Employee Portable Tuition Benefits

Summary Plan Description 

Employee Eligibility

This benefit is available for full-time faculty and staff at the University.

  1. Participant must be a regular full-time employee AND
  2. Participant must have completed one full year of service prior to the beginning of the term  AND
  3. Employee must be on the payroll at the beginning and completion of course(s).

Allowable Expenses

This benefit is for undergraduate and graduate education for job-related courses outside of Northwestern University. The benefit is limited to tuition and eligible fees only.

Annual Benefit Amount

The maximum annual benefit per calendar year is $3,000.00. This is non-taxable (unless it is used in conjunction with the Employee Reduced Tuition program). Total maximum of all Employee Tuition Benefit plans per employee is $10,000/calendar year; any amount over $5,250.00 is considered taxable income. Additional information can be found on the IRS website.

Eligible Institutions

Qualified institutions include accredited United States colleges and universities.

Reimbursement Eligibility

  1. A letter grade of a “C” or higher OR a letter grade of “P” (Pass) is required.
  2. Course(s) must have credit hours associated with each.
  3. The calendar year in which the course(s) are taken will be the same calendar year in which the reimbursement funds are applied.
  4. Employees must submit paperwork within 90 days after the course completion date.

Application Procedure

  1. Employees review policy & procedure to ensure eligibility prior to the start of a degree program or job-related course(s).
  2. Employees obtain their supervisor’s approval to enroll in course(s). Supervisor approval indicates it is a degree program or job-related course. The supervisor must sign the application.
  3. Employees, upon completion of the course, must obtain, complete and submit: an Application for Employee Portable Tuition Reimbursement, a copy of the grade report, an itemized tuition bill clearly showing the tuition cost and fees for that course and any grants and/or scholarships associated with that degree program or job-related course(s), and proof of payment.
  4. Employees must indicate on the Employee Portable Tuition form the amount of financial assistance they receive from other sources, e.g., scholarships, grants or programs for educational funding. Scholarships and grants (monies not out of pocket) are subtracted from your out-of-pocket tuition and fee expenses.
  5. The Employee Portable Tuition form must be submitted through Northwestern University’s Benefits Office, no later than 90 days after the course completion.
  6. The employee will be reimbursed via payroll.

Tuition Reimbursement Applications