CHAPTER SIX: BENEFITS

6.11 Education Assistance Benefits for Employee, Spouse and Dependents

The college offers education assistance for regular full-time employees, their spouses, and their dependent children. In addition, the benefits for employees and their spouses are available to retirees and their spouses. This benefit provides a full or partial waiver of tuition at Westmont and other selected colleges and universities. Employees are eligible for education assistance benefits beginning with the next semester following date of hire. Employees who are on sabbaticals or other paid leaves of absence continue to be eligible for the benefit.

If a dependent of an employee is receiving the education assistance benefit at the time the employee dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled, the dependent will continue to receive the benefit for the remainder of the current semester plus the same level of benefit for the following three semesters. If an employee with 10 or more years of continuous service at Westmont dies or is totally and permanently disabled, and the education assistance benefit is not being used at the time, the spouse and dependent children of the employee will remain eligible for four semesters of education assistance benefits if they begin using the benefit within two years of the date of the employee's death or disability.

Employees who want to use this benefit for themselves or their dependents at Westmont or another college must complete an Education Assistance Application each semester and submit it to the Human Resources office to verify benefit eligibility.

  • Employees:
    Regular full-time employees are eligible to enroll in one on-campus course per semester and one course during on-campus Mayterm with no tuition charge. If the class is held during the normal work day the employee's supervisor must approve the flexible work schedule based on the needs of the department. Full-time students have preference for class enrollment. Employees are responsible for paying all charges other than tuition. This benefit does not apply to private lessons, independent studies, and tutorials. A reduced benefit is available for on-campus Mayterm classes with less than eight tuition-paying students. Employees must first complete an Education Assistance Request online request form. Second, employees must complete a Non Matriculate Application Form and an Add/Drop Form (to be signed by the instructor) in the Student Records office.
  • Spouses:
    Spouses of regular full-time employees are eligible to enroll in one on-campus course per semester and two courses during on-campus Mayterm with no tuition charge. Full-time students have preference for class enrollment. Due to limitations imposed by the County of Santa Barbara, no more than five spouses may enroll in classes for credit in any regular semester. However, there is no limit to the number who may audit classes. Employees are responsible for paying all charges other than tuition. This benefit does not apply to private lessons, independent studies, and tutorials. A reduced benefit is available for on-campus Mayterm classes with less than eight tuition-paying students. Employees must first complete an Spouse Tuition Assistance Request Form using the online request form.
  • Dependent Children Enrolled at Westmont:
    Education assistance benefits are available to regular full-time employees for their children who meet the IRS definition of dependent children. The benefit can be used for eight regular semesters or off-campus Mayterm classes per eligible dependent, and an unlimited number of on-campus Mayterms until a bachelor's degree is earned. Off-campus Mayterm programs count as a regular semester. A reduced benefit is available for on-campus Mayterm classes with less than eight tuition-paying students. All regular admissions requirements must be met. This benefit does not apply to overloads, private lessons, fees or tutoring. Employees must complete an Education Assistance Request for Dependents online request form (login using your Westmont user name and password).

    The education assistance benefit for dependents for regular semesters and off-campus Mayterm programs is equal to:

    Completed service*
    (prior to beginning of semester)
    Benefit
    Less than 4 years None
    4 years 25 % of tuition
    5 years 50 % of tuition
    6 years 75 % of tuition
    7 years 100% of tuition

    * Full-time employment at other institutions of higher education immediately prior to beginning full-time employment at Westmont will be credited as service in qualifying for the education assistance benefits for dependent children. Employees who began full-time employment prior to January 1, 2002, will be credited with an additional four years of service eligibility for this benefit.

    Regular employees who work at least 1560 hours per year but less than 2080, exclusive of overtime hours, will be eligible for 80 percent of the benefit for their eligible dependents.

    Employees are responsible for paying all charges other than tuition except that health fees will be waived if the dependent is covered by one of the Westmont group medical plans.

    Dependent children are required to apply for a Cal Grant through the financial aid office prior to March 1 in order to be eligible for education assistance benefits for the following fall semester. If a Cal Grant is awarded, the education assistance benefit will be the difference between the Cal Grant and the scheduled education assistance benefit. Failure to make application will result in the reduction of the benefit by an amount equal to the maximum Cal Grant. Students may retain all scholarships, grants and aid with no reduction of the education assistance benefit as long as the total amount does not exceed tuition. All financial aid must be reported to the financial aid office.

  • Dependent Children Enrolled at Other Colleges:
    Education assistance benefits are also available at many other colleges and universities. The benefits are subject to the same limitations and conditions that apply for students enrolled at Westmont. In programs where Westmont pays the tuition at another institution, the benefit will not exceed the tuition at Westmont. In addition, each program and participating institution has its own conditions that must be satisfied. The number of opportunities may vary from year to year and the admission requirements of the other schools must be met. Westmont participates in the Christian College Consortium (CCC) program, the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) program and the Tuition Exchange (TE) program. Information and application for all three programs (CCC, CCCU and TEI) can be obtained from the admissions office. Tuition Exchange covers Fall and Spring Semesters only, and if awarded, will be renewed each year the employee remains at Westmont. Applications for these programs are accepted between September and January of the preceding year, and decisions are made by mid-March. The admissions office will send out information in September of each year on these programs with a call to apply. Interested prospective students should contact the appropriate office at least one year before anticipated enrollment in order to understand the procedures, prospects for an exchange, deadlines, etc.
back next