How Does it Work?

▼   Educational Benefit Certification Form

Please be reminded that for eligible Spouses and Dependent Children, the Educational Benefit Certification must be completed annually and may be submitted to Human Resources as early as the first day of registration for the applicable semester and no later than the first day of classes per the Academic Calendar.

▼   What is the tuition credit for an employee applying for the benefit?

Employees may receive tuition credit for up to 5 semester hours and applicable fees each semester. For employees employed on or after January 1, 2013, the tuition credit rate is based on the prevailing College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate tuition rate for all course levels.

Employees who wish to take advantage of this benefit will be electronically verified as eligible by the Student Accounting Office. The benefit will be applied to student accounts automatically, prior to the fee payment deadline.

Employees must maintain at least a 2.0 institutional grade point average for undergraduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility. Employees must maintain at least a 3.0 institutional grade point average for graduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility.

▼   What is the tuition credit for my spouse and/or dependent child?

Eligible spouses and unmarried dependent children may be credited 50% of the tuition rate with no hour maximum at the beginning of each academic semester, prior to the fee payment deadline. Fees are not included.

The tuition credit rate is based on the employee’s date of employment and degree program. For employees employed on or after January 1, 2013, the tuition credit rate is based on the prevailing College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate tuition rate for all course levels.

Eligible spouses and dependent children must maintain at least a 2.0 institutional grade point average for undergraduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility. Eligible spouses and dependent children must maintain at least a 3.0 institutional grade point average for graduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility. 

▼   Will my tuition credit be affected by my academic performance? Will the tuition credit for my eligible spouse/dependent children be affected by their academic performance?


Employees must maintain at least a 2.0 institutional grade point average for undergraduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility. Employees must maintain at least a 3.0 institutional grade point average for graduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility.

Eligible spouses and dependent children must maintain at least a 2.0 institutional grade point average for undergraduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility. Eligible spouses and dependent children must maintain at least a 3.0 institutional grade point average for graduate coursework taken at the University of South Alabama for continued eligibility.

After the first semester, the student must have a minimum cumulative institutional grade point average of 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate at the end of each term to be eligible to receive educational benefits for following terms. If the student fails to maintain the appropriate grade point average, he or she will not be able to participate in this benefit until his or her grade point average reaches the appropriate level.

▼   Will scholarships and/or financial aid affect my tuition credit? Will scholarships and/or financial aid affect the tuition credit of my eligible spouse and dependent children?

Employees, eligible spouses and dependent children who have applied for financial aid (including student loans) must disclose educational benefits as a resource. Failure to include this in your financial aid application could result in required repayment of Federal Financial Aid grants or loans.

If the total combined amount of the USA funded tuition scholarship and the employee educational benefit exceeds $16,962, the employee educational benefit will be reduced by the excess amount. This policy is applicable to all employees of the University of South Alabama who are recipients of the employee/dependent educational benefit.

▼   Am I required to repay the tuition credit if I terminate employment in the middle of a semester?

No. Tuition credits will be reversed from student accounts only for courses dropped during the refund period (first two weeks of class).

▼   Is tuition credit a taxable event?

The Employee Educational Benefit will be tax free up to $5,250.

The Spouse and Dependent Educational benefit:

For University and HealthCare Management, LLC employees : In accordance with current Internal Revenue Service regulations, educational benefits received for an individual classified as a graduate student, including a medical student, who is a dependent of a University employee are typically treated as taxable income to the employee.

Educational benefits received for a child of an employee, classified as an undergraduate, who is not the employee’s dependent for purposes of the federal income tax dependent’s exemption will be taxable to the employee. (Check  Box 2-Other child on certification form)

However, in the case of divorced parents, refer to the following grid to determine taxable status of the educational benefit:

Is the employee the custodial parent? Has the custodial parent given the right to claim the dependent’s exemption to the other parent? Is the educational benefit taxable to the employee?
Yes No No
Yes Yes No
No Yes No
No No Yes

 

For Health Care Authority employees: In accordance with current Internal Revenue Service regulations, educational benefits, received by an individual who is a dependent of the employee, are treated as taxable income to the employee.

For those educational benefits which are taxable, Federal 25%, State 5%  and Social Security taxes 7.65%  will be withheld from the employee’s payroll check prior to the end of the calendar quarter in which the semester began for each semester the eligible dependent was enrolled and received the educational benefit.

▼   Can I attend classes during working hours?

To ensure that daily operations are not interrupted, all time off for exempt and non-exempt employees to attend classes during working hours must be approved in writing and in advance at the discretion of department heads. If you are a non-exempt employee, all time off during working hours, including time spent traveling to and from class, must be made up during the same work week; vacation time or PTO may be used for this purpose, only with the pre-approval of your supervisor.

▼   When will the tuition credit be applied to the student’s account?

The applicable tuition credit will be applied to the student’s account before the final fee payment deadline for the academic semester. The student may periodically check his/her account to determine if the tuition credit has been applied.

▼   If the student has a tuition credit balance, how and when will the refund be processed?

Credit refunds will be processed approximately two weeks after the first day of classes for the semester per the University Academic Calendar.

Credits will be posted to the student’s account and subsequently refunded to the student by direct deposit to the one bank account the student has on file. (Note: students without direct deposits are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit on PAWS and students may change bank accounts for direct deposit purposes).

If there is no direct deposit authorization on file for the student, a check will be issued to the student’s home address on file.

▼   If the student receives tuition payment from several sources such as Veteran’s Administration (VA), PACT, federal financial aid, private scholarships, etc., how and when will these amounts be applied to the student’s account?

All external payments will be applied to the student’s account when received by the Student Accounting Office. All applicable USA Educational Benefit tuition credits will be applied to the student’s account before the final fee payment deadline for the semester. Any other scholarship or federal financial aid is credited to the student’s account just prior to the beginning of classes, or when the application and award process is completed. If payments from various sources result in an overpayment of tuition, the overpayment will be refunded to the student, except in cases where specific restrictions require some return of payment to the source(s) of the payments.

▼   If the student paid a 15% tuition deposit by credit card, and anticipates a tuition refund, how will the refund be paid to the student?

The amount paid with a credit card will be refunded to the credit card. If multiple credit cards are used, the refund will go back to the last credit card used.

▼   Can an employee receive a tuition refund for his/her dependent or spouse?

Any applicable tuition refund, due to an overpayment, is applied to the student’s account. A student may have only one bank account associated with his/her student account. However, a student may voluntarily change bank accounts at any time. This includes the student changing the account to a parent’s account.

▼   What fees are covered by the Educational Benefit Plan for employees taking undergraduate courses?

The Educational Benefit Plan provides a waiver of the $150 University registration fee each semester for undergraduate programs only when the course load is less than 15 semester hours.