Educational Opportunities for Employees, Dependents, and Spouses
Auburn University's Employee Educational Improvement Benefit (EEIB) affords full-time regular employees the opportunity to take up to five credit hours of University courses per academic term and receive a waiver of some or all of the fees associated with that attendance. New full-time regular employees are immediately eligible for a waiver of the registration fee, and full-time regular employees with one year's employment receive an additional waiver of tuition charges for up to five credit hours. Dependents and spouses of full-time regular employees are also eligible for a 50 percent remission of undergraduate tuition for courses offered at Auburn University.
The University recently enacted changes to the EEIB and Dependent Tuition Remission Benefits (DTRB) policies to ensure compliance with federal tax laws so that we can continue offering employee and dependent educational benefits. The University is in the process of updating policies and procedures to reflect those changes; however, a summary of changes is listed below.
CHANGES TO EEIB AND DTRB BENEFITS
- Auburn University allows full-time, regular employees to request to enroll for University courses and undergraduate distance-education courses during the regular work day. (Based on meeting eligibility requirements and subject to supervisor/manager approval)
- Employees can request up to five credit hours per academic period
CHANGES FOR DEPENDENTS AND SPOUSES (DTRB)
- Before: Tuition waivers (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral) were offered to the spouses and dependents of Auburn University faculty and staff.
- Now: Beginning Aug. 1, AU will discontinue tuition waivers for graduate and doctoral-level courses to the spouses and dependents of AU faculty and staff. (AU will continue to grant tuition waivers to eligible spouses and dependents for undergraduate-level courses.)
Why are changes needed?
- The IRS allows employees of qualified educational institutions, such as Auburn University, to exclude as taxable income undergraduate tuition reductions which they, or their dependents, receive from their respective employer.
- However, the Code offers no avenue for a spouse or dependent to be provided non-taxable post-undergraduate level tuition benefits
- This change ensures that we comply with federal tax laws, and that we can continue offering employee and dependent educational benefits.
Important to note: Dependents and spouses of full-time regular employees remain eligible for a 50 percent remission of undergraduate tuition for courses offered at the University. Dependent eligibility is based on the dependent meeting the eligibility requirements for dental insurance coverage under the University's group dental insurance plan.
MORE ON GRADUATE COURSES
- Auburn University allows full-time, regular employees to request to enroll for up to five credit hours per academic period of University courses and undergraduate distance-education University courses during the regular work day. (Based on meeting eligibility requirements and subject to supervisor/manager approval)
Eligible employees may also receive the benefit for up to five hours of graduate distance-education courses with the benefit limited to the resident on-campus tuition rate for those five hours (the employee covers the difference between the program rate and the resident on-campus tuition rate).
- Graduate courses are included in this plan if relevant to the participant’s current position; however the Benefit will be taxable if the course hours are not relevant to the Participant’s current position assignment.
- Eligible employees may receive the benefit for up to five hours of graduate distance education courses with the benefit limited to the on-campus tuition rate for those five hours.
- A signed Letter of Attestation by both the participating employee and the employee’s immediate supervisor which states the requested course is relevant to the student’s current position assignment is required for graduate courses to avoid taxation.
- Before: AU has offered partial tuition waivers (50 percent) to the survivors of employees with 10 years of service that die while employed. (Based on meeting eligibility requirements.)
- Now: To comply with IRS regulations, AU will no longer offer this waiver except to currently identified students who will be grandfathered from the previous program. (Dependent upon meeting other eligibility requirements and guidelines as established by AU.) This change is effective immediately.