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HR-303 Educational Assistance and Tuition Reduction Program for University Employees and Their Spouse/Dependents Q&As

1. Are spouses and dependents eligible for the Tuition Reduction program if the employee is on a leave of absence?
Yes, if the employee is on an approved leave of absence (paid or unpaid) in accordance with University policy, the employee is eligible for Educational Assistance benefits, and their spouse/dependents are eligible for Tuition Reduction benefits, notwithstanding any other provisions to eligibility.

2. Are employees who receive the Educational Assistance benefit eligible to use student resources?
Yes. Employees who pay student activity fees are eligible for student government association sponsored activities.

3. I previously worked for the university and am considering returning. When will my child/spouse be eligible to receive a 50% tuition reduction?
The policy states employees “who have completed at least one year of continuous benefit-eligible employment at some point prior to the deadline for regular registration” are eligible. Therefore, if you previously worked for the University of Missouri in a benefit-eligible position for at least one year, then your spouse/dependent will be eligible when you return to the University, pending registration deadlines.

4. What are the eligibility requirements for a spouse and dependent(s) under the Tuition Reduction program?
A spouse and dependent(s) must meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Natural children, stepchildren, adopted children, or child placed in employee's home for adoption younger than age 26;
  2. Unmarried children regardless of age, who are, because of physical or mental disability, incapable of self-sustaining employment and are dependent on the employee or the employee’s spouse for principal support and whose disability existed prior to reaching the maximum age for coverage as a dependent.
  3. An eligible Sponsored Adult Dependent who meets the criteria required under the definitions of “Sponsored Adult Dependent” based on the terms and conditions of the University of Missouri Medical Benefits Plan - a person of the same or opposite sex with whom the participant has a relationship and who meets all of the following criteria:
    • Has had the same principal residence as the employee for at least 12 months, and continues to have the same principal residence as the employee disregarding temporary absences due to special circumstances including sickness, education, business, vacation or military service;
    • Is 18 years of age or older;
    • Is not currently married to another person under either statutory or common law; and
    • Is not related to the employee by blood or degree of closeness that would prohibit marriage in the law of the state in which the employee resides.
  4. An eligible spouse who meets the criteria required under the definitions of “Spouse” based on the terms and conditions of the University of Missouri Medical Benefits Plan:
    • the legal spouse of an employee, other than a deceased employee, excluding a divorced spouse or a spouse separated by contract or decree from the employee.
  5. Employees eligible for the Educational Assistance Program are excluded from eligibility for the Tuition Reduction program. In cases of inconsistency between the above definitions and the University of Missouri Medical Plan, the language of the Medical Plan will prevail, with one exception: foster children are not eligible for tuition reduction.
     

5. If my child turns age 26 after registration but prior to the start of classes, will they receive the discount for that semester in which they registered?
If a dependent ceases to meet the terms and conditions of the Missouri Medical Benefits Plan prior to the beginning of the course in which they are enrolled, they will not be eligible for the Tuition Reduction benefit for that semester.

6. Are the spouse and/or dependent(s) of part-time employee eligible for this benefit?
No. Only benefit eligible employees (at least 75% FTE) are included in this program.

7. Are there special circumstances where eligible spouses or dependents may continue receiving Tuition Reduction benefits following the death or retirement of the sponsoring employee?
Yes. Spouses and dependents receiving tuition reduction benefits at the time of the sponsoring employee’s death or retirement may continue to receive those benefits for up to 140 credit hours, for a period not longer than five years after death or retirement.

8. My parent (sponsoring employee) passed away and I was utilizing the Tuition Reduction program prior to their death. May I continue to use this benefit?
Yes. The policy allows for continued benefits in the event of a sponsoring employee’s death, so long as you have received the tuition reduction benefit during the semester of or immediately prior to the date of death.

9. I am scheduled to retire. Can my eligible spouse or dependent use the tuition reduction?
It depends.

  1. If you retire on or before the last day of your spouse/dependent’s semester enrolled:
    1. Yes - if your spouse/dependent received the tuition reduction benefit in the semester in which you retired or the semester immediately preceding, they are eligible to continue receiving the benefit in that course of study until they reach a total of 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college credit courses for which they have received the benefit, but not longer than five years after your retirement.

      Note that hours received with the tuition reduction benefit both before and after your retirement count toward the 140-credit hour cap.
       

    2. No - if your spouse/dependent was not receiving a tuition reduction benefit in the semester in which you retire or the semester immediately preceding, your spouse/dependent cannot receive the benefit for future terms.
    3. Current and Immediately Prior:
      Current semester Immediately prior
      Fall Summer
      Spring Fall
      Summer Spring
  2. If you retire after the last day of your spouse/dependent’s covered semester:
    1. Yes - if your spouse/dependent received the tuition reduction benefit for the semester completed immediately preceding your retirement date, they are eligible to continue receiving the benefit in that course of study until they reach a total of 140 credit hours of University of Missouri college credit courses for which they have received the benefit, but not longer than five years after your retirement.

      Note that hours received with the tuition reduction benefit both before and after your retirement count toward the 140-credit hour cap.

    2. No - if your spouse/dependent was not enrolled and receiving a tuition reduction benefit for the semester completed immediately preceding your retirement date, they cannot receive the benefit for future semesters.

10. Does this program apply to high school students taking college courses at the University of Missouri?
Yes, if the high school student meets all program eligibility requirements and the course is a college credit course.

11. May an eligible spouse or dependent use this benefit on any University of Missouri campus regardless of the employee's home campus?
Yes.

12. Are eLearning, evening courses, and other non-traditional courses covered under the program?
Yes, if they are University of Missouri college credit courses.

13. Do courses taken as "audit" count toward the 140-hour benefit maximum?
Yes, whether the college credit course is taken for "credit" or "audit," the course counts toward the 140-hour benefit maximum.

14. Are other fees in addition to the Tuition covered by the Tuition Reduction program?
No, only Tuition is included under this program. Supplemental course fees, activity fees, health fees, books and other expenses are the responsibility of the student.

15. I have been advised that I may be taxed for my “non-tax dependents” who are between the ages of 19-24 and utilizing the Tuition Reduction benefits. What does “non-tax dependents” mean?
A non-tax dependent is someone you cannot claim on your income tax returns. A tax dependent is someone who you are able to claim on your income tax returns. Please consult with a tax advisor on how this might apply to your tax filing status.

Date Created: 02/28/2013
Updated: 02/28/2013; 03/01/2020

Reviewed 2020-03-03