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Tuition Benefits

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I learn more about the Tuition Benefits Program and policies?
Visit the Department of Human Resources Tuition Benefits website!

Are Tuition Benefits Taxable?
Yes. However, employees enrolled in a taxable graduate program are eligible for an annual IRS exclusion for the first $5,250 of paid Tuition Benefits each calendar year. A spouse enrolled in a taxable graduate program is not eligible for the exclusion. Visit Graduate Tax Information to learn more.

How do I view my Student Account?
Go to my.smu.edu > Student Center > Account Summary.  Your Overall Account Balance is a combination of your Student and Miscellaneous balances for all terms. To view all transactions posted to your Student Account (e.g., Tuition Benefits, anticipated aid, loans or fees), select the appropriate term. It is important that you review your Student Account every term so that you understand all charges and avoid late fees.

Does the Tuition Benefits Program cover courses taken at colleges/institutions other than SMU?
No, Tuition Benefits are only available for SMU credit-bearing academic study or degree programs.

Does the Tuition Benefits Program cover enrollment in Continuing Ed, Special Studies, or Talented & Gifted (TAG) courses?
No, Tuition Benefits are limited to SMU credit-bearing academic study or degree programs. Informal, non-degree certificates, or continuing education courses are non-credit bearing.

Is my dependent child eligible for Tuition Benefits for a Study Abroad program?
Yes, the Tuition Benefits Program covers Study Abroad tuition.  All other fees are the responsibility of the student.  Visit SMU.Abroad for additional information. The Tuition Benefits Request form will appear on my.smu.edu > Employee Self-Service > Benefits > Tuition Benefits if you are a full-time, benefits eligible faculty or staff employee.  If you cannot find the Tuition Benefits tab, email tuitionbenefits@smu.edu and include:

  • Employee’s name and SMU ID#
  • Information about your error (i.e. No link for Tuition Benefits)

*The link will not appear for Postdoctoral Fellows, temporary staff employees and Adjunct Faculty.

What happens after I submit my Tuition Benefits Request?
You will receive a confirmation email each time you enroll in classes and the tuition amount will be posted to your Student Account.  The Department of Human Resources determines Tuition Benefits eligibility and contacts Financial Aid to award the Tuition Benefits amount.  Financial Aid will further review the award along with any other aid and post to your Student Account.  This process may take up to 12 business days from the day you enroll in classes.

Does my supervisor have to approve my request for Tuition Benefits?
Yes, once the request is processed, your supervisor will be notified via email from my.smu.edu for each term that you have submitted a Tuition Benefits Request.  Be sure to let your supervisor know in advance that you plan to attend classes. If you plan to take classes during work hours, ask your supervisor before enrolling in the class.  Your supervisor must approve any modified work schedules.

My daughter has been accepted to SMU beginning the Fall term.  How do I link her to my SMU account?
Once your daughter has been assigned an SMU ID number, please send an email to tuitionbenefits@smu.edu.   Once we have her SMU ID, we will establish her relationship to you and you will be able to submit a Tuition Benefits Request. Include in the email:

  • Your full name and SMU ID#
  • Dependent’s name and SMU ID#
  • Academic Term (e.g. Fall, January Interterm, Spring, May Interterm, Summer, UG August Interterm)
  • Information about what you are encountering (e.g. Tuition Request page does not include my dependent)

Why can’t I find my spouse’s (or child) name on my Tuition Benefits Request page? 
This may occur if the relationship has not been set-up for the new student. If this occurs, follow the instruction in the answer to the preceding question.

Can I submit a Tuition Benefits Request for more than one family member?  
Yes. You should see all family members listed on the request page including yourself.  If you do not, please email tuitionbenefits@smu.edu.   Include in the email:

  • Employee’s name and SMU ID#
  • Academic Term (e.g. Fall, January Interterm, Spring, May Interterm, Summer, UG August Interterm)
  • Dependent’s name and SMU ID#
  • Information about what you are encountering (e.g. Request page does not include my dependent)

Can I make changes to my Tuition Benefits Request after it has been submitted? 
You can’t make changes after you have submitted the Tuition Benefits Request for the academic year.  However, the Tuition Benefit will only be posted to your Student Account upon enrollment in a class during the requested academic year.   Eligibility is determined by your status at the time of enrollment of classes.

What should I do if I want to drop or add a class? 
Contact tuitionbenefits@smu.edu if you add or drop a class.  Include in the email:

  • Student’s name and SMU ID#
  • Academic Term (e.g. Fall, January Interterm, Spring, May Interterm, Summer, UG August Interterm)
  • Employee’s name and SMU ID# (if request is for dependent or spouse)
  • Information about your change (e.g., changing Summer term hours to 4, dropping Fall term, etc.)

