Education Benefits

Tuition Exchange

The University offers a Tuition Exchange Scholarship program to eligible children of faculty and staff employees. The program provides undergraduate scholarships to more than 600 participating institutions.  Scholarships are not fringe benefits; they are competitive awards. In addition to meeting the admissions requirements of the receiving college/university, some members of the Tuition Exchange Program have additional requirements such as higher academic standards or limit awards to just a few new students each year.  Additional information on participating colleges and universities can be found at


Eligible employees have been in an active, full-time, regular, continuing benefit-based position for at least two anniversary years.  The student is eligible to receive the scholarship beginning with the fall or spring semester closest to the employee’s two-year anniversary.  The member institution has accepted the student.

Application Process

New applications must be submitted through the TE-EZ Application located on the Tuition Exchange website at, by November 15th of each year.

Current ongoing TE Scholarship recipients DO NOT complete an online application; HR will renew your certification each year after verifying continuing eligiblity/enrollment.

Scholarship Awards

Each year USD offers a limited number of tuition exchange scholarships. If the number of applications exceeds the number of scholarships, the University will certify the student in order of the following procedures.

  1. Eligible students who were offered a continuing tuition exchange scholarship the previous year will be re-certified.
  2. Then children of employees who have not had a child awarded a tuition exchange scholarship will be considered before children of employees who have had a child awarded a tuition exchange scholarship. Employees may not have more than one child applying for a tuition exchange scholarship at the same time.
  3. The above students will then be considered for certification based on their parents’ uninterrupted length of service at USD. Priority is given to students of employees with the most uninterrupted years of service. Ties in length of service will be broken by a lottery.

If you would like additional information or wish to obtain an application, please call Human Resources at ext. 4594.

Tuition Remission

The tuition remission program continues the University’s tradition of encouraging and supporting the educational development of its employees, their spouses, registered domestic partners, dependent children and dependent children of registered domestic partners.

The tuition remission benefit is for tuition only. Application fees, student body fees, parking fees and any other fees assessed to all students are the responsibility of the employee, spouse, registered domestic partner, dependent child, or dependent child of a registered domestic partner.

Click here to view the Tuition Remission Guide.

Following is a summary of the tuition remission benefit. Please see the Policy and Procedure manual, Section 2.2.4 for complete program details.


Employees: Active, full-time, regular, benefit-based employees who have completed at least one anniversary year of employment are eligible to begin classes the first day of the fall or spring semester nearest their anniversary date.

Dependents: Spouses, registered domestic partners, dependent children (as defined by the IRS) and dependent children of registered domestic partners (under age 25) are eligible to begin classes the first day of the fall or spring semester which is nearest to the employee’s second year anniversary date.

Full-time benefit-based employees on unpaid leave of absence not covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are not eligible for the tuition remission program, nor are their dependents.

NROTC: Instructors in this classification are eligible upon employment.

All interested employees, dependents, and NROTC instructors must complete a tuition remission application form, available from the Human Resources office, in order to be considered for the tuition remission benefit each academic year.

Eligibility for the tuition remission program does not guarantee admission to USD. All students must meet the USD admissions requirements in order to be admitted to any undergraduate or graduate programs.  Click here for a list of eligible programs.

Program Limits

Employees hired on or after January 1, 1991, and their eligible dependents may use tuition remission to receive one degree each, either undergraduate or graduate, and are not eligible for further tuition remission after one USD degree had been granted under the tuition remission program. Certain exceptions may apply.

Faculty and administrative employees hired prior to January 1, 1991, who have not had a break in service since January 1, 1991, and their eligible dependents are eligible for graduate degrees and one undergraduate degree.

Employees may use tuition remission for a maximum of 18 credits per academic year, and 22 credits per academic year for the School of Law.

Intersession and Summer sessions are on a space-available basis for employees and eligible dependents.

Financial Aid

Eligibility for USD tuition remission for full-time students must be coordinated with any state, federal, or merit based financial aid. Failure to meet financial aid deadlines may result in the lack of eligibility for tuition remission for that academic year.

Click here for the Tuition Remission Financial Aid Questionnaire.

Coverage After Termination of Employment

Separation: When an employee is voluntarily or involuntarily separated from employment with the University prior to the end of the semester in which they or their covered dependents are receiving tuition remission, the tuition remission for that semester must be paid back to the University on a pro-rated basis.

Death or Total Disability: In the event of total disability (as determined by the University’s long term disability carrier) or the death of an employee who has ten or more years of USD tuition remission eligible service credit, his or her eligible dependents will be eligible for tuition remission for courses leading to an undergraduate degree or graduate degree. For employees with less than ten years of USD tuition remission eligible service credit, the eligible dependents may use tuition remission through the end of the academic year in which they are enrolled.

Retirement: Dependent children of retirees who had at least 15 years of USD service credit for tuition remission and retired from the University at age 65 or older are eligible for tuition remission for courses leading to an undergraduate degree.


The taxation of this benefit is determined by the Internal Revenue Service Code.

Employees: The tuition for courses taken for an undergraduate degree is not taxable income unless the employee has previously earned an undergraduate degree at USD or any other four year college or university. Tuition for graduate level courses or a second undergraduate degree is taxed after the tuition exceeds $5,250 in value. Any amount over $5,250 is imputed income to the employee.

Dependents: The tuition for dependents who do not meet the eligibility requirement under IRS regulations and/or tuition for all graduate courses is reported as imputed income to the employee.


NROTC instructors will receive a Form 1099 each year reporting the cost of the tuition for tax purposes.