Employers can help degree seekers pay for college

Students might be able to use a tuition assistance program in order to earn a college degree.
Students might be able to use a tuition assistance program in order to earn a college degree.

People who are thinking about earning a college degree but are not sure if they can manage the cost may benefit from speaking to their employers. Surveys show that many companies offer professionals tuition assistance programs.

According to a 2011 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, about 58 percent of employers offer some kind of undergraduate education assistance, while about 54 percent provide similar programs at the graduate level.

The exact amount that employers will pay for a worker's tuition depends on the company, but the survey shows that many businesses pay a maximum of $4,500, on average.

These programs can benefit both employers and employees. While workers gain the opportunity to pursue higher learning and earn a valuable college degree, companies are enhancing the knowledge of their employees and creating a more skilled workforce. Additionally, many managers believe that by offering tuition assistance, they are fostering loyalty and appreciation in their employees.

In order to receive this benefit, it is recommended that employees do a little research, as most companies do not directly announce that they provide tuition assistance. Professionals should begin this process by browsing their employer's intranet website or handbook. These sources may have a section that specifically mentions tuition reimbursement.

Another source employees should use is the human resource professionals within their company. These individuals may know if the business offers tuition assistance programs and can provide the specifics of these incentives if they are provided.

Still, the most direct approach is for employees to ask their bosses. Although this may make some professionals feel uneasy, managers typically have the most knowledge on tuition reimbursement and may also be willing to create a similar program if one does not already exist.