9 Companies That Help Employees Pay For College
Although a high salary can certainly sway a qualified applicant, these days, it’s not just money that talks. In fact, recent data shows that most applicants surveyed said that benefits and perks would weigh heavily in their decision to accept a job offer.
In the age of the tech startup, images of snack-stocked company kitchens and on-site employee gym equipment often dance in HR professionals’ heads, even when they’re impossible to implement.
But as exotic as extras like travel stipends or gym membership remunerations may sound, help paying for college—or repaying student loan debt—can go a long way toward convincing an applicant to take the gig.
It’s no surprise, then, that some companies are adding help with tuition costs to their suite of employee benefits, along with standards like health insurance coverage and paid vacation. Here are the creative solutions a few modern companies have come up with.
Already famous for its generous suite of perks, including comprehensive healthcare coverage even for part-time employees, you’d better believe Starbucks also counts college costs among its benefits. All benefits-eligible employees (or “partners,” as they’re called by the company, who also offers each barista investor shares) receives 100% tuition coverage toward their first-time bachelor’s degree through a competitive online program at Arizona State University.
Starbucks also made waves by offering expanded healthcare benefits specifically for its transgender partners, including both gender reassignment surgery as well as procedures that had once been considered cosmetic, like breast reduction or augmentation, hair transplants, and facial feminization surgeries.
As if working in a theme park weren’t magical enough, Disney also offers its U.S.-based employees full, up-front tuition payment at in-network schools, including the costs of application fees and required books and course materials.
Called the Aspire program , this education investment perk is utilized by almost half of the company’s 85,000 eligible employees. Both full- and part-timers are eligible after 90 days of service.
This healthcare giant aims to take care of its employees as well as its subscribers. The company will match its full-time workers student loan payments up to $2,000 per year up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000. Part-time workers are eligible for a more limited repayment program of $1,000 per year up to a lifetime maximum of $5,000.
Hey, we have to toot our own horn a little bit—especially since we were one of the first companies to offer this kind of perk! We offer our employees help with student loan payments to the tune of $200 per month.
Along with giving our own employees a leg up, we can also help you implement this perk for your workers through the Student Loan Contribution Benefit from SoFi at Work.
Studies have shown that this special benefit can increase employee morale and improve retention, and our unique program is completely customizable. Plus, once it’s set up, your employees can enroll in minutes!
5. The U.S. Government
One of the very last bastions of that now-fabled benefit, the pension, federal jobs offer another attractive perk, too: student loan repayment of up to a whopping $10,000 per year with a $60,000 maximum. (Of course, not all employers have access to government-sized coffers.)
Eligibility varies based on specific location and post, but this recruitment/retainment incentive is frequently used by U.S. agencies looking for qualified candidates.
This tech company knows the importance of a college education—and they show it by offering both a student loan repayment program and tuition reimbursement for its employees.
Both full- and part-time workers clocking more than 20 hours each week can apply for a student loan reimbursement of up to $6,000 per year, up to $30,000, or up to $5,250 each year for qualified job-related educational expenses, including tuition and books. (You do have to earn a “B” or higher in the class to qualify, however.)
Full disclosure: NVIDIA also partners with SoFi to offer its employees customized student loan refinancing options. The company also hosts a 529 plan allowing automated payroll deductions, which is great news both for students themselves and parents hoping to help their kids with college.
Well-known for helping students save money on books throughout their college careers, Chegg will now also help employees tackle their student loans.
CEO Dan Rosensweig recently announced that the company will offer up to $5,000 per year in student loan repayment assistance to eligible entry-through-manager level employees, and up to $3,000 per year for those at the director- or vice president-level.
8. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
This international professional services firm is powerful, to be sure—and it puts that power to good use with its Student Loan Paydown benefit. The company will pay up to $1,200 per year towards its participating associates and senior associates, up to a maximum of $10,000.
But that’s not all. The company also offers U.S.-based employees a tax-free educational support fund of up to $5,250 per calendar year, and will match employee gifts between $50 and a whopping $10,000 to approved educational institutions.
This Illinois-based healthcare company recognizes how hard it is to save for retirement when you’re also busy dialing down student debt.
That’s why it launched its Freedom 2 Save Plan, which offers a free 5% 401(k) bonus “match” to employees who contribute 2% of their eligible pay to their student loans—even if those employees aren’t contributing their own 5% to the retirement plan.
This perk is coupled with medical coverage, health and wellness programs, commuter benefits, childcare options, and more.
Get Ahead of the Game By Offering College Tuition Help
With the American student loan total nearing $1.5 trillion, it’s no wonder the American workforce is eager for help at the gargantuan task of chipping it down. And indeed, many employees surveyed have specifically stated that they want to work for employers who offer student loan remuneration or other college-tuition focused benefits options.
By offering help with paying for college, you’re not only making your job more attractive—you’re helping ensure your company is staffed by well-educated employees who aren’t struggling under undue financial stress.
You might also help those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford an education gain access to this important life experience—an action that combines corporate responsibility with plain-old decency and humanity.
Starbucks, Aetna, and Nvidia are SoFi at Work partners.
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