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August 06, 2011


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You should definitely check into it. But full tuition waivers are not that common especially in recent years, particularly at state schools. Also fewer perks like this are routinely offered to non-tenured or part-time faculty. However, depending on your situation, you might be able to negotiate a partial tuition waiver or some kind of scholarship support as part of your compensation.

Many schools make some scholarship support/grants available to children of faculty even if they attend a different university. However, there may be some hoops to jump through, such as the child maintaining a certain GPA once in college, or the child may have to compete with other faculty children for a smaller number of scholarships.

Wash U is a place that I know of that still has the "old" full-ride tuition waivers. A child of a tenured faculty member at Wash U in St Louis (a wealthy private school) can attend there for 4 years free. But of course they first have to gain entry into this exclusive school with a small student body, which isn't easy. Wash U alternatively provides $8000 per year to pay for the child of a tenured faculty to attend any other college. On the other hand, the University of Minnesota (a cash-poor state school) provides nothing to children of faculty. My own institution gives small scholarships each year to the children of any employee (including faculty and all the way on down to janitors) to attend any 4 year college, but the kids have to compete for them and the awards are small (<$1000).

Another thing to look into: if you child is an *employee* of a college, they can often take classes part time for credit even a degree while paying much less. This might not be the best for a kid just out of high school, but for an older child considering going back to school to complete a bachelors' or to graduate school it is something to look into. For example, at my institution employees working full-time as clinical or research lab techologists can at the same time take classes for credit and/or even complete an entire Masters degree for minimal cost (although you do have to get permission from your work supervisor, you have to make up your hours taken from your job to attend classes, and you may be required to just work at your job for 1-2 years before trying to take classes at the same time).

Another thing to look into even if you aren't a faculty member and you don't work at a college: some states like Minnesota and Wisconsin have a "relationship", which allows children living in either state to attend a state school in the either state and pay only "in state" tuition. This can save some money too.

I would check with the schools you're interested in. I don't think there is an accross the board rule. My husband works at a state university in MD. Our kids will receive free tuition at that institution. If my husband had started his career there three years earlier the tuition benefit would have been for any school in the state system. An that rule was changed almost twenty years ago.

It's not a wacky idea, you just need to gather information from possible schools of interest.

I just retired as a tenured professor from a state university. In 26 years at my institution, there were never any tuition waivers for the kids of faculty. But worth checking into. Good luck.

It's a perk that is slowly disappearing at many colleges and universities.

My husband works full-time at a MN state community college - there is a cap of 18 credits per calendar year (about a semester's worth of credits), so if you have multiple children in college at the same time, it's not much...There are also some caveats: if a class is filled, you could get bumped out of it for a paying customer.

My father-in-law works at a private university - and his dependents can get free tuition - but that's a pretty rare (and lovely!) perk these days.

Your plan seems like a bit of long shot to me. First off, you have to have the proper degrees/credentials (which will cost time and money if you don't already have them). Then you have to actually get the teaching position (which could be a challenge without a lot of experience). And then your child has to actually want to go to the institution you work at. And THEN... you may decide you don't really want to work in retirement or you may not want to teach.

Teach because you want to teach and you're passionate about it. Don't do it to get a discount.

I work at a globally-ranked top tier private university as an administrator in Student Affairs; I have a Masters, have worked at the school for four years, and do not teach classes. Our educational and family benefits are outstanding. In tangential relation to your question, ANY full-time employee at my university with two or more years of service can qualify for up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement for him/herself at any accredited institution with a physical presence in the state. I have used it to take online classes through the local community college; colleagues of mine are funding their PhDs and law degrees through this program.

For child benefits, with certain stipulations, the Children's Tuition Benefit grants up to 75% of the weighted average of our school's tuition, after applying a per semester deductible, if you have worked there five years (and with other conditions). If your student is attending a state school (one of which is also globally-ranked), the Benefit does not apply. The deductible is approximately $2500/semester, and therefore grants can be upwards of $12,000. This is a HUGE plus, and although my husband and I are newly married (32 years old) with plans to have our first child in two years, it is an unbelievable bonus and incentive for me to stay in the area and remain employed at my university. We are incredibly lucky to live in such an affordable, growing community with a well-endowed workplace. I recognize this is probably the exception, not the rule.

I work at a University in Canada (staff, not faculty) and we receive a minimum 50% tuition fee waiver for our dependants. If there is additional money in the pool of funds that year, they will divide up the additional funds and distribute an equal amount back to each student in the plan.

At our University, you need to be a full time employee to receive this benefit.

I went to a public university and worked as a secretary while I was a student. One of the full time secretaries was married to someone who worked in the public works department for the same university. If I remember correctly, they received full tuition reimbursement. But, that was 20 years ago.

