JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Tuition Benefits

If you or your parent work at a college of university, you might want to consider attending that school to save money. Many colleges will offer employees, and/or children of employees, free part-time tuition as an employee benefit. There may be an application or a nominal processing fee involved, but generally the benefit far outweighs the cost. As with tuition reimbursement, there are variances from college to college. Generally, the following guidelines apply:

  • You may not be immediately eligible for benefits as a new employee (or if your parent is a new employee)
  • You may be restricted in your choice of class times, and/or may have to wait until after the regular registration period has ended
  • Graduate benefits are typically taxable and may have an impact on your taxes withheld at different points in the year
  • Tuition benefits may not pay the full tuition rate
  • Even though you receive tuition benefits, you may also be eligible for financial aid and should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) on time each year
  • Some of a college's most popular programs or professional programs may not be eligible for tuition benefits
  • Employment (yours or your parent's) generally does not guarantee acceptance into a program of study

With many companies or colleges, tuition reimbursement and/or tuition benefit programs both offer similar benefits to the children of their employees.

Colleges, in particular, are most likely to offer free full-time tuition to dependents of faculty and staff members. Colleges may also have reciprocity agreements with other colleges so that you have a choice of where you want to attend.