Links to documents and external websites will open in a new browser window.
 

Tuition Grant Program (TGP)

Educational Assistance Programs

Details

 

Contact EAP

Contact the Educational Assistance Program Office using the correct HelpSU link below:

STAP

HelpSU

STRP

HelpSU

TGP

HelpSU

Program Summary

The Tuition Grant Program (TGP) helps eligible faculty and staff pay for the cost of undergraduate college education for their eligible children. The program pays all or a portion of college tuition at accredited institutions for up to four years of course work required for an undergraduate degree.

Each term (semester or quarter) is assigned a TGP Point value. The maximum number of “points” allowable per eligible child is twelve. Please refer to the TGP Points Table for more information that will help you plan for your child’s undergraduate education expenses.

No TGP benefits continue beyond your eligible child’s attainment of one baccalaureate degree, or twelve points, under the Program.

TGP Application (Revised 04/2014)

Quick Glance - TGP Summary Description for 2014/2015

Child/ren Eligibility Requirements

Eligible child(ren) include and are limited to the following:

  • Biological child
  • Adopted child
  • Stepchild
  • Foster child who has lived with the eligible employee for at least 24 months
  • Domestic Partner's child (as defined by the Domestic Partner Benefits Policy, available through Benefits)
  • A child who has been your ward under a court-approved legal guardianship and has been your ward for at least 60 months

 

Dependent Eligibility and Documentation

For Recurrent TGP Applicants

If you previously certified your dependents online or if you have previously submitted dependent documentation to the TGP office, you are not required to re-certify or submit documentation.

For New TGP Applicants

You will be required to provide dependent relationship documentation with your application for TGP benefits.  Please review the TGP Dependent Eligibility Documentation (below) for information about acceptable documents.

TGP Dependent Eligibility Documentation

What is Not Covered under TGP

The Program will not pay for these costs:

  • Room and board
  • Books and course materials
  • Health insurance
  • Transportation and parking
  • Tutoring fees
  • Courses taken through correspondence
  • Laboratory fees
  • Special fees established only for specified courses
  • Auditing fees
  • Late fees
  • Interest Fees
  • Tuition insurance
  • Expenses at any United States or foreign institution that are not normally included in the basic tuition and fees by Stanford University, the University of California, or the California State Universities
  • Other costs or expenses that Stanford, in its discretion, decides are not tuition within the meaning of this Program

FAQs

Overview of TGP

Q. What is the Tuition Grant Program ?

A. Stanford's Tuition Grant Program assists employees by helping them pay for their dependent children's undergraduate college education. If you are an eligible faculty or staff member and your child is claimed as your dependent on your federal income taxes, TGP provides tax-exempt payments directly to accredited colleges and universities toward the cost of the child's tuition. Benefits for other eligible children are provided on a taxable basis.

Q. What amount of tuition does the program pay?

A. The maximum benefit is the lesser of:

  • The cost of tuition (or fees) for your child's school, less any applicable grants or scholarships or
  • Up to one-half of Stanford University's tuition (Half of the current 2013/2014 Stanford tuition is $21,345)
    • The benefit payable on your behalf will be calculated each semester, quarter, or each time you apply for TGP benefits and receive an authorization letter.
    • There is a maximum TGP benefit per semester of $10,672.50.
    • There is a maximum TGP benefit per quarter of $7,115.00.
  • The maximum payable is for up to 8 semesters or 12 quarters of undergraduate course work.
    • Use caution when deciding to use TGP benefits for community college course work. The 8 semesters or 12 quarters of undergraduate course work is the maximum allowable regardless of the type of institution or amount of payment.

Q. What is the process to receive TGP for my child?

A. You must submit a completed TGP application form for each academic year. The Educational Assistance Programs (EAP) Office will review and determine your and your child's eligibility. Proof of dependent relationship is required and must be submitted with the first application for each dependent. A list of acceptable TGP Dependent Eligibility Documentation can be found in the section of this website, above. Copies of official documents are acceptable. Please do not send original documents.

If you and the eligible child qualify for TGP benefits, Stanford University will issue an authorization letter to you. It is your responsibility to forward the letter to your child's institution immediately. The letter will verify that payment from Stanford is guaranteed and provides billing instructions for the institution. You must reapply between April 1 and July 1 for all semesters or quarters, including summer term.

