Talking with your Boss about Tuition Assistance

“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.“ - Henry L. Doherty

According to the Society for Human Resources Management 2003 Benefits Survey, 79% of employers provide educational assistance to employees taking college classes. Although the numbers show most companies help pay for education, what do you do if you’re employer isn’t among the majority?, the leading resource for connecting distance learners with online education, in its recently released “Guide to Online Education” has developed actionable steps to help you through a conversation with your company about tuition assistance. These tips include:

1. Do your research.
If the company is doing well, and you can show how you have contributed to its success, your boss will likely be more open to discussing your request. Also, it will help you put into context the added value you can bring to the organization, if you pursue your education.

2. Have a plan in place.
Know which school you wish to attend; the major, or area of continuing education, you wish to pursue; the exact cost; and the length of time you estimate it will take to complete your degree. To avoid concern about the possible distraction school will be from your “day job”, look into flexible delivery models such as online learning. Additionally, most companies that provide tuition assistance only support those programs that are from accredited institutions. So, in your research you may want to consider including that element in your filters. has over online degree programs to choose from, each from an accredited online University.

3. Make an appointment with your boss.

Start the discussion with your immediate supervisor. It is always helpful to have them on your side as a passionate champion of your professional development as you move up the chain of command or address tuition assistance with the human resource department.

4. Provide a deliverable.
A great approach is a memo-format document. Include the length of time you have worked at the company, your contributions, your responsibilities and how this expenditure would benefit the company.

5. Communicate your commitment to the company.
Make your enthusiasm for the company known, indicate that you wish to stay, and assure your boss your education will not interfere with your duties.

If your company does not currently offer tuition assistance, these steps will be a bit more challenging. However, if you succeed, you have established a path to success for yourself, and set a precedent for other employees.

If your company does provide a tuition reimbursement program, use it. Tuition assistance is part of your compensation. Using it will give you the education you need to advance your career and achieve greater success.

To request free information from over 150 accredited universities online and get started today, visit

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