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Tuition Grant Program FAQ

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Find answers to the most common questions regarding the Tuition Grant Program.


When will I be eligible for TGP?

You are eligible once you have completed five years of continuing benefits-eligible service. If you are unsure if you are eligible or not, submit a HelpSU and we can review your record.

Once I become eligible for TGP, am I guaranteed this benefit for the duration of my child’s undergraduate degree?

U.S. tax laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service governs the tax-free benefit of the Tuition Grant Program (TGP).  Therefore, the TGP is subject to changes within these laws and Stanford University reserves the right to make changes at any time. Any determination of eligibility for the Tuition Grant Program is only valid for the upcoming school term.

When I have reached my 5-year anniversary for eligibility, when do I turn in my child's application?

You should submit your application on or after your 5-year anniversary date, even if it is mid-term. We accept applications throughout the academic year.

Does my FTE % affect the maximum TGP benefit amount I am eligible for?

Yes. If your FTE is 100%, then you will receive 100% of the maximum benefit amount. If your FTE is less than 100%, like for example 75%, then you will only receive 75% of the maximum benefit amount.

If I'm academic staff, do I get TGP right away?

If you are academic staff, you must complete the required five years of continuing benefits-eligible service before you are eligible for TGP. Faculty, Hoover Senior Fellows and Senior Staff are eligible for TGP when their appointment begins as long as their appointment is for six months or longer.

Application Process

Where do I find the new TGP portal so I can submit my child's application?

You will need to sign into Axess and click the "Employee Center" link at the top of the page. In the Benefits section, below, click on the "Tuition Grant Program" box. This will lead you to the portal where you will submit your child's application. After you choose the correct academic year, you will either submit a new application for your child that has already received TGP or choose a new dependent if this is the first time they have used TGP. Follow the prompts and on-screen instructions to complete your application.

Is a new application required for every academic year?

Yes, a new application needs to be submitted for every academic year that your child utilizes the Tuition Grant Program.

Did you receive my application?

When you submit a TGP application on-line through Axess, you will receive an automated e-mail stating the TGP Department has received your application. This confirms that your application is in our queue. 

When will I receive my TGP authorization letter?

You are notified by e-mail when your application has been approved by the TGP Administrator. When this occurs, you can go into Axess to the TGP portal. Select the approved application and download and save your child’s authorization letter so sent to their school. 

Do I send the authorization letter to my child’s school or does the TGP department send it?

It is your responsibility to send a copy of your child’s authorization letter to their school. You will want to send it to the person who handles “Third Party Billing”. 

Do I submit the TGP authorization letter only once to the school or do I need to submit it for each term?

The majority of the schools are fine with only one submission and will invoice us for each term throughout the academic year. Some schools like some kind of reminder that they need to invoice us for the Winter and Spring terms. They usually ask that the authorization letter is re-submitted. 

Benefit & Points

What are TGP "points"?

The Program will make tuition payments or reimbursements toward up to four years of work (8 semesters or 12 quarters) required for an undergraduate degree at the eligible institution attended by the eligible child. Each term (semester or quarter) is assigned a TGP "point" value. The maximum number of points allowable per child is 12, including for children participating in a 5-year degree program.

How many TGP points does my child have left?

You can find out how many TGP points your child has left by going by pulling up your child’s record in the TGP portal in Axess. It will show how many points have been used and how many points your child has left to use for future usage.

How is my TGP benefit affected by my 529 college savings plan account?
  • If you use your 529 account to pay for your child(ren)’s tuition costs upfront to the school, we cannot reimburse you for any tuition payment you made through the TGP program for that specific term.
  • We can only reimburse you when you use a regular checking or savings account, credit card, or Federal Student Loan to cover the tuition costs to your child(ren)’s school for anything TGP related.
  • Use of a 529 account to pay for tuition costs to your child(ren)’s school that is above the maximum TGP benefit amount, or for items the TGP program does not cover like room/board, books, class materials, lab fees, etc. is allowed and does not prevent receiving the TGP benefit for that term.
  • TGP is only concerned about 529 accounts if they are involved with a tuition reimbursement to you for paying the TGP portion upfront during any term.
What's covered?

The maximum TGP benefit is the lesser of:

  • The cost of tuition or fees for your child's school, less any applicable grants or scholarships, or
  • Up to one-half of Stanford's tuition for the current academic year

The benefit payable on your behalf will be calculated each semester, quarter, or each time you apply for TGP benefits and receive an authorization letter. Use caution when deciding to use TGP benefits for community college course work. The maximum payable is for up to 8 semesters or 12 quarters of undergraduate course work is the maximum allowable regardless of the type of institution or amount of payment.

Payments & Taxability

I heard that if a child of Stanford employee gets into Stanford University, TGP will pay the full tuition amount. Is that true?

No, the TGP benefit is always half of Stanford’s tuition no matter where your child attends school. 

If my child receives a scholarship or grant from their school, will that affect the amount that TGP will pay towards tuition?

The only time it will affect the amount we pay towards tuition is if the scholarship or grant is “tuition specific”, meaning that the funds can only be used for tuition. If the scholarship or grant can be used for other things like room/board, books, class materials, etc., we don’t count deduct that from your benefit amount. We also don’t deduct student loans because they have to be paid back. 

Does my child’s school invoice TGP directly or do I need to send in my child’s invoice for each term?

Most schools invoice us directly for each term for which your child is using TGP. There are several schools, however, that will not invoice the TGP department directly and ask that the parent provide the invoice us for each term. Some of those schools are Santa Clara University, Scripps College, and the University of San Diego. 

How soon will TGP pay for my child’s tuition each term?

Invoices are processed by the date received. Most schools invoice us after the add/drop period which might delay receipt of their invoices. Many of the larger schools, like state schools and UC’s, will credit the student’s accounts our portion before we even receive their invoice. Tuition due dates that schools send to students are usually computer-generated and often don’t apply to the TGP benefit amount that is due. That generated date is usually for any payments or charges that the parent is responsible for. 

Has Stanford paid my child’s tuition yet?

You can view the TGP tuition payments on your child’s account online, in Axess. 

Do I have to claim TGP on my taxes?

If you claim your child as your dependent on your tax return, then the TGP benefit is non-taxable. If you can’t claim your child as your dependent, then the TGP benefit may become taxable income for you and you should submit a HelpSU. 

Will TGP cover the tuition costs if my child goes abroad for the year or term?

Yes, we will cover tuition as long as the abroad institution is accredited and/or approved by your child’s primary school. Also, all of the classes taken abroad must go towards your child’s degree at their home institution.

Will TGP pay for summer classes for my child?

TGP will cover the tuition costs of summer classes if you have not used your maximum benefit for the academic year. Summer sessions are deducted from the entire amount of TGP. Each student is given 12 points for a total of 4 years, which equates to either 12 quarters or 8 semesters. When the summer sessions are utilized, points are deducted and will result in having fewer points to use for your child’s senior year. If your child attends school part-time, only half of a term is deducted. It he/she goes full-time, then a full term will be deducted. 

Does TGP cover certification programs or graduate programs?

No, the Tuition Grant program only covers tuition for undergraduate degree programs – Associates Degree or Bachelor’s Degree.