FAQ: Benefits for My Dependent Children

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Eligibility

Tuition FAQ Dependents: Children Eligibility

You can if you’re a full-time faculty, regular full-time staff, or limited service staff member and have been in your eligible position or an equivalent one for three years.
No. Only full-time, benefits-eligible service counts toward the benefit.

There are two definitions of dependency. The first is Penn’s, which your child must meet to be eligible for your tuition benefit. This definition states your child must meet one of the four relationship statuses listed in Policy 407.3/408.3 for at least three years, during which time you have been providing at least half of your child’s support.  You must continue to provide at least half support, beyond the tuition benefit, for the duration of your child’s benefit use.

The second, the Federal Definition of Dependent Children, determines whether the tuition benefit is considered taxable income. Your child must meet one of the two standards in the federal definition, one of which references age, and the other the child’s gross income.

Both definitions are detailed in the Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending The University of Pennsylvania Policy or Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending Other Colleges.

No. However, you must be in a full-time, benefits-eligible position.
Graduate tuition benefits are available for a dependent child if you were hired prior to June 30, 1997, and it is only for graduate programs at Penn. Otherwise, the benefit is available only for undergraduate study.
Eligible faculty and staff can receive tuition benefits for dependent children for a maximum of eight academic semesters of undergraduate study at Penn or another college or university.

What’s Covered

Tuition FAQ Dependents: Spouse What's Covered

The benefit is 50% of the tuition and technology fees for credit courses taken at Penn towards the attainment of an undergraduate degree, as outlined in the Scholarship for Spouse/Same-Sex Domestic Partners Attending the University of Pennsylvania Policy. It covers a maximum of eight semesters, or the number of credit courses needed to obtain the degree, whichever comes first. It does not cover graduate coursework, nor undergraduate courses taken on a non-degree or post-baccalaureate basis.
Tuition benefits for spouses/partners are not available for schools other than Penn.

Dependent Children Attending Penn

Tuition FAQ Dependents: Children at Penn

The benefit is 75% of the tuition and technology fees for an undergraduate degree program for a maximum of four academic years (eight semesters).
Log on to the online tuition management system and click on Tuition Benefits for My Dependent. Click on add dependent to add in your child’s name, birthdate, and Penn ID. If your child is in the system without their Penn ID, click on edit dependent and add in their Penn ID number. Choose Request Payment and follow the instructions to apply.
Twelve-week summer courses are billed and treated as Summer Session I. Note that each summer term counts as a semester.
Once your request is processed, a payment is made to your dependent’s student account. The timing of this deposit is based on the next payment date listed on the Welcome page (there are multiple payment dates throughout each term).
When you click Submit, you’ll get a message indicating your student bursar information will be retrieved. You can return to your dependent’s “Benefits History” box and should see the appropriate term listed. The system will pull in your student account billing information overnight (as long as your child’s educational program has already posted the charges). At that point you can go back to your dependent’s tuition record and choose the current term in the Benefits History box to see its calculated benefit. If the charges haven’t been posted by the educational program, your request remains pending until the tuition system detects the charges.

You can submit an application as early as when we open our system to requests, once your child has registered for courses, but the latest you should request payment is upon receipt of your child’s first term bill. Requests for payment will not be accepted after the final deadline for the term:

Semester

System Opens to Requests

Deadline for Submitting Requests

Spring

November 1

March 15

Summer Session I and
12-week Summer Session

April 1

June 15

Summer Session II

April 1

August 15

Fall

June 1

November 15

Dependent Children at Other Colleges

Tuition FAQ Dependents: Children at Other Schools

It is lesser of the other school’s line-item tuition charge per term or 40% of the line item of Penn’s undergraduate tuition for one regular full-time Penn semester. The benefit only covers students who are pursuing their undergraduate Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at another accredited college or university for a maximum of four academic years (8 semesters, 12 trimesters, or 16 quarters).
No. It covers only the line item of tuition; no other charges or fees are covered.

This is a specific fee on your bill labeled “tuition”. The benefit is restricted to this charge. You may see other charges on your bill such as mandatory course fees, technology fees, or health fees, but the benefit does not cover any other fees or charges on the bill.  

