Internal Governing Policies


 

#73 - Tuition and Fee Waivers


Approved: August 13, 2009

Monitor: President


Definition

Tuition and fee waivers are an agreement between the student and the university to reduce or eliminate tuition and/or fees.  All Illinois public universities are authorized to award two general types of tuition and fee waivers.  These include mandatory waivers and discretionary waivers.  Mandatory waivers are authorized by legislation and mandate an award to eligible students who meet the specific parameters and criteria included in the statute. Examples of mandatory waivers include Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships mandated by 105 ILCS 5/30-16, or General Assembly Scholarships mandated by 105 ILCS 5/30-9.  Discretionary waivers are granted at the option of the University.  Examples of discretionary waivers include talented student waivers, foreign student waivers, or faculty/staff waivers.  Some discretionary waivers may be governed by state statute.  An example is the gender equity in intercollegiate athletic waiver governed by 110 ILCS 205/9.24.

Graduate School Responsibility:

The Graduate School serves as the administrative unit responsible for overall monitoring of the University’s mandatory and discretionary waiver programs.  This includes insuring that offices with the authority to administer waivers comply with Illinois Board of Higher Education guidelines, preparing an annual waiver budget for approval and developing and maintaining the University’s official list of mandatory and discretionary waiver programs.  The official list includes identification of the waiver program by number, title, purpose, goals, eligibility criteria, application procedures, selection process, cut-off dates, and specific office authorized to administer the waivers.

Designated Offices of Authority External to the University:

Mandatory waivers are required by state statute and are directly administered by offices or agencies external to the University.  The Office of Financial Aid on the EIU campus serves as the liaison between the external office of authority and the University.  The Graduate School will provide the Office of Financial Aid with the required guidelines and will maintain a complete listing of the mandatory waiver programs and criteria.  The designated external offices of authority are responsible for insuring that waivers are administered according to the guidelines established by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.  The Office of Financial Aid will insure that students nominated for awards meet the designated institutional criteria and maintain eligibility in subsequent terms.

Designated Office of Authority at the University:

Discretionary waivers are granted at the option of the University and administered by offices on the University campus.  The Graduate School will provide offices of authority on campus with the required guidelines and will maintain a complete listing of the waiver programs and criteria.  Designated Offices of Authority are responsible for insuring that waivers are administered according to the guidelines established by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Discretionary Waiver Limitations:

The Illinois State Board of Education policy limits the amount of undergraduate tuition revenue that a public university may waive to three percent (3%) of the gross undergraduate tuition revenue.  Waivers excluded from the three-percent limit include waivers mandated by state statute (mandatory waivers), waivers specifically excluded from the limit by state statute, waivers granted to State University Civil Service System employees, foreign exchange waivers, and graduate tuition waivers.  Although there is no limit on graduate tuition waivers, departments are limited in the number of graduate assistantships they award by their graduate assistantship stipend budget determined by the Graduate School.  Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletic (IBHE # 2.2.3) waivers may not exceed one percent (1%) of the gross undergraduate tuition revenue.

Mandatory Waiver Programs

IBHE Number

Title & Statute

Purpose & Goal

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

1.1

Teacher Scholarships: Special Education Grants110 ILCS 947/65.15

Tuition waivers to provide incentives for students to pursue degrees in special education teacher training; partial fees are paid by a scholarship/matching account

Must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen,  Illinois resident, willing to teach learning impaired children, and be an Illinois high school graduate ranked in the upper half of the class or hold a valid teaching certificate not in the field of special education

1.2

General Assembly Scholarships 

105 ILCS 5/30-9

Tuition waivers to provide opportunities to pursue a degree at a state-supported university; partial fees are paid by a scholarship/ matching account

Must live in the nominating legislator’s district and sign a waiver of confidentiality for scholarship information

1.3

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps 

105 ILCS 5/30-16

Tuition waivers to provide incentives for students to pursue careers as future military officers; partial fees are paid by a scholarship/ matching account

Must be a Resident of Illinois, hold scholastic standing that will enable enrollment in ROTC, and meet registration compliance with Selective Service

1.4

Department of Children and Family Services

20 ILCS 505/8

Tuition waivers to provide financial assistance for talented students whose care falls to the Department of Children and Family Services; all fees are paid by a scholarship/matching account

Must be under the care of DCFS and have completed 4 years of high school.

1.5

Children of Illinois University Employees 

110 ILCS 305/7f, 660/5-90, 665/10-90, 670/15-90, 675/20-90, 680/25-90, 685/30-90, 690/35-90

Partial tuition waivers for undergraduate education to retain highly qualified staff at the University by offering reduced tuition for their college-age children; fees are not waived

Parent or guardian of waiver recipient must have been employed by any public university for at least seven years

1.6

Senior Citizens 

110 ILCS 990

Tuition waivers to provide tuition free credit courses for senior citizens that attend public institutions of higher education in Illinois; fees are not waived

Must be 65 or older with an annual household income below the threshold amount of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act

1.7

Honorary to Children of Illinois Veterans 

110 ILCS 305/9

Tuition waivers to provide four-year scholarships to the University of Illinois for children of persons who served in the armed forces.

