Tuition Remission

Tuition Remission 

One of the unique advantages of working at the University is the ability to further your career or personal development by pursuing studies at your workplace. As your career progresses, you may find a particular course of study that increases your job knowledge, builds your personal capability, or provides enrichment. The University also encourages your eligible family members to share in the benefit of post-secondary learning within our campus community.

Program Overview

Upon completing an eligibility period, you and your family members may enroll in classes at Seattle University.  Tuition for dependents is based on your completed years of service.  There is no tuition charge for your studies.  Certain areas of study are not available and there are other limitations and exclusions.  You must be admitted following the regular process and are subject to the University's academic standards.  There are deadlines for applying for admission.

Employee Eligibility

You are eligible to participate in Tuition Remission if you are a Regular, Benefits-Eligible employee who has worked for the University for at least three (3) consecutive full months. The University recognizes your employment relationship as the primary relationship.

This means that enrollment in courses that overlap with your regular work schedule requires the prior, written approval of your supervisor. The decision to allow time for you to attend class during work hours is at the discretion of your department head and is based on factors that include the staffing needs of your work unit.

Dependent Eligibility

Regular, Benefits-Eligible employees who have 12 months of continuous service are entitled to Tuition Remission for undergraduate studies for their legal spouse and dependent children who have not already attained an undergraduate degree. The percentage of Tuition Remission is determined by your completed years of service as described in Programs and costs that are covered.

Dependent children include natural born, adopted or stepchildren. Stepchildren must be assigned joint custody to you. Children must also qualify as tax dependents according to Internal Revenue Service requirements. The University reserves the right to require proof of dependency.

Covered Programs and Costs 

The University pays 100% of tuition for the courses you take as a University employee. If you are a full-time employee, the maximum number of credits for which you may register is 21 credits per academic year.  The academic year begins with the Summer quarter and ends with the Spring quarter. Your spouse or child will be responsible for tuition costs for enrollment exceeding 20 credits per quarter.  You, your spouse, or your dependent child may also audit courses or participate as a non-matriculated student.

Tuition remission for your spouse or dependent children is based on your completed years of regular service as follows:
Length of Regular Service % of Tuition Remission
0 through 12 months 0%
13 through 36 months 50%, reduced further by any federal/state awards or institutional scholarships
37 or more months 100%

When both parents are regular University employees, years of service will be combined in determining a child’s tuition benefit. There is no tuition charge for spouses and dependent children who are auditing courses.

If you completed 5 or more years of continuous full-time employment at a single, accredited institution of higher education immediately prior to joining the University, you have satisfied tuition benefits eligibility upon becoming a regular University employee. Your previous employer must be accredited in accordance with University policy. "Immediately prior" is defined as your last place of employment. If during the course of employment at the prior university you had a break in service of not longer than six months, and all other criteria are met, prior service requirements will be satisfied.

Note: Be sure to let Human Resources know about any prior employment that may satisfy the Tuition Remission eligibility requirements.

The application fee and confirmation deposit are waived for your own tuition benefit, however application fees, but not a confirmation deposit, are charged for spouse and dependents upon enrollment. 

Part-Time Benefits

The tuition remission benefit paid by the University is prorated for regular, part-time employees based on their work schedule relative to a full-time employee. For example, a part-time employee who works 60% of a full-time schedule would be eligible for a maximum of 12.6 credits per academic year (60% x 21 credits = 12.6 credits) paid by the University.  Tuition cost for credits above the prorated limit are the student’s responsibility.

Similarly, the Tuition Remission benefit for spouses and dependent children is prorated if you are a regular, part-time employee. For example, if you have completed 2 years of service and work 60% of a full-time schedule, your dependent’s tuition remission benefit equals 30% (60% work schedule x 50% Full-time tuition benefit = 30% prorated tuition benefit.)

The proration calculation for part-time employees is based on the weekly work hours for staff relative to 37.5 hours for a full-time person. For faculty, the contracted work units are compared to 35 full-time work units.

