Human Resources

Tuition Remission and Exchange

As an institution of higher education, Willamette University believes in the value of education, whether for self-improvement, social advancement, or as a means for improving knowledge, skills, and abilities for success at work. One of the many outstanding benefits afforded to full-time employees of Willamette University is our Tuition Remission and Exchange program. Tuition benefits are available to employees as well as their dependent spouse/domestic partner and dependent children.

Tuition Benefits for Dependent Children

Dependent children of benefit eligible Willamette University employees are eligible to take advantage of tuition remission or exchange after the employee completes five (5) years of service.  Service credit is provided for an employee's service at other institutions of higher education. Dependent tuition remission benefits provide for waiver of Willamette's full tuition for eight (8) semesters of undergraduate education.  Age and dependency limits apply. 

Willamette also provides the option of receiving this benefit through participation in the national Tuition Exchange program and the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Tuition Remission Exchange (TRE) program. Combined, these exchange programs provide options for tuition benefits for dependent children at over 600 schools throughout the U.S.  In all cases of tuition remission or exchange, students must go through the full admission process and be admitted to the school subject to regular admission standards. 

Willamette joined the GLCA tuition exchange starting with the 2014-15 academic year.  This new opportunity for children of Willamette faculty and staff provides full tuition exchange benefits at 16 outstanding private colleges and universities in the midwest.  A 15% participation fee based on the mean tuition charge of participating schools must be paid by the student to the GLCA.  A list of participating schools and guidelines may be found on the GLCA website

Tuition Benefits for Employees

Employees hired prior to January 1, 2014, are provided with tuition remission after six (6) months of service for both undergraduate and graduate coursework.  New employees hired after January 1, 2014 are provided after six (6) months of service for undergraduate course work and after three (3) years of service for graduate coursework.  Tuition remission is provided for one course per semester at 100% and any additional courses at 50%.  See information below concerning taxability of graduate tuition benefits.

Tuition Benefits for Spouses/Domestic Partners

Willamette University also provides tuition benefits for attendance in Willamette's undergraduate College of Liberal Arts for both spouses and domestic partners of employees.  These benefits are provided on the same terms as those provided to employees, one class (up to 4 hours/week) per semester/term at 100% tuition remission and any additional courses at 50% of tuition. Tuition remission for graduate program courses is not available to spouses or domestic partners.

Taxability of Tuition Benefits

  • Tuition exchange for dependent children is a tax free benefit, however, it is critical that the student maintain dependency status under the parent/employee's tax returns during the full period of receipt of benefits. 
  • Undergraduate tuition remission for spouses is likewise tax free. 
  • The tuition remission program for employees is non-taxable for undergraduate coursework, and non-taxable for graduate coursework up to the IRS limit of $5,250 per calendar year.  Graduate tuition benefits provided in excess of $5,250 in the tax year are accounted as a taxable benefit to employees such that they will need to pay taxes on these amounts as if they received the dollar value of the benefit in cash. Taxability FAQ

All employees who utilize this benefit are strongly encouraged to track their tuition remission benefit for the year and plan accordingly with the payroll department. Graduate tuition remission becomes taxable to the employee when the benefit is received and exceeds the $5,250 exclusion. At that point, every dollar of the graduate-level tuition remission benefit is taxable. If you are taking graduate courses throughout the year, this means that the additional income and additional taxes will always occur in the latter part of the year. Employees who are receiving this taxable benefit should plan accordingly for the decrease in net pay that will occur when the additional taxes are withheld.