Dependent Tuition Waiver
Employees of the Montana University System are eligible for a partial tuition waiver, 50% of the residential tuition, for their dependents. A dependent includes the employee’s spouse or adult dependent, as defined in the MUS Employee Benefits Plan, and financially dependent children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code who are unmarried and under age 25.
This benefit applies to non-union staff, administrators and to employees included in a bargaining unit when the Dependent Tuition Waiver has been incorporated in a ratified collective bargaining agreement.
The following is information from our most frequently asked questions. Full details regarding the dependent tuition waiver are available in the “Guidelines” listed under “Resources” in the right column.
EMPLOYEE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
- Must be employed at ¾ time or greater for at least five consecutive years without a break in service.
- Service in a temporary position counts towards 5-year waiting period when service is at ¾ time or greater and there is not a break in service.
- Academic year employment is considered one year of service with no break in service and the employee is reemployed for the subsequent academic year.
- Part-time employment at less than ¾ time, official layoff status or approved leave without pay do not count towards meeting the 5-year qualifying period.
- Employee must be employed and remain at ¾ time or greater during the entire academic term.
- Time worked at the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education or at any unit of the university system at ¾ time or greater shall count toward the 5-year qualifying period as long as there is not a break in service of greater than five working days.
- Employment at any private institution, at any tribal college or the community colleges in Kalispell, Glendive and Miles City does not count towards meeting the 5-year qualifying period.
- All requirements must be met before the beginning of the academic term utilizing the waiver.
- Terminating employment prior to the end of the academic term shall require repayment of the dependent tuition waiver.
- Jointly employed spouses may utilize the dependent tuition waiver benefit for two children at one time, but any one child may not receive more than a 50% tuition waiver.
- Application for the dependent tuition waiver may be initiated by the employee or the employee’s dependent.
- Applications require signatures of both the employee and the employee’s dependent.
- The application must be sent to Human Resource Services for certifying employee eligibility.
- Human Resources will send the eligibility certificate to the appropriate financial aid office.
- New certification and recertification is required for each academic term.
- Employee’s signature verifies that they are not using the faculty/staff tuition waiver, the child using the waiver is claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes and is unmarried or the employee is married to the spouse utilizing the tuition waiver.
- False certification of dependent eligibility is cause for discharge and the employee shall be required to repay the cost of the tuition waiver.
- The dependent waiver benefit is a 50% reduction in the cost of residential tuition. In no case may registration, course fees or any other mandatory fee be waived.
- The benefit is not taxable.
- Dependents may utilize the dependent tuition waiver at any unit of the university system as long as eligibility standards are maintained.
- Students who are dually enrolled at more than one unit receive a 50% reduction in the cost of residential tuition for courses taken at each unit.
- There is no limitation on the number of credits that may be taken each academic term.
- If the employer requires an employee to take a course to obtain new job skills and the employee wants to use the dependent waiver for a spouse or child, the employer is responsible for paying the full tuition for the employee.
- The waiver does not apply to noncredit, continuing education, or self-supporting courses.
- The dependent tuition waiver may be utilized to obtain their first baccalaureate degree.
- The dependent tuition waiver may not be used to attend law school or obtain a graduate degree.
- Graduate level courses are excluded from the dependent tuition waiver benefit.
- Students who receive other tuition waivers or scholarships awarded by the university need to disclose their eligibility for the dependent tuition waiver benefit and are only eligible to receive both benefits, or portion thereof, at the discretion of the university. Such students shall receive, at a minimum, the greater of the two benefits. Scholarships awarded by outside entities are not subject to this limitation.