Pay for Your Education
Have you ever wanted to go back to school, but did not think you had the time or money? With the flexibility of a distance learning degree program, time is no longer a factor. However, for those individuals who would like to increase their pay wage, money may still be an issue. The good news is, today, many businesses are helping professionals pay more than their bills. Now is the time to discover how you can persuade your employer to pay for your online education.
First of all, your company may already have what is called a tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement program. A tuition assistance/reimbursement program allows you to take classes while your company pays for it. You should take a trip to the human resources (HR) department to learn more about the programs your company offers. In case the company does not have a program in place, don’t fret. All you have to do is a little research and planning. Then you can go to your employer and suggest a personal tuition reimbursement/assistance program.
The first step in talking to your employer about paying for your online education is to plan. Go online and figure out what degree program or set of online courses appeals to you. Be sure you look at when the courses are available and what skills they will help you to develop. Your boss will take you seriously if you can answer his/her questions about the courses or the degree program you want the company to invest in.
The second step is to list all the ways that your degree or set of courses will benefit the company. Reasons, like “it will save the company money in the long-run” or “it will give the company a more professional image,” will be likely to persuade your boss to put money into your education. Keep in mind that while you may want a degree in art, it would be more beneficial to the company for you to earn your MBA. Your employer is not likely to pay for courses or a degree that would not directly benefit the company.
The next step is to think of solutions for every possible concern your boss might have. For example, if you think your employer is worried about the classes taking you away from your job, you would explain the flexibility and versatility of online learning. You could also reassure your boss that you will be studying in your free time and it will, in no way, negatively affect your ability to do your job. In fact, the skills you learn through online learning will improve your ability to do your work.
Finally, it is time to set up an appointment with your employer to discuss tuition assistance/reimbursement. You should practice your presentation beforehand and bring your lists of facts along to supplement your case. Do not be discouraged if you are turned down. Leave the information with your boss and try again in a few months’ time. Any new idea will take some getting used to.
If your employer approves of tuition assistance/reimbursement for you, be prepared for some stipulations. Different companies may ask for different things when it comes to paying for your education. For example, you may be asked to choose from a list of colleges/universities, enroll in a job-related degree program or set of courses, pay the tuition yourself and be reimbursed later, earn a “C” or better in your courses, or even pay back the tuition costs if you leave the company. In addition, if you are going to be reimbursed after you pay the cost, some companies will only pay up to 80% of your tuition or pay a certain amount depending on the grades you earn.
Keep all of these things in mind, but do not let it deter your education any longer. Even being reimbursed for 80% of your degree is better than having to pay it all and knowing your boss supports you will encourage you as you are studying to be a better employee.