Several years ago, the company I worked for offered — and most likely still offers — a benefit I find valuable: a free education. Included in the benefits package was reimbursement for certain tuition expenses. The company would pay ninety percent of all costs of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any field as well as the same percentage of expenses for earning a master’s degree related to the employee’s field. Job-related certifications were also covered by the employer. There were some caveats for receiving the reimbursement, but there weren’t many hoops to jump through.
I took advantage of this benefit by pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. I value continual education in my life, and I saw a chance to earn a degree — one that might help me learn about a field that could help me in my day job as well as in what was becoming a profitable side-job — at a greatly reduced cost, I took the opportunity.
Not every company should offer this benefit, though, particularly not with strings attached. I’ve discovered that other employers do attach strings. Some companies offer reimbursement for education, but require a high GPA in order to receive the full benefit. My company required just a “C” grade average in order to receive full reimbursement when I took classes towards my MBA; now the company offers reimbursement on a sliding scale, offering the full benefit only to those with an “A” grade average. While my company didn’t have this policy, some require employees to remain employed with that particular company for a certain amount of years after completing the course in order to avoid paying back the reimbursement. Five years is a typical restricted period