Spouse and Dependent Tuition Remission Eligibility

Opposite and Same Sex Spouses and Children of Regular-Status Faculty and Staff and Contingent 2 Employees

Spouses and children under the age of 26 of regular faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for full tuition, prorated to the percentage of employment (FTE) of the employee for the Fall and Spring semesters, 4 credits for Winter Term, and not to exceed 8 credits for the whole summer sessions. Tuition remission policy provisions and restrictions are based on the employee’s date of hire (below). Spouse/Dependents of Contingent 2 employees are eligible for tuition remission at College Park only.

Definition of Dependent Child

A “dependent child” is defined as the son/daughter, stepson/stepdaughter, or legally adopted son/daughter of a USM employee or retiree who:

Is under the age of 26 orĀ If the child is 26 or older and is claimed as a dependent on the employee’s federal income tax return for the year(s) in which tuition remission is granted.

There is no requirement that a child under the age of 26 be declared a “dependent” on the employee’s tax return to be eligible for tuition remission. However, if the child is not declared as a dependent on the employee’s or, if separated or divorced, the ex-spouse’s tax return, the tuition remission will now be subject to tax.

Definition of a Spouse

A spouse is defined as “a person in a legally contracted marriage recognized by the State of Maryland to a USM employee or retiree, with the exception of an estranged spouse who maintains a separate domicile.” The value of the undergraduate tuition remission will be considered taxable income for a same sex spouse that is not claimed as a dependent on the employee’s tax return. The total value of taxable tuition remission for each semester or term will be segmented over five pay periods in order to lessen the impact of the tax on the employee’s net pay.

Tuition Remission Tax Affidavit

The University System of Maryland has developed an extensive tax affidavit that must be completed by all employees requesting tuition remission for spouses or children to identify taxable or non-taxable status under the policy. If the tuition remission is taxable, the taxation will begin within the time frame of the semester, session or term that it is granted. The total value of taxable tuition remission for each semester or term will be segmented over five pay periods in order to lessen the impact of the tax on the employee’s net pay. College Park faculty and staff using the TR Elf online form for tuition remission for spouses and children enrolled at College Park will find the tax affidavit incorporated into the on line form. If a spouse or child is attending another USM institution, the tax affidavit is included with the paper tuition remission request form.

Conditions of Eligibility

Employees hired prior to January 1, 1990 are eligible for undergraduate and graduate level courses at any USM institution, as well as Baltimore City Community College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Morgan State University, consistent with the tuition remission policy of that institution. The spouse and/or dependent child of the employee must be admitted as a student through the normal admission process.

Employees hired between January 1, 1990 and June 30, 1992 are eligible for tuition remission benefits for their spouse and/or dependents for the first undergraduate degree only. Coursework must be taken at the employee’s home institution unless the program is not offered at the home institution. If a spouse or child fail to be admitted to the employee’s home institution, they may attend another USM institution and enroll in any program. In these situations, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources and the President, the spouse or child may receive 50 percent tuition remission for courses taken at another USM institution, as well as Baltimore City Community College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Morgan State University,consistent with the tuition remission policy of that institution.

For employees hired after July 1, 1992, tuition remission benefits for their spouse and or dependent children become available after they have worked for the University for two years. Tuition remission benefits will be paid for the first undergraduate degree and courses must be taken at the home institution of the employee. Coursework must be taken at the employee’s home institution unless the program is not offered at the home institution. If a spouse or child fail to be admitted to the employee’s home institution, they may attend another USM institution and enroll in any program. In these situations, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources and the President, the spouse or child may receive 50 percent tuition remission for courses taken at another USM institution, as well as Baltimore City Community College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Morgan State University,consistent with the tuition remission policy of that institution.

Spouse and Dependents of Deceased Employees

Spouse and dependent children of employees who die in service are eligible for tuition remission benefits equivalent to that of spouse/dependents of regular active employees in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • If the deceased employee’s length of service was less that three years, the spouse/dependent is eligible for one academic year.
  • If the deceased employee’s length of service was between three and five years, the spouse/dependents are eligible for two academic years.
  • If the deceased employee’s length of service between five and seven years, the spouse/dependents are eligible for three academic years.
  • If the deceased employee’s length of service was between seven and nine years experience, spouse/dependents are eligible for four academic years.
  • If the deceased employee’s length of service was more than nine years, the spouse/dependents are eligible for five academic years.

Eligibility for tuition remission for spouses shall expire at the end of seven years following the death of the full-time employee, and on the twenty-sixth birthday for dependent children. For spouse/dependents of deceased part-time regular employees who were employed at least 50 percent-time or more, the percentage of remission shall be proportional to the percentage of employment (FTE), averaging the three years immediately preceding the employee’s death.

Last updated: February 9, 2016