Q. Why are tuition payments sent directly to my child's institution instead of to me?

A. If payments were made directly to you, they would be considered taxable income. If you already paid the tuition prior to receiving your TGP authorization letter, the EAP office will send the tuition payment to your child's institution. The institution will be responsible for your reimbursement.

Q. Why can't I receive the Tuition Grant Program benefit for myself?

A. For employees in benefits-eligible staff positions, there is the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program (STRP). The program supports employee development by providing partial or full reimbursement of tuition costs for courses meeting requirements of undergraduate or graduate degree programs related to current performance or planned career development. Individuals must be enrolled in a degree program to qualify for assistance. See the STRP guidelines at http://hros/eap/strp.html.

Q. What types of fees are NOT included in TGP benefits?

A. The following items are on the exclusion list; additional excluded items are included in the comprehensive TGP Guidelines.

  • Room and board
  • Books and course materials
  • Transportation and parking
  • Laboratory fees
  • Expenses at any United States or foreign institution that are not normally included in the basic tuition and fees by Stanford University, the University of California, or the California State Universities
  • Other costs or expenses that Stanford, in its discretion, decides are not tuition within the meaning of this Program

Eligibility of Employees

Q. When am I eligible for TGP?

A. For Staff, you must be in a benefits-eligible University position that is six months or more (four months or more, or to the extent provided in the collective bargaining agreement for bargaining unit employees) and 50% FTE or greater. In addition, you must have completed five years of continuing benefits-eligible service to qualify.

For Faculty, University Officers and Executives, you must be in a University appointment of six months or longer. Faculty, University Officers and Executives are eligible for TGP when your appointment begins.

Q. If both parents are employed by Stanford, do we get twice the benefit?

A. No, only one four-year benefit period is allowed for each eligible child regardless of which parent applies. The same limits and conditions apply as if Stanford employed only one parent.

Q. I worked several years in a part-time position before moving to a full-time position. How can I determine when I'm eligible for TGP?

A. If you worked at least 50% FTE (full time equivalent) in a benefits-eligible position for five years, those years count toward your five year eligibility. When you apply for TGP, if your FTE has not increased, then the benefit is prorated to your FTE. If your job FTE increases to 100% before the payment is due, the benefit is paid at 100%.

Q. If I work in a part-time benefits-eligible staff position, am I eligible for TGP?

A. Yes, if you have satisfied the five years of continuous service requirement, your TGP benefits are prorated based on the percent of time you work; e.g., 50%, 75%, etc. The position must be benefits eligible and at least 50% FTE to qualify for TGP.

Q. What if I have to go out on a leave when my child is in college and receiving TGP benefits?

A. If it is a paid leave, TGP benefits continue without interruption. For approved disability or family leaves, if the service requirement is met, TGP benefits continue during the disability time period as long as you remain employed by the university. For a sabbatical, TGP benefits continue without interruption. TGP is usually not payable during unpaid leaves, but there may be some allowable exceptions. For a full explanation of how the Benefit is affected by leaves of absence, please consult the TGP Guidelines.

Q. If I've met my service requirement and retired prior to my child going to college, will my child be eligible to receive TGP benefits when he/she goes to college?

A. Yes, assuming the service requirement has been met and you are an official retiree (meeting the criteria set forth by the Benefits Office for official retirees). If, at the time of your retirement, you hold a position that is less than 100% full-time service, your TGP benefit will be paid at the full-time rate only if you worked in 100% full-time service positions for more than half of the years you were a benefits eligible Stanford employee during the 10-year period immediately preceding your retirement. If the majority of your service was not full time, your TGP benefit as a retiree will be based on the average percent of your full-time equivalency during your last 12 months of active service.

Q. If my employment ended at Stanford and I am later rehired, am I still eligible for TGP?

A. If you are rehired as a faculty member or University Officers and Executives, you are immediately eligible for TGP upon rehire. If you are rehired as a staff member, you must complete another five-year period of continuous benefits-eligible service to reestablish eligibility for the TGP benefits, unless any of the provisions of Administrative Guide Memo 2.1.2 (d)(1) apply to you.

  • The provisions in that memo include:

Reinstating the Hire Date:

Former regular staff will have their hire date reinstated if they left the University in good standing and meet these timelines:

(a) Former regular staff that has been laid off and is re-employed by the University within 24 months following the date of layoff will have the most recent hire date prior to layoff reinstated.

