Learn about employer tuition reimbursement programsJudi Sandall, May 7, 2007
You've decided that you're ready to go back to school online. You've heard that your employer offers a tuition reimbursement plan and you're wondering how to get more information. Your manager or Human Resources (HR) representative should be able to help. Your company's Web site or employee handbook may also provide detailed information on tuition reimbursement programs. Programs vary widely among different companies, but asking your manager or HR representative the following questions may help you understand the specific details of your employer's program.
What kinds of classes or programs are covered?Tuition reimbursement programs generally apply to classes that directly affect your ability to perform your current job or that prepare you for promotion - both online and campus programs, undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and often occupational and technical training. Some reimbursement programs also cover individual courses such as Spanish, English as a Second Language, or principles of accounting that enhance your job performance and provide personal enrichment.
Are there limits to how much I can receive?Most reimbursement programs have both annual and maximum limits that vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Do I have to be a full-time employee?Some reimbursement programs require that you are a full-time employee while others expect you have been working for a specified amount of time before you can apply for the reimbursement benefit. Many programs provide this tuition benefit for all employees, regardless of their position in the company.
What happens if I receive a tuition reimbursement benefit and then leave the company?Some reimbursement programs require that you continue to work for a specific time period after you have received tuition reimbursement.
When will I receive reimbursement for my tuition?Employers generally reimburse tuition costs after you have completed the class. Some programs specify that you need to attain a "B" grade or a "Pass" in a class before they will authorize reimbursement.
By asking these questions, you should be able to understand how your employer's reimbursement tuition program can help finance your online education.
Department of Education Federal Student Aid
FAFSA on the Web