Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are Education Fund applications available?

The Ed Fund operates on a traditional semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) system. Applications for the Fall must be submitted by January 10th, for Spring by June 10th, and for Summer by September 10th. Those who are pursuing classes on another timetable should call the Union office.

2. When do I become eligible for the Education Fund?

There is no service requirement. All staff in the HUCTW bargaining unit are eligible upon hire.

3. Where can I get an application?

Applications are available on Harvie at: Education Fund application form
and on the HUCTW website at: Education Fund application form

4. How many classes can I take?

You may apply to the fund for 1 course or conference per academic semester (Fall, Spring, Summer).

5. What kinds of classes are covered? Are seminars covered?
Distance Learning? Certificates?

We cover classes that are not covered by TAP, including:

      members with less than 3 months of employment
      test preparation classes
      conferences and seminars
      accreditation and licensing courses
      certificate classes not eligible for TAP
      courses that did not receive a passing grade
      members who are "tapped out"

6. What does it mean to be "tapped out"?

Federal tax law limits each person's TAP allowance for courses taken outside Harvard to $5,250 per calendar year. If you have exhausted your TAP allowance for the year, the Education Fund the Education Fund will reimburse for one course per semester at 50% of tuition less grants or scholarships.

7. Does the class have to be job related?

No. The definition of eligibility is “does it aid in the pursuit of a career at Harvard,” rather than does it apply to the job you are in currently; as an example, a lab technician taking classes toward a degree in counseling at Lesley University would be eligible. The Fund does also support classes that are job related.

8. Does it have to be towards a degree?

No. Since 2007, these courses are now covered by TAP.

9. When and how are awards made?

Recipients are notified of their award by e-mail, typically about 7-8 weeks after the application deadline. Award monies are delivered in your Harvard paycheck.

10. How much will I get?

The Education Fund awards 50% of the cost of tuition (less scholarships or other support). We do not cover any materials, books, or fees (with the exception of certain Massachusetts state college fees).

11. Are there any taxes?

Yes. Because the awards are considered taxable income, withholding taxes are applied at the time the award money is delivered. Awards are taxed at the extra compensation rate (about 41%), however most recipients can recoup most of the tax amount. The amount awarded by the Education Fund is recorded on your W2 as income and as taxes paid. Your tax rate is key. As long as you have only your Harvard check as the sole source of your income your tax rate falls somewhere in the 20-27% rate. If you are scheduled as a 20% payer then you will get back 21%; if you are a 27% payer you will get back 14%. You get back the difference between taxable rate & income. This happens automatically when you file your yearly income taxes. You do not have to file any separate paperwork.

12. Does the Fund cover textbooks?

The Education Fund does not cover costs for books or other materials.

13. Does the Fund cover Harvard classes?

The Education Fund does not cover Harvard classes or TAP fees.

14. Can I apply for both TAP and the Education Fund?

Only if you are "tapped out". TAP covers 90% of tuition for courses outside Harvard up to the annual allowance of $5,250. The other 10% must be paid by the student; you cannot apply to the Education Fund for this 10%. If you have "tapped out," i.e., used up your annual allowance of $5,250, you can then apply to the Education Fund for expenses over $5250. The Education Fund will reimburse you for 50% of these costs for up to three courses per academic year, less scholarships or other support.

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