How To Ask For Employer Tuition Reimbursement

With about 92% of companies offering some type of educational benefit program, tuition reimbursement is a benefit that you might see companies offering more today than in the past. When you see that as part of a benefits package, it means that your employer is willing to cover some or all of the cost for you to achieve your educational goals or keep up with the skills you’ve already got.

Employer Benefits

Why would companies offer this? Well, for one, research has found that when an organization provides tuition reimbursement, they tend to find top talent and have an easier time keeping them, too. Additionally, educating employees benefits companies because it’s generally easier and less expensive to invest in new skills for current employees than to hire someone new. 

Employee Benefits

That’s the benefit to the employer; what about the benefits to employees? First of all, expanding your knowledge is going to help you in your current role, but it’s also a boon to whatever future endeavors you’re aiming for. There is nothing wrong with using the benefits your current company offers in order to earn a promotion, make a lateral move, or find a role in another company that’s a better fit for you. If tuition reimbursement is considered a part of your benefits package, you are allowed to use it just like you do your health insurance: Benefit from it!

Another amazing benefit of tuition assistance or reimbursement is to brush up on skills that have changed over time. If your field – take for example IT – has expanded and changed since you started, even just a few years ago, then taking a certificate course or a few courses to find out what’s new will help you stay relevant and up to date on current trends. New learning can also light a fire in you so that you remember why you started on your career path in the first place.

How To Use Your Tuition Reimbursement

Before you use your tuition reimbursement, check your employee handbook to make sure that you understand all the details and are clear about any requirements that tag along with the benefit. Some companies require that you stay employed with them for “x” number of months after taking advantage of this benefit. Others require that you only take coursework or certificate work that aligns with the company’s specific goals for you and your role. You want to be sure that you’re in full compliance with these expectations; otherwise, you could end up footing the bill yourself.

Next, look for a tuition reimbursement application or form wherever your company stores employee documents. This could be a central online file, a link on a website, or maybe even a physical place in the HR office. If you can’t find the form or have questions about the process, you should definitely touch base with HR. They should be able to walk you through the process and answer any questions you have about the specific requirements to ensure that you fully understand the implications of accepting the tuition reimbursement. However, you will definitely need to know what school you’ll be taking courses through; the name of the program, course, or certificate; and the total cost of the program.

Be Tax Aware

Because taxes are a serious business, and you certainly deserve to know the exact IRS implications, here is what the Internal Revenue Service says about Employer-provided educational assistance: 

“If you receive educational assistance benefits from your employer under an educational assistance program, you can exclude up to $5,250 of those benefits each year. This means your employer should not include the benefits with your wages, tips, and other compensation shown in box 1 of your Form W-2…. If your employer pays more than $5,250 for educational benefits for you during the year, you must generally pay tax on the amount over $5,250. Your employer should include in your wages (Form W-2, box 1) the amount that you must include in income.”

Keep this in mind as you decide what line of coursework you want to pursue to boost your resumé, invest in your future, and remind yourself about why you love the field you’re working in. 

About Washington Technical Institute

Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so, which makes them ideal for professional development or employee tuition reimbursement programs. 

An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Our admissions specialists will be happy answer whatever questions you have.

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Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning