Buying class supplies

Obtaining Class Supplies

Reimbursement Quick Reference

Obtaining Class Supplies

The budget for Cascade is $50 per class section. If you would like to spend more than this, please contact before making any purchases.

To purchase class supplies, you must pay on your own, then request reimbursement from MIT by filling out a Request for Payment (RFP) if you're an MIT student or affiliate. We will fill one out for you if you're not affiliated with MIT. Before making a purchase for your class, you should read these brief instructions. Then, you can fill out the Google Form linked below.

1. Check our inventory first

ESP owns a lot of non-consumable class supplies, so before buying any, you should check out our inventory. Email us at if you have any questions or want to confirm the state and quantity of the supply. We can provide staples such as paper, pens, pencils.

2. Ask us ahead of time if you're going to be spending more money

We love awesome classes, and sometimes awesome classes require awesome class supplies! You may automatically spend up to $50 per class section, but if you want to spend more than that, please contact us at with a description of what and how much you want to buy. We will only reimburse larger purchases if you have obtained prior approval.

3. Return supplies to ESP

While we're happy to reimburse for class supplies, we will not pay for other expenses. For travel, please look at the travel subsidies page. If you do end up buying any non-consumable items for your class, you must return them to us. We will add those supplies to our inventory so that future teachers can use them for their classes.

You may buy prizes for your students, but we ask that you please not use your class budget to buy things for yourself, with one exception: if you give away an item to every student, you may keep one for yourself.

4. MIT does not reimburse tax, so don’t pay it

You can use a copy of MIT’s tax exemption form to avoid paying state sales tax. You can download this form from the VPF website (MIT certificates may be required; alumni and non-MIT students can request a copy of the tax exempt form by emailing In MA, you might additionally need MIT’s ST-5 (Sales Tax Purchaser Certificate).

If you need to buy things from Amazon, the usual procedure is to pay tax and then send Amazon the tax-exempt form. They will then refund the tax.

5. Make sure to ask for a receipt

You will need to submit electronic images of your receipts, so it is critical that you obtain legible photos or scans of your receipts before discarding them.

All receipts must:

  • be itemized
  • show a proof of purchase: they should say "paid with cash", "paid with visa ####", etc.
  • differentiate between class and personal expenses: if there are any personal expenses on the receipt, you should highlight all class expenses. Note that if you are using tax exemption, it is illegal to tax-exempt personal goods.
  • not contain tax: if you paid tax, please highlight the before-tax subtotal; you will not be reimbursed for the tax (sorry!)

If a receipt does not have a proof of purchase, you must submit a credit card statement or a bank account statement, with the corresponding expenses circled or highlighted (you may redact all other information but your name).

RFP Quick Reference

Non-MIT teachers cannot make RFPs and should read instructions at the bottom of the page.

Link:Create an RFP (select Request a Reimbursement for Me)
Tax exempt forms:VPF's website
Budget:$50 per class section or walk-in hour. Email to spend more!
MIT Cost object:2720107
G/L Account:420226
Submit to:Lily Zhang (lnzhang), Lexi Schneider (lexims), or Pranit Nanda (pranit)
Google form:
Print-outs and receipts:No longer required! Get legible photos / scans of your receipts!

Submitting reimbursements:

Please fill out the Google Form at

Last modified on Nov. 10, 2019 at 10:07 p.m.