Benefits Summaries & Orientation

Academic Participation Program

You may, with your supervisor's approval, enroll in Grand Valley State University courses tuition free. Eligible fees will also be paid by the University.

 To take advantage of this benefit, you must complete and sign the academic participation form. Your supervisor must also sign the application. All courses must be taken for credit. Fulfillment of prerequisites and requirements is expected. Graduate course registration must be done with the appropriate office if you have not been previously admitted into the program. The academic participation form will be processed if it is received in the Benefits Office before the close of regular business hours on the last day of classes of the preceding semester in which you wish to take a course(s). You are not guaranteed admittance into a course and should adhere to the "General Academic Policies and Regulations" outlined in the University Catalog. You must attach course permits, if required, to the academic participation form.

You must complete Academic Participation Form for each semester that you wish to enroll in a class. Refer to your handbook for complete details.

Tuition reduction for spouses, household members and dependents

Spouses, household members and eligible dependents of faculty, staff and retirees are eligible for a 50% reduction in tuition and eligible fees for Grand Valley State University courses.

A Tuition Reduction Form must be completed at the beginning of each academic year or at the beginning of the semester of entry. Refer to your handbook for complete details.

The Program

Spouses, household members and eligible dependents of regular faculty, staff and retirees are entitled to a 50 percent reduction in tuition and fees for Grand Valley State University courses.


Spouses and household members of regular faculty, staff and retirees are eligible. Divorced and legally separated spouses are ineligible.

Any single dependent of a regular faculty and staff member, or an official retiree, is eligible if they meet one of the following criteria:

1. The Internal Revenue Service standard for dependent status, or
2. under 24 years of age and have not declared themselves independent for financial aid purposes, or
3. age 24 or over but are still primarily dependent for support.

A dependent may include a child or step-child of an eligible faculty or staff member. It is not necessary for the dependent to reside with the employee to qualify for the tuition reduction benefit.

A student receiving Tuition Reduction who becomes ineligible due to the death of a faculty or staff member will be able to continue to receive the reduction until they complete their undergraduate degree; up to an additional 4 academic years.

More Tuition Reduction Details

Application For The Tuition Reduction Benefit

Applications for the Tuition Reduction Benefit are available from Human Resources. An application must be completed prior to the beginning of the fall semester of the academic year in which a student plans to take courses. Once approved, the application will be valid for the entire academic year (fall,winter, spring and summer semesters). A new application must be completed prior to the fall semester of each academic year. If a student enters during the academic year (i.e. winter semester) an application may be completed at that time. The approved application would then be valid for the remainder of that academic year and a new application would need to be completed prior to the fall semester of the next academic year.

Students with financial aid awards (scholarships, grants, loans or work study awards) should apply at least two weeks prior to their registration date to allow enough time for any award adjustments. Individuals who do not have any type of financial aid may apply up to the day of registration.

Applications for the tuition reduction benefit should be returned to Human Resources, 140 Lake Michigan Hall.


Students may apply for the benefit before they register for their courses with the Registrar's Office.

University Requirements

Spouses, household members and eligible dependents who apply for this benefit are subject to the admission requirements of the University. The tuition reduction benefit is available to both degree seeking and non-degree seeking students.

While there are no mandatory course completion or minimum grade requirements, it is expected that good academic standing will be maintained. The University's standards for academic progress will apply.

Course Registration
Course registrations will be accepted at the times and places designated in the published registration schedule. It is not necessary to register prior to application for the tuition reduction benefit.

Students are encouraged to register early and to meet the advance application deadlines to insure timely processing of their tuition billing.

Course registrations will be canceled for those who fail to pay for their fall courses by the published deadline. The tuition reduction benefit will not apply to fees incurred for late registrations.

Financial Aid Recipients

Students who are receiving other types of financial aid may have their awards adjusted after application of the tuition reduction benefit. The 50 percent tuition reduction will supersede other types of aid and may affect the level of need determined for the total financial aid package.

In special circumstances where the aid is a tuition specific award, the tuition reduction benefit will pay only the balance of tuition not covered by the award. Michigan Competitive Scholarships and Indian Tuition Waiver awards are examples of these types of aid. Since it is mandatory that those awards are to be used only for tuition, the moneys granted will be applied to the student's tuition bill before the tuition reduction is applied. The remainder of the student's tuition expenses will be covered by the University as long as it does not exceed 50 percent of the total tuition bill. If the remainder is less than 50 percent of the bill, the student will not receive the balance in cash.

Recipients of merit scholarships are eligible for the tuition discount with no reduction in their scholarship award.

Tuition Refunds

Spouses, household members and dependents who use the benefit are not required to reimburse the University for any tuition lost as a result of course withdrawals. However, any money refunded during a designated refund period will first be used to reimburse the University.


Quick Reference Table

Person receiving benefits
Course Level
Benefit Type
Tax Consequences
Academic Participation
Academic Participation
Amount in Excess of $5,250 is taxable
Tuition Reimbursement
Amount in Excess of $5,250 is taxable
Spouse or Dependent
Tuition Reduction
Spouse or Dependent
Tuition Reduction
Subject to taxation
Household Member
Undergraduate/ Graduate
Tuition Reduction
Subject to taxation

This summary is provided for the convenience of employees; employees should discuss any questions regarding personal income tax issues with their tax advisor or preparer. 
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