There are several different ways to pay for graduate school tuition and asking your employer to assist you with the cost to advance your education may be an option. Before you apply for a Federal loan or a high interest private loan, it is important to look at the alternatives to see if you can qualify for free money that you can use to pursue a graduate degree. Free money is money that you receive in the form of financial assistance, a scholarship or a employee benefit that is part of a tuition reimbursement program. If you would like to find out if the company that you work for will assist you in covering your educational costs, read on.
Does Your Company Have a Tuition Reimbursement Program?
Not all employers are dedicated to offering valuable employee benefits. The very first thing you must do when you are budgeting for grad school is review your compensation package. In this package, you can see if you have special benefits that you can use when you plan on returning to school. Most Fortune 500 employers have some form of reimbursement program that will pay for tuition fees when you are attending a formal and accredited degree program, or in some cases a vocational program. If you are actively job seeking and searching for the best employers, you may want to review a list of companies that will help you pay for tuition before you stay applying.
Are there Restrictions or Limitations?
You will really need to review the terms and conditions of the assistance before you apply for reimbursement. Some employers have more restrictions or fee limits than others. It is common for employers to reimburse between $3000 and $5000 for job-related courses that will lead to a certificate or a degree. Some companies may have a total limit or a per unit limit. If you are going to attend graduate school, make sure that this is an option. It is possible that limitations will apply only to undergraduate courses that will lead to immediate career growth.
If you would like to major in a field that may not be directly related to your job title, it is possible that your employer will not cover the costs. If you can explain how you will apply what you learn to work for the company in another role it is possible that the fees will be covered.
Why Find a Company That Will Pay for Your Grad School?
There is a lot more to finding the right job than earning a high salary. You should also look for employers that want their employees to succeed and to advance their careers. Employers that pay for tuition are dedicated to expanding their organization's intellectual capacity. Not only do these companies get the benefit of a tax write-off, they typically have higher employee retention and satisfaction ratings. If you want to find a place where you can build a career, finding a company with this benefit is critical.
You may be able to qualify for Federal financial aide and also for some performance scholarships to pay for school. With all of the aide and assistance that you can receive through your employer to pay for graduate school tuition, you may not have to dig yourself into debt to get an advanced degree.