Using the Tuition Benefit for Dependent Children
ON THIS PAGE:
Adding a DependentIf your child is not yet in the online tuition system, you will need to add him/her as a dependent. Simply click “Add New Dependent” and enter your child’s name, birthdate, and Penn ID. If your child does not yet have a Penn ID, you will need to wait until you receive it from the University. Please note: If you have twins, you will need to request that the Tuition Benefit Office add one of them to the system.
If the term is open to requests, click on “Request Payment” and choose “University of Pennsylvania” when prompted. Select the term in question. The process will require you to affirm that you have read and understand our policies, and agree to the manner in which we handle taxability in the case we determine your benefit is taxable to you (determination is made after you submit your request and our office reviews your account). For more information on determining whether your benefit will be subject to withholding, please consult our taxability page.
You do not need to send us a copy of the tuition bill. You can return to the online tuition system - generally the next day - to view the benefit amount (assuming there are already charges on the account) by going to “Tuition Benefits for My Dependents” and clicking “View Details” in the Benefits History box for the term in question. If the charges have not yet been posted by the University, your request will remain pending and our office will not make a payment until the tuition benefit system detects the charges.
You are able to request payment for a term as long as the tuition benefit system is open to that term. The dates the system opens to requests for a term are listed in the tuition policies (Dependent Children Attending Penn). The latest you should request payment is upon receipt of your child’s first term bill. Note, see “accessing financial information” below regarding FERPA regulations and how this affects your access to your dependent’s student account.
Review Your Benefit AmountReview your tuition benefit payment amount and status by going to the online tuition benefit system and scroll down and choose “access my account” and then “tuition benefits for my dependents” from the left-hand menu. Click on “View/manage” next to your dependent’s name, and then click on “View details” for the term in question.
SFS billing statements are a snapshot of a specific period of time and do not update with changes until the next billing cycle. For this reason, you should not wait until a new statement arrives with the tuition benefit payment in order to pay your portion. Instead, you can review your tuition benefit information in the online tuition benefit system then simply subtract your pending benefit payment from the total balance on the billing statement and pay the difference.
Benefit Payment Timeline
If your child’s charges are already on his/her student account, payment will be made to Penn Student Financial Services office on the next upcoming payment date scheduled with SRFS. This date is listed on the home page of the online tuition system (Click "Home" to return there). Approximately two business days after this payment date, your child can access his/her student bursar account through SRFS’s Penn.Pay system (you can view this if your child has set you up with access) and should be able to see the tuition benefit credit by viewing the "New Activity" information. Billed statements viewed through Penn.Pay are snapshots of a point in time, so view the new activity for updates between billing cycles.
Accessing Your Child’s Financial Information
Due to FERPA confidentiality regulations, our office cannot discuss your child’s bill with you (beyond tuition benefit information) unless he/she adds your name on the student record as someone permitted to receive this information. Likewise, please note that bills go directly to the student unless your dependent includes you in the billing permissions. It’s therefore important that your child let you know when he/she has received a statement from SRFS. You or your child can contact SFS for more information on how to add you, the parent, as an authorized account manager.
Adding a Dependent
If your child is not yet in the online tuition system, you will need to add him/her as a dependent. Simply click “Add New Dependent” and enter your child’s name and birthdate. Be sure to leave the Penn ID field blank; do not enter your own Penn ID. Please note: If you have twins, you will need to request that the Tuition Benefit Office add one of them to the system.
Once your child is in the system, choose “View/Manage” next to his/her name and follow these instructions:
- If the term is open to requests, scroll to the bottom of your child’s Benefits History box and click on “Request Payment”.
- Choose the school name if it already appears on your options list, or select “Other Accredited College” to view the list of approved schools. If your school is not listed, you can request to have the school reviewed by choosing “Not Listed”.
- Select the term, then enter the tuition amount (either 40% of Penn’s tuition or the school’s line item of tuition, whichever is less) and enter your child’s student ID at that school.
- Answer “yes” or “no” to indicate whether your child meets one of the two federal definitions of a dependent child for tax purposes.
- Mark the check box once you have read and agree to our policies, and submit your request.
- You will be presented with two links at the bottom of the page:
- Click the first link to download or save a cover page you can use to send us a copy of your bill; it contains our email and fax number. Fax or email this page along with a copy of the itemized tuition bill (showing your dependent’s name, the term, and the tuition charge as a line item).
- Click the second link for the “Confirmation of Benefit Statement”, which you can print and send to your child’s school. This letter verifies Penn's tuition office is sending payment covering 40% of Penn’s tuition per semester or the school’s tuition, whichever is less.
Next Steps and Payment Timeline
To view the status of your tuition benefit request, visit the online tuition system (click "Tuition Benefits for My Dependents", then "View/Manage" next to your dependent’s name). Your request for payment should change from pending to approved within seven business days (not including weekend or holidays) of the date we receive a copy of the itemized tuition bill. If, after seven business days, your request is still pending, please contact our office to ensure we received your bill.
Payment is sent out within a maximum of three business days from the date listed as approved in the online tuition system and is mailed directly to the school. You can add three business days from your approval date, then estimate the time the payment might take in the mail and contact your child's school to find out their timeline for crediting third-party payments to student accounts. Penn pays via ACH wire transfer only in certain cases where the school is also a member of ACH Paymode.
Confirmation of Benefit Statement Letter
Our office makes every attempt to minimize delays within our control, but we cannot guarantee that a check will arrive by the payment due date. For this reason, we recommend you print or save as a PDF the "Confirmation of Benefit Statement" from your dependent's account in the online tuition system. This letter offers the school proof that we will be sending payment and most schools will offer a temporary credit on your dependent's account.
You can find this letter by clicking "Tuition Benefits for My Dependents", then "View/Manage" next to your dependent’s name. In your child’s Benefits History box, look to the end of the row for the semester you just requested. If your request is still pending, click "Confirmation Statement". If your request has been approved, click "View Payment Status". Either of these will bring up your final request page. Click on the "Confirmation of Benefit Statement Letter" link to open or save the letter as a PDF. You can print this verification of our payment and fax or mail it to your dependent's school, or save it and email it as an attachment. If your request has been approved, you can also click on the “Confirmation of Award” letter which will verify the actual payment amount that was approved and that payment was processed.
Once you’re ready to apply for the tuition benefit, visit the Online Tuition Management System. Go to “Tuition Benefits for My Dependents” on the left-hand side of the page, and follow the instructions below to manage your dependent’s tuition benefits. This must be done every term. The procedure is slightly different depending upon whether your dependent is attending Penn or a school other than Penn.