While the majority of students depend on federal financial aid and scholarships to cover the rising costs of enrolling in higher education, working students should also consider having their employer pay for college as well. As one of the benefits that is excluded from income and tax-free up to the amount of $5,250, employer tuition reimbursement is offered through many corporations for both full and part-time employees, especially those pursuing a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Unlike federal financial aid that accumulates into student loan debt, employer tuition assistance does not need to be repaid and can help cover all or part of your academic costs. If you are struggling to afford the hefty price tag of college, read on to learn more about how you can receive tuition assistance from an employer.
Benefits of Your Employer Paying for College
Employer tuition reimbursement programs are benefits that are a win-win for every party involved in the workplace. For employers, these tuition assistance programs help to build stronger loyalty and longevity among their workforce to ensure high retention rates of qualified employees on their payroll. On the flip side, employee tuition assistance enables students to go to college to further their knowledge and skills while still maintaining employment. In addition to tuition costs, some employers will also provide the funding needed to cover additional expenses for fees, lab supplies and textbooks. Since employers know that having a solid education is the major key towards succeeding in a job, thousands of companies worldwide offer tuition assistance programs.
Common Requirements for Employer Tuition Assistance
Most companies that offer tuition reimbursement programs have established strict guidelines. For instance, the majority of corporations will require that all employees stay with their organization for a minimum of one year for each year of financial support. While some companies may be willing to pay for an entire degree program, others are more likely to only pay for job-related major coursework. If students decide to discontinue a certain course or find other employment, some companies will expect immediate repayment of the money given. Therefore, it is highly important that all employees read over contracts for employer tuition assistance with a close eye to avoid any costly surprises in the future.
How to Inquire about Tuition Assistance from Your Employer
For companies that have already established employer tuition reimbursement programs or any other partnerships with your college, you should make a trip to your human resources department to learn more about what is available for you. However, if your employer has not created a tuition assistance program, you will need to do some convincing to receive funding. It is recommended that you ask for a meeting to discuss your plans for attending college and detail all of the benefits earning a degree will bring to the workplace. Be sure to mention any new skills that will make you more effective and advanced knowledge that will qualify you for additional assignments to win over your employer.
Overall, as the cost of earning a college degree continues to increase nationwide, students will need to become more creative in finding more ways to afford the expenses. Since the best method to paying for you education is having financial support from someone else, you should seek out any tuition assistance programs offered by your employer. Having your employer pay for college may take some extra work, but it will be definitely worth it to avoid costly debt.