CONTACT US
Call Us Email Us

Faculty and Staff

Charleston Southern University > Employee Grant Program

Employee Grant Program

The Employee Grant Program (tuition waiver) is an employee benefit provided to all regular full-time employees, their legal spouse and dependents.

General Program Benefits: Program benefits for undergraduate coursework are immediate upon regular full-time employment. The employee must begin full-time employment prior to the beginning date of the term in which the employee/spouse/dependent is enrolling.

Program benefits for graduate coursework require one year uninterrupted employment prior to the beginning date of the term in which the employee or spouse is enrolling.

The Employee Grant Program is managed in accordance with federal, state and institutional financial aid policies and procedures.


Program Guidelines :

1. Eligibility

a.  Employees. Regular full-time employees, full-time faculty and nonfaculty personnel on contracts of at least 10 months annually are eligible, providing all other criteria is met. Temporary employees, visiting professors or lecturers are not eligible.

b.  Spouse. A legal husband or wife of the eligible employee.

c.  Dependents. A dependent for purposes of eligibility for an Employee Grant is a person who meets dependency status per federal financial aid guidelines.  A child may be claimed on the employee tax return but not considered a dependent according to federal regulations.

The federal financial aid guidelines for a dependent student are:

  • Under the age of 24
  • Working on an undergraduate degree
  • Single with no dependents
  • Not attained veteran status
  • Not be considered a ward of the court

2.  Admissions

All employees, spouses and dependents utilizing the Employee Grant Program must apply for undergraduate or graduate admission to the university and be accepted for admission based on current admission standards. All applicants must pay the application fee. This is an online application process, and the application fee cannot be waived unless it is in an already established time period where the application fee is being waived for all applicants, not just employees/spouses/children.

3.  Maximum Institutional Award

Each employee has a maximum amount of institutional aid that may be used annually for the employee and his/her spouse or dependents. The combined total of Employee Grant funds that may be used by the employee and his/her spouse or dependents during a financial aid year (fall semester through summer semester) cannot exceed the equivalent of the current year annual full-time undergraduate tuition rate for one person for the fall and spring semesters. 

Within the annual full-time tuition rate equivalency noted above, no more than 12 credit hours per year may be used for graduate coursework. This 12 credit hour maximum is for a single student or a combination of several family members enrolled in graduate classes.

****The Employee Grant Program is for tuition only and does not include fees, such as lab fees, CAPS fees, music fees, etc...

Any unused portion of the annual Maximum Institutional Award in any year cannot be applied to an earlier financial aid year nor carried forward for use in a later financial aid year.

4.  Attendance Criteria

a.  Employees. Employees may take undergraduate or graduate classes outside their normal working hours during any term with permission from their direct supervisor and senior officer.  Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the drop/add expiration date for each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website. The student's course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.  The Employee Grant Form is located under the Faculty and Staff section of the Charleston Southern University website.

b.  Spouse.  The legal spouse of an employee, as defined under Eligibility, may attend either part-time or full-time as an undergraduate or graduate student during any term with permission from the direct supervisor and senior officer. Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the drop/add expiration date of each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website at Charlestonsouthern.edu. The student's course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.

c.  Dependents. A dependent of an employee, as defined under Eligibility, may attend either part-time or full-time as an undergraduate student during any term with permission from the direct supervisor and senior officer. Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the drop/add expiration of each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website at Charlestonsouthern.edu.   The student's course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.

5.  S.C. Hope/S.C. Life and S.C. Palmetto Fellow Scholarship Recipients

a.  Book Allowance. Employees/Spouses/Dependents who are eligible to receive funds from the Employee Grant Program and qualify by the state of South Carolina to receive the S.C. Hope Scholarship, will be allowed to use $150 per year of their scholarship for books.

Employees/Spouses/Dependents who are eligible to receive funds from the Employee Grant Program and qualify by the state of South Carolina to receive the S.C. Life Scholarship or S.C. Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, will be allowed to use $300 per year of their scholarship for books. The amount of funds each year will be based on the amount of funds allocated by the S.C. Legislature for this purpose. This will be awarded above the full-time tuition benefit of the Employee Grant Program.

b.  Housing Allowance.

Dependents will not be allowed to use their S.C. Hope Scholarship, S.C. Life Scholarship or the S. C. Palmetto Fellow Scholarship as a part of their Housing Allowance. 

6. Other Program Provisions

The employee receiving an employee grant for himself, spouse or his dependent(s) does so under the following provisions:

a.  The Employee Grant Program benefit will not support tuition waiver for enrollment as a non-degree seeking student at Charleston Southern University.  A few examples of a non-degree seeking student would be a current high school student who dual-enrolls at CSU or a student of record at another institution who takes classes during the summer at CSU to transfer back to their home institution.  If you have questions concerning this provision, please consult the university catalog under Types of Acceptance for a definition of non-degree seeking.  This provision applies to undergraduate and graduate students.  Employees (not dependents or spouses) who would like to audit a class as a non-degree seeking student, may be allowed to do so on a space available basis.

b.  The Employee Grant Program benefit will support the tuition waiver for enrollment as a 2nd Degree Seeking student.  An example of a 2nd Degree Seeking student is a student that has previously attended college and earned a degree. 

c. All students, undergraduate and graduate, full-time or part-time must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater in order to be considered to receive the tuition waiver benefit for a subsequent term.  his also applies to students who transfer to CSU from another institution. The GPA at their prior institution must be 2.5 or higher, or they will not be eligible to receive the tuition waiver benefit. 

