The Catholic University of America

Employee FAQ

In the case of a difference between information contained in the HR FAQ's web pages and the terms and conditions in policies or benefit plan documents, the policies and plan documents will prevail.

Tuition Assistance

When is the deadline for Tuition Assistance Applications?

Employees must submit applications for tuition assistance to the Office of Human Resources no later than the last day to add or drop courses as specified for each semester in the Academic Calendar published each year in Announcements. Employees are encouraged to submit tuition assistance applications as much in advance of each semester as possible, even if uncertain about the number of courses, number of semester hours or applicable School/Department. Revisions can be submitted once registration is completed. Tuition Assistance application forms are available online or in the Office of Human Resources.

If I want to take a CUA course that is NOT required by a specific degree program (e.g., I would like to learn Japanese for personal enrichment), will Tuition Assistance cover it?

Yes. Employees are welcome and encouraged to take classes for personal enjoyment/enrichment, as well as courses taken in pursuit of a degree. Tuition Assistance covers those classes up to the number of allowable courses each semester and year. For classes taken by spouses or dependent children to be covered by Tuition Assistance, the courses must be as part of an undergraduate degree program.

If I want to take a class at Consortium School, will Tuition Assistance cover it?

Employees, their spouses and their dependent children will be eligible for Tuition Assistance for courses at other member institutions of the Consortium when the courses are certified by the cognizant dean or department chair as required for a degree program and not available at CUA.

How many semesters am I eligible for Tuition Assistance?

There is no limit on the number of semesters for which CUA employees may be eligible for Tuition Assistance. However, employees are only eligible to take 4 classes per year, up to 2 classes per semester.

Are overseas study programs covered by Tuition Assistance?

Yes, overseas study programs sponsored or approved by CUA will be covered by Tuition assistance. However, the CUA tuition is the only part of the cost of the overseas study program that is included in the tuition assistance benefit. Any other fees as well as the cost of room and board are the responsibility of the student. The semesters spent in an overseas study program will count toward the nine semester maximum for undergraduate tuition assistance benefits.

Are tuition benefits taxable?

Tuition Assistance for undergraduate education is NOT taxable. However, Tuition Assistance for graduate education for employees, spouses, and dependent children IS subject to Federal and State income tax and FICA. Tuition Assistance benefits for graduate courses will be treated as taxable income as required by Federal law.

How do I apply for Tuition Assistance?

Applications for Tuition Assistance are available in the Office of Human Resources in room 170, Leahy Hall.


Health Insurance

When can I enroll in the CUA health insurance plan? The dental plan?

Employees who wish to enroll in one of the health insurance plans must do so within the first thirty days of employment. Employees who do not enroll during the first thirty days of employment will not be able to enroll until the next open enrollment period unless extenuating circumstances exist.  


Am I required to participate in the TIAA/CREF retirement plan?

Yes. All CUA employees age 26 or older who have worked for the University for at least one year are required to participate in the plan, but may do so without contributing any of their own money. You may opt to contribute 0.0, 2.5, or 5.0% of your own salary and CUA will contribute 5.0, 7.5, or 10.0% to your TIAA/CREF plan respectively.

Is the TIAA/CREF contribution taxable?

Under both the Basic and the TDA Plans, Federal and State taxes are not withheld from your contributions or earnings until you (or a beneficiary) start receiving them as benefits. An exception to this rule occurs if the combined employee and CUA TIAA/CREF contribution equals more than $50,000 per year. If this is the case, then the total amount contributed to TIAA/CREF less $50,000 IS taxable income.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Can I change the amount of money I wish to contribute to my Flexible Spending Accounts during the year?

The amount designated by the employee at the time of enrollment CANNOT be stopped or changed during the plan year, except in the case of a change in family status. A family change is considered to be marriage, divorce, death of an immediate family member whose expenses were being paid by the FSA, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a spouse's employment.

If I don't use all of the money in my Flexible Spending Accounts, will it be reimbursed to me?

No. If the amount deposited in the FSA exceeds actual covered expenses, the unused money is forfeited by the employee.


Are there any special procedures I should follow when retiring?

Just as any other employee separating from the University, retirees must schedule an Exit Interview before leaving CUA. The Exit Interview allows retirees an opportunity to discuss special retirement post-separation benefits with a benefits specialist. For more information on what an Exit Interview entails, refer to the questions on Exit Interviews in the section on "Separation" below. To schedule an Exit Interview, please contact the Office of Human Resources at tel: 202-319-5050.

As a retiree, may I still receive Tuition Assistance? What about my spouse and dependents?

Retirees (as defined in section 6.9.1 of the Staff Handbook) may continue to receive tuition assistance benefits for spouses and dependent children by birth or adoption with the limitation that the benefit will be extended only if the spouse and dependent children were eligible at the time the employee retired and only for undergraduate programs. Retirees and their spouses may audit courses without charge, subject to the permission of the instructor of each course.

May I still receive health insurance coverage under the University plan after I retire?

CUA retirees may continue their health care coverage after retirement (contingent upon the terms of the University's contracts with its insurance carriers) at the full retiree group rate with no contribution from the University. Payment information is available from the Office of Human Resources.



What is adequate time for the submission of a resignation?

Employees are requested to give written notice of resignation to their supervisor as far in advance as possible to minimize the vacancy time of the position. The notice should state the reason for separation and the last working day. At least two weeks' notice is expected from non-exempt employees. For exempt employees, a month's notice is appropriate.

Can you explain the Exit Interview?

The Exit Interview is required of all Employees separating from CUA as a voluntary or involuntary termination. The Exit Interview is a sort of "check-out" process for departments whereby separating employees return keys, I.D. cards and library books, and pay any outstanding parking fines, library overdue fees, and other University loans. The Exit Interview also affords employees the opportunity to discuss post-separation benefits such as TIAA/CREF and COBRA health insurance.

Who do I contact for an Exit Interview?

Employees separating from CUA should schedule an Exit Interview with the Office of Human Resources as soon as they have notified their supervisor of their separation. Exit Interviews are ideally conducted on the last day of work. To schedule an Exit Interview, call the Office of Human Resources at tel: 202-319-5050.

May I still receive health insurance coverage under the University plan if I resign or am terminated?

Yes, in most cases. Under Title X of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the University offers continuation of health and/or dental insurance under certain circumstances. A regular employee is eligible for continuation of health care coverage if coverage was lost because of a reduction of hours or termination for reasons other than gross misconduct. Persons electing to continue health care coverage under COBRA will be responsible for the full cost of the premium plus a 2 percent administrative fee.