Featured Free Report:
7 Strategies for
Effective Training
Your email address will not be published.
All fields required.

Tuition Assistance: Do Your Benefits Measure Up?

E-pinions
by Stephen Bruce, PhD, PHR

By Stephen D. Bruce, PHR
Editor, HR Daily Advisor

Eighty-five percent of employers report offering tuition assistance to employees, according to a recent survey of tuition assistance plans by BLR®‘s HR Daily Advisor. This is a significant increase over the 52% of employers who reported having such a plan in late 2007.

A quick review of the detailed responses below will let you know how your organization’s benefits compare with those of the approximately 1100 employers who responded to the survey, which was conducted by BLR’s HR Daily Advisor in August-September 2010. It is one of a series of targeted benefits series BLR conducts each year.

This increase in companies providing tuition assistance was accompanied by a narrowing of the most common reimbursement pre-requisites, however. Ninety-six percent of organizations offering tuition assistance in the current survey require verification of the grade earned, compared with 50% having that requirement in 2007. Similarly, 76% of companies require the course to be job related, as compared to 47% with that requirement in late 2007.

The survey, which garnered nearly 1,100 responses, was conducted by BLR’s HR Daily Advisor in August-September 2010. See end of survey report for demographic breakdowns.

Here are the detailed results:

Organization offers a Tuition Assistance Plan:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

920

85%

No

164

15%


See what everyone’s talking about! Check out BLR’s remarkable everything-you-need-for-HR website, HR.BLR.com, at no cost or risk, and get a complimentary special report! Get more info.


Both Exempt and Nonexempt personnel are eligible for Tuition Assistance:

 

Number

Percent

Yes, both Exempt and Nonexempt personnel are eligible

889

98%

Only Exempt personnel are eligible

16

2%

Only Nonexempt personnel are eligible

3

0%

Length of service required for Tuition Assistance eligibility:

 

Number

Percent

No length of service minimum

213

23%

0-3 months

80

9%

4-6 months

210

23%

7-11 months

53

6%

One year or more

352

39%

Part-time personnel are eligible for Tuition Assistance:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

334

37%

No

571

63%

Courses taken must be job related:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

693

76%

No

215

24%

Graduate level courses are covered:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

860

95%

No

47

5%

Professional certification courses are covered:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

508

56%

No

396

44%

Seminars from informal sources such as Dale Carnegie covered:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

268

30%

No

636

70%

Reimbursement includes amounts for books and/or supplies:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

511

57%

No

384

43%

Tuition reimbursement is grade-dependent:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

814

91%

No

85

9%

Verification required of grade earned:

 

Number

Percent

Yes

862

96%

No

37

4%

Percentage of tuition reimbursed:

 

Number

Percent

Less than 50%

65

8%

At least 50% but less than 75%

80

9%

At least 75% but less than 85%

78

9%

At least 85% but less than 100%

29

3%

100%

376

44%

Percentage depends on grade earned

221

26%

Maximum tuition reimbursement offered per year:

 

Number

Percent

Less than $1,000

53

6%

At least $1,000 but less than $2,000

167

19%

At least $2,000 but less than $3,000

126

14%

At least $3,000 but not unlimited

260

30%

Reimbursement capped only by IRS deductibility

210

24%

Dollar limits depend on grade(s) earned

53

6%

Repayment of tuition benefits required if employee leaves company:

 

Number

Percent

No, repayment is never required

339

38%

Occasionally, on a case by case basis

78

9%

Yes, if employee leaves within 3 months of course completion

15

2%

Yes, if employee leaves within 4-6 months of course completion

42

5%

Yes, if employee leaves within 7-12 months of course completion

288

32%

Yes, if employee leaves over a year after course completion

132

15%

Tuition Assistance plan has changed in last two years:

 

Number

Percent

Yes, we have reduced benefits

117

11%

Yes, we have increased benefits

117

11%

No, the plan has not changed in the last two years

810

78%


Have you road-tested the biggest bargain in HR? Try HR.BLR.com at no cost or risk and receive a special report that’s yours to keep no matter what you decide. Get the details.


Anticipated change in Tuition Assistance plan in the next year:

 

Number

Percent

We plan to reduce benefits

59

6%

We plan to increase benefits

107

10%

No changes are anticipated

868

84%

Title of Survey Respondent:

 

Number

Percent

Human Resources Director or Manager

696

67%

Human Resources Staff

236

23%

Consultant, Human Resources

14

1%

Other

89

9%

Industry:

 

Number

Percent

Manufacturing and Construction

210

20%

Transportation, Communications, and Utilities

62

6%

Services and Trade

240

23%

Government and Public Administration

86

8%

Other

437

42%

Approximate number of Employees:

 

Number

Percent

1-99

243

23%

100-499

367

35%

500-999

134

13%

1000 or more

291

28%

Location:

 

Number

Percent

Northeast US

307

30%

Southern US

222

21%

Midwestern US

329

32%

Mountain States

33

3%

Western US

144

14%

What should our next benefits survey topic be? Let me know at sbruce@blr.com.

More Articles on E-pinions

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

0 Comments

Share Your Comments on This Tip

If you have comments about this tip and want to post them on this page to share your thoughts with other HR Daily Advisor readers, simply enter your comments below. NOTE: Your name will appear on any comments posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *