Tuition reimbursement programs can be extremely valuable employee benefits if you plan on returning to school to earn a degree. Many people choose not to return to school because the cost of a degree is high and they need to be able to earn a living while they study. Tuition reimbursement benefits that are available through respected employers help solve the problem by financially assisting employees with their mission to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree that will propel their professional careers. Learn more about how the traditional tuition reimbursement works and why they are so beneficial.

What is Tuition Reimbursement and Who Offers It?

Tuition reimbursement is one of the many employee benefits that companies offer to their staff. Unlike some other benefits that only help the employee, this program is a win-win scenario for both the employee and the employer. The employer agrees to pay for tuition fees and the cost of some or all of the employee’s books and in turn the employer will have a more educated staff member who is loyal to the company who helped them earn a formal degree.

How Much Can You Receive From Your Employer?

You might be left wondering just how much money your employer will reimburse you if you are attending an accredited degree program. The actual limit that is set by your employer depends on their own policies, but according to the IRS, a single employee is allowed to receive up to $5250 in tax-free education reimbursement each tax year. This means that the money that you receive to cover the cost of your education will not be taxed as long as the money that you receive does not go over that limit. This is definitely a perk that you should look for if you are searching for a job and you have every intention of going back to school.

What You Need to Know About Your Employer’s Program

Every program works differently, but there are considerations that you should keep in mind before you trust that your employer will cover all expenses. The range of annual limits is between $2000 and $12,000. Some companies will pay your school directly for fees and others will issue you a check for reimbursement after you start the program. Many companies will have conditions that state that you must maintain an acceptable GPA to get the reimbursement. If you fail a class or drop one, you may not be reimbursed for that class. Be sure to check if you work enough hours to receive the benefit and if you will be given a flexible schedule to attend classes. Some companies are more dedicated to helping you graduate than others.

Home Depot, Bank of America, Google, and Best Buy all have very good tuition reimbursement perks. Be sure that you compare the perks before you accept any jobs and try to build a career with the organization. Using tuition reimbursement to your advantage is like taking a raise. You can save on school costs and reduce your need for loans so that you do not build a lot of debt. Find out the terms and conditions, start reviewing colleges, and then take advantage of the tuition reimbursement programs that are available to you.

See also: College Tuition Around the World [Infographic]

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