Financing Graduate School w/ Employer's Help?

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morsk
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Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:30 am

Financing Graduate School w/ Employer's Help?

Post by morsk » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:16 pm

Hello, I hope this is the correct board for this question!

I'm applying to graduate school -- an expensive endeavour -- and I am currently working full time at a small company.

I spoke to my boss about my Graduate School plans, and, while he told me that the firm doesn't have any tuition assistance programs in place, he'd be willing to entertain any reasonable options and bringing it up to HR. Apparently, the firm is looking into such programs for the future, so ideas are certainly welcome.

This may be a little unconventional or even not possible, but, besides your 'classic' tuition assistance programs some firms offer (tuition assistance on the condition of x amount of time working at the firm post-graduation), are there any other options that the employee/employer can work out?

I was wondering if it would be possible for the firm to pay a portion (or all) of the tuition outright, and instead of earning a salary, my continued work at the firm would go off to recouping that balance? Is that such a possibility or am I getting a bit too creative? I understand that firms often offer educational incentives because (I believe) there is some sort of a tax incentive instead of paying a regular salary?

Any ideas and/or resources I can look into would be very much appreciated; I just don't really know where to begin...thank you kindly in advance!

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leeks
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Financing Graduate School w/ Employer's Help?

Post by leeks » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:10 pm

Aside from tuition assistance of some kind, consider that time and flexibility can also be valuable. For example, if you will miss some of your standard work hours for school (such as leaving early once or twice a week for class) but they continue to pay you the same salary, that would be a nice form of support.

megabad
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Financing Graduate School w/ Employer's Help?

Post by megabad » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:47 pm

The problem is if the assistance isn't provided in a verifiable manner as prescribed in Pub 15-B, than it will not fall under the tax exclusion. Typically companies want these funds to fall under the tax exclusion. This is usually a formal program that checks to make sure benefits are not provided in a discriminatory manner (ie. disproportionately to HCEs) and are provided only for verifiable educational purposes. Without a tax benefit, many employers would likely simply prefer you to just use your salary (but some may be more altruistic/see other benefits). Though allowing flexible hours as the post above indicates could also be interpreted as a "benefit".

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