Maximize Your Employer Assistance For MBA Tuition
The MBA isn’t cheap. However, there are certain ways to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
One of those ways is through employer-sponsored tuition assistance.
Fortuna Admissions recently published an article on how to maximize your employer tuition assistance for the MBA.
“If you aren’t sure if your company offers tuition assistance, reach out to your manager/HR/benefits department to find out,” according to Fortuna Admissions. “You don’t want to leave any of your employer’s funds on the table.”
Know How Much You Can Receive
Knowing how much you’ll get from your employer depends on your employment status.
“Full-time employees can receive one amount and part-time employees often receive a smaller amount,” according to Fortuna. “Sometimes the amount is prorated based upon FTE status. There also may be a minimum FTE required for eligibility.”
Additionally, it’s important to ask a few questions regarding your assistance. Here are some common questions, according to Fortuna:
- Is the year the payment is deducted from based upon the reimbursement pay date, course start date, or course end date?
- Which costs are covered by the tuition assistance program? Tuition only? Or are academic fees and/or books included?
- Are 100% of the fees covered up to the annual limit?
- What is the minimum grade requirement and does the grade affect the percentage of tuition reimbursed?
Know Who To Ask
It’s also crucial to know the person who should address these questions.
“A common problem in asking for employer sponsorship is that the person you plan to talk to isn’t high enough up in organization to make the decision about sponsorship,” according to a blog post by Wharton School of Business.
Prior to asking someone, it’s important to first ask yourself a few questions.
“If that is the case, then ask if you think they are on your side,” according to Wharton. “If they’re not an advocate for you, then try to talk to the person who can make the decision. However, if they are an advocate for you, then it might be better for them to make the case on your behalf.”
When And How To Apply
Each company handles tuition assistance differently, according to Fortuna.
“Your employer may handle the tuition assistance program in-house, or they may outsource the processing to a program administrator. Either way, you’ll want to know if the application process happens after you complete each course or if you need to apply before the term begins.”
Typically, you’ll have to apply each term. Regardless of the process, Fortuna experts stress the importance in not missing deadlines.
“Your application may be denied if it is late or missing documentation. You’ll likely need to include course-specific information on the application, such as course name, number, cost per course, and start/end dates. Your employer may also require you to confirm the accreditation of your program.”
It’s also important to know the different models that the programs are based.
“Many tuition assistance programs are based on the reimbursement model, where you receive the funds after you prove that you paid for and completed courses by submitting your tuition receipt and grades. Others allow you to receive the funds up front or have the funds paid directly to your school. Prepayment by your employer is easier on you since you won’t need to pay out of pocket, but you’ll certainly want to achieve the appropriate grade so that you are not required to pay the money back.”