Employers use tuition reimbursement programs to attract and retain quality employees and build a more qualified workforce. Employees can use them to build new qualifications without spending too much or going into debt.
Let’s take a closer look at tuition reimbursement, how it works, and what employers offer the best programs for employees.
What Is Tuition Reimbursement?
Tuition reimbursement is a way for employers to provide financial help to employees to help them pay for their college education.
These educational programs benefit both employers and employees:
- Employees get financial assistance to cover college expenses and reduce debt;
- Employers get skilled workers and satisfied employees.
- Employers can claim a tax credit for tuition assistance of up to $5,250 per employee per year.
🤔 Did you know: 47% of US companies enable employees to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees by offering tuition assistance.
How a Tuition Reimbursement Program Works
Some employers cover the expenses of degree programs by reimbursing college costs once the employee completes the studies and earns the degree. Others provide upfront assistance and pay the costs directly.
Some employers offer additional funds to cover associated college fees.
Employees earn their degrees and use their education to bring new skills to the job, ensure professional growth, and create new career opportunities.
☝️ Note: Most employers have some eligibility requirements. You may have to choose a degree program relevant to your job and maintain a minimum grade average.
What Funds Can Employees Expect to Get From Employers?
The amount that employees can receive from employers isn’t set in stone. There’s no maximum limit. A company’s offer for tuition reimbursements depends on factors such as HR policies, company size, and the industry.
On average, business organizations pay:
- $5,250 per year for undergraduate degrees;
- $10,500 per year for graduate degrees.
Each employer has a limit on how much college costs they will pay, what GPA employees should maintain to qualify for reimbursement, which majors or courses qualify for tuition assistance, etc.
☝️ Note: For most companies, $5,250 per employee per year is the limit. This is the tax-deductible limit according to the 2021 IRS requirements.
20+ Companies with Excellent Tuition Reimbursement Programs
Here are some prominent employers that offer tuition reimbursement programs.
Allstate allows their employees to pursue Allstate-related insurance designations, IT certification, and graduate and undergraduate employee college programs.
The company’s tuition reimbursement requirement is to agree to at least one year of employment with the company after completing the degree. The coverage includes academic fees, books, and tuition.
Allstate offers 100% education reimbursement up to $5,250 annually.
Amazon now offers full 100% tuition coverage to its hourly workers. The program includes all related college fees, books, and the cost of studies for hourly employees who have worked at the company for 90 days. Since Amazon has no reimbursement requirement, workers can receive the funds upfront.
Amazon offered a similar deal in the past that paid for 95% of the employee’s college education through a career choice program. All workers looking for associate degrees and certificates can sign up for full tuition coverage with no lifetime limit.
Apple employees can get various employer benefits, including $5,250 for an annual budget to cover tuition and education expenses.
The employer also allows employees to hone their business, software, and financial skills by attending Apple University. Employees must work full-time at Apple to qualify for the benefits.
4. Best Buy
Best Buy offers tuition reimbursement programs for graduate and undergraduate degrees. Eligible employees can receive $3,500–$5,250 annually in coverage for tuition, school fees, books, and other education expenses.
Employees must work at Best Buy full-time (at least 32 hours per week) and receive a full-time employment status in the HRIS system listing to qualify for tuition reimbursement programs.
5. Capital One
Capital One offers tuition reimbursement for up to $5,250 annually for eligible employees through its partnership with Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions. CO employees have access to more than 200 selected tuition programs and schools.
You must be a part-time or full-time employee at the company with at least 20 standard hours a week to qualify for the assistance program.
Chick-fil-A has partnered with Scholarship America to create an educational assistance program that offers its staff scholarships and tuition discounts across more than 100 universities and colleges. The Leadership Scholarship awards $1,000 or $2,500.
The condition to join the programs is to have worked for the company for 12 months prior to application, been recommended by an Operator or Manager, and have a minimum grade point average of 2.5. The true Inspiration Scholarship awards up to $25,000, with the same requirements as the previous scholarship. You’ll need to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and demonstrate financial need.
Chipotle employees can receive up to $5,250 in annual tuition assistance through the company’s partnership with Guild Education.
Employees can also qualify for 100% tuition coverage for select college prep courses, high school diplomas, and undergraduate/graduate degrees.
