Effective Date: May 1, 2022
Last Reviewed: May 1, 2022
The purpose of this policy is to describe the benefits and scholarship programs offered to eligible employees regarding various tuition remission, exchange and credit programs as administered by the Department of Human Resources. This policy replaces and supersedes any existing tuition benefits policies, statements, or explanations. As with all policies, the College reserves the right to make changes to this policy at any time or to terminate participation in any program described within this policy.
For the purposes of this policy the below-referenced terms have the following meanings: Spouse: A person who is legally considered a husband and/or wife of an employee.
Child/Dependent Child: The employee’s natural or adopted immediate descendent (if adopted before their 18th birthday) who is less than 25 years of age at the commencement of any academic semester or academic intersession who is not married, is not a ward of the court, is not a veteran, and is not a graduate or professional student.
Niece/Nephew of a Religious Employee who is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross: The child of a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross’ brother or sister or brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Determination of whether an individual is a Religious Employee and/or a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross shall be made by the President of Stonehill College in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the Provincial of the Congregation.
The College and the Congregation of Holy Cross reserve the right to extend benefits to additional members of the Congregation of Holy Cross by agreement.
Full-time employee: An individual, other than a Religious Employee or independent contractor, who is a member of the faculty or hourly or salaried employee (including members of any bargaining unit), who is scheduled a minimum of 35 hours per week for at least 39 weeks per year and, in the case of graduate tuition credit, has been supported by their Divisional Vice President for participation in the program.
Part-time employee: An individual, other than a Religious Employee or independent contractor, who is a member of the faculty or hourly or salaried employee (including members of any bargaining unit) who is regularly scheduled for a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 39 weeks per year.
Retired employee: Any individual age 59 or over, who was employed by Stonehill College the equivalent of 20 academic or calendar years and was employed for at least the equivalent of 4 academic or calendar years as a full-time employee who is not otherwise employed full time as determined by Stonehill or is not employed either full time or part time by an institution of higher learning or other business or organization which provides a tuition exchange or remission benefit whether or not that benefit is similar or equivalent to the benefit provided by Stonehill College.
Disabled employee: Any individual who otherwise meets the employee eligibility requirements, but who is no longer employed by the College because the individual has been deemed by the College, the Social Security Administration, or a court of proper jurisdiction as disabled and has not been otherwise terminated by the College for cause.
Deceased employee: Any individual who otherwise would have met the employee eligibility requirements, but for their demise.
TUITION REMISSION FOR ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES:
Upon date of hire, a full-time employee is eligible to take up to 8 undergraduate courses per year at Stonehill College and a part-time employee is eligible to take up to 4 undergraduate courses per year at the College for a total of approximately 120 credit hours (or 40 courses). Any courses (or credit hours) above this level would need to be approved by the Vice President for Finance. This is a 100% credit for all educational expenses, excluding textbooks. Gaudete Medal recipients who have retired from the College maintain this benefit at the same level as a full-time employee.
TUITION REMISSION FOR SPOUSES AND DEPENDENT CHILDREN:
The following are considered eligible employees for 100% tuition remission for employees’ spouses and dependent children for up to 40 courses (or completion of a single degree program in the time required by the College):
- Any individual who is a full-time employee who has worked the equivalent of four of more academic or calendar years for the College. An individual whose time at the College included time as a part-time employee shall have their time as a part-time employee counted by Human Resources in determining eligibility. An individual who left the employment of the College and then returned to employment within five years of their original end date shall have the total of their time with the College counted by Human Resources in determining eligibility.
- Any individual deemed to be an eligible Religious Employee who is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
- Any individual who is considered a retired employee of the College.
- Any individual who meets the requirements of a retired, disabled, or deceased employee.
The following are requirements of a spouse or dependent child:
- The spouse or dependent child must be accepted on their own merit by the institution at which they intend to use a TR.
- The spouse or dependent child must be enrolled full-time as defined by the host This requirement can be waived by the host institution. Dependent children who are still in high school are not eligible for the program. Dependent children who recently graduated from high school are not eligible to participate in a summer session the summer before their first year of full-time study unless the summer session is considered the start of the full-time program of study by the host institution.
- A spouse or dependent child participating in the TR program must achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 after each year of college attendance to remain eligible for the TR program. A spouse or dependent child may opt to audit a course or elect to take a course “pass/fail” under normal host-institution procedures. If a host-institution requires a minimum GPA of greater than 2.00, to maintain good academic standing, the participant must meet the minimum requirements of the host institution.
- The spouse or dependent child must not have previously received a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution within the United States.
- The College does not guarantee residential status for dependent children. Dependent children are eligible for residency under the same process established for all incoming students.
- Stonehill College may establish additional requirements for participation in the TR program. The Office of Human Resources shall publish annually the program participation
- The TR benefit ends if an employee terminates from the College prior to the completion of the add/drop period. If the employee terminates after the add/drop period is completed, the TR benefit ends upon the last day of the current
Grace Period for Eligibility Date TR program:
Because Stonehill College recognizes that the start date for any given semester at any institute of higher learning, including Stonehill College, is a fluid date which is determined based on numerous factors and considerations, the College has made the following accommodation when determining the eligibility of an employee: If the employee’s initial date of eligibility, as determined by the Department of Human Resources, falls within tf of the start of the semester for the host institution, the employee shall be considered eligible for that semester. As Stonehill is making this accommodation, no further accommodation will be made in adjusting the initial date of eligibility.
