Scholarship Award and Tuition Assistance Programs

 

The Union and Employer Trustees of the Southern California United Food & Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Benefit Fund take great pride in providing the Scholarship Award and Tuition Assistance Programs as part of your valuable benefit package.

 

 

 

Scholarship Award Program

 

The Scholarship Award Program is designed to recognize participants and their eligible dependent children who represent outstanding academic, technical or vocational potential or achievement, dedicated community service and a high degree of personal accomplishment.

 

 

Participants’ Eligibility

 

Plan A Participants are eligible to apply between November and February for a Scholarship Award for the next academic year if you have completed at least a year of service (as defined by the plan) as of the prior October.

 

If you are selected for a Scholarship Award by the Committee, you must be actively employed in the Industry during the month the Award is determined in order to receive it.

 

Dependent Children’s Eligibility

 

Your children are eligible to apply for Scholarship Awards between November and February if you have completed at least three years of service (as defined by the plan) as of the prior October and if they meet the following criteria:

 

  • The child is unmarried
  • He or she is less than 24 years of age on the date that the Award is made
  • He or she is your dependent for purposes of federal income taxes.

 

Eligible children also include legally adopted children, a child placed for adoption or a stepchild principally supported by you. Foster children are eligible provided they meet the foster child requirements of the United Food & Commercial Workers Unions Food Employers Benefit Fund. Please refer contact the Fund Office for more detailed information.

 

If your child is selected for a Scholarship Award by the Committee, you must be actively employed in the Industry during the month the Award is determined in order for your child to receive it.

 

Spouses of participants are not eligible for Scholarship Awards.

 

About the Awards

 

You or your children, if eligible, can apply for a Scholarship Award to pursue undergraduate college or university degree programs or post-high school technical or vocational training at the following types of accredited institutions:

 

  • Public and private colleges and universities
  • Community colleges
  • Trade and technical schools
  • Vocational schools

 

Scholarship Awards are available only to applicants who will be full-time students. The institution or training center must be accredited in accordance with state and local licensing and accreditation requirements. The Scholarship will cover tuition but not housing expenses, books or other incidental fees.

 

Each year, a Scholarship Selection Committee jointly selected by the Union and Employer Trustees reviews applications from all eligible participants and their children and selects approximately 300 winners of Awards made at three levels:

 

  1. $10,000
  2. $5,000
  3. $2,500

 

The Scholarships are awarded in April of each year. The Award is valid for the academic year following receipt of the Award by the applicant.

 

The Committee makes every effort to allocate the Awards between academic and vocational applicants in proportion to the number of qualified applications received in each category in that year. The Award recipients represent all geographic areas under the jurisdiction of the Fund and individual Union Locals and Employers.

 

Awards are determined at the discretion of the Scholarship Selection Committee and its decision is final and binding. Awards are paid directly to the school to which the recipient has been admitted as necessary to cover tuition expenses.

 

 

How Scholarship Award Winners Are Selected

 

The Joint Scholarship Selection Committee selects winners of the Scholarship Awards from among applicants who can be full-time students on the basis of the following criteria:

 

  • Academic record
  • Leadership record
  • Community service and volunteer activities
  • Character and personality
  • Personal achievement
  • Financial need

 

Applying For A Scholarship Award

 

The forms that must be completed to apply for a Scholarship Award are available here: Scholarship Award Application and Teacher Appraisal, or from your Union Local or the Fund Office. They are described below.

 

Scholarship Application Form
This form must be completed by both the applicant and by the participant, if different from the applicant. Follow the Application form instructions carefully. Both the participant and the applicant, if different, must sign and date the form. Mail the form to the Fund Office, and include all documents requested in the Application instructions, with your official transcripts including SAT scores and a copy of your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA form).

 

Teacher’s Appraisal Forms
 Two copies of this form must be completed. First, the applicant and the Participant, if different, should fill out the form. Then, the form should be completed by two teachers who have taught courses completed by the applicant. Both the applicant and Participant must sign the applicant section, authorizing the teacher to give the information requested to the Fund Office for administrative purposes. Submit the completed forms with the Application form.

 

Determination Of Eligibility For Scholarship Awards

 

Eligibility of a participant or a participant’s child to apply for a Scholarship Award will be determined when the Application form and attachments are received in the Fund Office.

 

Only the applications of persons who meet the eligibility requirements will be presented to the Scholarship Selection Committee. If you (or your child) are determined to be ineligible to apply for a Scholarship Award, you will be notified within 60 days of receipt of your application by the Fund Office.

