Paying for college can be challenging. When considering your options, most often, you may think of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Although these are the most common (and often stated) means, they aren’t the only ones. If you’re currently employed, you may be able to receive assistance through your employer’s tuition reimbursement/tuition assistance/educational assistance plan.
Tuition reimbursement is your company’s investment in your continued professional growth and development. By allowing for reimbursement of tuition-related expenses, this company benefit can reduce your total out-of-pocket costs.
So how do you find out if your company offers this benefit? And if so, how do you determine if you are eligible? Review your employee handbook, search your company’s Human Resources website or contact the Human Resources department directly. If a reimbursement/assistance program exists, you’ll want to know the following:
- What amount is reimbursed? Is it a percentage? Is it tuition only? Is there a maximum amount?
- Do you have to be admitted to a program or can you take individual courses?
- Is any course allowed or does it have to be work-related?
- To be reimbursed, do you have to achieve a certain grade?
- When is reimbursement made - at registration or successful completion of the course?
- What documentation is required from you? Proof of registration? Final grades? Official transcript?
- If you leave the company within a certain time-frame (either during the course or after completion of the course), is repayment required?
Do your homework beforehand. Take advantage of the assistance benefit if available; but be sure you understand all of the requirements needed to fully achieve the benefit.
By: Trina Gabriel