Paying for College

Nine Questions to Ask Before Using Employer Tuition Assistance To Help Pay For College

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If you're a current or future college student who is looking for a job, you may want to look into job openings at companies that offer to help cover the cost of your college degree. Or, if you're already employed and thinking of going back to college, it's wise to learn more about the benefits your company may offer to help employees who want to go back to school while working. Many companies offer great incentives to go back to school while working, partially because evidence shows that employees who get help paying for school are more likely to stay in their jobs or move up within a company. When researching companies' tuition reimbursement (TA) policies or educational benefits, remember that not all educational assistance benefits are equal. Before you apply for a job with a company that says it will help pay for college — or use the benefits available to you at your current job — be sure you can answer these nine questions.

9 questions to ask before using a company's tuition reimbursement or education benefits

  1. How many hours a week do you have to work to be eligible for education benefits? Are part-time employees eligible for the same amount of money as full-time employees?
  2. How much time do employees have to be employed before being eligible for money for school?
  3. What is the yearly or lifetime maximum amount that the company will pay for tuition?
  4. Are the education benefits only offered for certain schools or programs?
  5. Are books and other education expenses covered, or just tuition?
  6. Is there a requirement to stay with the company for a certain amount of time during or after your courses to receive money for school?
  7. Do you have to maintain certain grades to be eligible for tuition reimbursement?
  8. Are franchise employees eligible for education benefits?
  9. Do employees pay for tuition themselves and get reimbursed, or will the employer pay the school directly?

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