Changes to College-Age-Dependent Tuition Benefit

Memorandum

To: Smith Community
From: Human Resources
Subject: Changes to the college-age-dependent tuition benefit
Date: May 11, 2016

In 2009, during the financial downturn, Smith modified the college-age-dependent tuition grant program by grandfathering the benefit to a cap of $14,423 for employees hired before 2010 and lowering the cap for new employees to $10,000.

Effective July 1, 2017, we are enhancing the dependent tuition grant benefit by:

  • Eliminating the two-tier benefit; all employees will be eligible for the same benefit.
  • Eliminating the $14,423 cap and reestablishing the cap to be tied to Smith’s tuition (using 2016–2017 as an example, this means a $16,667 maximum under the new benefit).
  • The new benefit will increase from 40 percent of the target institution’s tuition to 50 percent, up to a maximum of 35 percent of Smith’s tuition.

Coinciding with this enhancement, the college will discontinue its participation in the Tuition Exchange Program (TEP). Those employees with depende nts currently accepted in the program to begin this fall will continue to receive the two years of Tuition Exchange that Smith’s policy allows.

There are several reasons for discontinuing the program. The college has been a member of the Tuition Exchange Program for a long time. In recent years, however, it’s been difficult to award all the outgoing scholarships and the result was that only a few employees participated in the program. This was an expensive benefit to offer, yet even when all outgoing scholarships were granted, at any one time no more than 12 employees’ children were receiving it. Savings realized from ending the TEP will be applied to the increased cost of the college-age-dependent benefit, which many more employees take advantage of.

If you any questions, please contact Lynn Cocco in Human Resources at lcocco@smith.edu or 413-585-2273.