Tuition Exchange (TE) is a limited employee scholarship benefit program open to dependent children of eligible full-time employees. Eligible dependent children of employees may apply for tuition exchange at other institutions participating in the TE program. Human Resources shall maintain a list of the institutions participating in the TE program. The number of Stonehill student exchanges available at member institutions is determined by the member institution in any academic year is variable. Only eligible employees can apply to this scholarship program.
The following are considered eligible employees for TE:
- Any individual who is a full-time employee who has worked the equivalent of four or more academic or calendar years for the College. An individual whose time at the College included time as a part-time employee shall have their time as a part-time employee counted (and prorated) by Human Resources in determining eligibility. An individual who left the employment of the College and then returned to employment within five years of their original end date shall have the total of their time with the College counted by Human Resources in determining
- Any individual deemed to be an eligible Religious Employee who is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
- Any individual who meets the requirements of a Disabled, or Deceased employee with at least ten (10) years of service to the College.
Please note: This program is not available for retired employees.
In determining the date of eligibility, the College shall, for the purposes of this policy, make no distinction between employees who are employed full-time on a 9,10, 11, or 12-month calendar year or are employed full-time based on an academic calendar year. Employees who work less than 39 weeks or are otherwise considered part-time employees for the purposes of this policy, shall have their eligibility date adjusted (prorated) by a method determined by Human Resources. Human Resources shall share the eligibility adjustment method for part-time employees.
The following are requirements of a dependent child:
- The dependent child must be accepted on their own merit by the institution at which they intend to use a TE credit.
- The dependent child must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program of study as defined by the host institution.
- A dependent child participating in the TE program must achieve at least the minimum cumulative grade point average required for the tuition exchange program of the institution they are attending to remain eligible for the TE program.
- Stonehill College may establish additional requirements for participation in the TE The Office of Human Resources shall publish the program participation requirements as needed.
The Office of Human Resources shall administer the program and notify employees by print or electronically of any additional requirements, forms, or deadlines associated with the program.
Prioritized eligibility requirements:
- Eligibility is limited to 8 semesters (or its course credit-based equivalent) of TE credit per dependent child.
- If an eligible individual, who does not remain eligible as a retired, disabled, or deceased employee, ceases to work for the College after a dependent child’s TE credit has been certified by Stonehill College and finalized by the host institution, the TE credit is guaranteed for 1 semester
- TE credit is not transferable to study-abroad or similar programs for which tuition is paid to an agency or another institution.
GRADUATE TUITION CREDIT:
Tuition Credit (TC) is a limited employee benefit program open to eligible full-time employees. The TC program provides an opportunity for employees to work towards obtaining a graduate level degree. TC provides for all, or part of the related educational expenses be credited or reimbursed. Stonehill reserves the right to limit the number of credits and the total amount of reimbursements available to each participant and the aggregate amount for all participants in any academic year, including those graduate programs offered by Stonehill College.
Full-time employees, after one year of employment, are eligible for monetary reimbursement for graduate courses at other institutions. Each fiscal year the Vice President for Finance, in consultation with the President, shall set the maximum per employee reimbursement amount. This is a 100% credit for tuition and fees that are determined by the College to be directly related to tuition costs at the institution. Employees should submit an itemized list of costs to Human Resources, on the form prescribed by Human Resources, for determination of what tuition and fees are covered at any particular institution. The College will not cover costs associated with textbooks, late fees, or activity fees.
Full-time employees, after one year of employment, are eligible for monetary reimbursement for graduate courses offered at Stonehill. Each fiscal year the Vice President for Finance, in consultation with the Provost shall set the maximum per employee reimbursement amount and the maximum number of employees who may enroll per semester in each College graduate program. This is a 100% credit for tuition and fees that are determined by the College to be directly related to tuition costs at Stonehill College. The College will not cover costs associated with textbooks, late fees, or activity fees.
An employee must have the approval of their Department Head and Divisional Vice President to apply for reimbursement for graduate courses. Approved coursework should be related to the professional advancement of the employee within the context of employment within the higher education setting at the College. Human Resources shall create and maintain application forms and set appropriate deadlines for application. An employee shall only be reimbursed for post-graduate courses in which they receive a grade of “B” or higher.
In very limited circumstances, upon recommendation of an employee’s Divisional Vice President, and with approval of the President, an employee may receive reimbursement for doctoral level course work.
The College expects that an employee in the graduate TC program who completes 24 credit hours or more of graduate or post-graduate course work shall continue to work for the College for at least one additional year of service from the date of their last reimbursement. An employee who does not fulfill that additional year, shall agree to pay back the College 50% of all reimbursements received. The College may require the employee to sign an additional agreement regarding reimbursement.
Graduate tuition benefits may be viewed as taxable under section 127 of the IRS code.
Nothing within this policy shall limit an employee’s ability to participate in the Southeastern Association for Cooperation in Higher Education in Massachusetts (SACHEM) program. The SACHEM program is a cooperative tuition waiver program which offers tuition remission reciprocity to Stonehill employees at participating area colleges. Each SACHEM institution sets its own rules regarding what courses and/or fees will be covered. The Office of Human Resources shall oversee the SACHEM program for the College. The College reserves the right to terminate its participation in the SACHEM program at any time.
For Tuition Remission and Tuition Exchange or a combination thereof, the College has a maximum number of 3 eligible dependents per individual at any one time. Exceptions must be presented to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and approved by the Vice President for Finance and President.
The College reserves the right to amend this policy as necessary based upon the financial situation at any given time, with or without prior written notice.