Mandatory Only for the University of Illinois

No IBHE Number

Other Waivers Mandated by State Statute as MIA/POW or Veterans

Tuition waivers for special populations as MIA/POW, veterans, or other groups mandated by state statute; fees are partially waived

Must meet the criteria established in the statute for membership in the special group

Procedural Guidelines for Mandatory Tuition Waiver Programs

Mandatory waivers involve application procedures, eligibility criteria, and selection processes external to Eastern Illinois University.  The Financial Aid Office retains eligibility rosters approved by the appropriate external agency as documentation that the student met the eligibility criteria for the tuition and/or fee waiver program.

Discretionary Waivers: Faculty and Staff

IBHE Number

Title & Office of Authority

Purpose & Goal

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

2.1.1

Faculty/ Administrators 

Benefits Office

Tuition and mandatory* fee waivers to provide educational benefits to the employees of the university and reward employee service

Must be a member of university faculty or administrative staff; not civil service

2.1.2

Civil Service Staff: University Employees

Benefits Office

Tuition and mandatory* fee waivers to provide educational benefits to the employees of the university and reward employee service.

Must be a member of university staff covered by the State Universities Civil Service System; not dependents

2.1.3

Civil Service Staff: Inter-institutional/Related Agencies

Benefits Office

Tuition waivers to provide educational benefits to the employees of the university and reward employee service; fees are not waived

Must be a member of another institution or agency whose positions are equivalent to positions of the university covered by the State Universities Civil Service System; reciprocal agreement with the institution or agency is on file; not dependents

2.1.4

Retired Employees

Benefits Office

Tuition and mandatory* fee waivers to provide educational benefits to former employees of the university and reward employee service.

Must have been a member of university faculty, administrative staff or employee covered by the State Universities Civil Service System at the time of retirement

2.1.5

Children of Deceased Employees

Benefits Office

Tuition and mandatory* fee waivers to provide educational benefits to employees’ dependents of the university and reward employee service.

Parent of dependent must have been a member of university faculty, administrative staff or employee covered by the State Universities Civil Service System at the time of death

2.1.6

Children of Employees

EIU does not participate

EIU does not participate

*Mandatory fees are fees that are required of all students.

Discretionary Waivers: Student Talent/Merit

IBHE Number

Title & Office of Authority

Purpose & Goal

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

2.2.1

Talented Student (Non-Athletic)

Art, Music, Journalism, Communication Studies, and Theater Departments; Honors College, Office of Student Programs

Tuition waiver to provide financial assistance to students with academic talent or special status; fees are not waived

Must meet academic record, academic talent, and/or special status criteria

2.2.2

Athletic Talented Student

Athletics Department

Tuition waiver to provide financial assistance to students with athletic talent; fees are not waived

Must meet academic record and athletic talent criteria; not for gender equity

2.2.3

Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics

110 ILCS 205/9.24

Athletics Office

Tuition waiver to provide financial assistance to students with athletic talent to achieve gender equity; fees are not waived

Must meet academic record and athletic talent criteria.

2.2.4

Foreign Exchange

Study Abroad Office

Tuition and fee waivers to foreign students to promote participation in foreign exchange programs.

Must meet academic record, academic talent, visa, and/or special status criteria

2.2.5

Out-of-state

EIU does not participate

EIU does Not participate

2.2.6

Foreign Student Waivers

International Students and Scholars

Tuition waivers granted to students whose home of record is outside the United States at the time of first admission to the university; fees are not waived

Must provide evidence that official home is outside the USA and meet academic record, other academic talent, or special status criteria

2.2.7

Fellowships

Graduate School

Waivers granted to students who also are receiving a fellowship for which service may not be required

Must meet academic record and other talent criteria

**Talented Student Waivers are provided to selected programs according to the procedures established by the Graduate School and approved by the President.  The approved list of programs and waiver allocations is available in the Graduate School.

Discretionary Waivers: Student Need 

IBHE Number

Title & Office of Authority

Purpose & Goal

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

2.3.1

Financial Aid Waiver

Financial Aid Office

Tuition waiver to provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need or hardship; fees are not waived

Must file FAFSA and be ineligible for the ISAC/MAP award, but meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria

2.3.2

Special Program Waiver

President’s Office

Tuition waiver to provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need or hardship based on enrollment in special academic programs or other university activities; fees are not waived

Must meet financial need and/or enrollment in special programs or other university activities

Discretionary Waivers: Student Service  

IBHE Number

Title & Office of Authority

Purpose & Goal

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

2.4.1

Cooperating Professionals

College of Education and Professional Studies

Tuition and fee waivers for graduate courses (4750 or higher) to provide educational benefits and financial incentives to professionals outside the university who supervise students in clinical experiences; textbook rental fees are not waived

Must perform the supervisory or related services and be enrolled in the university to apply the educational benefits

2.4.2

Research Assistants

Graduate School

Tuition waivers for graduate students to provide educational benefits and financial incentives; fees are not waived

Must perform the required services and be enrolled in the university to apply the educational benefits.

