick Reference Table - Tutition Waiver enefit Taxation*
Person Receiving BenefitsLevelTaxation
Employee Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Employee Graduate Value in Excess of $5,250 Taxable
Eligible Dependent Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Eligible Dependent Graduate Taxable
Spouse Undergraduate Non-Taxable
Spouse Graduate Taxable
Domestic Partner Undergraduate Taxable
Domestic Partner Graduate Taxable
Vendor Employee Undergraduate Taxable

Three semester programs

Term/Semester
Employee (vendor)/eligible family member drops, withdraws after initial drop period, or receives a grade lower than a ‘C’)
Level Tax
(Employee (vendor)/eligible family member loses tuition waiver/reduction benefit and will have to attend at his or her own cost)
Fall 2013 Summer2014
Winter 2014 Fall 2014
Summer 2014 Winter 2015

 

Four term programs

Term/Semester
(Employee (vendor)/eligible family member drops, withdraws after initial drop period, or receives a grade lower than a ‘C’)
Ineligible Term/Semester
(Employee (vendor)/eligible family member loses tuition waiver/reduction benefit and will have to attend at his or her own cost)
Summer 2013 Winter 2014
Fall 2013 Spring 2014
Winter 2014 Summer 2014
Spring 2014 Fall 2014