Tuition Reimbursement and the Job

With the high cost of a college education, many employees are seeking the company or corporation that offers to pay for college tuition.  In actuality, there are only a few corporations and companies that offer this type of assistance.  If you are employed by a large corporation that involves your field of study and it relates to a current or future position in the company, it might be worth asking.  These programs are usually administered through the human resources department or are a part of the employee benefits package. The TAP (Tuition Assistance Programs) can provide the opportunity to integrate desirable educational credentials with future career plans.

It is crucial to understand guidelines and restrictions associated with TAP programs.  Often, tuition may only cover courses in the core curriculum, and then only certain majors. If a student wants to take courses outside of the curriculum, they may be required to come up with the proof that these classes were required with the major being pursued. . Additionally, if an employee discontinues the class, they may have to immediately repay the money to the employer while waiting for a refund from the university, if they are to receive a refund at all. Employers also differ in that some only provide benefits for graduate-level study. Be certain the benefits offered will cover all courses leading to the desired degree, and not courses leading to a certificate. Such courses often will not transfer into a four-year program as they are specialized or skill-based and don’t satisfy the broader academic requirements.

Companies might require that the student maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) to continue receiving the program benefits. The GPA could have an impact on the amount of tuition the employer will reimburse. Often the student pays the initial tuition and then is later reimbursed after successful completion of the courses.

Students do not need to complete a full degree program to take advantage of company reimbursement plans. Often they can arrange to take just a few courses for professional development; i.e., some companies will pay for training in Information Technology or other needed skills. Tuition reimbursement programs benefit both the employee and the employer. Investigate the opportunities your company offers.  It never hurts to seek opportunities that offset college loans and allow you to improve your marketability. It is an investment to your future.

Source: Will Your Employer Pay Your Tuition?” Will Your Employer Pay Your Tuition? Web. 11 Nov. 2012.

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