Tuition Reimbursement Program
For employees who have been with a company for 6 months to two years, many companies offer tuition assistance or Tuition Reimbursement Program for college degrees. To qualify you need to be in good standing, in some cases you need to major in a subject related to your job, but increasingly you can study whatever you want. And of course, you must be accepted to college.
Then, once you qualify for the Tuition Reimbursement Program, either you pay for the school and the company reimburses you for some or all of your tuition, or the company can simply send the school a check for a portion of your tuition fees. To keep the advantage, you usually have to show that you are getting good grades. And some companies have an annual cap on what the benefit will pay in school tuition.
Who Offers Tuition Reimbursement Program?
- 1 Who Offers Tuition Reimbursement Program?
- 1.1 Make Education More Affordable With Tuition Reimbursement Program
- 1.2 How The Tuition Reimbursement Program Works?
- 1.3 Where From You Can Find Tuition Reimbursement Program
- 1.4 Benefits Of Offering Tuition Reimbursement
- 1.5 How to Design a Tuition Reimbursement Program
- 1.6 Step 1: Create a Cost-Benefit Analysis and Program Rationale
- 1.7 Step 2: Establish Policies Regarding Registration and Eligibility
- 1.8 Step 3. Establish Partner Colleges And Universities
- 1.9 Step 4. Create a Marketing Plan
- 1.10 Tuition Reimbursement Program vs. Tuition Assistance Program
- 1.11 Companies That Offer Tuition Reimbursement Program
- 1.12 What If My Employer Doesn’t Have A Tuition Reimbursement Program?
The problem comes in finding a company that will offer the benefit. Who will pay for you to go to college as part of your job? Finding a local small business near your college or hometown would be especially helpful, wouldn’t it?
First of all, more companies offer this benefit than you might imagine. Why? A few reasons.
First, most employees don’t use it. Second, if you use it, you usually agree to stay with the company or reimburse tuition. And also by using the benefit and staying for school and to complete your obligation, the company expects to reduce the turnover and cost of training a new employee, advertising, etc.
Make Education More Affordable With Tuition Reimbursement Program
Why enroll in the Tuition Reimbursement Program?
- Get tuition assistance for a wide range of courses, training programs and degree programs
- Save money while meeting your educational goals
- No waiting – join anytime to start saving
How The Tuition Reimbursement Program Works?
The tuition reimbursement program is simple. You only pay tuition and related fees as you normally would. In most cases, all you then need to do is submit an application with documentation confirming course attendance and grade, and you are reimbursed for eligible tuition fees.
Depending on your employer’s plan, there are several ways to be reimbursed for eligible expenses:
- You can be reimbursed by automatic payroll deductions; Where
- You may receive an expense check; Where
- Your school or program may be paid directly by your employer.
- Although your employer may not require them for reimbursement, it is always a good idea to keep receipts for all eligible reimbursable expenses you pay.
Where From You Can Find Tuition Reimbursement Program
Large companies usually have this advantage, as well as national chains. But increasingly, companies that want a stable and happy workforce are adding this benefit to their package.
For a great resource to find companies that offer tuition reimbursement program, check out Fortune’s Top 100 Employers. Fortune releases this list every year and ranks it by best benefits, best salary, height, and several other factors.
For example, consider working for universities, colleges, and related companies. Because a university or college has direct access to education, they know they have empty seats. Like a theater that allows its employees to attend performances for free or at a reduced price, a university generally offers employees a lot to attend school.
You may need to work full-time to get this benefit, but that’s typical of any business. Good luck with your research!
Benefits Of Offering Tuition Reimbursement
So why would a company shell out money to pay someone to go to school? Wouldn’t you lose money? Not exactly. In fact, offering a tuition reimbursement program can save money in the long run. Here are some ways a tuition reimbursement program can benefit a business.
Use it as a recruiting tool. There is no point in creating a free tuition reimbursement program just to hide it from the public. You should spread the good news as much as you can. Post it on your social networks. Create online announcements about it. Include it in job postings. People want to be part of a company that advertises “free tuition for qualified employees!”
Use it as a leadership development tool and to save money. A well-organized employee education program will greatly increase internal promotion. It’s often best to hire an internal candidate who already knows the company, has verifiable experience, and is a known quantity.
If internal employees don’t have the necessary training for a leadership position, help them get it! For many employees, a college degree is the next step to being eligible for the next promotion, and the skills and knowledge acquired through their studies will help them become smarter and more effective employees.
Plus, training and promoting from within can save the company money. The starting salary for an external hire is 18-20% higher than for an internal hire, but if you also factor in advertising, time spent on job boards, and the cost of employee training. new person, it’s easy to see why external candidates cost up to 50% more than internal candidates.
Use it as a way to increase employee engagement. Some call it employee engagement and others call it employee satisfaction, but whatever terminology you use, it’s important that employees feel valued and needed. Many employees leave their jobs because they don’t feel they have a purpose. They are looking for someone who will appreciate them and what they do.
