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Educational assistance FAqs

Regular support staff employees hired at 50% time or more are eligible for Educational Assistance.

You become eligible for the Educational Assistance benefit when you complete twelve (12) FTE's (full-time equivalent service months) with the MSU.

FTE is the length of time since you were hired as a regular employee at MSU and is measured in months. For additional information you may contact Human Resources at 517-884-0177.

Regular part-time employees working 50% time or more are eligible on a proportional basis and have to meet the twelve month FTE eligibility requirement. For example, if you are a half-time employee you will reach your eligibility after 24 months of service.

Educational Assistance provides you with financial assistance to take credit or non-credit classes. It is intended to support skill development in your current job and enhance competencies for career growth and future promotional opportunities at MSU.
Educational Assistance is renewable each academic year, starting with the fall semester and running through the end of summer semester.
Contact Human Resources at 517-884-0177 for more information.
Educational Assistance covers up to 14 semester credits (20 term credits*) in an academic year. The maximum fee per credit rate is determined by the employees specific bargaining unit agreement. $800 of this total may be used for non-credit job-related courses offered by Organization and Professional Development, MSU IT or other approved programs. Any additional charges other than tuition are the responsibility of the student and are not covered by Educational Assistance. For additional information, contact MSU HR at 517-884-0177.
*Term/quarter credit represents 2/3 of a semester credit.
Educational Assistance benefits are regulated by the IRS. Most benefits are exempt from taxation. Graduate-level, degree-related tuition benefits, including tuition (matriculation fees, if applicable) up to $5,250 in a tax (calendar) year are excluded and are not reported as income. Any amount in excess of $5,250 received in a tax (calendar) year has to be reported as gross income and is subject to appropriate federal, state, FICA, Medicare and local tax withholdings.
It is your responsibility to get admitted to the program of your choice and to enroll in classes. When you decide which class or classes to take you will need to complete the application online using the  EBS Portal . Deadline information is published in Source or you may contact MSU HR at 517-884-0177. Please note that you need to apply for Educational Assistance 60 days prior to the start of class and before you actually enroll.
Yes, you need to complete and submit an Educational Assistance Program Application in the online system prior to the start of each semester you plan on utilizing this benefit.

Classes taken at MSU are eligible for tuition waiver. Tuition waiver is equal to the fee per credit amount available to the employee based on their employee group and is applied to the students account as credit. The student will be responsible to follow the billing instructions and pay any additional costs reflected on their bill.

Non-MSU classes are done as a reimbursement.

For an MSU class a grade of 2.0 or higher is required in order to retain the tuition waiver for the approved class. If you receive a lower grade you will be responsible for reimbursing MSU for the amount of the original tuition waiver received. This will be done through Payroll deduction.
Non-MSU classes would not be reimbursed if a grade of 2.0 or higher is not acheived.
Employees should refer to their specific bargaining unit agreement for eligible institutions. Educational assistance provides reimbursement for the fee per credit amount (tuition) available for your specific employee group up to the maximum of 14 semester credits (20 term credits*) in an academic year. Fees in excess of the tuition are not covered.
*Term/quarter credit represents 2/3 of a semester credit.
The Educational Assistance policy indicates that you must apply for Educational Assistance prior to the start of the semester. For example, if you plan on attending MSU you must complete and submit your application using the EBS Portal 60 days prior to the start of the semester. If you plan on taking a class at another eligible institution (be it for credit or non-credit) you must complete and submit your Educational Assistance application 30 days prior to the start of the semester. For additional information please contact Human Resources at 517-884-0177.
If there is a class change, you will need to complete and submit a new application using the  EBS Portal  and indicate that it is a correction and submit it online as soon as you know of the change. If you will not be taking a class that was pre-approved, you can cancel your application in the system at any time before completion. It is your responsibility to withdraw from the class(es) within the required academic timelines to avoid incurring additional charges. Educational Assistance will not cover such expenses.
Please see your collective bargaining unit agreement for specifics regarding release time. Most support staff employees are eligible to request up to five (5) hours of release time per week to attend classes. Approval of release time is at the discretion of your supervisor.
The $800 portion of the benefit covers non-credit classes offered by PDS, IT Services and other pre-approved providers. Conferences/conventions are not covered by this benefit. Transportation and lodging are not covered even if the cost of the program is approved. Prior approval is necessary. For additional information, contact MSU HR at 517-884-0177.
Many employees are using their Educational Assistance benefit to enhance their technical skills. MSU IT provides a variety of computer-related classes. Additional information about available courses and booking procedures can be accessed by visiting  train@msu.edu . Please note that enrollment in MSU IT classes are subject to that unit's timelines and procedures; however, you do not need Human Resources prior approval for MSU IT classes. Other providers may also be approved. If you wish to take a computer class through another provider, contact MSU HR at 517-884-0177 prior to enrollment.
You must submit proof of payment to the Human Resources such as an itemized receipt and a copy of your official grade report or a copy of a certificate of successful completion for a non-credit course via the online system in the EBS HR/Payroll Portal. Your reimbursement will be direct deposited provided you have MSU payroll direct deposit, if not a check will be sent to your campus/work address on record.
No. Audited/visited classes are not covered by the Educational Assistance benefit.
It is important that your request for reimbursement be submitted to Human Resources within the same academic year as the class was taken. On an exception basis, tuition may be reimbursed for classes taken as far back as the previous academic year.
Human Resources is located in Room 110, Nisbet Bldg. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may call 517-884-0177. A major part of Human Resources mission is to assist you in reaching your educational and professional development objectives.
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