Tuition reimbursement programs are benefits that an employer provides his or her employees. Using this model, when an employee pursues continued education through specific institutions or organizations, a percentage of their educational costs are refunded by the employer. Although some businesses provide full tuition reimbursement, many offer between 50% and 75% of the costs of education. Following are tips on how you can implement a tuition reimbursement program for your employees.
Implementing a Tuition Reimbursement Program: Allocate Funds
Tuition reimbursement programs are not cheap, especially if the majority of your employees take advantage of the program. Before advertising that you are offering such benefits, you must make sure you have allocated the proper monetary resources to fund your endeavor. If you attempt to offer tuition reimbursement and then find that you don’t have enough money to keep it going, you’ll lose the faith of your employees and could be liable for legal damages.
Implementing a Tuition Reimbursement Program: Decide What Costs You’ll Reimburse
One of the first things you must decide is what costs you will agree to reimburse. For example, are books and supplies covered in your program? What about vocational school? Technical school? This will depend largely on your type of business. For example, if your business is mainly technical, you might decide to only reimburse classes that are taken at a technical trade school. Other businesses might decide to promote only classes taken at an academic college or university.
Implementing a Tuition Reimbursement Program: Decide on a Schedule for Reimbursement
Your second obstacle is to decide on a schedule of reimbursement; that is, what percentage of the educational costs you will cover and when those costs will be paid. For example, some businesses have offered a progressive schedule for reimbursement. They might offer 80% of costs for students who receive an “A”; 60% for students who receive a “B”; and 40% for students who receive a “C”. This allows you to monitor your employees’ performance in their classes. You should also set a time limit on when and how tuition can be reimbursed. For example, you could say that you will reimburse educational costs within two months after an employee finishes a course. This allows you to collect the necessary paperwork.
Implementing a Tuition Reimbursement Program: Decide Which Classes are Eligible
In most cases, it is not enough to specify the type of school your employees can attend for the reimbursement program. You should also specify the types of classes which are eligible. Most companies only reimburse employees for classes that will enhance their knowledge of their trade. For example, if you own a veterinary clinic, you might only reimburse employees for classes taken in veterinary medicine or business management.
Implementing a Tuition Reimbursement Program: Decide on a Policy for Time Management
Offering a tuition reimbursement program means that you are encouraging your employees to pursue continued education. To that end, you will have to have a policy for helping your employees to manage their time. They will have to have room in their schedules for classes and studying, so how will you facilitate that need? For example, if employees submit a schedule at the beginning of classes, will you honor their requests?