2.4.3

Teaching Assistants

Graduate School

Tuition waivers for graduate students to provide educational benefits and financial incentives; fees are not waived

Must perform the required services and be enrolled in the university to apply the educational benefits

2.4.4

Other Assistants

Graduate School

Tuition waivers for graduate students to provide educational benefits and financial incentives; fees are not waived

Must perform the required services and be enrolled in the university to apply the educational benefits

2.4.5

Contract/Training Grants

Graduate School

Tuition waivers to provide incentives to secure funds for an outside grant program; fees are not waived

Must perform the required services and be enrolled in the university to apply the educational benefits

Procedural Guidelines for Discretionary Waiver Programs

Determining Discretionary Waivers to be Awarded by the University

The Dean of the Graduate School establishes the annual tuition waiver budget in consultation with the University Tuition Waiver Advisory Board.  Individual budgets for each tuition waiver program are determined by reviewing historical usage, projected enrollments, and projected tuition costs.  The proposed budget is compared to various limitations for undergraduate tuition that have been established by the state.  The final budget is forwarded to the President for approval.

The University defines minimum eligibility requirements for tuition waivers.  Specific selection criteria are defined by the office of authority that awards the waiver.  These criteria may exceed university minimums. Office of authority must develop specific and measurable written selection criteria and document that the student has met all requirements before awarding a tuition waiver.  Copies of criteria established by offices of authority are available in the Graduate School.  Students who are interested in a tuition waiver should complete an application provided by the officer that manages the waiver program.  Units awarding tuition waivers are required to maintain records for a minimum of five years.  Student records are maintained if there is pending or anticipated litigation.

Applications

Applications are available in the respective office for each waiver program and must be completed by the applicant and returned to the same office.

Eligibility Criteria

The University requires a minimum standard for all tuition waivers.  Applicants must meet or exceed these requirements.  Eligibility criteria are posted on web pages, specified in the University catalog and in the Financial Aid student handbook.  Eligibility criteria are also available in each of the offices that administer the programs and is also available in the Graduate School.

Selection Process

Completed applications are ranked according to type of eligibility criteria.  For example, applications may be ranked according to grade point average, ACT score, GRE score, or other criteria as approved for the program.  Using the ranked criteria and other available data, applicants are selected for the program.  Selection procedures are available in each of the offices that administer the programs and also in the Graduate School.

Record Keeping

The office awarding the tuition waiver is responsible for maintaining written documentation supporting the university approved waiver listing, application cutoff dates eligibility and selection criteria for each waiver program.  The office is also responsible for maintaining a record of applicants who receive awards, a record of those who are not selected, selection records, award notifications, and procedures for entering waiver data into the university accounting system for a period not less than five years.  After five years, the records may be disposed of if there is no litigation pending and all audits approved.  

Cut-Off Dates for Accepting Waivers

Tuition waivers at Eastern Illinois University must be used in the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) in which they are offered.  The University is not obligated to honor a tuition waiver after the established cut-off date.  Eastern Illinois University reports tuition and fee waivers within a consistent statewide fiscal year framework recommended by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).  Instances where waivers are adjusted after the end of the fiscal year, the University utilizes a cut-off date recommended by IBHE to facilitate fiscal year reporting.  Adjustments made after the cut-off date are allocated to the following fiscal year.  There are no exceptions to this cut-off date.

Creating New Waiver Programs

All Illinois public universities annually provide the Board of Higher Education with a copy of its policies and procedures for administering tuition waiver programs.  IBHE staff review the policies and procedures and report to the Board the results of that review in its evaluation of tuition waiver programs.  Institutions report tuition waivers using only the categories listed in the Standard Tuition and Fee Waiver Chart of Accounts established by the IBHE.  The IBHE must approve all university requests for additional waiver reporting categories not specifically listed in the Standard Tuition and Fee Waiver Chart of Accounts prior to reporting.

Documenting Award Processes

Through the Graduate School office, Eastern Illinois University uses a university-wide template/checklist to assure that files are complete for all recipients of tuition waivers.  The template/checklist contains a description of the purpose of the tuition waiver program and department policies and procedures.  This template/checklist contains an entry for each sponsoring academic or administrative unit and includes: 1) a description of how tuition waiver programs are advertised to both new and returning students; 2) stated eligibility criteria for both first-time and renewal awards; 3) stated selection and notification policies; and, 4) a statement of where and for how long student records are retained.

Overall Monitoring, Counting, and Reporting Waivers

As stated by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, each university must identify the administrative unit responsible for the overall monitoring for their tuition waiver program.  That unit shall be responsible for assuring that procedures are in place and that waivers are awarded within the requirements of the State of Illinois and the policies and procedures of the University Board of Trustees.  The designated administrative unit is responsible for assuring that their university adopt written policies and procedures and implement appropriate methods of counting and reporting the value and number of waivers.  This is the responsibility of the Graduate School office at Eastern Illinois University.  In addition, the University participates in all external audits conducted by the Auditor General’s Office and conducts internal audits of tuition and fee waivers.