WEST MICHIGAN CHAPTER OF ISCEBS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The West Michigan Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS) is pleased to announce the annual award of one scholarship to an employee benefits professional interested in obtaining one or more of the following designations.
Whether you want to start a career in employee benefits, advance your existing career, increase your understanding of the ever-changing world of benefits, or just keep up-to-date and relevant, the RPA, GBA and CEBS designations can help.
Earning a separate designation through the CEBS program is a great way to focus on a particular area, validate your knowledge and enhance your professional credentials. Also, the RPA and GBA designations are excellent stepping-stones to the CEBS credential.
MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNATIONS The Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) designation is a great credential for those who work with defined contribution and defined benefit plans or are involved with the management of plan assets. The courses reflect the most current and relevant information needed to effectively design and manage retirement plans.
To earn the RPA designation, the following courses must be completed: • RPA 1—Directing Retirement Plans Part 1 • RPA 2—Directing Retirement Plans Part 2 • GBA/RPA 3—Strategic Benefits Management. (This course counts for credit toward the GBA designation.)
The Group Benefits Associate (GBA) designation is an ideal fit for those working with health and other group benefits. The courses reflect up-to-date and relevant information needed to effectively design, administer and communicate group benefits.
To earn the GBA designation, the following courses must be completed: • GBA 1—Directing Benefits Programs Part 1 • GBA 2—Directing Benefits Programs Part 2 • GBA/RPA 3—Strategic Benefits Management. (This course counts for credit toward the RPA designation).
The Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (CEBS) designation is awarded once you complete the RPA and GBA designations. Since the courses taken for the RPA and GBA designations are applied toward the five-course CEBS requirement, and one of the required courses counts toward both designations, once you earn both designations, you will also be awarded a CEBS designation! The CEBS designation offers a strong addition to your resume. As the premier benefits designation, having your CEBS sets you apart from your professional peers. To learn more about the CEBS program, click here
TERMS OF THE SCHOLARSHIP One scholarship will be awarded each year. The recipient will receive reimbursement for all tuition, materials, and exam fees associated with the designation of their choice. The recipient will be reimbursed for all materials and exam fees associated with their selected course upon providing proof of registration and expenses to the Chapter Treasurer. Confirmation that the recipient has passed each exam must be provided within 10 business days of completion. Failure to provide proper documentation of registration and expenses will result in non-reimbursement. Failure to complete an exam will result in no further reimbursement for future courses. The Chapter will not reimburse for expenses related to exam retakes or lost materials.
ELIGIBILITY Any individual who is a resident of the state of Michigan and who is interested in obtaining one of the above designations is eligible to apply for the scholarship. Current ISCEBS students and designees are eligible to apply, provided they are seeking to complete one of the above designations they have not yet achieved. Employees or board members of ISCEBS or local Chapters, and members of their immediate family, are not eligible to apply. While paid ISCEBS or West Michigan Local Chapter Membership is not required, it may be helpful to students to become involved early in their education.
SELECTION CRITERIA The scholarship recipient will be selected on the strength of work experience and commitment to a career in employee benefits. Preference will be given to those applicants whose employer does not provide financial assistance in obtaining a designation from ISCEBS. Scholarship applications are reviewed and scored by a Scholarship Committee based on the following criteria.
50% Academic experience/professional experience (benefits involvement & future career plans)
30% Financial need
20% Volunteer activity
All decisions are final.
The applicant selected for an award will be required to provide a Social Security Number or Tax ID prior to receiving the scholarship.
SCHOLARSHIP SCHEDULE Complete and accurate applications must be received by the last day of January in order to be considered for that year. Applicants will then have until the end of that year (December 31) to complete as many courses (up to 3) that they wish to complete. Since students’ lives vary widely, and we understand some students may be able to complete more than one exam in a year, we also understand that some students may wish to complete one exam a year. All applicants will be notified of the scholarship results by February 15 of each year.
HOW TO APPLY To apply for this scholarship, click on the following link, ISCEBS West Michigan Chapter Scholarship. Complete the application and click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the web page. The application includes contact information and a series of short answer questions about your experience and your career aspirations.
ABOUT THE CHAPTER The West Michigan Chapter of ISCEBS was officially incorporated in 1997. Since then, the Chapter has grown to its current membership of approximately 40 employee benefit professionals−including HR professionals, brokers and consultants, and carrier representatives. Our membership’s diversity of backgrounds provides a wide range of perspectives and audiences for our educational sessions, as well as leadership of the Chapter. Like the ISCEBS, the Chapter is a non-profit entity. Over the years, we have provided CEBS designees and CEBS students with meaningful educational programs, leadership opportunities, and networking options for the mutual benefit of the Chapter, its members, and guests. The Chapter is now in a strong position to continue its mission of being a premier employee benefits organization in the western Michigan area as we continue to flourish and grow.