Dependent Tuition Assistance - Human Resources at Ohio State

Dependent Tuition Assistance

The Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan (Plan) pays a portion of the instructional and general fees for an eligible employee’s spouse/same-sex domestic partner, eligible unmarried dependent children, and eligible unmarried dependent children of their same-sex domestic partner, who take courses at Ohio State.

A dependent of one eligible employee will receive 50% off the cost of instructional and general fees. The benefit for a dependent of two eligible employees is 75%. An eligible dependent may receive tuition assistance benefits for up to eight semesters or 140 semester hours of enrollment, whichever is greater.

This overview is a summary of the dependent tuition assistance benefit. Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.  In the event the information on these pages differs from the Plan, the Plan will govern.

Some tuition benefits are subject to taxation. See below for more information.

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Eligible Employees
To be eligible for dependent tuition assistance, a faculty or staff member must hold an eligible appointment of at least 50% FTE on the first day of the academic term to which the benefit applies. For purposes of the Plan, “eligible appointment” means a regular or term appointment of faculty, senior administrative and professional staff, administrative and professional staff, classified civil service staff, associated faculty, visiting faculty or clinical instructor house staff.

Eligible Dependents
No individual is eligible to receive tuition assistance benefits as both an employee and a dependent.

The following individuals are eligible to participate in the Plan if they have been admitted to the university through either the admissions office (undergraduate, graduate and professional) or the Office of Distance Education and eLearning:

  • An eligible employee’s legal spouse
  • An eligible employee’s unmarried child. For this purpose, “child” means (1) a biological child of the eligible employee, (2) a step-child of the eligible employee, (3) an adopted child of the eligible employee (or a child who has been legally placed with the eligible employee for adoption), and (4) a foster child of the eligible employee who has lived with the employee for at least five years.
  • An eligible employee’s same-sex domestic partner*. For this purpose, “same-sex domestic partner” means a same-sex domestic partner who received dependent tuition assistance under the Plan for the Autumn 2017 semester.
  • A child of an eligible employee’s same-sex domestic partner*. For this purpose, “child” means an individual who: (a) is the same-sex domestic partner’s (1) unmarried biological child,(2)unmarried adopted child (or a child who has been legally placed with the same-sex domestic partner for adoption), or (3) unmarried foster child who has lived with that same-sex domestic partner for at least five years; and (b) received dependent tuition assistance under the Plan for the Autumn 2017 semester.

The Office of Human Resources has the authority to administer the Plan. All decisions of the Office of Human Resources will be final. Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.


*Affidavit of Same-Sex Domestic Partnership required

Eligible dependents may receive tuition assistance for courses taken for credit through undergraduate, graduate or professional programs at Ohio State.

Dependent tuition assistance benefits are based on the dependent’s fee schedule. These amounts are based on current undergraduate tuition rates and are subject to change.

  • For an eligible dependent of one eligible employee, the Plan will cover 50% of the dependent’s instructional and general fees, up to a maximum of $4,820 per semester.
  • For an eligible dependent of two eligible employees, the Plan will cover 75% of the dependent’s instructional and general fees, up to a maximum of $7,230 per semester.

An eligible dependent may receive dependent tuition assistance benefits for a maximum of eight semesters or 140 semester hours of enrollment, whichever is greater. This is known as the maximum benefit limit.

The Plan covers only instructional and general fees. Examples of fees not covered include: application fees, registration fees, the Instructional Fee Surcharge for credits above 18 credit hours, the General Fee Surcharge for credits above 18 credit hours, late fees, lab fees, computer fees, study abroad fees, student activity fees, RPAC fees, COTA bus fees, insurance, books, or non-resident fees (out of state).

Courses must be taken for credit. The Plan will not provide dependent tuition assistance benefits for a course that is audited.

If the dependent has enrolled in classes for the term and not reached the maximum benefit limit, the tuition assistance benefit will reduce the instructional and general fees assessed for that term. The dependent is responsible for paying the difference between the tuition assistance benefit and the total fees for the academic term.

If a dependent receives financial aid through the university, the amount of tuition assistance benefits provided by the university will be reduced so the combined total of financial aid and tuition assistance does not exceed the total instructional and general fees for the academic term.

The dependent must adhere to the requirements, rules and policies pertaining to Ohio State students such as registering for classes, paying fees and withdrawing from classes by the applicable deadlines.

Any forfeiture charges applicable to instructional and general fees for failed or dropped courses will be covered under the Plan. The credit hours associated with failed and dropped courses will be counted against a dependent’s maximum benefit limit. Late fees will not be covered.

