Would a Company Really Pay Your Tuition? Many companies offer these programs to stabilize their workforce and keep them happy. In fact, you’ll even find some places, notably colleges and universities, will offer the benefit to not just the employee but to the whole family.
And once you understand the reasons, this benefit makes more sense. For instance, most employees don’t use it. Second, if you use it, you usually obligate yourself to stay with the company or pay back the tuition. And also by using the benefit and staying for school and to finish your obligation, the company expects to reduce turnover and the costs of training a new employee, advertising, and so on.
The Rules of Tuition Assistance Programs
Also, understanding the rules of how the benefit works makes it easier to understand as well. Basically, employees who have been with a company from 6 months to two years can get tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement for college degrees. To qualify, you have to be an employee in good standing, and you may need approval from higher ups. At some organizations, you have to major in a subject that relates to your work, but more and more let you study what you want. And of course, the college has to accept you as a student like anybody else taking classes there.
Then, after you are in the program, you either pay for school and the company reimburses you some or all of your tuition, or the company may just send the school a check for part of your tuition. To keep the benefit, you usually have to show that you get good grades. And most companies have an annual cap to what the benefit will pay in tuition at school, like $2500 per year. Also, companies may limit how long you can be in the program or limit you to 1 degree.
Where to Find Companies with Great Benefits
Large national chains usually have this benefit, such as hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. As competition heats up in any field, companies that want a stable happy workforce add this benefit to help keep their workers happy and lower turnover. They know that many of their employees go to school to get a better job later, and they want to maximize how long you stay.
Also, if you stay for four or five years and finish your degree, you might just be a manager and decide to stay with them for much longer. By avoiding replacing you, the company saves money, and as you do your job better, they give their customers better service, so you both have a reason for the program.
A Top Notch List of Companies
You can find a great list of top notch companies to look at, most with great tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance programs, in the Fortune Top 100 employers list. Fortune makes up this list each year, and breaks down the companies listed into groups such as best benefits, best pay, size, states with locations, best for minorities, best bonus and more.
You can find the list at money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune, or just ask google or Yahoo or another search engine for the Fortune top 100 places to work. In addition, you should also think about another group that likely won’t ever make that list but offers great tuition assistance, and may be closer to you.
The group: universities, colleges, and related companies, like those owned by a university or college, or in some cases, a good school district. Universities and colleges have perfect access to the classes you want, and they know they have empty seats. Just like an airline that lets employees and even their families fly for free or nearly free, a university usually gives employees a great opportunity to go to school.
You will have to get a full time position to have this benefit, but almost all companies require that anyway. Keep looking, and enjoy your tuition assistance!