Workers Rely on Tuition Reimbursement Programs to Alleviate Education Costs

Kansas City, Kan.— The cost of receiving a college education is escalating and because the out of pocket burden of such an expense is too much for most individuals to afford, alternative sources of capital are often sought to fund educational endeavors. For adults in the workforce looking to return to school, some of that financial relief may come from their employer. The newly released Benefits USA 2011/2012 survey results found the rate at which companies are offering tuition reimbursement to all of their employees is rapidly increasing. In 2009, only 34.9 percent of employers offered tuition reimbursement to all employees. This increased to 45.3 percent in 2010, and again in 2011 to 51.7 percent.

Thirty-two percent offer reimbursement to management employees. Tuition reimbursement is offered to technical and professional employees at a rate of 31.7 percent, compared to administrative employees at 30.6 percent. Hourly employees are offered it the least, 25.8 percent.

“The National Center for Education Statistics has projected that between 2009 and 2020, enrollment of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 in post-secondary degree granting institutions will increase by 21 percent, and enrollment for adults over the age of 35 will increase by 16 percent,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading pay and benefits survey data provider. “As more working adults seek higher education to further their careers, they will be looking to their employers as a source of financial aid.”

The amount companies are willing to reimburse employees for their education varies by industry as manufacturing and distribution companies average a reimbursement maximum of $4,689 per year. Utilities employees may receive reimbursement up to $4,227, while companies in banking and finance reimburse employees an average $3,869 each year. Healthcare organizations offer $3,104 annually for reimbursement, while those in hospitality offer the lowest reimbursement maximum, $2,757.

Sixty-five percent of organizations impose work requirements on employees receiving tuition reimbursement. On average, employees are required to work 15 months, post-reimbursement. In addition, nearly 87 percent of employers have course requirements which must be met in order to be reimbursed for education.

About the Survey
Benefits USA 2011/2012 analyzes national and regional data on benefits eligibility and administration policies with detailed information on benefit plans, premiums and provisions. Information was collected from nearly 4,500 benefit plans covering over six million employees across the country.

Compdata Surveys is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of U.S. organizations provide data each year ensuring the reliability of our results. Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988. For further information about their compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570.


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