15 Companies That Offer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

These Companies Will Pay a Portion of Your College Bills

College student studying
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When you're looking for a job, the biggest number to consider is your hourly wages or annual salary. But the benefits a company offers, from health insurance to transportation perks, can also make a big difference to your monthly bills, and are worth factoring in to your job decision. (Find out what questions you should ask about employee benefits during your job interview.)

Many companies offer tuition reimbursement as part of their benefits package.

Here's how it typically works: an employee pays upfront for college, graduate, or continuing education classes, and once the class or semester is complete, the employee pays back a portion, or the full amount, of money spent.

Why Do Employers Offer Tuition Reimbursement?  

There are several incentives for companies to offer this perk: Like any benefit, it helps attract and retain the best employees. Relevant coursework can also sharpen workers' skills and know-how, strengthening the company. Finally, tuition reimbursement is tax deductible up to $5,250 per employee per year, making this program an affordable perk to offer.

Read More: How to Compare Employee Benefit Packages

How Tuition Reimbursement Programs Work

Implementation of this program varies greatly from company to company: Some reimburse for any educational classes, some require that coursework be done through specific schools to be eligible for reimbursement, and others only cover tuition costs for approved classes.

Companies may require a certain grade to qualify for reimbursement, or that employees remain with the company for a set period of time following the completion of the class to qualify for reimbursement. Some companies may cover the costs associated with classes, such as textbooks or internet connection fees.

15 Companies Offering Tuition Reimbursement as a Benefit

From fast food chains to telecommunications companies to banks, these are some of the top companies that pay workers' education costs.

1. Starbucks: All benefits-eligible United States employees of this coffee purveyor can have their full-time college tuition covered, essentially a free bachelor's degree. One important note on this program: Employees can only study at Arizona State University's online program. Learn more about the tuition reimbursement program at Starbucks.

2. Chipotle: Both hourly and salaried employees at this fast-food chain are eligible for tuition reimbursement. To offer this benefit, Chipotle partnered with Guild Education, which offers online classes, programs, and degrees from a variety of universities. Employees can work toward degrees (undergrad or graduate), take classes, earn a GED, or study ESL, eligible for up to $5,250 annually. Get more details on Chipotle's benefits package.

3. UPS: Part-time UPS employees who work in package handling can participate in the company's Earn and Learn Program, covering up to $25,000 in college expenses (each year, the program reimburses a maximum of $5,250). According to the company website, employees are eligible for this perk from their start data.

(Other education assistance programs are available for employees in different roles.)

4. Walmart: Like Starbucks, Walmart partnered with an educational institution — for Walmart, it's American Public University — as part of its educational assistant program. Both part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam's Club employees, as well as eligible family members, may receive a tuition grant that reduces the cost of courses by 15 percent. Employees who have a high school degree or GED are eligible on the first day of employment. Find out more about Walmart's Lifelong Learning Program.

5. Home Depot: Tuition reimbursement rates for Home Depot employees vary by role — salaried employees can get up $5,000 annually, while full-time hourly employees are reimbursed up to $3,000 and part-time hourly employees can get up to $1,500 back.

Get information about tuition reimbursement through Home Depot.

6. Verizon: All employees at Verizon, the telecommunications giant, are eligible for up to $8,000 in tuition reimbursement each year. Verizon's program requires that classes be related to the business. Learn more about benefits at Verizon.

7. Smucker's: The J.M. Smucker's company makes more than jam — its brands include big names like Folgers, Pillsbury, and Meow Mix. The company offers up to 100 percent reimbursement for tuition costs for company-approved college courses. Get more info on benefits at Smucker's.

8. Bank of America: Employees can get up to $5,250 in job-related courses or degree programs covered each year. Get more information on Bank of America's tuition reimbursement program.

9. AT&T: As part of its benefits package, AT&T offers tuition assistance — employees must meet certain eligibility requirements to get the reimbursement, and the costs must be approved by the company.

10. Wells Fargo: The banking giant offers up to $5,000 in annual (and eligible) tuition expenses. Learn more.

11. Proctor & Gamble: Up to 80 percent of tuition and fees are reimbursed at P&G, makers of a vast range of consumer and household goods. Employees must get programs and fees pre-approved, and there is a cap of $40,000 of reimbursed expenses. Learn more about P&G's benefits.

12. JetBlue: The upscale airline runs a program known as JetBlue Scholars — employees can apply to enroll, and once accepted, take approved online courses. To be eligible, employees must have worked at JetBlue for two years, and have prior college credits in place. Get more information on the JetBlue Scholars program.

13. Anthem, Inc.: Employees at this health benefits company are eligible for up to $5,000 a year in reimbursement for tuition and textbooks. See more information on Anthem's career-development perks.

14. BP: At this oil giant, there are many requirements for eligibility, but tuition reimbursement is a generous 90 percent of the costs of tuition, fees, and books. Among other requirements, employees must get approval for the classes in advance of registration and receive a passing grade. Learn more about tuition reimbursement at BP.

15. Ford Company: This car company has a generous education program that will pay for up to $6,000 per year in tuition and fees in advance of class completion. Get the details.

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