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How to Convince Your Employer to Reimburse Tuition for Your Degree Program

When employers help employees earn a degree, everyone can benefit.

As many as 61% of U.S. employers provide some form of tuition reimbursement for their employees’ continuing education, including many of the nation’s largest employers.* But that means two-fifths of businesses don’t help employees pay for postsecondary education. If you work for such an employer, here are some ways you can convince them that when they help you earn a degree, everyone can benefit.

It Can Create a More Skilled Workforce

Higher education can help people build critical thinking and career-specific skills. And those skills make people with a college degree significantly more valuable to companies than people without a degree—which is why people with a college degree earn more and why that pay gap continues to increase.† Any organization that needs a skilled workforce can help improve its chances of success by providing funds for employees who want to earn a degree.

However, companies shouldn’t just focus on bachelor’s degrees. Only 11% of business leaders strongly agree that postsecondary schools are graduating students with the skills and competencies businesses need.‡ By helping employees who already hold a bachelor’s degree earn a master’s or doctoral degree in business-appropriate fields, companies can help tailor the skills of their workforce to their specific needs. A number of graduate certificate programs are also available, and provide a great way to quickly learn a new set of skills or earn a new credential.

It Can Be an Investment With Strong ROI

While some businesses may worry that paying for employees to earn a degree or graduate certificate will lead to those employees continuing their careers elsewhere, research suggests otherwise. A recent study of Cigna Corporation found that for every dollar the company put into its education reimbursement program, the company gained $1.29 in savings, which is a 129% return-on-investment.§ These savings are due to a reduction in talent management and recruiting costs. Those who take advantage of Cigna’s tuition reimbursement program are more likely to be promoted, more likely to be transferred within Cigna, and more likely to stay at the company long term.

Helping employees earn a degree or graduate certificate isn’t just a benefit for the employees. It’s a smart investment for the company.

It Can Help Attract and Retain Self-Motivated Employees

Businesses want employees with drive. And one way to attract people who care about their careers is to offer tuition assistance. That’s because employees who care about self-improvement are more likely to care about earning a degree. In order to compete for the most self-motivated employees, businesses should offer funds for higher education.

It’s a Tax Write Off

The U.S. government believes in building a more skilled workforce. That’s why any business that provides tuition assistance can write off a good portion in tuition expenses per employee, per year. It’s just one more incentive for your business to help you earn a degree.

How Can You Earn a Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral Degree?

If you’re currently working, you’re likely wondering how you can earn a degree or graduate certificate while keeping up with your job. The answer is online education.

When you enroll in an accredited university offering online degree programs, you can earn a quality graduate certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree with far less hassle than you might expect. At a campus-based university, you have to attend classes on campus and at specific times. But online classes aren’t so restrictive. Instead, when you earn a degree online, you can attend classes and complete coursework at whatever time of day best fits your schedule. Plus, online universities let you earn your degree from home or anywhere else you have internet access.

There are so many great types of graduate certificates and degrees: teaching degrees, business degrees, nursing degrees, social work and psychology degrees, public policy degrees, IT degrees—the list goes on. Each can help your career. And you can find a good program at a top online university. You can even find online universities devoted to important issues like social change. If you want to advance your career without leaving your job, earning a degree online can be the perfect choice, particularly if your company is willing to help pay.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering graduate certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

*M. Zinshteyn, More Companies Are Picking Up College Tabs, The Atlantic, on the internet at

†C. Rugaber, Pay Gap Between College Grads and Everyone Else at a Record, USA Today, on the internet at

‡P. Sidhu et. al., Many Business Leaders Doubt U.S. Colleges Prepare Students, Gallup, on the internet at

§Lumina Foundation, Talent Investments Pay Off, on the internet as a PDF at

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,