Assistance for Professional or Educational Development

As a benefits-eligible MSU employee, you have access to a variety of unique benefits and resources to help you and your family succeed, including Educational Assistance and Course Fee Courtesy. These benefits offer financial assistance toward your professional development or the educational development of your spouse and/or dependents after you’ve worked at MSU for a certain amount of time.

MSU HR receives a lot of questions about the differences between Educational Assistance and Course Fee Courtesy. We hope this article will help clarify the differences between the two benefits and encourage you to take advantage of them.


Who’s eligible to receive this benefit?
The Educational Assistance benefit is available to MSU support staff after working at MSU for an equivalent of 12 full-time service months. If you work less than full-time, the benefit is pro-rated based on your employment percentage.

Note: A similar program, The Professional Development Support Program, is available for Academic Specialists. 

What does the benefit include?
You may receive financial assistance for both credit and non-credit courses, which may include trainings, seminars, workshops, conferences or other educational opportunities. Use this benefit to enhance your professional skillset or help you reach Performance Excellence goals.

For non-credit courses, like professional development courses available through HR, support staff employees have up to $800 per year to use towards course registration fees. This money does not roll over to the next year, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit every academic year. The course must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to receive assistance.

For credit courses, you can receive up to 14 credits per academic year. Your financial assistance level is determined by your union group, the type of course you’re taking (graduate or undergraduate), and where you’re taking the course (MSU or another university). The course must be considered job-related, degree-related, or career/professional development-related.

MORE INFO: Find detailed information about Educational Assistance – including how to apply – on the HR website.


Who’s eligible to receive this benefit?
The Course Fee Courtesy benefit is available to your dependents or spouse. Regular support staff become eligible for this benefit after the equivalent of 60 full-time service months, which is equal to working at MSU full-time for 5 years. Faculty and academic staff become eligible based on their appointment; fixed-term faculty/academic staff are eligible after 60 full-time service months; continuing/tenure employees are automatically eligible; full-time Health Programs (HP) faculty become eligible upon the commencement of the first additional HP appointment.

What does it include?
This includes a Michigan resident undergraduate tuition rate reduction of 50% for your dependent(s) and/or spouse who attend MSU. So, if you have children and/or a spouse who are planning on attending MSU, you could save 50% off their undergraduate tuition rate. This benefit is only valid for a student’s first bachelor’s degree and through the semester in which the 120th credit is attempted.

MORE INFO: Find detailed information about Course Fee Courtesy – including how to apply – on the HR website.

Have further questions about Educational Assistance or Course Fee Courtesy? Contact HR’s Organization and Professional Development department at, and we’ll be happy to assist.

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