Ready to Use Your Educational Assistance Benefit? Make Sure Your Application is Approved First.

Have you come across an interesting course or conference that you know would help you grow in your career but aren’t sure how to pay for the registration fees? Remember, if you’re an MSU support staff employee, you have access to Educational Assistance. This benefit offers financial assistance (up to $800) to receive reimbursement for registration fees for credit or non-credit courses that are job-related and from an approved institution/program. Non-credit courses include opportunities such as conferences, workshops, seminars, or trainings. Find more details about your Educational Assistance benefit here.

In order to use the benefit, you must submit an application and be approved prior to the course start date. To make sure you or your department gets reimbursed for the registration fees, you should apply and be approved for educational assistance before you pay any registration fees up front.

Process to Apply for Educational Assistance

  1. Find and Discuss the Course with Your Supervisor: If you find a non-credit or credit course that you’re interested in taking, talk to your supervisor about how it will help you grow in your career. Consider tying the course to one of your Performance Excellence goals.
  2. Submit an Educational Assistance Application Early: If your supervisor agrees that you should take the course, submit an Educational Assistance application via the EBS Portal. Login to the portal, click on My Career and Training, click the Educational Assistance System tile, then select the correct application type from the Apply tab in the top navigation. Please note the following:
    • Credit Courses: submit an application 60 days prior to the first day of the course for MSU credit courses or 30 days prior to the first day for all other credit courses.
    • Non-Credit Courses (training, conferences, etc.): submit an application 30 days prior to the first day of the course.
  3. Supervisor Reviews Application: Your application will be sent to your supervisor for approval. You will receive a confirmation email after they approve your application. The application is then sent to MSU Human Resources (HR).
  4. MSU HR Reviews Application: Your application will be reviewed for final approval. You will be notified within 15 days (after receipt of application to MSU HR) if the request has been approved or denied. 

How to Receive Reimbursement

After your application is approved, you’re all set to attend your course! After you finish your course, you’ll need to submit documents to receive reimbursement. You can find more details about Educational Assistance reimbursement for a credit course or non-credit course on the HR website.

Please note: you do not need to submit an Educational Assistance application for courses offered by HR Organization and Professional Development.

Questions? Find more Educational Assistance information on the HR website. Contact the Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434 with any further questions.

Reimbursement for a Non-Credit Learning Opportunity

As an MSU benefits-eligible support staff employee, you have access to Educational Assistance. This benefit offers financial assistance towards your professional development after you’ve worked at MSU for an equivalent of 12 full-time service months. If you work less than full-time, the benefit is prorated based on your employment percentage.

You may receive up to $900 per year to use towards registration costs for a variety of non-credit learning opportunities, including trainings, seminars, workshops, conferences and courses. You will need to submit an Educational Assistance application to request financial assistance. You can access the Educational Assistance application in the EBS Portal under the My Career and Training tab. The learning opportunity must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to be approved for financial assistance.

You will need to upload two documents to your Educational Assistance application to receive reimbursement:

  1. Proof of Payment: The registration costs will need to be paid up front by either you or your department before you receive reimbursement. Make sure to submit proof of payment that clearly shows whether you or your department should be receiving the reimbursement. If you paid for the learning opportunity, you should upload a receipt that clearly shows you paid. If your department paid, you will need to obtain either the procurement card statement or the department operating statement (this would depend on the method of payment that was used) from your department’s fiscal officer.
  2. Proof of Attendance/Completion: There are a variety of documents that you can upload for proof of attendance, including a certificate of completion, formal email/letter of congratulations for completing or attending the learning opportunity, or confirmation of your registration if no other documentation was issued/provided.

PLEASE NOTE: Courses that you register for through the Courses for MSU Employees application in the EBS portal, such as Organization and Professional Development courses or MSU IT courses, do not require an Educational Assistance application. For these courses, you just need to select Educational Assistance as your form of payment when you register.

The Educational Assistance benefit also offers financial assistance for credit courses, which you can learn more about in this previous blog post. Find detailed information about Educational Assistance on the HR website. Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Options for Using Your Educational Assistance Benefit

Are you an MSU support staff employee looking for professional development opportunities? There are a variety of ways for you to learn and grow in your career at MSU. If you find a course or learning opportunity you’re interested in, don’t forget you have access to Educational Assistance! This benefit offers financial assistance towards your professional development after you’ve worked at MSU for an equivalent of 12 full-time service months. If you work less than full-time, the benefit is prorated based on your employment percentage.

You may receive financial assistance for a variety of learning opportunities. For non-credit learning opportunities, you may have up to $800 per year to use towards registration fees. It must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to receive assistance. Some examples of learning opportunities you can use this benefit for include:

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.

Find detailed information about Educational Assistance – including how to apply – on the HR website. Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Please note: Academic Specialists have a program similar to Educational Assistance, please see the HR website for details.