EWU Policy 405-01 – Dependent Children & Spouses Tuition Waiver

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Personnel – Benefits and Retirement

EWU Policy: 405-01 Authority: EWU Board of Trustees
Effective: December 8, 2023 Proponent: President

Purpose: This policy prescribes university standards and related procedures for providing tuition waivers to the dependent children and spouses of eligible EWU employees starting in fall term 2024.

History: This policy is new. It was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 8, 2023.

Applicability: This policy applies to all permanent EWU employees who meet the eligibility criteria identified below.


Pursuant to WAC 172-11-040, Eastern Washington University (EWU) offers several permissive tuition waivers. This policy addresses partial tuition waivers for the dependent children and spouses of eligible EWU employees. Tuition waivers for EWU employees are addressed in a separate policy, EWU Policy 409-04 (State and Instructional Employee Tuition Waivers).

The dependent tuition waiver program is provided for the benefit of eligible EWU employees’ dependent children and spouses. It is intended to constitute a Qualified Tuition Reduction Program under Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code.


2-1 Participant Eligibility- Dependent Children and Spouses

To qualify for the dependent tuition waiver program, an employee must meet the following eligibility requirements as of the first day of an academic term:

(a) Employed by EWU for a minimum of 29 hours per week during the regular academic year; and,

(b) Been employed by EWU continuously for at least two years as a permanent employee. An employee who is appointed for the term of an academic year or for a specific number of months in the year (such as 9, 10, or 11-month appointment) remains eligible as long as there is
no break in service other than the natural break between appointments.

If an employee meets the above eligibility requirements, the next step is to determine if they have an eligible dependent child or spouse. Only one dependent child or spouse waiver is available to an eligible employee at a time. If an employee loses eligibility to participate in this program after the first day of the start of an academic term, the waiver will expire at the end of that academic term.

Dependent Children: to qualify as a dependent child, a child must meet all of the following criteria:

(a) Eligible employee’s natural or adopted son or daughter, stepchild, or foster child (placed by an authorized placement agency);

(b) Who lived with the eligible employee for more than half of the year in the calendar year when the tuition waiver is claimed (students living away from home while at school are considered to be living with the parent);

(c) Meets one of the following:

i. Is under the age of 19 at the end of the calendar year;
ii. Is a full-time student under the age of 24 at the end of the calendar year; or,
iii. Is permanently and totally disabled, meaning the child cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition and a doctor has determined the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death.

(d) Does not provide more than 50% of their own support during the calendar year; and,

(e) Is unmarried or is married but will not file a joint return with their spouse, unless the joint return is filed for the sole purpose of obtaining a refund.

Spouse: to qualify as a spouse, a person must be lawfully married to the eligible EWU employee as required by the Internal Revenue Code’s requirements for Qualified Tuition Reduction Programs.

2-2 Covered Degrees and Degree Programs

The dependent tuition waiver only applies to state-funded, undergraduate courses. The tuition waiver may not be used for self-support courses, including summer session, or for individualized instruction (such as independent study, directed study, thesis, dissertation, research, internship, tutorial, private lesson, or practicum). The waiver may only be used for an individual’s first bachelor’s degree and may not be used for any post-baccalaureate studies.

To participate in this program, the dependent child or spouse must be admitted to EWU under EWU’s regular admissions processes and standards. The eligible person must be formally admitted to EWU by the published admissions deadline and be a matriculated student.

A dependent child or spouse is only eligible to use this tuition waiver for a total of 12 quarters or 8 semesters within a five-year period that commences with the first term the waiver is used. To continue qualifying for the waiver, the student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

2-3 Covered Tuition Costs

Tuition at EWU consist of three components- an operating fee, building fee, and services and activities fees. The dependent tuition waiver covers 50% of the operating fee portion of tuition for enrollment of up to 18 quarter or semester credits.

In combination with any other tuition waivers offered by EWU, the total amount of waiver available under this policy is 50% of the operating fee portion of tuition.

2-4 Tuition Costs and Fees That Are Not Covered

The dependent tuition waiver does not apply to the building fee or services and activities fee portion of tuition. It also does not apply to course fees, mandatory fees, books and supplies, housing and dining, or other education costs.


The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office is the primary contact for assistance with requests for tuition waivers under this policy.

To request a tuition waiver under this policy, an EWU employee must:

(a) Prepare a Dependent Child or Spouse Tuition Waiver Form.

(b) Provide any documentation requested by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to verify that the employee and dependent/ spouse are eligible for this tuition waiver.

(c) The waiver form and documentation must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the start date for the academic term in which the waiver is requested.

Receiving a tuition waiver under this policy may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. Students should consult with EWU’s Financial Aid & Scholarships Office for additional information.