The cost of pursuing a primary or secondary college degree is constantly on the rise. But this cost could be reduced if your company offers tuition assistance or reimbursement.
However, not all tuition reimbursement programs are equal.
If you are advancing your education while also working, check with your employer to see what they may offer. If they do, you don’t want to miss out on this benefit that many companies choose to offer as a way to invest in their talent!
KNOW WHAT IS OFFERED AND REQUIRED
Talk to your employer about what their program entails. Some companies offer upfront costs, while others may reimburse employees for education expenses after coursework is completed. Know what the cap is, too. Many companies cap their assistance at $5,250 per employee per year, since this is the amount that the IRS allows employers to deduct.
Ask your employer why types of education programs are eligible and what information you need to qualify. Your employer might also limit the type of degree for which you can receive tuition reimbursement. For example, if you work in accounting, they might require you to earn a related degree.
Be aware of other specific company requirements. For example, some companies require employees to remain employed with them for a certain amount of time after receiving tuition assistance. If you leave for a new job before this time period, you might have to pay back all or part of the amount you received, depending on the company’s policy.
Your employer might also require you to maintain a certain grade-point average while earning your degree. An example would be an employer only reimbursing you 50 percent of your education costs if you receive a “C” average, but 100 percent of costs if you maintain A’s.
WEIGHING THE INVESTMENT
Be mindful that tuition reimbursement or assistance can help with a portion of the cost of education, but not the entire investment. If you feel that going back to school is the right decision for you, Ameris can help you understand the costs and budget for this investment in your future. Contact us today to learn more.
Revised November 2022