Penn offers tuition benefits to spouses, partners

Penn faculty and staff are presumably in-the-know about the University’s tuition assistance programs for qualified personnel and their dependent children, but fewer employees may be aware that spouses and domestic partners might also be eligible for tuition benefits to pursue an undergraduate degree.

Spouses and same-sex domestic partners can receive 50 percent of Penn’s tuition and technology fees when they enroll in an undergraduate bachelor’s degree program at the University. They will be charged the tuition rate for their academic program, and the Penn benefit will pay 50 percent of that tuition rate. Spouses and domestic partners can take credit courses during any session of the University calendar, with a maximum of eight semesters.

Eligible dependent children who are admitted to Penn for undergraduate school can receive tuition benefits that cover 75 percent of the University’s technology and tuition fees. If children choose to enroll at another accredited college or university for their bachelor’s degree, eligible employees can sign up for the Direct Grant program, in which Penn covers the lesser of either the school’s per-term tuition charge or the equivalent of 40 percent of Penn’s tuition (based on the tuition rate for one full-time semester at Penn).

Tuition benefits for dependents do not kick in until the eligible staff or faculty member has completed three years of full-time service, and renewal is based on the continued eligibility of the faculty or staff member and, in the case of spouses and domestic partners, the continuation of the relationship.

Employees who are interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree can apply to the University’s undergraduate program and begin taking credit classes upon hire if their start date is before the semester’s enrollment cut-off date.

Faculty and staff with undergraduate degrees can use their tuition benefit for any Penn master’s degree program to which they have been admitted. They can also enroll in certificate programs or simply take courses for enrichment or enjoyment.

“Penn’s tuition benefits reflect the University’s overall mission of learning and development,” says Meg Lewis, tuition benefit specialist in the Division of Human Resources. “We encourage all eligible faculty and staff—and their family members—to take advantage of these benefits to attain their educational goals.”

Even retirees and their spouses and children are eligible for tuition benefits if they meet the University’s vesting requirements. Part-time staff or faculty members, occasional employees, and visiting professors are not eligible for tuition benefits.

For more information about Penn’s tuition benefits, visit the Human Resources website (PennKey required).

Spouse Tuition Benefits