Going back to school can be very expensive especially nowadays where the economy is not doing so well. Some people will choose to work first to earn money for education but then they are not able to pay the full amount of the tuition fee. If you are employed, then you can ask for an employer tuition assistance from the company you work for. Usually, large companies such as Hewlett Packard, General Electric, Motorola, Citigroup and Dell provides a generous assistance for their employer’s tuition.
In a perfect world, the best employer tuition assistance would be one that will provides assistance for undergraduate, graduate or continuing education. Then, an up-front full payment for every course and will cover all expenses such as course materials and books. Though, we all know that we can get one of these but not all. We still have to work to get the rest.
The tuition assistance will be based on the employer’s objectives for retention, recruiting and productivity. The benefits or plans may differ among different companies and even within different departments in a company. Make sure to talk to the company’s human resources specialist to discuss employer’s rules, restrictions and caveats. Though, most companies do not offer a wide range of option and sometimes this kind of plans are not promoted to the employees.
Still a lot of people may not know about employer tuition assistance and they work hard just to earn the money for their education. According to a study made by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, there are only less than 15% of qualified employees who take advantage of this benefits.
This is why handbooks given during your first day at work must be read for you to know your benefits. These benefits will help a lot especially when the time comes that you will need it. Companies spend millions of dollars on their employer’s benefits so it is just wise to take advantage of it. Though, you must also read the policies corresponding to each benefit so you will know if you are eligible for it.
There might be several conditions that will be asked by your employer when before they grant you an employers tuition assistance which is as follows:
- You may be asked to choose from a certain list of colleges picked out by your employer
- Enroll in a degree that relates to your job.
- Pay the tuition fee on your own and then it will be reimbursed after you have completed the course.
- Pay the excess amount of the tuition if in case the budget granted to you was not able to cover all expenses.
- Get high grades
- If you leave the company, you should pay back the tuition.
For some companies, they do not reimburse 100% of the tuition fee, usually, only 80% is paid.
If you are lucky enough to work for Fortune 500 companies then you will not have a hard time applying for an employer tuition assistance. Large companies are known to take care of their employers very well by giving them great benefits. So if you are planning to continue your studies then bring out that handbook, read it and consult your HR.