(b) Former regular staff whose employment was terminated for reasons other than layoff will have the most recent date of hire prior to termination reinstated if re-employment occurs within 12 months following the date of termination. Reinstatement includes all of the following:

  • Bridging of service by restoring the most recent hire date in a benefits-eligible position before termination,
  • Restoration of any sick leave balance at the time of termination, and
  • Vacation accrual rate based on the reinstated hire date.

Q. If I passed away after meeting my service requirement, will my child be eligible to receive TGP benefits?

A. If you have already met the service requirement, benefit payments for your eligible children already receiving benefites will continue. Your other children, if any, will become eligible for TGP benefits when they qualify under the other conditions of the Program. All eligibility for the Program ends if, at the time of death, there are no eligible children participating in the Program.

However, if you have completed ten (10) years of continuous benefits-eligible service at the time of death, or if you would qualify as an Official Retiree at the time of your death, your eligible children are eligible for TGP benefits under the terms in effect at the time the application is submitted, whether or not you had eligible children participating in the Program at the time of death.

Children of deceased employees are eligible only up to age 40.

Eligibility of Children

Q. What kind of proof of dependent relationship is acceptable and when should it be submitted?

A. Proof of dependent relationship is required and must be submitted with the first application for each dependent. A list of acceptable documents can be found on the TGP website at http://hreap.stanford.edu/tgp.html. Copies of official documents are acceptable. Please do not send original documents.

Q. I have a foster child whom I will be adopting, but the adoption won't be finalized before he attends college. Can I still use TGP benefits for his tuition?

A. Yes, if a foster child has lived with you for at least 24 months immediately before you request benefits under the Program, AND if one or more of these statements is true (see below), you are eligible for TGP benefits.

  • The child is your dependent for federal income tax purposes, or
  • You provide more than 50% of the child's financial support, or
  • The child lives primarily with you when he/she is not away at school

Q. I have a stepchild that is not legally my child, but who has lived with me for years. Can I use TGP benefits for her tuition?

A. Yes, if one or more of these statements is true (see below), you are eligible for TGP benefits.

  • The child is your dependent for federal income tax purposes, or
  • You provide more than 50% of the child's financial support, or
  • The child lives primarily with you when he/she is not away at school

Q. My domestic partner has a child and I'd like to use TGP benefits for his/her tuition. Is that allowed?

A. Yes, if one or more of these statements is true (see below), you are eligible for TGP benefits.

  • The child is your dependent for federal income tax purposes, or
  • You provide more than 50% of the child's financial support, or
  • The child lives primarily with you when he/she is not away at school

Q. I have been appointed as a legal guardian for a child, can I use TGP benefits for his/her tuition?

A. Yes, if a child has been your ward under a court-approved legal guardianship and has been your ward immediately prior to your request for benefits under the Program for at least 60 months, AND if one or more of these statements is true (see below), you are eligible for TGP benefits.

  • The child is your dependent for federal income tax purposes, or
  • You provide more than 50% of the child's financial support, or
  • The child lives primarily with you when he/she is not away at school

Q. My child is not the typical age of a college student. Does that matter for TGP benefits?

A. No, age is not a factor in determining the child's eligibility for TGP benefits (the child might be 16, 25, 32, etc.), unless the eligible employee is deceased. In that case, if the service requirement was met before the employee's death, benefit payments for your eligible children already receiving benefits will continue; other remaining children will become eligible when they qualify, up to age 40.

Also, if the child is over the age of 24 (19 if not a full-time student) and has gross income equal to or exceeding the IRS exemptions amount, the child will not qualify as a dependent and TGP benefits will be treated as taxable compensation to you.

Q. What if my child stops attending college for a while and then returns at a later date? Can I still apply for TGP?

A. Yes, as long as the maximum amount of semesters or quarters has not been reached. However, if you are receiving the Benefit as taxable compensation, additional rules apply. Taxable TGP benefits for a child will not be paid over a period of more than 4 consecutive years. If benefits for a child become taxable part way through the child's college education, the remaining benefits for which the child is eligible must be taken in consecutive regularly-scheduled quarters or semesters for all benefits to be available. No TGP benefits continue beyond your eligible child's attainment of the baccalaureate degree. Once the benefit becomes taxable, the remaining benefits for which the child is eligible must be taken in consecutive regularly-scheduled quarters or semesters for all benefits to be available. If time off is taken during the period of time in which the benefit is taxable, the consecutive quarters/semesters rule remains in effect and the student will only have the remaining consecutive quarters/semesters in which to use TGP benefits. If the TGP benefits are not fully utilized in this timeframe, they are forfeited. Please review the full taxable benefit policy in the TGP guidelines located at http://hros.stanford.edu/eap/tgp.html