When I click SAVE on the Tuition Benefits Request page nothing happens. What is the problem?
You must read the Attest statement and SAVE.  Then select the appropriate Aid Year (AY) and SAVE again.  If you do not see your new submission under “View Submitted Request” contact us at tuitionbenefits@smu.edu

If I request Tuition Benefits for a dependent and then begin a three-month, unpaid leave of absence, will the Tuition Benefits still be available?
Yes, your dependent will continue to be eligible for Tuition Benefits.

After I retire, are my spouse and dependent child eligible for Tuition Benefits?
Yes, as long as you were a full-time, benefits eligible employee age 60 or older with at least 10 years of SMU service at the time you retire, and they have met the eligibility criteria. The Tuition Benefits Program covers tuition only. All other charges and costs of attending SMU are the responsibility of the student.

Can a dependent stop attending classes and then return at a later time? 
Yes, but keep in mind that a dependent child is eligible for Tuition Benefits for no more than five (5) consecutive years beginning the date he/she first enrolls.  For example, if a dependent receiving Tuition Benefits attends classes for one year, does not attend classes for the following two years and then returns, the dependent will have two years of Tuition Benefits remaining.

Is my dependent child eligible for Tuition Benefits at age 24?
Yes, provided the dependent child was enrolled as a student on the first day of class of any term before age 24.

I didn’t use the Tuition Benefits Program for my child for an undergraduate degree.  Can I use it for her to get a graduate degree?
No, the Tuition Benefit for dependent children is available for one undergraduate degree.

If I am a student, what fees are covered under the Tuition Benefits Program?
The General Student Fee is waived for employees enrolled in credit-bearing academic study or degree programs. Admission deposits, travel, materials and lab fees, and other costs of attending SMU are your responsibility.   

I am getting ready to complete a M.A. program and plan to continue into the Ph.D. program. I would like to continue to take classes to prepare myself for the Ph.D.  Can I continue taking graduate courses after I receive my M.A. even if I am not in a degree seeking program or do Tuition Benefits only apply to courses taken towards a degree?
Employees admitted as a non-degree seeking student may be eligible for Tuition Benefits covering up to 9 credit hours per academic year.  You must apply to the Non-Degree Credit Studies Program to see if you are eligible for admission.

Are fees covered under the Tuition Benefits Program for my spouse or dependent child?
All fees are the responsibility of the student.

When should I make payments for any charges relating to enrollment?
You must follow the Bursar’s payment due dates to avoid any late fees or holds.  Do not wait for Tuition Benefits to be applied to your or your family member’s Student Account.   You will incur additional late fees if you do not pay fees that are not covered by the Tuition Benefits Program by the applicable due date.  It is recommended to view your student account monthly to be sure all fees are paid timely.

What payment options are available for fees/expenses not covered by Tuition Benefits?
There are several payment options. Visit the Bursar website for additional information.

Can eligible Tuition Benefits recipients also receive scholarships from SMU?
Qualified students may be eligible for SMU-funded merit scholarships in addition to Tuition Benefits.  However, the combination of Tuition Benefits, merit scholarships and financial aid cannot exceed the cost of SMU tuition and fees.  The merit scholarship is used to pay general student fees.

Is other financial aid available to assist with the cost of education?
Enrollment Services Financial Aid Office encourages students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine if other need-based Federal, State or SMU financial aid may be available, in addition to Tuition Benefits.

How can I track my financial aid?
Financial Aid (FA) Pony Tracks is a way for students to follow the status of their financial aid from application (via the FAFSA and CSS Profile) all the way to figuring out the final balance per semester. FA Pony Tracks will notify students of whether their FAFSA is received and will show students if there are any documents which the Financial Aid Office requires in order to process their aid. FA Pony Tracks is found in my.smu.edu within a student's Self Service page.

What if I receive an invoice that does not reflect the Tuition Benefit or reflects an incorrect amount?
If you have completed a Tuition Benefits Request, contact a Student Account Advisor for assistance.

Can I waive my dependent’s mandatory Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) if they are enrolled in my SMU medical plan? 
Yes. In order to avoid automatic enrollment into SHIP and thereby have a semi-annual premium charge applied to your dependent’s Student Account, you must take steps to waive SHIP coverage each semester in my.smu.edu > Student Center.  FYI, the Health Insurance button in Student Center will appear only after a student has enrolled for classes each semester.  For additional information visit SMU Student Affairs/Health Center/Mandatory Health Insurance.

Can I waive my dependent’s Health Services fee if they are enrolled in my SMU medical plan? 
No. The fee is mandatory for all students who pay general student fees and are enrolled at the Dallas or Plano campuses, to provide access to the Student Health Center.  The fee is mandatory and is separate from any health insurance costs. This fee is only assessed to students who do not reside in a residence hall.  Otherwise, the fee is incorporated in the student’s rent.