Even as tuition rates continue to escalate, the number of working adults re-entering the classroom to earn college degrees is on the rise. Many employers in the United States have picked up on this trend and 56 per cent are offering tuition reimbursement to employees, found a survey by Compdata.
This is up from 34.9 per cent in 2009.
“Enrolment rates are expected to continue rising, and companies offering tuition reimbursement to their employees are putting themselves in a competitive position,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys. “Not only are employers creating a stronger workforce, but they are arming themselves with a valuable tool in employee retention, as reimbursement benefits are becoming increasingly important to their employees.”
The amount employers subsidize for their employees’ education varies by industry. Manufacturing and distribution employers report an annual reimbursement maximum of US$4,660, found Benefits USA 2012/2013, which collected data from 4,600 benefits plans.
The average annual maximum reimbursement in insurance is US$4,263, compared to US$3,875 in banking and finance. Health-care employers reported the lowest maximum reimbursement amount, US$3,045. Twenty-five per cent of all organizations surveyed report placing no limit on the amount an employee may be reimbursed for their tuition.
In most organizations, employees must meet work or grade requirements to qualify for tuition reimbursement. Sixty-one per cent of employers report requiring employees work for them an average of 16 months after being reimbursed for tuition costs. Course and grade requirements are utilized by 86.8 per cent and 91.8 per cent of employers, respectively.
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