Children's Educational Assistance Plan Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements for Faculty & Staff Members 

When you have five years or more of benefits-eligible service at the time of the first disbursement from the program, you may be able to apply for a grant for each eligible dependent child.
 
For purposes of this plan, benefits-eligible service means at least five months of employment annually at 50 percent or more duty time. Visiting faculty and staff as well as casual employees are not eligible to participate in the program, and service at the University as a visiting faculty or staff member as well as a casual employee will not count toward the five year service requirement. The Tuition Grant Program is governed by the break-in-service rules that govern our retirement plan. Therefore, if you have a break in benefits-eligible service of more than five years, the prior service will not count.
 

Eligibility to apply for a Tuition Grant occurs as follows:

If You Meet the Service Requirement

You May Apply for First Grant for the:

By June 30, 2013
Fall 2013 term
In July, August, September or October, 2013
Fall 2013 term on or after the date you meet the service requirement
In November or December, 2013; January, February or March, 2014
Spring 2014 term on or after the date you meet the service requirement

Eligibility Requirements for Retirees

If you retire (if you were hired on or before December 31, 2002, you are eligible to retire when you have attained age 55 and have at least 10 years of service. If you were hired or rehired on or after January 1, 2003, you are eligible to retire when you have attained age 55, have at least 10 years of service and 75 points, where 75 points is defined as age + years of service) or if you die and would have been eligible to retire, and you have a child participating in the tuition grant program, he/she can continue to do so. However, your child must continue his/her education in consecutive semesters, trimesters, or quarters. If there is a break in his/her education, the benefit ceases.  If your child is not already participating in the tuition grant program when you retire, or die and were eligible to retire, he/she will not be eligible for tuition grant benefits.

Eligibility Requirements for Your Child 

To be eligible for a tuition grant, your child must be: 
  • unmarried
  • your natural born or legally adopted child or your stepchild, legal ward or the child of your same-sex domestic or same-sex civil union partner
  • enrolled as a full-time student in a program leading to an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree at a two- or four-year college accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education at the time the tuition grant is disbursed
  • your dependent under the IRS Code’s definition of dependent and must be verified as a dependent 

Definition of Dependent Child 

To be eligible to receive a tuition grant, your child must meet one of the following tests:
 
Your child must: 
  • be under the age of 24 at the end of the calendar year
  • be a full-time student
  • claim your residence as his or her official residence while away at school and provide less than one-half of his our her own support (excluding scholarships)
Or your child must: 
  • be under age 26 at the end of the calendar year
  • be a full-time student
  • have gross income that is less than the federal dependent exemption amount for the year (for 2012 the amount is $3,900 including scholarships)
  • receive more than one-half of his or her support from you (or from your former spouse if you claim your child as your dependent for tax purposes) 

Special Situations to Qualify for a Taxable Grant  

Excess Gross Income 

If your child’s gross income is more than the dependent exemption for the year and all other dependent requirements are met, you still may be able to qualify to receive a taxable grant.
 
In this situation, as long as your child graduated from high school before or as of June 2007, you can make payments to your child’s college or university, and then Princeton will pay the grant to you through payroll. In this case, your child’s education does not need to be consecutive.
 
This grant will be taxable income to you and subject to withholding taxes. The income will not change your base salary; benefits based on salary still will be calculated on your regular base salary. 

Child with a Disability 

If your child has a disability that requires an academic accommodation, you may be eligible to receive a taxable grant.
 
Under certain circumstances, consideration may be given for a disabled child who is taking a part-time course load, is enrolled in a certificate program instead of a degree program, or is enrolled in a nonaccredited institution.
 
This grant will be taxable income to you and subject to withholding taxes. The income will not change your base salary; benefits based on salary still will be calculated on your regular base salary.
 
If either of these situations applies to you, please contact the Benefits Team at benefits@princeton.edu, 258-3302. 

If Your Child’s Situation Changes 

If you are receiving a tuition grant, you must notify Human Resources if: 
  • your child withdraws from school during the academic year
  • your child no longer is a full-time student in a degree program
  • there is any other change in your child’s educational status, such as a leave of absence 
  • your child’s relationship to you changes 
These changes disqualify your child from receiving benefits through the Tuition Grant Program. If your child no longer qualifies for the program, it is your responsibility to have the school return the tuition grant payment to Princeton University. If the school will not reimburse Princeton directly, you are responsible for the full repayment of the tuition grant to Princeton University. 

Additional Rules and Regulations

  • There is a limit of one grant per child per year. Therefore, if both you and your spouse work for Princeton University, only one grant can be disbursed per child per academic year.
  • Tuition grants are sent directly to the educational institution for credit against your child's account. The only exception to this rule is if you are receiving a taxable grant. Taxable grants are issued if your child is grandfathered due to the change in the dependent eligibility rule or if your child has a disability that requires an academic accommodation.
  • Princeton University is not responsible for late payment fees or finance charges incurred if the grant is not received prior to the payment due date stated on the application form or tuition bill. Tuition grants are processed in the order in which they are received by the  Office of Human Resources and are generally processed within six weeks of receipt.
  • You must indicate on  your application if your child is receiving any other scholarships, grants, or awards. The Princeton University grant will not exceed the remaining tuition costs, if any, after such other financial support is deducted from your child's eligible expenses.
  • Colleges and universities consider all tuition benefits in determining a student's eligibility for need based financial aid. Therefore, eligible children may experience a reduction in financial aid due to eligibility for the tuition grant benefit.
  • For all schools outside of the U.S., payment is made in U.S. dollars. The exchange rate is supplied by the Treasurer's Office and we will use the rate from the particular day that the grant is processed.  We are not responsible for fluctuations in the exchange rate.
  
You can count on support from knowledgeable and responsive HR staff when you have a benefits question or problem. Just call or e-mail us. We’re here to help!
 
 
While the University intends to continue each of the benefit plans, the University reserves the right to terminate or amend any plan, at any time, and for any reason.