Tuition Waiver

Academic Participation

For eligible faculty & staff

With supervisor approval, faculty and staff are eligible to enroll in Grand Valley State University courses tuition free. Eligible fees will also be paid by the university.

To take advantage of academic participation, please follow the guidelines outlined below:

  • Employee must complete and sign the academic participation form in Anytime Events, and the 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 by Human Resources before the close of regular business hours on the last day of classes of the preceding semester in which the employee wishes to take a course(s).
  • Employees are not guaranteed admittance into a course and should adhere to the "General Academic Policies and Regulations" outlined in the University Catalog.
  • Employee must attach course permits, if required, to the academic participation form.
  • Employees must complete an academic participation form in for each semester that you wish to enroll in a class. Refer to your employment handbook for complete details.

Tuition Reduction

For eligible spouses, dependents & household members

Spouses, household members, and eligible dependents of faculty, staff, and retirees are eligible for a 50% reduction in tuition and applicable fees for Grand Valley State University courses. A tuition reduction form must be completed at the beginning of each semester. Refer to your employment handbook for complete details.

What is an eligible dependent?

The GVSU Tuition Reduction Program uses the IRS standard definition of a dependent when determining eligibility for the program. In order to receive tuition reduction, a dependent must meet one of the options mentioned on the form. The following detail from the IRS may assist you in determining if your dependent qualifies:  

In general, the IRS requires that a “qualifying child” meet five tests:

  1. The child must be your son, daughter or stepchild.
  2. The child must be:
    1. under age 19 at the end of the year,
    2. under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or
    3. any age if permanently and totally disabled.
  3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.
  4. The child must not have provided more than half of their own support for the year.
  5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.

In general, the IRS requires that a "qualifying relative" meet four tests:

  1. The person does not meet the "qualifying child" tests (see above).
  2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under “Relatives who do not have to live with you (see below)”, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
  3. The person’s gross income must be less than $4,300 for the year. (However, under Internal Revenue Service Notice 2004-79 (, this gross income limit does not apply for purposes of determining tax dependent status when you are covering the person on your health insurance policy. For health insurance purposes, the domestic partner or adult child only needs to meet the remaining three tests to be a qualifying relative).
  4. You must provide more than half of the person’s support for the year.

Additional guidelines:

  • 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.

Page last modified July 20, 2023