Continuing education and providing educational assistance to employees is an important part of a comprehensive employee benefits package.
Many organizations have realized the many benefits of training employees, and a tuition reimbursement policy clarifies the details of that benefit.
A tuition reimbursement policy should include things like eligibility, what expenses are reimbursed, level of education covered and specifics on course accreditation.
This clarification helps employees understand what benefits are available to them and serves as tool to encourage them to take advantage of the benefit.
Sample Tuition Reimbursement Policy
To encourage the professional and personal development of every ABC Trucking Company employee, the following policy establishes reimbursement for qualified educational expenses and successful completion of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate courses in accredited colleges or universities.
All full-time employees of ABC Trucking Company are eligible for educational assistance in accordance with this policy upon completion of six (6) months of continuous employment prior to the time of course enrollment and provided that the employee is enrolled in courses which are part of a degree program.
Employees interested in participating in this education assistance program must complete the Request for Employee Tuition Reimbursement Form prior to the commencement of any coursework for which the employee desires to be reimbursed.
The employee’s department head must approve the reimbursement (in his or her sole discretion) and the employee may be reimbursed for only approved degree programs.
Approved coursework must be completed on the employee’s own time.
If approved coursework is only available during the employee’s work hours, a schedule of proportional compensatory time may be arranged (in the sole discretion of ABC Trucking Company), provided normal services of the employing department are not disrupted or impaired.
Reimbursement is contingent upon the student earning a passing grade that is accepted by the school for the credit or confirmation of satisfactory completion of the course from the school when a course is not graded.
ABC Trucking Company will reimburse an employee for tuition, including required course fees, for all passing grades with a maximum of $1,500 per year for undergraduate studies and $2,500 per year for graduate and post-graduate studies.
Payment may be made to the institution or reimbursed to the employee.
Failure to satisfy the minimum passing grade will result in denial of payment or reimbursement of monies to the institution for the applicable course(s).
A passing grade is defined as an “A,” “B,” or “C” grade for undergraduate classes and a “B” minimum for graduate classes.
If the course is a “Pass/Fail,” a “Pass” is acceptable.
An employee will not be eligible for tuition reimbursement if they withdraw from an approved course or if the approved course is canceled.
The employee is required to immediately notify the Department Head and Human Resources if they withdraw from an approved course or if the course is canceled.
An employee will not receive tuition reimbursement if they terminate employment prior to completion of an approved course.
If the employee receives an incomplete in a course, the employee will have until the end of the following semester in which to complete the work and have the incomplete removed. Failure to complete the work will prohibit the employee from participating in the tuition reimbursement plan and any advance payments received must be repaid to ABC Trucking Company.
The employee should complete the Request for Tuition Reimbursement Form 14 days prior to each course the employee wants to take in conjunction with this program. The Department Head of the employee’s department must approve the request. When completed, the Request for Tuition Reimbursement Form is submitted to the Human Resource Department for review and approval.
Upon completion of the course, applicant must submit, within 45 days, legible copies of the following: (1) College/university invoice or statement indicating fees charged and the amount paid (the invoice must contain the school’s name and address. Copies of canceled checks and credit card receipts will not be accepted); and (2) College/university grade card/report indicating the applicant’s name, quarter/semester, course name(s) and grade(s) for the term.
This is an example of a tuition reimbursement policy. Detail should be customized to each business individually based on culture and budgetary limitations.
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Article originally posted July, 2010, updated February, 2015.