For example, if your child’s line-item tuition charge is $25,000 for the academic year, and Penn’s maximum benefit (40% of Penn’s tuition) is $15,000, then you could receive the full $15,000. If your child’s line-item tuition charge is $10,000 for the academic year, you would receive a benefit of $10,000, even if your total bill was over the benefit maximum of $15,000.  Keep in mind, other scholarships that have restrictions similar to Penn’s benefit could affect your benefit amount.

To confirm that Penn will be sending payment, print the Confirmation of Benefit Statement and send it to the school. Log in to the online tuition management system and review the Benefit History box in your dependent’s account. Click on Confirmation Statement at the end of the row for the semester in question (or the link will state View Payment Status if your request has already been approved). There’s a link for the confirmation statement about halfway down the page; you can print it and then fax or mail it to the school. If you have trouble printing this directly from within the management system, you can save the letter and print from the saved copy.

Pending Your request has not yet been approved. If your request is pending for more than seven business days from the date you sent us your tuition bill, please email us at tuition@hr.upenn.edu to check if we’ve your bill.

Approved We have received a copy of your tuition bill and have approved payment. A check is generally sent out within three business days after the date of approval. Because we can’t show the exact date that a check was sent out from within the online tuition management system, it’s a good idea to follow up with your dependent’s school two to three weeks after the date of approval to confirm that they’ve received payment.

Canceled The request has been canceled, either by you or by our office. A canceled term doesn’t count against your dependent’s total allotted terms. Contact the Tuition Administrator at tuition@hr.upenn.edu if your request has been canceled and you don’t know why.

Once our office receives a copy of your tuition bill, the status of your request should change from Pending to Approved within seven business days. If it’s still listed as Pending after that, please contact the Tuition Benefit Office. You can check the status of your request in the online tuition benefit system by going to “Tuition benefits for my dependents”. Click “view/manage” next to your dependent’s name and review the details in their Benefits History box.  Once your request is approved, a check is issued within three business days of the approval date listed in the online system, and sent directly to the school with your child’s name and school identification number.

You should submit an application as soon as the student has received an itemized tuition bill, but requests for payment submitted later than the following dates will not be accepted:

Winter term: March 15

Spring term: April 15

Summer term: August 15

Fall term: November 15

The online tuition management system features a list of approved institutions we have made payments to in the past. If you do not see your child’s school listed, use the online site to apply for approval of the school.

To see the list of schools, log into the tuition management system and click on “Dependent Direct Grant School List” on the left-hand menu.

Although our process is streamlined to operate as quickly as possible, Penn can’t guarantee that payment will be received before the deadline in every case. We therefore recommend that you print the Confirmation of Benefit Statement from your dependent’s account in the online tuition management system. See below.
Log on to the online tuition management system and click on Tuition Benefits for My Dependents. If you have not yet listed your dependent in the system, click “Add dependent” and add in his/her name and birthdate. Do not include a Penn ID unless he/she will attend Penn. Then click the Request Payment button and then follow the instructions. When you complete this process, print a copy of your confirmation page, which has the Tuition Benefit Office’s contact information, and fax or email it to the Tuition Administrator along with a copy of the itemized tuition bill. Your request will not be processed until the confirmation page and itemized bill are received.
If your dependent’s school can’t confirm receipt of a check, contact our office for the check number and to verify where check was sent. If the school doesn’t have the check, we must stop payment and reissue the check. This process takes time, so we suggest that you make every effort to ensure that the school does not have the check before requesting that it be reissued. We generally will not reissue a check prior to one month’s time.

Tax Liability

Tuition FAQ Dependents: Children Tax Liability

Benefits are taxable as additional income only if your dependent child does not meet one or the other of the two Federal Definitions of Dependent Children (described in the Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending the University of Pennsylvania and Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending Other Colleges and Universities policies). You will be asked to verify the tax dependency of your child during the benefit request process.
Our office will withhold Federal, Social Security, Medicare and City Wage taxes from the benefit payment we make to the student account. There is no exemption. Contact the Tuition Benefit Office for more details.
Check the Tax Liability sections of the Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending the University of Pennsylvania and Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending Other Colleges and Universities policies. You may also wish to consult an accountant, or to contact the IRS directly.

Questions? Contact the Tuition Administrator at tuition@hr.upenn.edu.

For questions about your tuition bill (charges, amount due, and payment options), contact the Office of Student Financial Services: 215-898-1988; 3451 Walnut Street 1st floor.

For questions about policies related to an academic program, please contact the coordinator of that program directly.