Q. My child is attending college on a part-time basis. Can I still apply for TGP?

A. Yes, if your eligible child takes eight or fewer units in a term, then TGP will pay only half of the equivalent full-time academic term of eligibility. The amount payable to the institution cannot exceed one half of the amount available for that term, or the balance of half of the TGP maximum annual benefit amount. Additional restrictions may apply if the benefit is being received on a taxable basis. Please review the full taxable benefit policy in the TGP guidelines located at http://hros.stanford.edu/eap/tgp.html

Q. Does summer school count toward the maximum amount TGP will pay?

A. Yes, the program will pay for your eligible child’s summer session if payment does not exceed the annual maximum benefit for that academic year. If he or she is enrolled for 8 or fewer units (part-time), one-half a term of eligibility will be deducted. If your child is enrolled for 9 or more units (full-time), a full term of eligibility will be deducted.

Eligibility of Institutions

Q. Why are accredited institutions the only colleges and universities included in TGP?

A. The accreditation process is rigorous and Stanford University must adhere to it. The program does not provide payment to institutions that have not completed the accreditation process. Additionally, accredited institutions have to meet quality standards for their educational curricula, helping to ensure a high quality academic program.

Annual TGP Benefits

Q. How much can I receive toward my child's college education?

A. The maximum full-time benefit for the 2013/2014 academic year – including summer term – is:

  • $21,345.00 for the full academic year
  • $10,672.50 for each semester
  • $7,115 for each quarter

The amount changes each year, based on the current Stanford tuition. If you work less than full time, the amount is prorated (see Eligibility for Employees section).

Q. Why can't I get the full amount of Stanford's annual tuition?

A. If you have satisfied the eligibility requirements, and your child's college or university tuition is the same as Stanford's, TGP can pay up to ½ of Stanford's annual tuition. In many cases, however, your child's college or university tuition is less than half of Stanford's annual tuition, so that amount is what TGP will pay.

Q. Why are the TGP benefits restricted to undergraduate education only?

A. The program was established to support the children of long-time employees attaining an undergraduate degree. Graduate education is not included in TGP because graduate degree typically includes financial support for the student, such as a teaching assistantship or a research grant. Additionally, the tax laws differ based on the age of the child.

Tax Issues

Q. Are tuition payments non-taxable?

A. Yes, only if your child is claimed as your dependent on your federal income tax return for the year that includes the tuition payment date. The payments are made directly to the institution on behalf of your eligible child. These payments are excluded from your gross income for federal income tax purposes and are non-taxable. If your child is not claimed as your dependent on your federal income tax return, the benefit is considered taxable compensation.

Q. What about tuition payments for my domestic partner's child?

A. If the child is your domestic partner's child whom you have not adopted, or is otherwise not your dependent for federal income tax purposes, the benefit payments do not qualify for tax-exempt treatment.

Follow the steps below on how to make the tuition payments directly to the child's institution.

  1. When your application is reviewed and eligibility is determined, you will be issued a taxable compensation authorization letter.
  2. When you receive the invoice from your child's institution, you are responsible to pay it.
  3. Provide a copy of the invoice and proof of your child's tuition payment to the Educational Assistance Programs office in Human Resources.
    • Payments to the institution must be made by the employee receiving the TGP benefits.
  4. Reimbursements for current employees will be processed within two pay periods on either the 7th or 22nd of the month, depending on the receipt date for proof of payment,
  5. Reimbursements for official retirees will be sent to your home address approximately 15 days after receipt date for proof of payment.
    • The reimbursement will be classified as taxable supplemental compensation subject to withholding. The University will not help pay any taxes due on such compensation.
    • The supplemental compensation will not change your base salary; such other benefits will continue to be calculated on your regular salary.

Q. What about tuition payments for my child when the parents are separated or divorced?

A. In some situations, parents who are divorced, or married parents who are legally separated or live apart, the Stanford parent can receive program benefits without taxation as long as the parent who is the Stanford employee claims the child as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.

