Human Resources

Wilson Hall, Room 401
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3480

Office hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
and by appointment

Staff

Staff should refer to their handbook or union contract for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions from Staff

Who is eligible for Tuition Benefits?
We offer no cost or discounted tuition for eligible Oakland University employees and their families. Benefit eligibility varies based on employee group. You must also be admitted into a degree-seeking program or certificate-granting program to be eligible.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

Who is an IRS Tax Dependent?
In order for the student to receive tuition benefits from an employee, the student MUST be an IRS tax dependent.

A qualifying child is an IRS tax dependent under 24 years of age the year the tuition benefit is received. IRS criteria for a qualifying child is below. The student must meet all five criteria.

In general, the IRS requires that a “qualifying child” meet five tests:
  1. The child must be your son, daughter or stepchild
  2. The child must be
    1. under age 19 at the end of the year,
    2. under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or
    3. any age if permanently and totally disabled.
  3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year
  4. The child must not have provided more than half of his/her own support for the year
  5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.
NOTE: At any time, OU may require proof that your Spouse/OQA or Child meets requirements for program eligibility.

Who is a qualifying relative?
In order for the student to receive tuition benefits from an employee, the student MUST be an IRS tax dependent.

A qualifying relative is an IRS tax dependent 24 years of age or older the year the tuition benefit is received. IRS criteria for a qualifying relative is below. The student must meet all four criteria.

In general, the IRS requires that a "qualifying relative" meet four tests:
  1. The person does not meet the "qualifying child" tests (see above);
  2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under “Relatives who do not have to live with you (see below)”, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
  3. You must provide more than half of the person’s support for the year.
  4. The person’s gross income must be less than $4,050 for the year.
A dependent may include a child or step-child of an eligible staff member.

NOTE: At any time, OU may require proof that your Spouse/OQA or Child meets requirements for program eligibility.

My student goes to another university. Can they attend OU in the summer as a guest student?
Yes, students may attend OU as a guest student under the tuition assistance program. They must first be admitted to the university as a guest student and register for classes prior to completing the tuition assistance application.

If my program of study isn’t offered, can I take classes at another university in Michigan?
No. The tuition assistance benefit only covers classes at Oakland University. Please refer to your contract or manual for more information on eligibility.

Does my program of study have to relate to my position at OU?
No. Your program of study does not have to relate to your position at OU. However, your supervisor’s approval is needed on the tuition assistance application. You must also be admitted into a degree-seeking program or certificate-granting program to be eligible.

When do I qualify to receive the tuition waiver benefit?
Please refer to your contract or manual for more information on eligibility. Employees must not be a probationary employee to qualify.

When can I apply for the Tuition Benefit?
You may apply for the tuition benefit once you are off your probationary period and prior to the semester you wish to attend.

Tuition applications are processed beginning April 1 for the summer semesters, beginning July 1 for the fall semester and beginning November 1 for the winter semester.

How do I apply for Tuition Benefits?
Step 1: Apply for Admission to Oakland University. DO NOT complete the online application until you have been admitted to the University. NOTE: It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of and understand University Regulations and policies as published. All courses taken are subject to tuition payment deadlines.

Step 2: Register for classes via online registration during the registration period. Please contact Registrar Services if you have questions about registration, errors or the schedule of classes. DO NOT complete the online application until you have registered for classes.

Step 3: Complete the Tuition Assistance Application online (listed above). It is the responsibility of the student to submit the application to his/her supervisor (or in the case of a dependent, Other Qualified Adult (OQA) or child of an OQA, to the employee claiming their dependency for further processing.)

Is my supervisor’s approval still needed if I take classes outside of working hours?
Yes, your supervisor's approval, is needed to take classes at Oakland University under the tuition benefit.

Can I apply for the benefit on behalf of my dependent?
No. Students must initiate the tuition assistance application for staff and submit to the appropriate OU employee to begin the process. Since part of the tuition assistance benefit includes a grade requirement, each student must acknowledge he/she understands that grades will be verified at the end of the semester.

If my spouse and I work for the University, will my dependent be covered 100%?
If both you and your spouse/OQA work for the university, your dependent will receive both tuition assistance benefits for 100% tuition coverage.

Is there a deadline to submit my Tuition Application?
Tuition applications are processed beginning April 1 for the summer semesters, beginning July 1 for the fall semester and beginning November 1 for the winter semester.