There is no appeal process for students who do not meet the 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement.

7. Federal/Institutional Work-Study

Students receiving the employee tuition waiver benefit will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional work-study funds.

 8.  Enrollment Status Changes

a. If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in part-time status and withdraws from a course or courses after drop/add with W, WP or WF or receives a grade of NA or FA, the employee will be responsible for payment of all tuition charges for this  course(s). Financial aid will be reduced for the courses not completed.

The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee.

 b. If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in full-time status and completely withdraws from a course or courses after drop/add, but remains in full-time status, the employee/spouse/dependent must meet financial aid satisfactory progress as defined in the university Catalog to remain eligible for the benefit in subsequent semesters.

The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee.

c. If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in full-time status and takes any action that reduces them to part-time status after drop/add, the employee will be responsible for payment of balance on student account due to difference between full tuition charges and part-time financial aid.

The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee.

 d. If full-time employment ceases for any reason during a semester, the tuition waiver will be prorated for the semester in which it was awarded and the employee ceased employment. The employee will be responsible for the balance generated on the student account when the tuition waiver is removed.

The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee.

e.  Once you have submitted your Employee Grant Form to the Financial Aid Office, if you have any changes in registration, no additional paperwork is required, however the Financial Aid Office may notify your supervisor for approval.

 9. Graduate Program

a.  Program benefits for graduate coursework require one year uninterrupted employment prior to the beginning date of the term, or subterm for programs offering courses in a subterm format, in which the employee or spouse is enrolling.  The employee is responsible for providing the employment (hire) date on the Employee Grant Form.

b.  Employees and spouses will be eligible to receive the tuition waiver benefit for a combined maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework per financial aid year (Fall semester through Summer semester)  The university recommends that students not take more than 6 credit hours per term. The supervisor has the right to deny or limit the number of credit hours taken per semester. 

 c.  Maximum Funding Allowance (Graduate)

Within the annual full-time tuition rate equivalency noted in item 3. Maximum Institutional Award, no more than 12 credit hours per year may be used for graduate coursework. This 12 credit hour maximum is for a single student or a combination of several family members enrolled in graduate classes.  The supervisor has the right to deny or limit the number of credit hours taken per semester.

d. All students receiving a graduate tuition waiver under the Employee Grant Program are responsible for paying taxes on the fringe benefit amount. As such, the payroll office will add the value of such grants to your pay record for income tax withholding purposes. The fringe benefit amount will be split between the paychecks that occur in the respective semester, and the amount will be included in your W-2 at the end of the year. This will decrease your net pay for these pay periods, since your taxes on this fringe benefit will be withheld, with no corresponding increase in your gross salary amount.

10.  Important Deadlines

 a.  Undergraduate 

All recipients of the Employee Grant Program who enroll in an undergraduate program must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year prior to July 1.  Students who begin in the fall term and do not turn in a FAFSA prior to June 30, but qualified for the SC Tuition Grant will have the Employee Waiver reduced by the amount of the SC Tuition Grant for that academic year.  The student will be financially responsible for any charges incurred for the academic year.  Should the employee begin employment after July 1 but prior to the beginning date of the fall semester, he/she must still submit the FAFSA for that term if the recipient will be enrolled in an undergraduate program. To be considered for Direct Federal Stafford Loans, the family member must request loans on the Employee Grant Form when it is submitted to the financial aid office.

b.  Graduate 

All recipients of the Employee Grant Program who attend full-time or part-time in a graduate program, will only need to complete the FAFSA if they are interested in applying for student loans. To be considered for Direct Federal Stafford Loans, the employee or family member must request loans on the Employee Grant Form when this form is submitted to the financial aid office.

 11.  Employee Grant Form

Employee Grant Forms must be received in the Financial Aid Office prior to the drop/add expiration date for each term. Failure to submit the Employee Grant Form prior to the drop/add expiration date for each term could result in denial of the Employee Grant, therefore the student would be financially responsible for any charges incurred for that semester.  The Employee Grant Form will not be considered complete if it does not have all required signatures and have the student course schedule attached.  Supervisors are responsible for verifying the 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement. The student must be registered for classes, and the tuition waiver will be based on the actual credit hours registered at the time the Employee Grant Form is submitted. Any changes to the credit hours will require submission of a REVISED Employee Grant Form.  Failure to do this could create a balance owed on the student account which will be the responsibility of the employee.

Charleston Southern University reserves the right to make revisions to these guidelines at anytime.  The Employee Grant Program is not an entitlement and is not guaranteed as an employee benefit.

EMPLOYEE GRANT FORM

Revised August 2, 2016