Limitations and Exclusions

The maximum number of credits is 21 per academic year for full-time regular employees. The maximum number of credits for regular, part-time employees is prorated based on your work schedule. You are responsible for course material and textbook costs as well as various fees such as private music lesson charges, lab fees, matriculation fees, program fees or late fees. Also, you are responsible for the regular application fee and registration deposit for your spouse or dependent child.

All University areas of study are available to regular employees except for the following:

  • School of Law;
  • Albers Executive Leadership Program, Leadership EMBA, online MBA program, online MSBA program;
  • College of Education's Doctorate in Educational Leadership ('EdD') program and also Professional and Continuing Education programs; and
  • Any course of study is excluded for spouses and children upon attainment of the first undergraduate degree.

Tuition remission benefits are limited to the first bachelor's degree for your spouse and each dependent child.

Advice: Plan ahead by contacting the Admissions Office to discuss your study interest. Some programs accept a limited number of applicants and others may not fit into your work schedule.

Application Process & Important Dates

You or your family member must be admitted to the University in accordance with the University's admissions standards and must also follow student registration and academic requirements. For information on the application process, start at:

Spouses and children must also follow the University’s annual financial aid filing requirements. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available at Tuition remission benefits will be offset by the amount of any federal or state awards or institutional scholarships.

If you are registering for yourself, you must return a Tuition Remission Application form each quarter to Human Resources before the tuition payment deadline. Spouses and children must complete the same Tuition Remission form once per year and return the form to Human Resources no later than the 15th of the month before the quarter begins.

Advice: If you are a new student, return your Tuition Remission application to Human Resources at the same time you register with the University. HR is not otherwise systematically notified when employees or their family members enroll for classes. Avoid a late charge by returning your HR form on time.

Here are the key steps for enrolling and applying for Tuition Remission:
Action Important Dates
Complete the FAFSA (children only) After January 1 of the year of enrollment
Apply to the University as a prospective student Application deadlines by quarter and type of enrollment may be found at:
Register for classes Registration information will be provided immediately following the offer of admission
Complete and return the Tuition Remission Application Form to Human Resources:

Summer Quarter: June 5 (start of the academic year)
Fall Quarter: September 15
Winter Quarter: December 15
Spring Quarter: March 15


The University’s Tuition Remission benefit is generally tax-free to you with one exception - graduate studies. For graduate programs, the value of your Tuition Remission benefit that exceeds $5,250 is included as taxable earnings on your paycheck and will be subject to tax withholding. Consult your tax adviser for more information on the tax treatment of your education expenses, including IRS requirements.

Advice: You can elect to have tax withholding spread over the entire year by completing a form available from Payroll:  Payroll Forms

When Benefit Ends

The tuition benefit for your spouse or dependent child ends upon completing the credits required to graduate with a single bachelor's degree.

If you separate from service during an academic quarter and before final exams, the Tuition Remission benefit for you or your family member will be reduced based on the number of completed weeks of employment. The student will be billed for any remaining amounts that are due.

If you separate from service due to a position elimination in accordance with the university’s Workforce Reduction policy, you and/or your enrolled family member may complete the current quarter and may also enroll in the next following quarter.  Please note that any post-employment Tuition Remission benefit may be considered as taxable income.

Retirement, Death or Disability

Regular employees who are age 60 or older with 10 or more consecutive years of service and who retire, become disabled or pass away will be eligible for Tuition Remission for dependent children. If you are a regular, part-time employee, the Tuition Remission benefit will be adjusted according to your average work schedule for the 5 most recent academic years.

Benefit Administration

Human Resources processes requests for Tuition Remission and can assist you with eligibility questions or general inquiries about your tuition benefit options. The Admissions Office processes, evaluates, and makes a decision on your application based on the admission parameters determined by the University. Student Financial Services processes your financial aid information and adjusts the Tuition Remission benefit to offset federal or state awards.