 

Application Deadline

 

Your application and all associated documentation must be postmarked no later than February 28 in order to be considered for a Scholarship Award for the following academic year. Awards are generally made by April 30.

 

Late applications, incomplete applications and those missing required documentation will not be accepted.

Some exclusions and limitations apply to the Scholarship Award program. Refer to the Scholarship Award and Tuition Assistance Programs brochure or contact the Fund Office for details.

 

 

Tuition Assistance Program

 

The Tuition Assistance Program is designed to reimburse all or part of your tuition expenses for education such as undergraduate college and university coursework, technical or vocational training, general education degree courses, career training or adult education. It can also provide a small reimbursement to you for the cost of your child’s tuition for education in a public or private college or university degree program, or for post-high school technical or vocational training.

 

Participants’ Eligibility

 

You are eligible to apply for Tuition Assistance if you meet the following criteria:

 

  • You have completed at least a year of service (as defined by the plan) prior to beginning the course or courses for which you are seeking assistance, and
  • You are actively employed in the Industry during the month in which you begin the course or courses.

 

Dependent Children’s Eligibility

 

Your children are eligible to apply for Tuition Assistance if you have at least 10 Years of Vesting Credit under the Southern California United Food & Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Pension Trust Fund and you are actively employed as of the date coursework begins. Your children must
also meet the following criteria:

 

  • The child must be unmarried;
  • He or she must be less than 24 years of age on the date that the course begins;
  • He or she must be your dependent for purposes of federal income taxes.

 

Eligible children also include legally adopted children, a child placed for adoption or a stepchild principally supported by you.

Foster children are eligible provided they meet the foster child requirements of the United Food & Commercial Workers Unions and Food Employers Benefit Fund. Contact the Fund Office for more detailed information.

 

Spouses of participants are not eligible for Tuition Assistance.

 

Tuition Assistance For Participants

 

The Tuition Assistance Program is available to both full-time and part-time students. It is designed to reimburse participants up to $500 per calendar year for classes or courses completed in that calendar year.

 

Eligible expenses include tuition expenses for post-high school undergraduate degree and general education degree classes or courses at the following types of accredited institutions:

 

  • Public and private colleges and universities
  • Community colleges
  • Trade and technical schools
  • Vocational schools

 

In addition, courses through correspondence schools, if accredited, also qualify for Tuition Assistance.

If the courses you take qualify as Industry Advancement Courses, you can receive reimbursement up to $1,000 for courses completed in a calendar year. An Industry Advancement Course is a class or course approved by the Board of Trustees that improves a participant’s knowledge or skills in a manner that is pertinent to advancement in the Retail Food Industry. For more information about Industry Advancement Courses, contact the Fund Office.

 

Tuition Assistance For Children’s Expenses

 

You can receive reimbursement up to $300 per calendar year for classes or courses completed by your eligible dependent children in that calendar year. Eligible expenses include tuition expenses you pay on behalf of your eligible dependent children for post-high school undergraduate degree and general education degree courses at any of the institutions listed in the Scholarship Award and Tuition Assistance Programs brochure.

 

Applying For Tuition Assistance

 

The forms which must be completed to apply for Tuition Assistance are here: Tuition Assistance Application – Participant  and to the Tuition Assistance Application – Child of Participant. Follow the instructions carefully.

 

Participants
To obtain Tuition Assistance, you must apply by submitting your application to the Fund Office within one year after completing the courses for which you would like Tuition Reimbursement. To receive reimbursement, send a Tuition Assistance Application along with a tuition receipt and a copy of your school transcript showing successful completion of the courses.

You can apply for Tuition Assistance for Industry Advancement Courses on the Tuition Assistance Application Form For participants. However, please note that to qualify for the Industry Advancement Course benefit, the courses you take must be among those approved by the Board of Trustees. Therefore, you should call the Fund Office in advance before enrolling to determine whether your planned curriculum meets this requirement.

 

Eligible Dependent Children
To obtain Tuition Assistance for an eligible child, submit your application to the Fund Office within one year after the child has completed the applicable course or courses. Include a receipt for your child’s tuition and a copy of his or her school transcript showing successful completion of the courses.

 

 

Income Tax Information

The Trust Fund considers Scholarship Awards and Tuition Reimbursement for courses to be excludable from income. Please check with your own tax advisor to determine if you have any tax consequences as the result of receiving a Scholarship Award or Tuition Reimbursement.