Part II: Employee Tuition Reimbursement – Evaluation Criteria

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How to evaluate tuition reimbursement programs: What to watch for

That employers benefit significantly by offering education programs should not dissuade employees from participating. Mostly, circumstances are mutually beneficial and positively affect all parties involved. Nonetheless, there are a few things to keep an eye on when evaluating tuition reimbursement and education programs that employers offer.

Tuition Reimbursement

Limited Options

Sometimes the course and institution options available to employees are limited. Employees can only enroll in certain schools or universities and choose from only a short list of courses for which they will be reimbursed. This can occur especially if your company works with education institutions that have offered (sometimes steep) discounts to increase enrollment. This is not always negative, but can become a problem if the quality of instruction is poor or the type of degree available does not match your needs or interests.

Make sure your potential employer offers the type of degree you need, either now or in the future. Maybe you are looking to complete your high school degree so you can attend college or are interested in a trade or technical degree that you can immediately apply to your job. Make sure you know your options.

For quality control, do your research. Take a look at reputation (for both the school and the company), the course syllabus and even try to connect with current or former students. This should help tell you more about the quality before you pursue a degree.

Requirements & Conditions

Make sure you fully understand all conditions tied to participating in an education program. For example, will participating require you to stay with your current company for a certain amount of time? Do you need to maintain a certain GPA to have continued eligibility in the program? Sometimes, the total reimbursement changes depending on your grade or evaluation. For example, those with As receive full tuition, while those with Bs receive 75% and so on. Check these conditions up front so you understand all the details before committing.


Understand which money is taxable and which is not. The federal government can cap certain funding programs, which means that after you have reached a certain threshold, you will have to pay taxes on the remaining tuition aid. Again, sometimes this arrangement is still preferable to paying for education independent of any organization, perhaps with higher loans or without any help, but it’s best to understand the nuances, especially if your spouse partakes, as well.

Start your research today at JobsInOneHour! Don’t miss part I of this article which explains the basics of employee education programs.

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