Tuition Reimbursement Checklist for Employers

tuition reimbursement

As college tuition rates continue to rise, more people are struggling to afford the cost of college tuition. This is part of the reason why thousands of employers are implementing tuition reimbursement programs as an employee benefit. 

If your organization is considering joining over 56% of employers offering this benefit, is it important to make sure every aspect of your potential tuition reimbursement policy is carefully considered. Use this checklist to guide your decision-making when developing your tuition reimbursement policy.


  1. Eligibility

When designing your tuition reimbursement policy, consider who will be eligible to receive tuition reimbursement benefits. Consider who and how many of your employees will be eligible to receive tuition reimbursement benefits. You may only allow full-time employees to be eligible, for example.

2. Requirements

What courses will your employees be able to take? As mentioned previously, some employers will require their employees to take certain courses in order to be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Similarly, what schools will your employees be able to attend to receive tuition reimbursement?

3. Level of Education

Which degree programs will your employees be able to take in order to receive benefits? Consider the type of programs (associate, undergraduate, graduate, etc.) you will permit your employees to take.

4. Taxation/budget

Depending on how much you decide to reimburse your employees, you could be allotting a significant percentage of your business’ budget to pay for tuition reimbursement costs. Review your budget to decide how much of it will be dedicated to offering this benefit to your employees. Remember, if you want to remain tax-free, you can only offer $5,250 per employee per year. Will you decide to offer more?

5. Maintenance 

Consider the aftermath of implementing your tuition reimbursement program. After employees graduate, will you require them to keep working for you? Most employers require some form of contract requiring employees to remain in their positions for a certain period of time upon graduation. Work out if you will require this and the details of a potential contract.


Of course, a fully comprehensive tuition reimbursement policy will need to be developed with several departments in your organizations, such as HR and legal. The details are just as important to the policy as the basic requirements, so be sure to develop all aspects of your tuition reimbursement program thoroughly.