Offering tuition assistance helps employees feel a sense of purpose and connection within the company. They will feel that the company sees great potential in them and will be motivated to prove them right. More satisfied employees mean more retention and less turnover.
How to Design a Tuition Reimbursement Program
Step 1: Create a Cost-Benefit Analysis and Program Rationale
If you are advocating for a tuition program at your company, you may need to convince important people of its value. Make sure that the company can afford such a program and analyze what the advantages and disadvantages can be. You may want to conduct a company survey to determine the desire for such a program within the workforce. Consider the following questions as you approach this step:
- Can the company afford such a program?
- What is the purpose of creating this program?
- What are the potential benefits and/or costs?
Step 2: Establish Policies Regarding Registration and Eligibility
It is important to be very clear about who is eligible and what is covered. Consider the following questions as you approach this step:
- Is tuition reimbursement available to any employee, regardless of department?
- Does the program offer tuition reimbursement or assistance? (See the section below for the difference.)
- How long must an employee be with the company before being eligible?
- What degrees or programs are eligible?
- Is there a certain GPA or standard that enrolled students must maintain?
- Does the program pay for books and course fees, or just tuition?
- If there are more people asking for help than there is money, what is the selection process?
Step 3. Establish Partner Colleges And Universities
It is very rare that companies allow their employees to study wherever they wish. Usually, a company partners with specific colleges for the intended purpose. Building a strong relationship with a college will save you a lot of time and can lead to a discounted tuition deal. Consider these questions when determining which colleges are best to partner with.
- Which college offers the best value for money?
- Are there online options for employees who may not have time to travel to a campus?
- Is a community college or technical college a better option for your industry?
Step 4. Create a Marketing Plan
This step may or may not be performed by Human Resources, but it is critical that this program is properly marketed. If employees don’t know about the program, they won’t enroll. Consider the following questions when creating a marketing plan:
- What is the target market for employees?
- What can be done to encourage employees to return to school?
- How can you use it in your recruiting efforts?
Tuition Reimbursement Program vs. Tuition Assistance Program
Tuition reimbursement program involves reimbursing an employee for tuition upon completion or after one semester. Tuition assistance pays the fees in advance. Tuition assistance is generally considered the riskier of the two, as you risk employees slacking off or not attending classes even though you have already paid for them. On the other hand, employees may be more receptive to the idea that they have nothing to pay out of pocket and expect reimbursement. Carefully consider which of these two options is best for your business.
Companies That Offer Tuition Reimbursement Program
JBS USA Better Futures Program. This company partners with the local community and technical colleges to pay tuition for any eligible employee to study the program of their choice.
Walmart’s Live Better U program. Walmart offers to pay 100% tuition for qualified employees to study business and supply chain management, business management, or cybersecurity.
Home Depot. The program offers to pay up to $1,500 per year for part-time employees, $3,000 for full-time hourly employees and $5,000 for salaried employees. Employees must have served 90 days of employment to qualify.
These are just a few examples. If you do some research, you will find that most large companies have or have had at some point some type of college education project. They wouldn’t be popular if they weren’t effective!
What If My Employer Doesn’t Have A Tuition Reimbursement Program?
Just because your employer doesn’t have a tuition reimbursement policy doesn’t mean you can’t explore it as a potential option. It could be that no one ever asked for it.
The key to advocating for tuition reimbursement is to be specific. Avoid sweeping statements and present a business case of how your training will benefit the organization.
Join the discussion by being prepared to tell your manager details such as the course you want to take, where and when the course is offered, and how much it will cost (or how much reimbursement you want).
Be prepared to show your employer that helping you pursue your educational goals can have substantial benefits for the organization.
Remind them that having a tuition reimbursement program can help a company:
- Retain and promote top talent
- Improve employee satisfaction and loyalty
- Earn a reputation as a good place to work
- Build stronger teams across all operations
- Drive innovation and productivity
Most importantly, be specific with your manager about how the course or program will build skills that bring real value.
As you prepare for this discussion, here are a few other points you may want to consider:
- Be realistic about whether your employer can afford education assistance. Some businesses, especially small organizations that can operate with only minimal profits, may struggle to find the money needed for a tuition reimbursement program.
- Be prepared to start small. Instead of jumping straight into a full degree program, for example, start with a single professional development program or work-related course. This will give your employer a chance to see the benefits in real time, without making a major financial commitment.
- Include a draft policy with your proposal for review by your employer. To qualify for the tax deduction, your employer’s policy must be in writing. By drafting a potential policy on behalf of your employer, you both lighten their workload and demonstrate the seriousness of your proposal.
Going back to school while working requires resourcefulness. And being resourceful means using every advantage available to you. If your company is willing and able, let them help you take the next step.