Recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best employees is critical to every company’s success. To reach this goal, employers must be creative in how they entice prospective employees to choose and then stay with them as opposed to competitors. One creative way to recruit and retain employees is by providing tuition reimbursement.
With the increasing cost of post-high school education, prospective employees are more aware than ever of their financial obligations, and having employers help carry the burden help alleviate that stress. However, as with any benefit a company provides, a thought out and implemented tuition reimbursement policy is essential. Below we provide an tuition reimbursement policy sample employers can use as a template to craft their own company-specific policy.
Because we value the professional and personal development of our employees, the company has adopted the following policy pertaining to reimbursement for certain educational expenses.
Tuition Reimbursement Eligibility
Under this tuition reimbursement policy, educational assistance is provided to:
- All full-time employees;
- Who have worked here for six months without interruption before enrolling in a course/courses that are included in a degree program;
- And who are on the payroll upon completion of the course.
However, educational assistance will not or will no longer be provided to any qualified employee who:
- Has received a formal warning within three months prior to seeking approval; or
- Has received a formal warning at any time after approval has been granted and before the course is completed.
Employees who want to take advantage of this program must make a formal request for educational assistance by completing applicable paperwork provided by the Human Resources Department. This must be done before starting any coursework for which he or she wants to be reimbursed.
The appropriate manager/supervisor/department head must authorize any reimbursement, and reimbursement is only permitted for approved degree programs. Reimbursement is also contingent upon the successful completion of the approved course/courses.
Employees must complete any approved coursework on their own time. If that is not possible, accommodations may be made (in our sole discretion), as long as there is no substantial disruption in the routine operations of the employing department.
Approved degree programs and coursework
Approved degree programs and coursework are defined as: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree programs that are business or job related.
Reimbursement will be provided for any required or elective course that is related to an employee’s work; or that leads to a business-related or job-related degree. Within this context, the company reserves the exclusive right to decide whether a degree program or course is business or job related.
The company will provide reimbursement for tuition, including required course fees, for all passing grades up to (a specified maximum) per year for undergraduate studies and (a specified maximum) per year for graduate and post-graduate studies.
The company will reimburse the employee directly or render payment to the college/university as long as the employee/student earns the minimum passing grade or better.
For the purposes of this policy, a passing grade is defined as an “A,” “B,” or “C” for undergraduate classes, and at least a “B” for graduate classes. If the course is a “Pass/Fail,” a “Pass” is acceptable.
For the purposes of this policy, the company will also recognize the numerical equivalents of a letter grade instead of a letter grade. However, the company will only do so as long as the college/university provides official verification verifying that a numerical grade is equivalent to a letter grade.
The company will not provide any reimbursement if an employee withdraws from an approved course or if the approved course is canceled. Furthermore, the employee must promptly inform the appropriate manager/supervisor/department head and Human Resources if they withdraw from an approved course or if the course is canceled.
If the employee receives an incomplete in a course, the employee will have until the end of the following semester to remedy the matter by meeting any and all requirements. Failure to do so will preclude the employee from participating in the tuition reimbursement plan and he or she must repay the company for any advance payments received.
Application for approval
To secure approval for the educational assistance provided per this policy, the employee must complete and return the applicable form to the Human Resources Department. Provided the course is approved, this form will also serve as a request for payment form upon successful completion of the course.
How to request reimbursement
Upon successful completion of an approved course, the employee should submit a copy of the applicable form to the Human Resources Department. The employee should also provide an official transcript of grades received and proof of payment. Examples of the latter include either a bursar’s receipt or a copy of a canceled check (front and back).
Professional training and development
From time to time, it may be necessary for one or more employees to take work-related training courses that are separate from a degree program. Because this benefits both the employee/employees and the company, the company will provide reimbursement for certain expenses as set forth below.
- The recipient(s) must work at the company.
- Training may occur any time, even during the probationary period.
- The employee(s) must have prior written approval from their supervisor/manager/department head.
- The employee(s) must be required to attend classes and seminars paid for by the company.
Reimbursement will be provided for
- Any tuition and/or applicable registration fees.
- Books and supplies.
- Any applicable travel mileage.