Q. What about a situation where my ex-spouse provides more than 50% of my child's support?

A. If someone else (including the child) provides over 50% of the financial support of the child, tuition payments made on behalf of the child will be treated as taxable compensation to you.

Q. My child is 24 but still working on an undergraduate degree. Is TGP taxed at that point?

A. If the child reach the age of 24 (19 if not a full-time student) and has gross income equal to or exceeding the IRS exemptions amount, the child will not qualify as a dependent and TGP benefits will be treated as taxable compensation to you.

Q. What do I do if my child gets financial aid?

A. The benefit is offset by any applicable grants or scholarships your child may receive from his/her institution. Participation in TGP could also affect other financial aid benefits for your child's education. Contact your child's Financial Aid Office for more information. If your child will attend Stanford University, the TGP Office will notify the Financial Aid Office and you after the application is processed. When registering, the student receives the maximum benefit amount per quarter toward Stanford's tuition through the process specified in the University's registration procedures.

Q. How do I indicate TGP payments to my child's college on my tax return?

A. Please consult with your tax advisor. Remember, if the payments were made directly to your child's college or university and not to you, they are considered tax exempt.

Q. What are the IRS rules on how the TGP benefit is used. Can you please explain this?

A. If the TGP benefit is taxable, there are some additional time constraints associated with the program. Once the benefit becomes taxable, any remaining benefits must be taken in consecutive, regularly-scheduled quarters or semesters for all benefits to be available.

If time off is taken once the benefit is taxable, the consecutive quarters/semesters rule remains in effect. If the TGP benefits are not fully utilized in this timeframe, they are forfeited, even though your child may not have attained their baccalaureate degree. Please review the full taxable benefit policy, including examples, in the TGP Guidelines.

How and When to Apply

Q. When should I apply for TGP?

A. Applications are accepted throughout the year, but if you are already eligible for TGP, it's best to apply for the upcoming academic year between April 1 and July 1 to reduce the chance of a delay in tuition payments to the institution.

If you first become eligible for TGP benefits after July 1, you should submit your application as soon as you become eligible. TGP benefits can be prorated to cover the time after you become eligible.

Faculty and staff located at SLAC should submit applications directly to the SLAC Benefits Office.

Q. Where can I find the TGP application?

A. The TGP application can be found on the Educational Assistance Programs web site http://hros.stanford.edu/eap/tgp.html in the section “Program Summary”. You may also pick up the application in the Human Resources Department lobby at 3160 Porter Drive, Suite 250, Palo Alto, CA 94304-8443. (SLAC employees can come get the application, but will need to submit it to the SLAC Human Resources Office, Mail Bin 11.). Be sure you have completed each section carefully. Missing information will delay processing of the application. Proof of dependent relationship is required and must be submitted with the application unless previously submitted for this dependent. A list of acceptable documents can be found on the TGP website at http://hreap.stanford.edu/tgp.html. Submit your completed application to the Educational Assistance Programs office in University Human Resources, 3160 Porter Drive, Suite 250, Palo Alto, CA 94304-8443. You can fax the completed application to (650) 723-7669, send in ID mail to EAP/8443. (SLAC employees must submit completed applications to: SLAC, Mail Bin 11, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.) Please only submit each application once!

Q. Do I have to apply every year or every separate term (e.g., summer term)?

A. Yes! Apply every academic year between April 1 and July 1. One application can cover a partial academic year or an entire academic year, including summer by marking the correct boxes on the application form.

How to Get Additional Information

Q. Can I talk to someone directly?

A. Yes, call the main Benefits number: Locally: (650) 736-2985 or Toll-free: (877) 905-2985. TGP is currently option 5 on the menu.

Q. Does TGP have a web site?

A. Yes, it's http://hros.stanford.edu/eap/tgp.html

There are FAQs, the application form, and the comprehensive TGP Guidelines that you can review and/or print.

Q. Are there applications available in the Human Resources Department if I can't download and print them online?

A. Yes, visit the Human Resources Department lobby at 3160 Porter Drive, Suite 250, Palo Alto, CA 94304-8443 to obtain the applications. (SLAC employees can come get the application, but will need to submit it to the SLAC Human Resources Office, Mail Bin 11.).

The University policy for this program is set forth in the Administrative Guide, Section 2.3.3 Call (650) 723-0401 or email tuitiongrant@stanford.edu if you have further questions.