Perks to working at ISU you might not know about

Most employees know Iowa State's benefits package includes substantial retirement plan contributions, ample vacation and sick time off, and affordable and high-quality health, prescription and dental insurance, among other offerings.

For more information

See the procurement office's online listing of employee discount programs and UHR's information on additional benefit programs

But faculty and staff also are eligible for numerous deals and programs that aren't as well-known, such as discounts and free services from benefits providers, voluntary benefit programs and discounts from university-contracted suppliers that employees can use for personal purchases. Here are some examples:

Programs and services

Adoption assistance: A three-year pilot program launched July 1 reimburses employees for eligible expenses related to adopting a child, up to $5,000 per adoption. See the adoption assistance program information on the university human resources (UHR) website for more information.

Adventure2: UHR's well-being program provides incentives to support employees' health and wellness.

Disability income insurance: University-funded long-term disability insurance, free to faculty and staff after one year of employment, covers 63% of a disabled employee's salary. Principal Financial Group offers ISU faculty and staff supplemental disability income insurance to boost those payments to be closer to the recipient's prior salary.

Employee assistance program: Available to all benefits-eligible employees and immediate family members, the employee assistance program (EAP) offers free counseling, life coaching, financial and legal consultations, elder care and child resources and more. See a detailed list of benefits online.

Identity protection: Employees enrolled in ISU health insurance can sign up for identity protection services through their online myWellmark account or by calling 866-486-4812. You'll need your Wellmark ID card and the enrollment code (4170999624) to sign up. The service includes credit and web monitoring, fraud detection, identity recovery assistance and insurance for up to $1 million in reimbursement related to stolen identity.

An identity recovery kit also is available to employees enrolled in ISU life insurance if they sign up for an account with ARAG, offered by Principal. Use the ISU group policy number (1116190) to sign up onlineEAP offers free identity theft resolution services, too.

Small loans: Greater Iowa Credit Union has a small-dollar loan program for Iowa State employees, as part of an ISU Extension and Outreach pilot project to improve financial wellness. It offers a personal loan of $500 to $2,500 at a 9.99% annual interest rate, no matter the borrower's credit history.

Student loan forgiveness: TIAA provides a service to help employees identify programs that can reduce or eliminate their student loan debt. Employees can use Savi for free to find loan relief opportunities or pay a monthly fee for concierge-style service, which includes processing applications and annual certifications. Employees don't have to be a TIAA client and can sign up online.

Travel assistance: Faculty and staff enrolled in ISU life insurance -- along with their spouses and dependents -- can use the AXA travel assistance program when an emergency strikes more than 100 miles away from home. Available services include medical referrals and transportation, interpretation services, lost item recovery, message delivery, political evacuation and legal referrals. AXA also offers pre-trip planning resources. See the program website for details. 

Tuition reimbursement: After one year of ISU employment, professional and scientific and merit staff are eligible for tuition reimbursement for up to four credits of ISU coursework per semester (fall, spring and summer). See UHR's website for more details and application information.

Discounts and deals

Computers and software: ISU Book Store sells Dell and Apple devices to faculty and staff for personal use at a discount. As with all purchases at the ISU Book Store, there is no sales tax. See the store's TechCyte website for details. The bookstore also provides for employees' personal use Office365, a suite of Microsoft software products that includes Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.

Health and wellness: Employees with ISU health insurance have access to Wellmark's Blue365, a service providing discounts related to nutrition, health, fitness, travel and more. See the deals or sign up at the Blue365 website.  

Hearing aids: Free annual hearing screenings and up to 60% off on hearing aids are available to employees who are enrolled in either long-term disability or life insurance coverage. For more information on the services offered by Start Hearing, see the program information online or call 877-890-4694.

ISU Dining: Employees who sign up for the staff charge plan get $2 off breakfast and $3 off lunch and dinner at the all-you-can-eat campus dining centers at Friley Hall, Union Drive Community Center and the Maple-Willow-Larch Commons.  

Legal help: Through ARAG, employees enrolled in ISU life insurance have access to a variety of do-it-yourself legal forms, such as a will, living will, and power of attorney for both health care and financial matters. Use the ISU group policy number (1116190) to sign up online.

Also, EAP services include a free 30-minute consultation with an attorney and a 25% discount for any further legal work from the consulting attorney.

Newspapers: All faculty, staff and students can subscribe for free to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The University Library has guidance online about how to sign up.

Office and computer supplies: Employees can buy office supplies and equipment from ODP Business Solutions (formerly Office Depot Business Solutions) at the university's rates and receive free shipping. The same deal is available from CDW-G, which sells computers, printers and other office equipment.

Recreation services: Faculty and staff can join Recreation Services at a reduced rate of $30 a month, a membership that includes access to the fitness facilities at State Gym, Lied Recreation Athletic Center and Beyer Hall. See membership information online. A free 7-day trial is available.

Reiman Gardens: Faculty and staff receive 20% off any level of Reiman Gardens membership.

Vision: For a monthly premium, employees can purchase an Avesis eyewear plan that covers contact lenses and eyeglasses. Discounts on eyeglasses and lenses also are available to those enrolled in Delta dental insurance. Both Delta and Avesis provide discounts on laser vision correction, as does Principal for employees enrolled in either life or long-term disability insurance. Call 888-647-3937 or see the webpage for more information about Principal's discount.