Assistance and coverage are available for part-time and full-time Chipotle employees. Applicants must work at least 15 hours per week for four months.
Deloitte offers full tuition coverage to graduate degree employees. The company has launched its Graduate School Assistance Program to reimburse employees for the expenses of getting graduate degrees.
Employees must have two years of employment with the company to qualify. They must also work for Deloitte for two years after earning the degree to claim the reimbursement.
Discover has initiated the College Commitment program in partnership with Guild Education. Their employees have access to three tuition assistance options:
- Up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement for bachelor’s degree programs at in-network schools;
- Up to $10,000 a year in tuition assistance for graduate degree programs.
The tuition reimbursement requirements include employment at Discover, maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.0, and US residency.
Disney employees have access to schools within the company’s Aspire network. The company offers 100% tuition reimbursement for qualifying programs in the network.
Eligibility requirements include US residency and full-time or part-time employment of at least 90 days.
11. FedEx Ground
Package handlers at FedEx Ground have access to tuition reimbursement for technical or vocational certificates and trade and college degrees. The company offers up to $ 5,250 annually to cover the expenses.
Full-time package handlers are eligible for the tuition program after 60 days of employment. Seasonal workers can’t qualify unless their employment continues.
Fidelity’s employees can get up to $10,000 in annual tuition assistance for undergraduate/graduate degree programs. The company covers 90% of qualified tuition expenses.
To qualify for the program, employees must have at least six months of service with 30 or more hours per week.
Ford offers employees up to $6,000 a year, up to $600 of which can be used for book reimbursements, through its Education Tuition Assistance Plan to cover fees for eligible doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, associate, and GED educational programs at approved institutions.
However, the programs must be related to the applicant’s position at the company. To get prepaid tuition, you must maintain active employment at Ford on the class start date and at least 90 days prior.
Geico offers tuition assistance at more than 220 educational institutions and providers to help associates with their individual courses, designations, certifications, associate degrees, master’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.
Full-time employees are eligible for annual payment plans of up to $5,250 per year on the first day of employment.
15. Herschend Enterprises
Herschend Enterprises provides their employees with 100% free tuition through the GROW U initiative. The company pays for eligible employees’ books, college fees, and tuition.
All full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees have access to the fully-funded certificate, degree, and diploma programs.
Employees can also receive up to $5,250 per year in funding for additional educational programs.
16. Home Depot
Home Depot offers technical, doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degree programs to its employees. Part-time, full-time, and salaried employees are eligible to receive up to 50% of tuition costs, including registration, books, and educational fees.
Kroger offers tuition reimbursement to its part-time and full-time employees. The company’s program allows eligible applicants to receive $3,500 annually or $21,000 in total to cover education costs.
Thanks to its partnership with Guild Education, Lowe’s offers 100% debt-free tuition assistance programs to help employees earn undergraduate degrees and certificates.
Employees can access more than 165 academic programs and receive up to $2,500 in annual payments. Any full-time or part-time employee is eligible for the program.
McDonald’s offers two tuition assistance programs for full-time and part-time staff. Full-time staff and restaurant managers are eligible for $3,000 a year in tuition assistance per year if they meet the following requirements:
- Participation in the Archways to Opportunity program;
- 30 hours of work per week;
- Good standing.
Part-time employees and restaurant crew are eligible for $2,500 in tuition reimbursement per year if their operators participate in the Archways to Opportunity program and work 15 hours per week for at least 90 days upon completion of their college education.
Microsoft employees participating in business-related coursework are eligible for up to $10,000 per year in tuition assistance. The company provides education with regionally accredited educational institutions.
21. Papa John’s
Eligible employees working at Papa John’s can get 100% free tuition for graduate and undergraduate online degree programs. The company has launched the Dough and Degrees initiative, which helps corporate managers tap into career-related educational programs.
If you are an employee at one of these companies, consider taking advantage of the benefits of tuition reimbursement programs. If you work for a different company, ask about education benefits. These are not the only employers that offer them!
If you’re looking for a job and you’re not happy with your credentials, consider applying to companies that offer tuition reimbursement. You can earn money and lay down the basis for professional advancement at the same time!