Tuition Benefit

[Faculty Handbook Category #4]


St. Olaf College offers a partial tuition waiver for dependent children of faculty and staff to attend and receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College or other eligible Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) post-secondary institutions around the country.


All children having at least one parent who is employed at 0.50 FTE or more by St. Olaf College are eligible for participation in the plan provided:

1.      The salary or wages of the parent is paid by the college; and

2.      The parent has served on the staff for a minimum of three consecutive years of full-time service (or its equivalent; e.g., four years of service at 0.75 FTE, or six years of service at 0.50 FTE) prior to the student’s enrollment; and

3.      The student is the natural born or legally-adopted child of the employee; and

4.      The student has not yet received his/hers bachelor’s degree; and

5.      The student meets the definition of eligible dependent under the FAFSA guidelines.

Parents who are on approved leaves with salary continue to be eligible for the benefit (as long as they were eligible prior to the leave).


For full-time employees, the amount of the waiver will be 80% of cost of tuition.  If the parent is less than a 1.0 FTE employee of St. Olaf, the amount of the benefit will be pro-rated accordingly (e.g. a 0.93 FTE employee will receive 93% of 80% the cost of tuition).


St. Olaf is a participant in a tuition exchange program with other ELCA colleges that allow dependent children of employees to receive tuition waivers at other ELCA schools.  The amount of the waiver varies by institution, and the “host” institution has the authority to establish policies regarding the student’s eligibility, amount of the waiver, and how many waivers will be awarded.

Eligible employees are required to complete an ELCA waiver form (available from the Financial Aid Office) as the student is applying to the various institutions participating in the ELCA tuition exchange program.  The St. Olaf Human Resources Office certifies the student’s eligibility for the waiver and forwards it on to each institution to which the student has applied. Participating institutions include:

Augsburg College Grand View University Texas Lutheran College
Augustana College, Rock Island Gustavus Adolphus College Thiel College
Augustana College, Sioux Falls Lenoir-Rhyne College Wagner College
California Lutheran University Luther College Wartburg College
Capital University Muhlenberg College Wittenberg University
Carthage College Pacific Lutheran University
Concordia College Roanoke College


A list of Tuition Exchange Officers and their e-mail addresses is available in the Financial Aid office at St. Olaf.


1.      This benefit is limited to the allowance granted for four academic years of full-time study and will cease upon completion of work for the first Bachelor’s Degree.

2.      Course loads of three or more course credits in any term, including summer school, constitute full-time study and will be counted as 4/9 of an academic year. For part-time students, single course credits will count as 1/8 of an academic year, and this will be true for the Interim for students who are otherwise part-time.

3.      All rights to a tuition allowance for children shall be abrogated upon an employee’s resignation or termination from employment at St. Olaf College. However, should the eligible employee die while a member of the staff or retire from St. Olaf, the following provisions shall apply:

  • If the eligible parent has served on the staff for the equivalent of at least three consecutive years but less than ten years, any children who are currently in college shall remain eligible for the tuition allowance.
  • If the employee has served on the staff for the equivalent of ten years or more, his or her children will be eligible for the tuition allowance regardless of whether or not they are in college at the time of the employee’s death or retirement.
  • For purposes of this document, an employee may be officially retired only upon reaching 55 years of age with at least five years of full-time employment at the college.


Program brochures and application forms are available in the Financial Aid Office.


Employees with a 0.50 FTE or above and their spouses are allowed to take one course credit per term, up to a maximum of two course credits per year, at no charge.  Additional courses above the maximum per year will be at 50% of the full, per-course tuition charge.  Courses may be audited free of charge if permission is obtained from the instructor of the course.

For courses involving special costs beyond basic local classroom work, calculated cost fees will be charged.

This benefit is not available for independent study/independent research, music lessons, summer school courses, off-campus courses, or courses through the Office of Life-Long Learning.

Admission for courses will be on a space-available basis.  Registration must take place through the Registrar’s Office, for audit or credit, on the first day of class for each term.