How to Get Your Company to Pay for College

If your company doesn't offer tuition reimbursement, find another way.

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Andrew G.R.
It's early in the new year, and that means that well-intentioned, business-minded folks will be looking to better themselves. One way that is accomplished is by continuing education.

My employer offers a pretty generous benefits package, but unfortunately, tuition reimbursement is not among the perks. I've been thinking about how to approach management to make a case for myself. Here's what I have so far. Any other ideas?

Ways to lobby for tuition reimbursement:

  • Outline how the advanced degree will benefit the company in your current role (and where you may end up). At the very least, this will put your ambitions within the organization on the table.
  • Reinforce your commitment to the employer. Share examples of how this increased training will help you stay on top of the latest trends.
  • Show how the competition has employees with this level of education and how it offers a reimbursement benefit. In this day and age—when you can find anyone on the Web—getting this information is not as difficult as it sounds.
  • Have your paperwork in order, and do your research on the program so you are ready to answer any and all questions. Make it easy for your employer to say "Yes," difficult to say "No."
  • If you get the runaround or are rejected, ask when you can broach the subject again. Show that you are committed and that you won't simply go away. (So many bosses I've run across just want to "send you away" as quickly as possible.)
  • Don't circumvent your boss, but do have conversations with HR and upper management about your desire to further your education. These can be casual in nature and could lay the groundwork for when your boss approaches them on your behalf.
  • If possible, try to negotiate tuition reimbursement before you get hired.

    Here are a few other ideas to persuade your employer to pay for an online degree. Anything you'd like to add?

    After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouragednot only about his own career but also about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.