My undergrad is top 20 and was insanely expensive. Benefits for any employee (not just professors) are phenomenal. I believe they've been scaled back in the last 5 years but when I was there, children of employees who decided to go to our school got a full ride (did not include room & board) and children who went to another school got 75% of our school's VERY HIGH tuition for that year towards tuition at their institution. I've always thought this would be an excellent plan for putting kids through college - one spouse could land a fairly non-stressful 9-5 (though also potentially non-challenging) job in administration and the amount you need to save for college plummets. Retirement benefits are excellent too. I think bringing kids up in a college town could be a great experience. However, I know a lot of people who would NOT want to commit to relocating to my college's town. I guess it is just about what trade-offs you are willing to make.

-I work for Colorado State University ... faculty/staff get 50% discount on tuition only
-At the University of Northern Colorado they get 100%
--It pays to shop around

There are a few people who teach at the local university in our office. They teach at nights. Here are some pointers.

Try to get in now. It is difficult because ALOT of people are trying to get in. It is competitive and some of them feel like old farts in keeping up with technology.

You may see a reduction but not total waiver in tuition.

Is it a institition that your kids would be interest in going to?

Depending on what you want to teach they may want a PHD or a Masters plus additional grad courses or a good resume of professional practice.

Go for it.

It depends on the institution. In Arizona, full-time faculty (including full-time adjuncts) and full-time staff get a tuition waiver for themselves and members of their families. However, the college-age child must be a dependent, so if she or he is off your taxes, then you lose.

The Maricopa County Community College Districts, whose faculty is about 80% adjunct, offers tuition waivers for f/t and p/t adjunct faculty, though you have to jump through some hoops to get it.

Arizona's university faculty and staff are famously low-paid, as are community college adjuncts. The tuition waiver is a blandishment to make it look like people are less exploited than they really are.

"Full-time" is 50% FTE or greater. That's why university adjunct faculty workloads are generally kept at 49% FTE, unless a full-time slave is urgently needed and there's no line for a tenure-track hire. In that case they hire an "instructor" or a "lecturer" for even less than an assistant professor earns, with no job security.

You've heard from several public institutions. The situation in private colleges is somewhat different. Because salaries are somewhat lower, many independent institutions have found a tuition benefit to be a valuable tool for recruiting capable faculty and staff.

Besides offering a tuition waiver at their own institution, many also offer tuition support at other institutions through consortia. One is The Tuition Exchange consortium formed specifically for this purpose, Other consortia formed for broader purposes also do this, e.g. The Council of Independent Colleges.

In my experience (at three private colleges), this benefit is not limited to faculty, but is commonly extended to all staff. But, more importantly, it is typically limited to full time employees.

At the private research university I work at, all full-time faculty & staff get free tuition for dependents. Retirees who worked for a sufficient length of time continue to get the benefit. The tuition waiver also applies towards two much lower-ranked universities.

I just recently resigned from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The children of any employee (faculty or staff) automatically received a scholarship for their children to go at half price to the University of Mississippi or the Medical Center. Your best bet would be to check the HR website of your local university or call their HR office and ask if they offer this employee benefit or not.

I guess the big theme is YMMV... At my school, it's a 50% waiver for dependents of all faculty and staff (so, even though I', in administration, my children would get the benefit). The problem with this and your situation is that you would have to be in an appointed (i.e., non-hourly) position. So, you may not even need to teach to get a benefit like this, but you might have to actually work full time or close to it.

10 yrs ago at Penn, and maybe still, faculty & admin staff kids got 100% tuition to Penn if they could get in, 75% anywhere else after parent was working full time for 3 years. Employees got 4 courses per year free. I got a job there after being accepted for my masters and had 1/2 paid for free. I know a girl who worked her way through a Wharton MBA with no debt this way. Took some time but she had income, benefits and free tuition. Wow!
I know secretaries who had like 2-3 kids in college and this was an awesome benefit.

I know CUNY does not offer this benefit. HTH.

I just got a full time position at a private university in Texas. After 1 year of employment I will get 50% off of tuition for my kids and after 3 years of employment I will get 100% off. My oldest is 2 years older than the twins so this is a huge relief for my wife and I.

I worked at a small liberal arts school that offered this benefit, but you had to be full-time faculty. You could also only have one person at a time receiving the tuition waiver, and it only applied to undergraduate courses.

My current employer offers school funding (tuition, books, and fees) for children of employees under 26. I believe it is currently set at $1500 or $2500 per semester.

I graduated from a private university in 2005 and received free tuition because my mother was a staff employee. My brother who graduated in 2004 received the same but had to pay room/board becuase he chose to live on campus instead of commuting. That said this was before the collapse so I'm sure things have changed.

I work for a private college that offers a tuition benefit for full-time staff AND faculty. Definitely worth researching!

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