Tuition applications should be processed by University Human Resources prior to the cancellation periods for each semester. This is to ensure costs are applied in a timely manner and to ensure students are not cancelled from classes.

Are there credit limits per semester?
No. There are no longer any credit limits per semester. There are still, however, grade requirements that must be met to avoid repayment.

What if my student schedule changes? Do I have to resubmit the form?
Under the staff tuition benefit, students do not need to resubmit the form if their student schedule changes. The tuition waiver will adjust accordingly to these schedule changes.

How are tuition benefits paid?
Tuition assistance applications are processed and submitted to Student Business Services (SBS). SBS applies the waiver to the registered student’s account and adjustments are made. Students must be registered to classes for the waiver to adjust tuition.

What is covered in the Tuition Benefit?
No cost or discounted tuition is available for eligible Oakland University employees and their families. Benefit eligibility varies based on employee group. You must also be admitted into a degree-seeking program or certificate-granting program to be eligible.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

Can I take a class at OU for personal or professional development?
No. You must be admitted into a degree-seeking program or certificate-granting program to be eligible for the tuition benefit due to IRS limitations.

If I need to take pre-requisites for admission into a graduate program, will the class(es) be covered under the tuition benefit?
Yes. If the class(es) is a pre-requisite for a graduate program, please let UHR know this. Prerequisite classes will be covered under the tuition benefit.

When and how will tax withholding work?
Undergraduate level tuition waiver benefits are not subject to taxation.

All graduate level tuition waiver benefits are subject to taxation on graduate level tuition waiver and/or reimbursements received in excess of $5,250 in a calendar year.

The University administers the federal tax provisions regarding educational assistance (i.e., tuition benefits). In general, IRS regulations consider anything of value provided to an employee by an employer to be a form of compensation. All compensation must be reported as taxable wages and is subject to income and employment tax withholding, unless specifically excluded by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Three (3) groups are subject to income and employment tax withholding as follows:
  • An employee who is a graduate level student is subject to tax withholding for tuition benefits paid which exceed the IRS limit of $5,250 per calendar year.
  • A spouse/child who is a graduate level student is subject to tax withholding for tuition benefits paid beginning with the first dollar of benefits.
  • A spouse/child who is an Other Qualified Adult or child of an Other Qualified Adult who is a graduate level student is subject to tax withholding for tuition benefits paid beginning with the first dollar of benefits.

How are taxes calculated?
Taxable benefits described above will be calculated and added to your taxable income following each semester’s drop/add date. You will be notified each semester via email of the exact date and amount taxable.

Each term, the OU payroll office will administer the payroll tax withholding based on the taxable amount of employer-paid benefits paid during that term. The taxable amount will be withheld from the employee’s paycheck each of three (3) terms. Taxes can be reconciled when the employee files their individual tax return for that year.

Employees should discuss any questions regarding personal income tax issues with their tax advisor or preparer.

What events result in forfeited benefits?
Students who do not meet the grade requirement identified in your employee contract or manual will be required to pay back the cost of the tuition waiver for each class with a nonqualifying grade. This includes a ‘W’ withdrawal grade or a ‘U’ unsatisfactory grade.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

What if I withdraw from a course?
Students who do receive a ‘W’ withdraw grade will be required to pay back the cost of the tuition waiver for each class with a non-qualifying grade.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

Do I need to maintain a certain grade to receive the tuition benefit?
Students who do not meet the grade requirement identified in your employee contract or manual will be required to pay back the cost of the tuition waiver for each class with a nonqualifying grade. This includes a ‘W’ withdrawal grade or a ‘U’ unsatisfactory grade.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

What happens if I don’t meet the minimum grade requirements?
Students who do not meet the grade requirement identified in your employee contract or manual will be required to pay back the cost of the tuition waiver for each class with a nonqualifying grade. This includes a ‘W’ withdrawal grade or a ‘U’ unsatisfactory grade.

Check out your contract or manual for more information.

What if I get an incomplete grade?
If a student receives a grade of ‘I’ Incomplete, the student has one year to complete the course. Grades will be checked after one year and the tuition benefit will adjust accordingly.

If a student ends up having to repay for a class, can the student still take future classes?
Yes, the student may take future classes. However, to register for future classes, the student must make arrangements with Student Financial Services to pay the balance of his/her account prior to registration.