There are many benefits that employees look for in employers, including 401(k) plans, paid time off, sick leave, remote and alternative work arrangement options, maternity leave, and health insurance. One underrated benefit is tuition assistance. This can help not only the employee further their education, but also benefits you as the employer in encouraging continued education, building skills that can transfer to the workplace, and increase employee retention.
How it Works
Companies take different approaches to implementing tuition assistance programs. JetBlue and Fiat Chrysler partnered with universities that offer online courses at a low to no-cost fee for the employees seeking further education.
Some factors you might want to consider before implementing a tuition assistance program is deciding if you want to require employees to attend a specific college or education provider or provide specific employment requirements, such as basing assistance off of tenure with the company, providing documentation and requiring approval of coursework desired, and/or allotting a maximum amount of funds, credits, or coursework per year per employee.
Other considerations you might want to review are policies around termination or voluntary resignation of an employee enrolled in a course, action for employees who fail or drop a course, what level(s) of education you will provide assistance for, and how and when you will reimburse tuition costs. Some companies will reimburse mileage, books, or other similar expenses.
Perks to Tuition Assistance
Tuition assistance can provide incentives both for improved work-related skill-building and education, as well as for employees to remain with your company. Instead of leaving a company, employees may instead transfer to a different department within the company. Tuition assistance programs can offer an opportunity for employees to increase their skillset and transfer to a department that better suits their career ambitions.
Implementing a tuition assistance program can build employees’ skillsets, which in return can benefit your company in increased internal promotions, employee loyalty, and discovering hidden talent within your business. For example, Cigna’s tuition reimbursement program saw a 10% increase in promotions and an 8% increase in employee retention.
Tuition assistance and reimbursement programs are tax-deductible. Capped at $5,250 per employee, you can offset your expenses through tax deductions. This can provide an invaluable return on investment and assist with decreased employee turnover rates.
Whether you already have a tuition assistance program or looking to incorporate one, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to ensure it is the right path for your business. If you would like to explore your options for tuition assistance programs or simply looking for more employee benefits to offer, AccessPoint can help. We offer a full suite of benefits customized to your business needs. Contact AccessPoint today to see how we can assist you with your benefits needs.