Tuition Benefits-Human Resources - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuition Benefits
(For benefits-eligible staff and faculty)

Carnegie Mellon is pleased to enable its staff and faculty to further their education, enhance their skills and pursue career development through our Tuition Benefits program. Employees can use the Tuition Benefits Module of HR Connection to initiate their tuition benefits request for themselves or their dependent children. They can also track the status of the request and view a summary of their tuition benefits through HR Connection.

Employee Tuition Benefit Features: 

 

Courses Taken At
Carnegie Mellon

Courses Taken At
Another Institution

Eligibility

Staff/Special Faculty: Benefits-eligible full-time or part-time staff who have satisfactorily completed six months of benefits-eligible employment on or before the first day of the full semester on the Pittsburgh campus.

Faculty: Benefits-eligible full-time faculty.

Staff/Special Faculty: Benefits-eligible full-time staff who have satisfactorily completed six months of benefits-eligible employment on or before the first day of the full semester on the Pittsburgh campus.

Faculty: Benefits-eligible full-time faculty who are employed by Carnegie Mellon on the first day of the full semester on the Pittsburgh campus.

Number of Classes

Full-Time Faculty and Staff: two courses at any one time per term* (at one or multiple institutions).
Part-Time Staff: one course at any one time per term* at Carnegie Mellon only.

Benefit Level

100% tuition remission

50% tuition assistance**

Course Content

Any.

Career-related or part of a career-related degree program.

Taxation

Applicable taxes will be withheld from the employee's salary, not from the benefit.

Taxes must be withheld in the year in which the benefit was received [i.e., when the check is issued], regardless of when the courses are taken.

Graduate tuition benefits *** that exceed $5,250 in a calendar year are subject to federal withholding. The first $5,250 in graduate level tuition benefits per calendar year (including undergraduate classes taken while enrolled in a graduate program) are exempt from federal taxes. 

  • Tax Withholding—Federal taxes assessed on your tuition benefits will be withheld from your pay by Carnegie Mellon in three monthly installments (for those paid monthly) or in six biweekly installments (for those paid biweekly). Changes to your benefit level in the middle of a semester (for example, adding or dropping a class) will be reflected in the taxes withheld in the remaining months.

    For employees who are paid monthly, taxes will be withheld according to the following schedule:

    • Spring term—federal taxes withheld in February, March and April
    • Summer term—federal taxes withheld in June, July and August
    • Fall term—federal taxes withheld in October, November and December

    For employees who are paid biweekly, taxes will be withheld on the following pay dates in 2014:

    • Spring term—February 14, February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11, and April 25
    • Summer term—June 6, June 20, July 3, July 18, August 1, and August 15
    • Fall term—October 10, October 24, November 7, November 21, December 5, and December 19

Undergraduate and graduate level tuition benefits for courses taken at an institution other than Carnegie Mellon are subject to state and local taxes.

  • Tax Withholding—State or local taxes assessed on your tuition benefits will be withheld from from your pay by Carnegie Mellon in one lump sum. Changes to your benefit level in the middle of a semester (for example, adding or dropping a class) will be reflected in your next pay.

    • Spring term: state/local taxes withheld in the first monthly and second bi-weekly pay of February
    • Summer term: state/local taxes withheld in the first monthly and second bi-weekly pay of June
    • Fall term: state/local taxes withheld in the first monthly and second bi-weekly pay of October

*Course is defined as the equivalent of a 9- or 12-unit, semester-length class on the Pittsburgh campus during the fall, spring, or first or second summer semesters. Alternatively, up to four (two if part-time) 4½- or 6-unit minis may be taken per semester, provided no more than two (one if part-time) are taken at a time.

** The reimbursement for a class taken outside of the university will be at 50% of the tuition charged, but cannot exceed the Carnegie Mellon tuition for a 9- to 12-unit course during the same period.

***Generally, employer-provided graduate tuition benefits that exceed $5,250 in a calendar year are subject to federal witholding.  Tuition benefits may be tax-free if they represent a working condition fringe benefit under IRS regulations.  While Carnegie Mellon University is required to withold federal taxes on graduate tuition benefits that exceed $5,250 in a calendar year, employees may consult with their tax advisor to determine if they qualify for any exemptions when filing their tax return.

Admissions Process: Human Resources is not involved in the admissions process for any school/degree program. Faculty and staff are not guaranteed admission into any university program.

Authorization: Staff must receive authorization from their manager in order to take classes. Permission may be denied in cases where the employee is on probation for performance issues, or when the employee's absence from work would affect the department's operation. Additionally, in order to qualify for reimbursement, the Total Compensation Committee must approve.