Tuition assistance is an employer-provided employee benefit that is a win-win for your workplace. In a tuition assistance program, an employer pays all or part of an employee's cost to attend college or university classes. Tuition assistance helps employers build employee loyalty and longevity. Tuition assistance is an employee retention tool.
Tuition assistance enables employees to continue to expand their knowledge and skills while working. Employee continuing development is definitely a plus for the employer, too. Consequently, many employers, who offer a tuition assistance program, pay the full cost of the employee's tuition, lab fees, and books.
In most cases, employers cap the amount of tuition assistance available for employees. Employers either set a limit in terms of dollars available per employee per year or they establish the number of classes they will pay for per year per employee through tuition assistance.
When tuition assistance is available, the most common method for administering the program is to require employees to pay for their own tuition and books when they register for classes. The employee is then reimbursed when he or she submits the receipts and evidence of earning a "C" or above grade upon completion of the class. Employees most frequently turn in copies of their transcript to receive their tuition assistance payment.
Tuition assistance programs almost always require that the employee submit a passing grade of "C" or better to ensure that the employee is spending the employer's money wisely.
Tuition Assistance Pay Back
In some cases, where extensive funds are spent on tuition assistance, the employer requires that the employee sign an agreement to pay back the tuition assistance if he or she leaves the organization within a certain period of time. In these cases, the employer forgives a percentage of the tuition assistance for every year the employee stays with your organization following the utilization of the tuition assistance.
For example, companies have promised tuition assistance to cover the cost of a long term, valued employee's MBA. Tuition assistance is often negotiated in an employment contract; in an effort to attract hard-to-find talent, this tuition assistance may be above and beyond what other employees receive in tuition assistance in the same organization.
Tuition assistance makes sense for employers because you enable your employees to continue to grow and develop their knowledge. Your employees stay in the practice of learning and university attendance fosters an environment at work that supports employee learning.