Failure to meet any terms and conditions of this Plan will require payment by the dependent to the Office of the University Bursar for all costs, including instructional and general fees, associated with course enrollment.

Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.

Tuition assistance is provided on an academic term basis and eligible employees must enroll for each academic term that assistance is requested.

To enroll in the Plan for an academic term, an eligible employee must log in to Employee Self Service, go to eBenefits, and complete the application for that term for each dependent. Eligible employees who want a paper form should complete the Dependent Tuition Assistance Application. Dependents must have their Social Security Number on file within Buckeye Link before dependent tuition assistance enrollment can be processed.

The deadline for enrolling is based on the university academic calendar (see Enrollment Schedule below). For each academic term, all applications must be submitted by the “no forfeiture” (100% refund) date, which is the first Friday of classes during that academic term. No applications will be accepted for an academic term after the “no forfeiture” date.

Retroactive applications for previous terms will be denied.

Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.

The Enrollment Schedule below indicates the enrollment window open and close dates for submitting Dependent Tuition Assistance applications. Active eligible faculty and staff may apply online by signing in to Employee Self Service, click on eBenefits, and complete the application each term for each dependent.

Term Enrollment Window Opens Enrollment Window Closes
Summer 2017 March 13, 2017 June 16, 2017
Autumn 2017 June 26, 2017 August 28, 2017
Spring 2018 November 13, 2017 January 12, 2018
Summer 2018 March 12, 2018 June 15, 2018
Autumn 2018 June 25, 2018 August 24, 2018
Spring 2019 November 12, 2018 January 11, 2019
Summer 2019 March 11, 2019 June 14, 2019
Autumn 2019 June 24, 2019 August 23, 2019
Spring 2020 November 11, 2019 January 10, 2020
Summer 2020 March 9, 2020 June 12, 2020

 

If an eligible employee retires, becomes totally disabled* or dies and the employee has completed at least 10 years of continuous university service in a regular appointment of at least 50% FTE, then the following rules apply:

  • If the employment change was prior to September 1, 2017, the employee’s eligible dependents who have used the tuition assistance benefits at least once during the five-year period following the employment change can use the benefits until the date they reach the maximum benefit limit.
  • If the employment change was on or after September 1, 2017, the employee’s eligible dependents can use the tuition assistance benefits for up to five years after the employment change occurred or until the dependent reaches the maximum benefit limit, whichever happens first.

In the event of an eligible employee’s military leave of absence, the employee’s eligible dependent(s) will remain eligible to receive the dependent tuition assistance benefit during the entire duration of the military leave or, if earlier, until they reach the maximum benefit limit.

If a reduction in force results in an eligible employee’s termination or reduction in appointment to less than 50% FTE, and the employee is eligible for the university’s Staff Severance Program, the employee’s eligible dependent(s) can receive dependent tuition assistance through the end of the academic term in which the employee’s severance period ends.

In the event of any other change in employment status, the tuition assistance benefits under the Plan will cease immediately after the academic term in which such change in employment status occurs.

If a dependent is the eligible dependent of two employees and one of those employees’ FTE falls below 50% for any reason, the tuition assistance benefit will decrease from 75% to 50% for the academic term following the change in employment.

Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.


*For purposes of this Plan, “total disability” or “totally disabled” means the eligible employee is mentally or physically unable to perform the essential material function of his or her own occupation for at least 12 months or longer.

General information regarding taxation of tuition benefits is summarized below. The university does not provide individual tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for more detail. Additional information is also available in IRS Publication 970.

Plan participants are fully responsible for any tax liability.

Undergraduate Dependent Tuition Assistance Benefits
The federal government does not tax undergraduate tuition assistance benefits for an eligible employee’s legal spouse.

Undergraduate tuition assistance benefits for an eligible employee’s child are exempt from federal taxation if the child can be claimed as a tax dependent on the employee’s federal income tax return for the calendar year to which the benefits apply. If the employee’s child is not eligible to be claimed as a tax dependent, then the undergraduate tuition assistance benefits are subject to federal taxation.

The federal government does tax undergraduate tuition assistance benefits for an eligible employee’s same-sex domestic partner.

Undergraduate tuition assistance benefits for a same-sex domestic partner’s child are subject to federal taxation unless the child is eligible to be claimed as a tax-dependent child of the eligible employee on the employee’s federal income tax return for the calendar year to which the benefits apply.

Graduate Dependent Tuition Assistance Benefits
Graduate tuition assistance benefits for all dependents are subject to federal taxation.

Refer to the Dependent Tuition Assistance Plan for complete information.