Staff Educational Assistance Plan

This plan assists with the cost of the employee’s undergraduate and graduate education, or an eligible certificate program, at institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Features

  • Reimburses 85% of tuition and mandatory educational fees, up to a maximum of $5,250 per plan year (July 1–June 30). Textbooks and/or mandatory online course materials for online courses are included as covered expenses.

Rules

  • Reimbursements up to $5,250 in a calendar year are non-taxable.
  • Reimbursement exceeding $5,250 in the calendar year is taxable.
  • If not enrolling in an undergraduate or graduate degree program or eligible credit-bearing certificate program, a course must provide added skills, knowledge, or credentials needed for the employee’s current position or qualify the employee for other jobs at Princeton University.
  • Course credit as well as a grade of C or better or pass in a pass/fail designation must be received for the course. Continuing education courses where CEUs are earned or professional development courses where PDUs are earned do not qualify for the program.
  • Course must be taken at an institution accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.   
  • Reimbursement for up to six courses is permitted each fiscal year, but not more than two courses per term.
  • For doctoral dissertation fees, no grade is required for two plan years. These fees are reimbursable for a maximum of two plan years.
  • In order to receive reimbursement, participants must be employed in benefits-eligible status on the day the course begins as well as the day the course ends.
  • Employees must complete an application for course approval and submit it through HR Self Service within 31 days of the start of the course.
  • Participants must request reimbursement within 90 days of the completion of the course through HR Self Service and upload an official copy of the grade, the itemized bill, and the receipt for textbooks and/or mandatory online course materials.

Reimbursement

  • The plan reimburses 85% of tuition and mandatory educational fees, up to a maximum of $5,250 per plan year (July 1 – June 30).
  • Textbooks and/or mandatory online course materials for online courses are included as covered expenses. 
  • Mandatory fees include technology, activity, health services, and registration. Standardized test fees are reimbursable if participants receive a passing grade and course credit by completing the standardized test.
  • If money is received from other sources, such as scholarships, grants, or awards designed to cover the same charges, the reimbursement provided by Princeton does not exceed the remaining eligible costs, if any.
  • Doctoral dissertation fees are reimbursable for a maximum of two plan years.
  • Standardized test fees are reimbursable if participants receive a grade and course credit by completing the standardized test.
  • Excludes parking, health insurance, and certain fees, e.g., program application, portfolio assessment, graduation, diploma, credit transfer evaluation.

Eligibility

Employees are eligible to participate in the Staff Educational Assistance Plan on the first of the month following one year of benefits-eligible service. Prior service may count toward the waiting period. Employees who worked for the University within five years of their rehire date should contact the Benefits Team. Casual employees and employees on Long Term Disability are not eligible to participate in the plan. Service at the University as a casual employee does not count toward the one year service requirement.

Deadlines and Application Process

To apply:

  • Select the course
  • Submit for approval through HR Self Service within 31 days of the start of the course

If changing the course selection during the semester, access HR Self Service to drop the course that was originally approved. If replacing the dropped course with another course, submit another application for course approval within 31 days of the start of the new course.

After successfully completing a course, request reimbursement by:

  • Accessing HR Self Service and changing the course status to completed
  • Uploading the official grade report, a copy of the itemized bill, and receipt for textbooks and/or mandatory online course materials within 90 days of the course end date

The reimbursement is included in the paycheck.

If there are any discrepancies between the information in this publication, verbal representations, and the plan documents, the plan documents always govern. Although Princeton intends to continue these benefits, the University reserves the right to amend or terminate these plans at any time.